The market for mobile applications is growing every year. In 2021, the number of mobile app downloads worldwide hit an outstanding 230 billion. Compared to 2016 figures, which posted 140.7 billion app downloads, mobile app installs have gone up by more than 63%.
Companies develop mobile apps for download either as part of their business model or as a support system for their products. If you want your business to tap into this huge market, you need to get yourself involved in the mobile app development process.
As you might be aware, mobile app development isn’t that simple. Building an app from scratch requires thorough planning, vigorous coding, and consistent testing to run smoothly. To familiarize yourself with the stages of developing an app, the article below can be your guide.
6 Phases of the Mobile App Development Process
Whether the mobile app you have in mind is a game, a social network platform, or an e-commerce store, you have to go through the six phases of the app development process.
The strategy stage is considered your pre-design phase, where you brainstorm ideas about the app. Before design and development, you need to nail down the concept, target audience, technologies to be used, objectives, and basic functionalities of your app.
A helpful activity you can do at this stage is to create user personas. Here, you can utilize research and analysis to understand the intended users’ goals and obstacles. You can do competitor research and look into similar apps already in the market. How can your app perform better? What are the areas that you like? By the end of this phase, you’ll have a creative vision and a roadmap for your project.
The design phase should prioritize user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). UX design focuses more on the information architecture and workflows. In this stage, you establish the features you want the app to perform and where they should go. Then, you evaluate the pathways users take in navigating the app.
Meanwhile, UI design is more on style and visuals that users will interact with. It would be best to lay down a style guide for a consistent design language. Elements such as fonts, colors, and widgets can sway users’ interests.
If they don’t find your app attractive, they’re likely to opt-out. You should greatly consider your audience when designing. Is your target market busy professionals? Perhaps you should keep the design minimal and straightforward. Once all of these are done, you can create a mockup and prototype.
Define the development milestones, technical architecture, and technology stack to ensure the development process goes smoothly. Then, you can proceed to develop the three integral parts of an app: the backend technology, the application programming interface (API), and the frontend. For iOS apps, the programming language you can use is Swift or Objective-C. On the other hand, Kotlin and Java are the most popular tech stacks for Android.
This phase is the most crucial part of the app development process. So, it is best to bring in the best talent to work on the code of your app. While this can be done in-house, you can always hire expert developers to ensure your app will be usable, speedy, and mobile-friendly.
You can save a lot on the budget department if you conduct tests in the early stages of your custom software development. The earlier issues are detected, the sooner you can resolve them. So, get your quality assessment team to test the app’s performance, security, and usability.
During the quality assurance (QA) testing phase, you’ll be able to determine if your app has technical flaws or vulnerabilities. You can also hold external user testing with a limited audience using a beta version of your app to get real feedback on the app’s usability.
After checking for software failures, it’s time to submit the app on aggregators like Google Play Store and Apple App Store. To launch the app in stores, you need to have:
- An app title/name
- App screenshots
Once you’ve submitted the app, you may need to go through an evaluation process (for iOS). There’s no review process for Android apps; you can have your app available after a few hours of submission.
When the deployment is done, you should constantly monitor app usage by utilizing mobile analytics platforms. At this stage, you need to check for crash reports and other user-reported issues.
6. Maintenance and Support
No matter how much testing you’ve crossed off on your project checklist, there’ll always be unexpected bugs or issues. These problems can be due to your audience using the app on a previous OS or a very old device. Nevertheless, it would help if you addressed them.
Another aspect of mobile app maintenance and support is the updates. When a new device comes out or a new OS updates, your app needs to adapt to these changes. Minor updates can have little to no impact on your app, but major changes can lead to issues if not addressed. So, you need to allocate a budget for these occurrences from the get-go.
Build Your Next (or First) Mobile App
Developing an app is more than having an interesting idea. It requires thorough planning, intricate processes, and hefty resources. When you’re ready to create a successful mobile app, Yondu can be your helping hand. With our custom software development services, we can assist in keeping your business competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Schedule a consultation with our experts to get started.