Free Resources for App Developers

Written by Reinder de Vries on March 20 2017 in App Development

Free Resources for App Developers

Awesome! You just found a great app idea. Your mind’s buzzing with excitement – this is gonna be IT! You leave Zuckerberg in your wake, Jack Dorsey’s gonna bite the dust and Steve Jobs fistbumps you from the heavens. But wait… you don’t know how to make an app!?

Let’s get started, then!

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Contextual Design by Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt
It’s almost a classic: Contextual Design by Beyer and Holtzblatt. Although a little dry, it explains you a solid system for gathering contextual information about a particular problem. Read this book if you have a problem you want to solve, but can’t find any starting points for your solution. » Contextual Design on

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
Although it’s a book on UI/UX, it applies to pretty much any problem-solving situation. Steve Krug explains the process and importance of doing usability tests when building a product. Must-read for anyone who’s wondering if his or her customers will understand the product they’re building. » Don’t Make Me Think on

Universal Principles Of Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler
This book is a bible for designers and ideators. It explains principles for great design, both in engineering and in art, such as the 80/20 rule and form follows function. » Universal Principles Of Design on

The Design Of Everyday Things by Don Norman
The Design Of Everyday Things is a landmark among interaction designers, and answers a very simple question: Why doesn’t this work the way it’s supposed to? At first glance, many tools we use seem to work naturally and it’s almost obvious how you should use them. But then, when you get to work, the door suddenly opens the other way around and you keep pushing a door that says Pull. How? This book tells you. » The Design Of Everyday Things on

Balsamiq Mockups
The no. 1 mockup tool: Balsamiq. Make sure to check out their videos on using Balsamiq.

Ivo Mynttinen
A must-see resource for any app maker planning on building an app for iPhone. Designer Ivo Mynttinen does a great job of explaining you all the UI/UX intricacies of the iPhone. »

Tools and Resources

AppAnnie is the Swiss Army Knife of App Store Optimization, a must-have for the app maker’s toolset. »

Quora is the questions and answers platform that works. Tap into the creative minds of millions of people, by asking a simple question. »

Noah Kagan’s AppSumo is one of those resources you have to check in with from time to time. It’s essentially a deals website, giving you access to tools for a fraction of their price. That works both ways: get your product on there, or benefit from the products of others. »

HackerNews is an aggregator of tech and startup news, curated by its readers, and started by venture capitalist Paul Graham. This is where you put your ear to the ground. »


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Reinder de Vries

Reinder de Vries

Reinder de Vries is a professional iOS developer. He teaches app developers how to build their own apps at Since 2009 he has developed a few dozen apps for iOS, worked for global brands and lead development at several startups. When he’s not coding, he enjoys strong espresso and traveling.