Smartphones have changed the way businesses used to perform globally. Internet penetration and increasing usage of smartphones led to the swiftly growing demand for Mobile Responsive Websites, Mobile Applications and App based promotions. The evidence of such claims is the increasing traffic from handheld devices like Mobile Phone and Tablets. It is found that for most of the businesses, 40 to 60% traffic is driven through handheld devices. Smartphone users in India crossed 500 million in 2020 and further it is expected to increase drastically. Having mobile application is most important for businesses and helps in brand awareness, brand building, customer engagement and increase in revenue.
It has given rise to the ever increasing demand for mobile applications. People have already resorted to the mobile applications like GPay, PayTM, Amazon, Flipkart, GoIbibo, PharmEasy, Zomato, etc. to fulfill their daily and monthly needs. People are using such mobile apps to pay their Bills, Ordering groceries and medicines, booking tickets, etc. The increase in demand is due to the obvious reason of convenience and efficiency. The mobile application usage is expected to boost the application economy to the worth 6.3 trillion by 2021. If you are planning for a mobile application for your business, here is the complete guide with all the details.
7 Key Stages of Mobile App Development Process
Mobile application development needs to be well planned in advance and well documented too. For any type of mobile application development project, break-down of each step is extremely important. It helps in making the process easier and development faster as well. You should plan your work in a phased manner, distribute the task module wise, and have a strict deadline to avoid all the unnecessary delay in completion of the project. It is always better to have sign-off of Wireframe so that the client is 100% sure of the end delivery even before the start of the project.
- App Concept
- App Designing
- App Development
- App Testing
- App Launch
- App Maintenance
- App Marketing
It is also important to understand that even we are trying to mention the steps there are few steps that may overlap as well. Example testing of an app can be done separately at the end and also while the development is in process. Hence it should be a well-planned activity.
Here’s a detailed explanation for all the six key steps in a mobile app development process:
1. Mobile App Concept
It is all about Idea and the winner would be the one who will have the unique concept to outsmart the competitors. Once you think of such an app, first research about the competitor and study their app features in detail. You should create a comparative chart of the features of all the apps and figure out what is missing in those that you can capitalize on. It will give you a roadmap for your product development. You have to create the feature list for your app development during this phase and then bifurcate into “Must to have” and “Nice to have” features that can be developed in a phased manner.
During this phase of the application development, you should have clarity on the below-mentioned aspects:
- Know the aim and objective of your mobile application
- You should get a clear picture of the roadmap for your business through the mobile app
- Know your target audience, target market and prospects
- Do proper Competitor Analysis and Analyze the USP of your app
- Understand the technology, tool, platform that you will use for development of app
- Know if Native or Hybrid app is best for you
- Analyze carefully the investment required from start till the end
- Identify Launch timelines and create marketing plans accordingly
Once you have done all your research and ready with the plan, it is the right time to move ahead with the next step.
2. App Designing
Mobile application success depends on this major factor i.e. User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX). While UI is more of the design element for mobile app, UX deals with the experience of the user while navigating the pages or section of the app. So, the expectation from the best app is to have a nice interactive and engaging interface for the user.
Multiple aspects of Mobile App Development
- Information Architecture or Process Flow
Information architecture includes interface, data, and functionality of the app with other details. A Technology consultant helps in freezing the technology architecture and stack along with the Process flow depicting the way app will be used in the process.
Wireframe is nothing but User Interface design in the process of the mobile app development. It is graphical representation of the requirement of client in the form of skeleton having fields like Menu, Fields, Icons, Buttons, layout, etc. It can be with or without color. Like shown in the example below, it is replica of your futuristic app with all the elements fit in the size of the mobile screen. These buttons are clickable and you can actually use it as an app if hosted on web link. It is majorly focused on feature, functionality, and layout and user experience.
Once the wireframe is ready and the style guide is defined by the client, the next step is to move forward with the mockup. A wireframe is combined with the style guide provided by the client to create a nice mockup. It helps to establish the flow of the app among various pages and features. It will help to design each and every screen with the perspective of User experience. Mockups help you understand the app with the static screen design.
