Over the last few years, the usage of mobile apps has grown tremendously. With approx. 3.2 billion global smartphone users, it is no surprise that the mobile app industry is thriving. Mobile apps are one of the effective ways of taking your business online. Also, some studies show that Americans check their smartphones every 12 minutes. Without saying, having a mobile app for your business is a great strategy if you are willing to target more users and capture a large market segment.
However, as we all know millions of apps are launched every year, both on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but not all make their way to success. Of course, no business owner or even a mobile app development company plans to create an unsuccessful app or an app that does not work, but what goes wrong then, is a question that most of us might have. Also, the ratio of success is quite low and seeing this most entrepreneurs often ask the secret of developing a successful mobile app. Talking about the secret, the key to developing a successful mobile apps lies in following the right app development process.
Today, in this article, we are going to talk about the step-by-step process of developing a successful mobile app. But before that, let’s have a look at why following the right mobile app development process is important.
Importance of Following the Right App Development Process
Have you ever wondered why choosing the right mobile app development company is important? This is because every company offering mobile app development services follows a different approach to app development. They use different tools, technologies, and methodologies that make a difference. And this is why two same apps could perform differently.
Generally, the major app development process revolves around three major steps:
This is where companies work on the basic structure of your app. Before even starting to work on the main development process, the requirements from a client are understood here. Once all requirements are gathered, assembling the team, deciding the tools and technologies to be used, the basic outline, etc., is decided here.
App Development Process
Once, everything is decided in the first step, the mobile app developers start working on app development. This is where the front-end and back-end of an app are both designed and developed. This step takes the maximum time, and this is what makes your app. If the developers do not follow the best practices of mobile app development, the whole app may go wrong and users may not like it too.
This is the biggest myth that most entrepreneurs have is that the work of a developer ends once the app is developed, which is not true. After developing and launching an app, a lot many things are to be taken care of just like updates and maintenance.
Following the right app development process is very important if you do not want to deviate from your original plan. According to researches, the majority of app fails due to any one or more of these reasons:
- Deviating from the original plan
- Bad mobile app testing
- Not following best practices
- Bad user experience
- Not integrating the latest technologies and trends
And to keep a track of whether or not you have followed all these above points, you must hire mobile app developers that follow a steady and streamlined app development process.
Mobile App Development Steps to Follow
Now that we have talked so much about the app development process, let us read about it in detail. Though what we read above are three generalized points that each company follows. But now, we are going to bifurcate them further, so that you can have a clearer and better understanding of each stage and the importance of it. All an all, there are seven main stages:
- App Strategizing
- App Planning
- UI/UX Design
- App Development
- App Testing
- App Deployment
- Post-development Support and Maintenance
Let us talk about them in detail.
1. App Strategizing
Understanding clients’ requirement is the first thing that we as a mobile app development company do before working on any project. Strategizing helps in streamlining the whole process as anyone who is involved knows how to proceed. This phase includes steps given in the following image:
In this phase, even clients can discuss their doubts, their inhibitions with their app development partner. This ensures that both the client and company are on the same page.
This strategizing everything beforehand also gives you an estimate of the mobile app development cost. Generally, the cost of developing a mobile app depends on the number of hours taken by the team to develop it. And if everything is well-strategized, the team, without wasting much time, will have a guideline to follow, removing any scope for confusion, thereby saving the app development cost.
And once everything is finalized at this stage, we move on to sign an NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement), which ensures that all the client details and project details will be kept confidential, and in no circumstance, will be shared with any other third party.
2. App Planning
Now that we have all your requirements written on pen and paper, it’s time to give your idea a shape. This is where we start analyzing your requirements and start working on the app wireframe. This is where we build a roadmap, which we follow throughout the process.
This is where based on what you need, skills, and technology is decided. For example, if you are in need of an Android app development solution, we will decide the technology and skills based on that. And if you are willing to go for iOS app development, the technology and skills will be different. This is because both the OS are different and have different requirements.
Creating a wireframe is important as it determines the app flow and how exactly your app will look like. It also helps in estimating the development time as the development time for both Android and iOS app development is different. At this stage, even designers also get an idea of what to do, and how to proceed with app design.
3. UI/UX Design
Now that all planning and strategizing is over, it’s time for action. Every app development team comprises professional UI/UX designers that work on the visual aspect of your app. If you have an idea regarding a brand theme or if you have some particular colors in mind, the designer works something around it. And if you do not have anything in mind, they will give some references, and based on what you like, your app will be designed.
These professionals use various tools to design an app like Adobe XD, Sketch, and Adobe Photoshop. Mockups and prototypes are also designed here using tools like Invision and Figma. Since wireframes act as a roadmap and help in determining the screen flow, the prototype helps in enhancing the user experience of your app.
