There are millions of mobile apps that have been published in app stores, all with a broad range of features and users, but all professionally built apps follow a similar mobile app development process. The process consist of phases, which can run concurrently or consecutively, and should include the following five stages :
A good mobile app idea is a great staring point, but there is some work that needs to be done before moving on to design and development. Understanding your competitors, knowing your target audience and ideating a full feature list will help you immensely as you begin to build your technology. When ideating the features of your mobile app, you should be mindful of trying to keep your initial technology as lean as possible. By aiming to launch a Minimal Viable Product (MVP), you are ensuring that your first users will get the features they need, but also allow for growth as you scale up, by using feedback from those initial users to improve or create features.
Picking the right mobile app development company and working closely with them to come up with ideas for monetizing your mobile app, as well as marketing it after launch, will help streamline the process as you move forward. Finally, having a good idea of your budget and timeline will make sure that things move smoothly throughout the app development process.
Working closely with your app UI design company to create an initial style guide will help ensure your mobile app looks and functions the way you want it to. Understanding your target audience is tremendously important in making sure you are choosing the right colors, fonts and widgets to keep your user base coming back. Once your style guide is completed, your mobile app design firm can get to work designing each page in your mobile app, making sure there is consistency throughout. Ensuring that the UI designs are exactly as you want them to be before moving forward is important, as changes after this phase can become increasingly costly.
Once UI designs are agreed on, your mobile app developers can begin integrating the designs to create a click-through model that will show what the user experience will be like when your app is fully developed. After this stage is complete, you will have the foundation of your app; a clickable prototype that, while not having connectivity, will show your team (and potential investors) how your mobile app will function, and what the user experience will be like.
There are many approaches, technologies and programming languages that can be used to build a mobile app. Choosing the right options for your app is important, as each may have strengths or shortcomings. The most important thing to remember about this phase is to make sure you choose a technology stack that isn’t unreliable or outdated, which could lead to increased costs down the road. Partnering with a reliable and trusted mobile development agency will help make sure the tech stack you use will be fully functional As your app scales up down the road.
For your tech stack you need to decide whether you are developing a native app or hybrid app. A hybrid app allows developers to use web technologies (HTML, CSS, etc) to target multiple platforms from a single code base. This approach has a lower upfront cost, but will not allow for certain features to be developed, and may compromise the end user experience. A native app uses separately written code for each platform, and will give you the best return on your dollar. While the upfront cost of developing a native app can be higher, it will end up saving you money in the long run, as your app scales up and your user base grows.
To begin the development phase, your team will divide all of the work into sprints. Breaking up all of the development work in to sprints means breaking down your mobile app into smaller milestones. Sprints will have clearly defined requirements, with an estimated timeline for each sprint. Once the sprints have been defined, your mobile app development team will begin implementing the style and functionality of your app.
After a sprint is completed, your app development team will conduct testing to ensure the functionality and usability of the features before moving on to the next sprint. Once all the sprints are complete, your app should be fully testable and feature complete before moving on to the QA phase. Quality assurance will address and correct any technical issues that might arise when using the app. Once QA has been done, your mobile app will be ready for launch.
Once your mobile app is ready to launch, you need to get it into app stores. While there are millions of apps in the app stores, the process of getting accepted into app stores is somewhat involved. You will need to fill out several forms, submit screenshots and marketing materials, as well as write a description of your app. The process takes anywhere from less than a day, to a few days, assuming that everything goes smoothly. Some stores may require you make changes to your mobile app before they allow it in their store, in which case you will need to talk with your app development company and adjust accordingly.
Once your mobile app is in stores, be sure to monitor it to see if crashes are occurring. Apps can be built to send alerts to the admin when crashes occur, so be sure to communicate with your app development firm if this is something you want. You will also need to monitor your app to see if there is room for improvement (hint: there always will be). By managing your user’s reviews, you can figure out if a feature is missing, or if changes need to be made, and adjust your app accordingly.
You also want to make sure that your app is being marketed in a way that makes sense considering the features your app has and your targeted user base. App Store Optimization (ASO) focuses on increasing your app’s visibility and ranking in order to get more user’s downloading your application. While the main goal is to drive traffic to your mobile app, a commitment to ASO will help you stand out in the app store by consistently tracking and measuring performance.
Ideating and developing your mobile application may seem overwhelming, but it can be a fun, informative and fruitful endeavor. By partnering with the right mobile development agency you will not only make the process more enjoyable, but you will also give your mobile application the best chances of success after it launches.