Mobile apps development has been going since the inception of smartphones into the market. Many apps are published on daily basis in either Android’s Play store or Apple’s App Store. These published apps may be subjected to different industries such as mobile gaming app, any form of social media or apps for e-commerce. All these apps follow a similar pattern during its planning process. If the process is ironclad and well documented, your mobile app is bound to be a success and provide positive results. In this article, it is substantial to understand how a mobile app process takes place into existence and how should we go with best practices while planning our mobile app development life cycle.
Before explaining the key processes for mobile app development, it is understood that as technology evolves, the process gets better and more advanced in strategies, but the basics always remain the same. The mobile app development process consists of the following process as mentioned below:
– Post-launch phases.
The above-mentioned processes are the same for any type of mobile app which should be followed in systematic order. The order is important to note, so we will explain in detail about all the processes one-by-one.
As common as it’s perceived, an app emerges because of an idea. If you can’t think of an idea, you should start by training your brain to think about the problems around you. Understand how a problem behaves into the lives of people, and how technology can help them fix it. You can also test out various existing apps that are already fixing an existential problem, but you can think of a better way to solve it on your own. The solutions which you propose and dynamics of problems you evaluate in detail is called brainstorming and it is the most important part of the mobile app development process. Once you have made up your mind about a problem and how badly people are being affected by it, you have successfully achieved 50% of the idea occurrence.
Once your observation skills reached out to an existing problem domain, it’s time to the extent your research further towards a solution. The investigation regarding your concern problem and why current technology hasn’t has come out with a solution yet. Ask around and think in a broader perspective about the problem in hand. This phase takes time, as the problem research increase, more complications are added to your knowledge with lead to more decoding. It’s important to get fully absorbed into the dynamics of the problem solving, your deduction skills will help you understand how to break down bigger problems into pieces and explain solutions respectively. Once you are efficient in finding the problem with various dimensions, it’s time to think how a mobile app can help fix this problem for peoples in most effective manner.
At this point, many sponsors and stakeholders start to gets second thoughts about their problem comprehension. The first question they asked for themselves that “Is it even possible to solve this problem with an app?”, “does current technology capable enough?”. In almost 99% of cases, the answer is yes. The technology advancements have made it possible and how mobile phones have been integrated into our society. These two indicators are more than enough to provide strength and push to dive deeper into the creative universe of mobile app development for solving a problem on hand. As it’s without a doubt that mobile app requires time and investment, so its job for mobile app consultants to help clients and make them realize an untapped business opportunity through mobile app development.
In Mobile app development process, the strategy is the engine, fuel, and ignition for the entire product. This is where things get interesting and stakeholders more especially understand the real focus and their target audience. The strategy process is further breakdown to more parts as explained below:
Once the idea has been recognized, it’s time to make your hands dirty, in a good way. The mobile app process second step is to look out for existing mobile apps that are focused to solve the similar problem that you are looking forward to solving on your own through mobile app technology. These secondary companies and their apps will be your competitors. These mobile apps will be an excellent place to learn about the practicality of your own idea, because more or less, the difference between your competitor’s app and your app would be similar, with few changes in terms of business logic and/or designs. For starters, you need to find out these details for a competitor’s app.
– The number of downloads: Check the number of downloads and how many users are currently using it.
– Reviews and feedback: App stores provide a convenient feature to learn about the user reviews and rating stars for an app. Learn what people enjoyed about the app and what they disliked.
– Company’s motto: Learn about their developers, their company’s vision, what changes they have made throughout the mobile app history and how they managed to improve with current physical issues about the problem.
All these research and hard work explain two purposes, one is to learn as much as possible free of charge. Making app in advance and then fix the problems are expensive, time-consuming, frustrating and troublesome. By learning about the company, the app, the logic and design will help you understand all necessary dos and don’ts for your upcoming app. A secondary purpose to learn from this methodology is to investigate the target audience and what are their aspirations. Are they really looking for a completely new mobile app to solve a similar problem? Are they too happy with the current one, but you managed to find some missing puzzle pieces which can be filled in the new app which you desires to develop? All these research will help you jot down some pointers and help you modify a set of practical ideas help your app to get an upper hand against your competitors.
Before developing an app, it’s important to utilize your marketing researching and understanding your users and possible reaction when they first see your app. So if you are a multi-billion dollar company, making apps just for fun or doing some charity cause for others, this option is optional. But most of us, creating a mobile app and monetizing is an almost single thing. As we all know, mobile app development is an investment, and just like any investment, mobile apps also provide profit through monetizing. There are many tactics to earn from your apps such as conventional paid apps, in-app purchasing, the premium section inside your app, subscription charges, selling user data for profit and ad-revenues. Understanding your target user’s aspirations and how the app will help to fill their needs, you as a stakeholder must make a decision to select monetization tactics accordingly. It’s not a hard and fast rule to include paid features in an app just as it’s published for the first time. It’s also a part of the plan to study and analysis from your app traffic and user activity so that you can later add monetization tactics. It is observed that many mobile apps have turned to a failure due to improper timing of monetizing scheme (mostly for startups and in-experienced development firms).