Prototypes can provide you the screens and flow of the working of the app. It is actual quick version of the futuristic app that your client may like to see. In case your client is a functional person and cannot relate to your long documents, it is better to create such prototype and take approval on the same. This will help in providing better clarification of the requirement at both the ends. Having prototype is like having a DEMO VERSION of the real app.
This is a very essential aspect as it provides complete clarity of the complete workflow of the app that is expected in the finished product. You can feel it to be quite a time-consuming process but it is an essential aspect to ensure that your product will be delivered as per the expectation.
You should know the meaning and difference between Deisgn, UI and UX
3. App Development
Application development deals with actual development of the mobile app. It includes various stages like creating a development environment, coding environment, primary testing environment, UAT environment and Go Live environment. The application can be developed to give the life to the concept. Usually app development is about developing the code and integration of the back-end, front-end and various APIs.
- Back-End Development
The back-end development includes coding, database and server side configurations. This is a very important step to build the feature and functionality of the app into various modules. It helps in supporting functions by connecting to a network. If you have exiting backend then the relevant configurations need to be done. Once the various modules are created, these need to be well-integrated and tested with the other modules of the app for smooth functioning.
- Front-End Development
As the name suggests, it is about the front end i.e. the screens that user will see and interact with. Front is designed and developed with the frames wherein data is pulled from the backend and shown to the users of the app. It should be well integrated with the backend and tested thoroughly to derive right data for the users. If you need the app work on offline mode, it may be required to download and save the data locally in the phone.
- API Integration
Application Programming Interface (API) helps in connecting two apps or layers of the modules to interact with each other for providing the data to the user. It helps interconnecting the app with the back-end server/database, app with the Operating system components and any existing system.
If you are developing the native mobile application, you should be clear about the platform and the technology stack required i.e. for iOS apps use objective C or swift programming and for android application use Java. You should pick the right programming language for the development of mobile app. Every year a new mobile technology is launched so we can see new versions of mobile OS platforms too.
AGILE METHODOLOGY becomes very important for your mobile application development that includes steps like:
- Planning complete development stage
- Development starts with the pre-stage
- Development continues with multiple iterations
- Development ends at the post stage and app is launched
Once the development team completes each module development, it can be moved for testing for checking the bugs and quality of the module.
Do you know what all points to be considered while mobile application development?
4. App Testing & QA
Mobile App testing is very important in the complete process. It is not the last step but involved during the development stage as well. Every module developed is tested independently and then once the integration is complete, final testing is done. Testing is done to identify the issues in the app and resolve those. If unresolved, these issues can create issue in the app while functioning by the end user. Testing team takes care of this phase and with the help of the developer, they solve the issues/bugs.
In Agile method, every module or the iteration passes through a testing phase. There are testing phases like:
- Functional Testing is performed to check if the functional requirement is fulfilled
- Performance Testing is done to check the response time, connection time, etc.
Once the client is completely satisfied with the function of the app and ready to Go Live, the testing phase is completed.
5. App Launch
Once the mobile app is successfully developed and tested, it is ready for a launch. It needs deployment of the backend before publishing the app on the app stores. It is also essential to do the beta launch of an app to get the user feedback from the closed group members. These feedback/suggestions can be very important for success of your mobile app. Once everything is done, you need to finally upload it on respective app store like Google Play / Apple Store. You need to check all the guidelines and ensure adherence to comply it.
6. App Maintainance
You are not done once the app is on the app store. Your next move starts after this step. You need to ensure proper maintenance of the app while the users are using it after downloading from the app store. It is important to keep your app healthy. You can also keep on adding new features to the app that can be added advantage to the users in the long run. So engage a good team of experts to maintain your application.
7. App Marketing
You need to tell people that your app is ready to use and uploaded on the app stores. You need to market and promote your app via all the relevant means of marketing. Once people start seeing the advertisement and understand the use of your app in their life, they will start downloading the app. Your App marketing strategy if executed well, can deliver awesome results for your app’s success. Most of the apps keep on running download campaigns and create awareness videos of the product.
Read more about Brand Awareness
The process of mobile application development can be very tiresome and overwhelming. However, it can become a very worthwhile process if done properly. The above-mentioned steps are based on our years of experience and expertise in mobile application development for established as well as start-up clients.
If you have any further queries about the mobile application development contact us on [email protected] or Call us at +91-91400 14256