If you are a business owner who’s planning to follow the digital marketing trend of switching your operations to mobile devices, you’d be having a lot of questions on your mind. Is mobile app development that complicated? Is it time-consuming? What are the phases involved in it? Where to begin? And a lot more.
This blog would guide you through the process in a step-by-step manner. Let’s begin.
What is a mobile app?
A mobile app is a software application that has been specifically designed for use on mobile devices including tablets and smartphones. Since these devices operate on different operating systems (OS), mobile apps are also designed to run on these.
The two most predominant mobile OS currently are Android and iOS, holding 72% and 27.47% of the market respectively.
What are the stages in the process of mobile app development?
Certainly, mobile app development isn’t a simple process. However, breaking it down into phases helps in the easy execution of each of those. In this section, let’s have an overview of the stages or steps involved in app development.
- Determining your app’s requirements
- Choosing your app’s features
- Selecting a mobile app designing and developing partner
- Determining how your app with work and look
- Developing the app with quality assurance
- Preparing and publishing the app on Apple Store and Google Play Store
- Maintaining and further improvising the app
Understanding the mobile app development process in detail
Here is a detailed explanation of the process of mobile app development. You’ll get to know where to start, how to proceed, what mistakes to avoid, and more. So, read on.
1. Determining your app’s requirements
You can choose from two categories of app options including hybrid and native. Native apps are designed exclusively for either an Android or iOS operating system. The native iOS apps are also built for iPhones and can directly access its processor, camera, microphone, etc.
On the other hand, hybrid apps are built for both Android and iOS operating systems. The disadvantage of hybrid mobile apps is that they can’t use the device’s processor and relies on an internet browser. So, native apps perform better than hybrid equivalents. However, developing a native app, especially for both
Android and iOS users are more time-consuming and costlier.
Go for it if optimal performance is your priority, you need offline functionality, it has to run well on older devices, the app has to access the device’s hardware like the camera, and involves a considerable input and processing burden.
2. Choosing your app’s features
Choose your app’s feature by asking yourself the following questions.
- What’s the thing that you want to ultimately achieve through your app?
- What’s the audience size you want to reach through your app?
- What kind of elements will your app mostly have- video and graphics or mere texts?
- What’s your budget?
Based on your answers to these questions, you can choose the right features for your app. For instance, if yours is a social app, you might want to include customer interaction features like private messaging, the ability to follow others, and a news feed.
3. Selecting a mobile app designing and developing partner
Once you’ve come up with a validated app concept and the money to develop your app, you can start putting the plan into action. The first big step is to decide to whom you are going to entrust the job. There are two general options in this regard. You can either trust it to your organization’s in-house employees or outsource it to a firm that deals with mobile app development.
In-house development would be good if you have a team of experienced mobile app developers. If not, you’ll have to hire one or train a few of your existing employees. However, that would involve a lot of work and will make sense only if-
- The app will be core to your business.
- You’ll be able to steadily provide sufficient workload to the team long term.
- You’ll have enough funding to pay them.
If the above-mentioned factors aren’t favorable, it would be good to outsource your app’s development and maintenance to an agency. It’ll help keep the expenses low and give you flexibility of cash flow.
4. Determining how your app with work and look
- Visually evaluate the user flow through your app prototype, which is also known as a customer journey map. This will take into account their complete user journey. That is navigation from discovering one of your offerings on the app to making payments.
- Construct wireframes that comprise the layout, structure, and associations between different features. The entire framework should be clickable so that you can simulate the app’s interactive experiences. This is referred to as UX design.
- Construct the interface. It should easily navigable, have pleasing color themes, and contain elements such as animation, graphics, etc. This is referred to as the UI design. Ask the team to provide you with mockup sessions so that you get to know how the app looks and works in reality.
5. Developing the app with quality assurance
This is the stage of mobile app development, where developers begin writing the code and developing your app. It is an iterative process. They do it in scrum or sprint. That is, they break up the development work into smaller milestones and accomplish those in a series of cycles to develop your app. Each cycle contains different phases including refinement, planning, development, testing, review, and retrospective.
Refinement: It involves keeping the backlog orderly, clean, and updated. If you’re wondering what a backlog is, it’s simply an ordered list of things needed in the app.
Planning: The team has to meet up and plan clear acceptance criteria and how to estimate them, what are the things that have to be done, and more.
Development: At this phase, the team begins writing the code and executing the predetermined features. To ensure that the code is clear and transparent, practice Code Review. This will facilitate easy improvising of the app in the future.
Testing (QA): Testing involves securely and privately distributing the app’s in-development version to clients, testers, and other developers to ensure that the app works as intended. The crash reporting will help identify mistakes, if any, in your app.
Deployment: This is the final phase. But in reality, your work doesn’t end here. Even after officially releasing your app, you must gather user feedback and accordingly improvise your app.
6. Preparing and publishing the app on Apple Store and Google Play Store
Once you have your mobile app’s first version ready, you can publish it. Since this is also a vital part of the app development process, your mobile app developing partner should help you in uploading your iOS app on the Apple Store and your Android app on the Google Play Store.
- In case your app supports Dark Mode, you may want to include a screenshot that displays what the experience is like for users.
- Upload your app using Xcode.
- The TestFlight tool might be used to test your app
- Upload screenshots of your app captured on different devices
- Fill in the legal information asked for
- Submit the app for review. The acceptance process might take about 2 days.
- Collect and upload promotional materials (like videos and graphics).
- Configure options.
- Publish your app’s final version.
7. Maintaining, marketing, and further improvising the app
Your work doesn’t end with the release of the app. There’s more work particularly if your app performs successfully in the market. Here are the things you need to do.
- Analyze vital input metrics like user demographics, social sharing, funnel analytics, user behavior, etc. This data will help you evaluate your app’s success and accordingly fine-tune it to meet users’ needs.
- Carry out maintenance work to continuously enhance usability, add functionalities, and eliminate bugs.
- Keep innovating and adding new features and functionalities to stand out in the incredibly competitive mobile app market.
- Keep marketing your app so that it doesn’t get lost in the huge crowd of mobile apps on the market.
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Hope our blog helped you to understand the process of mobile app development. Make sure that you follow all the steps discussed in this guide to ensure that you’re developing a successful mobile product.
If you found this article helpful. Let us know your favorite part of this blog in the comments down below.
Shivani is a content writer at NotifyVisitors and InviteReferrals. She writes SEO articles, blogs, and guest posts for businesses to improve website ranking on SERP. She follows a balanced approach to the quality of content and its marketing.