Also, one must not be hesitant in investing in getting a good mobile app design. Researches show that approx. 94% of first impressions are related to your app’s design. Hence, if you want your app to be a success and loved by users, getting an intuitive and attractive design is a must. And the cost to design a mobile app entirely depends on your requirements. So, the simpler your app is, the lesser it will cost you.
4. App Development
Now that we are done with app designing the next step is coding. It’s time to work upon bringing everything together and work on app functionality. The work of a mobile app developer is not easy. Based on what type of app you want and for which platform, you must hire mobile app developers. This stage is further bifurcated into three steps:
i) Front-end mobile app development: This is what users see and hence one must hire skilled front-end, mobile app developers, for their project.
ii) API integration: It is a way to communicate between an app and its backend. Also, various third-party integration like payments or any other plugin, if required are worked upon.
iii) Backend mobile app development: The server-side, where the whole functioning of an app, lies. To make your app run smoothly and effortlessly choosing the right backend technology is very important.
Either the same developer or different developers will work on different segments separately. And for each segment, a different technology stack is used. For example:
The technology stack used for Native Apps
Android App Development
- Programming language: Java, Kotlin
- IDE: Android Studio
- Database: SQLite, Realm
- Tools: Android SDK, Android NDK
iOS App Development
- Language: Swift, Objective C
- IDE: XCode
- Tool: IntelliJ AppCode
- Database: SQLite, Realm, CoreData
The technology stack used for Cross-platform Apps
- React Native
While developing an app, app developers mainly focus on using the best techniques and integrating the latest mobile app development trends. This not only makes your app tech-friendly but user-friendly too.
5. App Testing
Now that your app is ready it’s time to launch it. Is that the next step? Obviously not. You cannot risk your ap success by launching it before testing. Once an app is developed before making it available for users a proficient app development company always tests it for any bugs and errors. This is to ensure that when any user uses your app, it is flawless and works smoothly.
App development companies usually have a separate team of mobile app testers that tests an app on various parameters like:
- App loading speed
- Smooth navigation
- Screen flow
- Are all buttons clickable?
So, the whole process of app testing is divided into five stages where mobile app testers test each element separately.
i) User Experience Testing: This is where the developers test the user experience. Visuals, workflow, and interactivity of your app are tested here.
ii) Functional Testing: The functionality of an app is important for its success. How easy an app is to use for your users, is what users check at this stage. You might not see an error initially but when used again something might catch your attention and hence, this is an important step to follow.
iii) Performance Testing: How well an app performs under different circumstances is an important factor to consider. Some apps may perform well when used by 2 or 3 users, but when used by many, at the same time, they might crash.
iv) Security Testing: No user would want to use an app that is not secure enough, and hence, you must pay special attention to app security. Even mobile app developers make sure that everything is safe and secure to use.
v) Device Testing: There are too many models available I both Android and iOS platforms, and hence, testing your app for each device is important.
Depending on what approach your mobile app development company follows, mobile app testers either go for manual testing or an automated one. Some testers use a mix of both manual and automated testing approach for better results.
Read Also: Know How Free Apps Make Money
6. App Deployment
It’s time to launch your app. Launch an app but where? Most first-time app owners often ask,” How to launch an app on Apple App Store or Google Play Store?” Do not worry, we will help you at this stage too. Launching an app is not easy as both of these stores have their set guidelines and policies to follow. But if you get your app developed by a professional and experienced app development companies then the developers usually follow these guidelines while developing your app.
There is some information related to your app that you have to submit first like:
- App’s title
- A Short Description
- App Category
- Keywords you want to be searched by
- App Launch icon
- App Store screenshots
If you have submitted your app on the Google Play store, after submitting this information within a few hours your app will be available for download. But this process is not that simple for Apple App Store. They may take a few days to review and then approve your application.
Once your app is available for download and users start using it, you can monitor how many people are using it via analytics. You can also download various reports to calculate the success of your app by tracking multiple Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
7. Post-development Support and Maintenance
When a client opts for mobile app development services from a top-rated app development company, their work does not end with the app deployment. Many companies also offer post-development support and maintenance services. Once your app is launched, it needs to be maintained regularly and updated. If you go on and hire another app development company for this purpose, it may cost you a lot. Hence, you must opt for mobile app development solutions from a company that offers post-development support services too.
Developing a mobile app is not simple as it may sound, and a lot of hard work and strategizing goes behind it. To ensure speedy development, one must follow a definitive mobile app development process. However, mobile app development is a continuous and ongoing process that never stops.
Once an app is launched you will always have to check it for bus and other user-related problems, especially for those that come with new updates and version controls. However, if your approach is right and you have chosen the right mobile app development partner, no one can stop you from making a successful mobile app for your business, that will not only attract users but will also generate revenue.