This is one of the biggest challenges faced by mobile app publishers and businesses. Marketing your app to the public requires a lot of investment and even then, it’s not decisive that people will use your app. This section is all more complicated than expected. But to squeeze all the heavy lifting into few words, your mobile app decides whether you should market or not in the first place. Let’s suppose you created an amazing app, with great features and good looking design aesthetics. The app is for public use only, some sort of music player app. The marketing will be keyword based and specific to the users which are music lovers. This will make your overall budget to be used in marketing minimum. For those apps developed as B2B, no marketing is needed.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
The basic roadmap for your app is the final process in strategy domain. It is an essential part of a thriving mobile app process to realize your app strength and the likelihood of being a success story for the future or after one day of its release. The businesses must write down all the features and key points of the app that are being provided to the users from day one. All those features should be primary and would always remain into the app until its existing into the app world. These starting features included into the app are what known as Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Once the app starts to get noticed and gain a strong user base, you need to get engaged with your user through feedback and reviews of what features they are looking for in future updates. This analysis of the app and new features will keep your app alive in the fast-paced technological era and also assist on getting more users aboard.
Design and UI/UX
Mobile app design is the single most important aspect used in the planning phase of the app. Creating prototype design, wireframes, user flow, information collection, validation, and lastly created aesthetic designs. The design process also depends on many sections which need to be explained in detail.
Information Architecture (AI) is the starting point in mobile app process which consists on listing all the features, details and user action information into a paper. There is no tool required for this part, as all details need to realize through app structure and also how a certain feature will be displayed on a particular screen. Information Architecture process can be speed up of you can take pointers from your competitor’s app, or that app which is highly similar in concept.
This step consists of placing all your all features, data and functions into their respective positions in a visual form. Wireframes contain highly rough sketches with numerous mistakes and redesigns, which is typically a standard practice. No matter how you design it, through the paper, whiteboard, or some low-level design tools like Balsamiq, Sketch etc. the wireframes must show all the features that have been listed down at Information Architecture stage. After the wireframes are formed and all function has found their positions, we can then proceed to the workflow design process.
The process which uses wireframes into actual app flow is called Workflow in design terms. Workflow makes sure that all your screens and functions that have been placed in the first place have linked internally through various screens and processes. All the processes made up of any number of clicks. The processes and number of clicks define a task difficulty level which needs to be evaluated in this process. Its ok to include a little number of clicks to perform a task, but for a simple task, many clicks is a bad practice. Ideally speaking, the user should get what he wants with one click, but in practice, you should make it as minimum as you can. Through simple paper and pencil, or using intuitive software such as In-vision, you can create proper channeling between wireframes and feature selection points which will help you understand the app difficulty level visually.
The models help understand clients and stakeholders how the original app will behave once it has been developed. Click-through models are basically the amalgamation of wireframes and workflows. The combination of both can be then transferred into the actual mobile phone for the users or clients to see how the navigation is taking place. At this point, the mobile app is raw with no functionality in-tact, but this process provides invaluable insight to the developer and process maker what’s the response of clients and their feedback. If the process needs more work, the designer has to go back and tweak the wireframes and workflow sections and iteration goes on until the model is approved.
In the development cycle, your team will be engaged in coding all the functions and features explained by the wireframes and workflow into the actual app. This process is looked after by Project Manager and it entirely depended on managerial skills of PM that proper distribution of workload should be maintained across your team players. Secondly, there should be QA tester on-board in your development team. Whose prime responsibility is to test the app throughout the life cycle which is composed of small spirits development scale?
A developer should understand what the app intention is and how a specific function or feature works. The developer is the concerned individual who will be required any new changes or additional information about the app. During development, if technical issues arise, the developer should let the team know about it. The important point to understand is that the development team as a whole must be highly coupled with all app details, design related information and ongoing changes that have been implemented into the app.
In order to notify the proper individual about the app progress or additions, there is a handy app with automates all the notifications and access levels based on the team role such as developer, tester, manager or client. Through hockey app, the tester will be notified with the latest build, so that through streamline process, and proper channeling, the timely crash report can be submitted to the managers whereas clients can get the one which is most stable build. This process improves overall development progress and reduces unnecessary frustrations.
Once the app is developed, before going live and deployment, Beta testing is often taken into consideration. The concept behind beta testing is to provide an app to a small number of users, which help you to provide crash reports, uncertainty in the app, any misunderstanding between screens, bugs report or other UI/UX feedback. The customer that uses beta testing is out of your development or testing team. They are valuable customers, participants, subscribed based users or friends or families. The people involved in beta testing should be praised and appreciated properly as the app may provide the users some frustration as it’s not being to its prime form.
Deployment your finished product involves two steps for most enterprise-based mobile applications. One part consists of hosting your back-end API to an external server (Web Server) and the second step consists of publishing your app to related OS stores, namely Android’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
This is the last phase used for the planning and devising strategies for the mobile app development. During this phase, the businesses should have proper analytics tools set up with their respectable OS app stores and understand the download numbers, ratings, feedback and reviews. Also, the user may request additional features or bug fixes through the feedback section, so it’s important to have a flexible iteration process with proper updates and iterations for the app.
All these apps may put some overwhelming burden to the stakeholders. The points dictated above are composed due to expert’s recommendations and common practices. You may skip certain steps in the way based on your resources, which could work. But following it throughout will prove to be highly rewarding and ultimately lucrative for your business.
SleekDigital is a Mobile App Development Agency in Singapore that helps businesses transform digitally. We also offer digital transformation consultation and general digital consultation for companies who are looking for suggestions of different systems to be integrated. This is more of companies who lack a digital consultant to propose technologies. Arrange a digital consultation with us today!