A Comprehensive Guide to Mobile App Development Process
By 2021, mobile app downloads are expected to reach 258 billion, a 45% increase since 2017, and generate over $156 billion in consumer app spend till 2022. These growth forecasts show huge potentials for your app development, but only if they’re backed up with a proper mobile app development process.
In this post, we’ll take a deep look at 5 important steps, and the most important things to notice, that make up a successful mobile app development process. Following this development approach, regardless of the size or scope of your project, will help you take one big step closer to get a great product.
1. Conceptualization and strategy
A solid idea for you will be the pivotal foundation for every later development stage.
Conceptualize your application by taking into consideration your target users’ persona: their prominent traits, their behavioral patterns as well as their problems that your competitors have yet to address satisfactorily.
After doing throughout research, lay down every piece of knowledge and insight that you have accumulated onto the table and start brainstorming. Visualize how the app is going to benefit your future users and ultimately generate profits for your business.
It is also crucial to have your ideas validated as soon as possible by putting together a prototype before investing a great portion of your time and resources into the idea concretization. With a prototype, you can gain early feedback, make modifications to your app and guarantee the long-run success in an inexpensive manner.
Once you are done with validation, proceed to writing down a comprehensive plan and timeline for your mobile app development process. A proper plan keeps you from getting sidetracked and overspending your budget on the miscellaneous stuff.
2. Product design: UX/UI design and mockups
The design stage typically begins with devising an initial wireframe, which is an inexpensive method for you to try out the different ideas on the design before the real work begins.
The wireframes lay out the overall structure and the connections between different components of an application in the simplest form, without any intricate visual design involved. Still, from the wireframe, we can have a generic idea on the placement of visual elements as well as the action flow of a user on the app. With the wireframes in place, the team of designers can proceed with their work.
There are two different areas of focus on the design of a mobile application: user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).
UI is the visual presentation layer of the application. It is the front face that attracts the attention of your users and invites them to stay. Thus, creating an appealing UI should be one of your priorities.
On the other hand, UX encompasses the flow of navigation through the app. A good UX design shall streamline the navigation process of a user, enhancing the comfort of using the application.
Note that the design phase should involve both the designers and the developers. The assistance of software developers can give designers more insights on producing a coding-feasible design, allowing a smooth transition from design to development.
3. Mobile app development
The technical development stage should be conducted so as to adhere to your idea, your overall application structure as well as the design for UX and UI. This stage will define the technical performance of your application. Thus, you wouldn’t want to go wrong with it.
There are two important decisions you must make prior to this stage: which technology stack to utilize and who shall be the developers for your application. Experienced developers allow the development to progress without too many bottlenecks, and the right technology shall leverage the final application performance.
In deciding which technology to utilize, one important factor for your consideration is the type of application you are after: native or cross-platform.
Generally, native apps are applications with one source code developed for Android/ iOS only. Native apps are developed in high compatibility with the nature and functionalities (Bluetooth, GPS,…) of devices. Hence, going native allows you to optimize the app performance to the highest possible level. The most popular technologies that programmers usually utilize are Java and Kotlin.
On the other hand, cross-platform application solutions permit the re-usage of the developed source code on multiple platforms. Therefore, it ensures your mobile app’s scalability to various operating systems. Developers usually utilize Flutter, React Native or Ionic for this solution.
You can review your business goals to decide on the direction for your mobile app development. With that direction in mind, proceed to pick out the experienced developers who are well-versed in suitable technologies. The right combination shall make your app prosper.
4. Testing and deployment
A mobile app development cycle is not complete without the testing stage. Testing ensures that the app can properly handle the expected volume of users with seamlessly functioning features. Moreover, testing secures the same performance of your app across different devices. This is extremely vital for a mobile app, given the great variety of devices.
The common misconception is that testing is the final step of a mobile app development. Actually, for testing to have an impact on the final operations of the application, it should be integrated into the development cycle as soon as possible. After all, it is not an ideal situation to discover a detrimental malfunction just a few days before the official launch.
5. Support and maintenance
The end of the launch day marks the beginning of the new stage: maintenance and updates for your application.
Garnering your users’ thoughts and feedback on the application performance and iterating upon that to facilitate the app’s evolution over time. Frequent and effective updates show that you actually care about the users and in turn increase their commitment towards your apps.
Beware of releasing too many unnecessary updates within a short period of time, however. It places a heavy burden on your app performance and people most likely don’t want to have large applications taking up space on their limited memory card.
In short, it generally takes months to years for a mobile app to go through all these phrases to reach and survive on the market. If you are looking for the right tech partner to join in the journey of creating a successful and viral application, get in touch with Fram^ today! We shall show you our expertise and competencies in mobile app development services, accompanied by 8-year experience in the area.