Mobile app development has become necessary for any kind of business, from newly emerging startups to well-established enterprises. It is a time-consuming and challenging process. There are different opinions in the software industry about how mobile apps should be built. Some think that the best method is Waterfall; others believe that Agile is the most suitable approach for app development. There exist also a mix of these two approaches – the Hybrid model. However, there is still no consensus on this matter.
To make it easier for you to understand how mobile applications are created, the article will describe each stage of the work process.
It all starts with the main idea of the application. If you look around, all the products and services you use have been created to solve several problems. When you wanted to get from one place to another, the car or a plane were invented. You wanted to communicate with your friends and family, and a mobile phone was created. Thus, if you are thinking about what kind of application you need to create, look for problems in your daily life. Start thinking about solving them with mobile app development and writing down the most appropriate solutions.
Before starting the development of an application, you need to think carefully about its usefulness for ordinary users or businesses. Also, you should determine the target audience of this application. You need to conduct a survey in order to prove that there is demand for your application. Having decided on the idea of the application and the target audience, you can proceed to the next stage.
The app idea is just the beginning. Careful and detailed planning is crucial as every company wants to know when they will be able to bring a mobile app to market. The main questions that interest the company which decided to build an app are “How much will it cost and how long will it take?” To answer both questions, app developers should evaluate and draw up a work plan. The project manager usually joins the project at its initial stage. He can act from the side of the customer or the side of the development team. Among the tasks of the project manager are: coordinate the work of the team and communicate with the customer.
Analytics is a very important stage. You don’t have to skip it and start working on a project directly with a technical step. In the analysis process, we understand the market structure, whom to focus on, and how to do it in the best possible way. Analytics helps the business and developers achieve a common vision, and on its basis, evaluate the required work and get a detailed project budget.
You should think about the core functionality of the app and the platforms. Indicate your requirements for the application development process, criteria for choosing a developer. If the idea of the application is not new, then you should review similar solutions: functionality, number of users, reviews, ratings, etc.
Analytics helps understand how people will use the new application and make it as user-friendly, understandable, and valuable as possible.
When the analyst hands over the base of the graphical interface to the designer, the visual design process begins. The development of the future application design involves the creation of graphic elements for the entire app. These are screens, graphic elements, background images, an image for the main screen, icons for the whole application, headers for individual pages, buttons with a unique design, etc. It is essential to test all graphic elements in order to understand how convenient it will be for the user to click on them and the application buttons on the screen of their mobile device.
During the design process, the application takes on its future appearance. It is very important to get feedback from the business analyst and the client so that the design fully meets the requirements for the application.
When the design is ready, and the mobile application prototype is approved, the development team starts writing code to implement the application’s intended behavior. The stage of building an application usually consists of three components: creating tabs and functions, filling the app with content, and customizing its interface.
While working in special app development systems, you do not need special knowledge of programming languages. You should simply select the necessary elements and customize them step by step. You also need to create new tabs, set the functions of these tabs, load icons, etc. Then comes the most creative process of app development – filling the app with content. At this stage, you download background images of the application, headers for individual tabs, customize the menu, download the list of categories, products, create QR codes, set the contact information of the company, etc. Then you should customize the interface, and your application will be ready.
Quality assurance is a way to prevent bugs in developed applications and avoid problems in delivering them to users. There are many ways to test your application, and there exist special services for that. Some services allow you to test the application on different operating systems – Android, Apple. The system takes screenshots of the entire path that you specified and checks if everything is in order.
When a series of tests and modifications of the application is completed, and the owners, developers, analysts, testers, and designers agree with the result, it is time to add the application to the application store – Apple App Store or Google Play.
After the publication of the mobile app, an essential stage of its promotion begins. It is crucial to spend a part of its budget on ads. You need to promote the mobile application among users and potential customers.
Mobile app development is not easy. Many stages can intersect with each other or run in parallel. Some successful applications took several years for the developers to make them perfect for use.