It’s a no-brainer that if we start talking about the growth and usage of mobile phones it’ll probably turn into several volumes of books. Hence, businesses worldwide now follow a “mobile-first” approach when it comes to offering their services or products.
Like most businesses, if you’re keen on developing an app for your business, you must follow the right steps – from idea to execution. Whether you have in-house developers or you’re partnering with a software development company, these mobile app development steps will ensure you receive a scalable and efficient app in the end.
Conduct Thorough Market Research
Before you set out to build your mobile app, it’s vital to conduct detailed research on the app market. This will help you ponder over concerns like what kind of app can resolve the market issues or study the success of other competitors and marketers to understand their journey from nothing to success. Moreover, try to find the answers to questions such as:
- What problem can I solve with this app?
- What niche do you want to focus on?
We live in a world driven by continuous innovation where the greatest apps are ones that have solved some kind of real-world problem. Once you find a specific problem that you are convinced your business can help eliminate, find ways for your mobile app to provide solid benefits to your target consumers. At this stage, you should sketch a rough visual representation of your app. Just a basic drawing of your app interface will suffice.
Begin With The Planning
Once the basic idea of the app is finalised, the next step is to determine various elements associated with the actual planning. Understand that the chances are that there’s already at least one app in the market like your idea. However, don’t let that discourage you. Devote some time to learn why other similar apps did or did not perform well.
Your planning should revolve around the four most pertinent questions that will decide the future of your mobile app development.
- Who are your competitors?
- What will be your technical specifications?
- How to create an app that fits your business requirements?
- How to monetise my app?
Once you have answered these questions, adjust your app idea and add the necessary features that will appeal to the target consumers. You can explore the open forums to submit your app design and idea to get valuable feedback in return.
Focus On The Design
A responsive and user-friendly design is the mainstay of a mobile app. When working on the mobile app design, the focus should be on aspects such as colours, gestures, conformity to OS design standards and layout. A mobile app that’s intuitive and works fast is always going to attract more users.
It’s at this stage that you put your ideas and features together to create a mobile app prototype or wireframe. This works as a blueprint for the next steps in the mobile app development process. Once decided on the prototype, it serves as the reference point in the later stages.
You can use various wireframing tools available online like Moqups, Figma, Invision or Gliffy. These tools allow designers to add fully functional buttons that let you click through icons. This step helps learn the connection between various screens.
Build A Robust App
This is the stage where your mobile app comes to life. Your goal should be to develop the best version of the product you have in mind within the budget you’ve allocated. Before the development starts, decide which app platform you’re building for.
- Native Apps: These apps are created to work on a specific platform. Such apps deliver the best user experience but developing them requires a higher skill level.
- Hybrid Apps: This platform is relatively new in the mobile app development space. To develop such apps, you need to utilise pre-built native containers and use them in in-tandem with web coding.
Test The App For Overall Performance
Before the launch, putting the app through multiple tests allows it to be secure and stable. You need to know how the app will perform in an actual environment with multiple users. This is the reason it’s necessary to carry out an all-inclusive testing and quality assurance process. There are several aspects that need to be addressed by conducting a complete testing cycle subjective to each application.
The testing phase can be broadly categorised into two parts- manual testing and automated testing. It essentially depends on the app whether it requires automated or manual testing for accurate results.
Any application must get through a bunch of different testing methods to come up with a perfect application. Some of the major testing methods that are must-do for all mobile applications. Mentioned below are some of the testing methods that are usually followed.
- Functionality Testing:
This method focuses on speed, efficiency, and how satisfactory the app is to use.
- Performance Testing:
The application you have developed should serve its purpose by giving the performance that it’s designed for.
- UI/UX Testing:
It’s crucial to ensure that the UI/UX of the app is exactly according to the specifications of the client.
- Documentation Testing:
This method involves testing the design, navigation options, and how it comes across after the download.
- Compatibility Testing:
This is to determine whether the app is compatible with multiple operating systems.
Ready For Deployment
Once you’re done with the testing phase, you’re ready to present the mobile app to a wider audience. You can release the mobile app on Android or iOS or both platforms at once. However, you must note that both these platforms have different sets of policies for incorporating a new app.
When aiming for app store submission, it’s best to use a name and bundle identifier that’s separate from the QA version of the app. This allows you to keep the QA and production versions of your apps separate. You can continue to test future enhancements to your app before releasing them.
Track The Metrics
Your work doesn’t end even after the release of the app. You need to keep tracking the app performance and metrics. This could be any glitches or errors users experienced during specific actions, social shares, profiles of users actively using the app, emergent behaviour, etc.
The progress of your mobile app will depend on how efficiently the mobile app development process has been followed. All the steps must be executed accurately so there’s no room for errors. This will ultimately turn out a rewarding experience for your consumers.