How to Establish Successful Mobile App Development Process
In this article we want to introduce you to the mobile application development process and explain you some major points of the mobile app development in general.
As a company with more than 10 years of software development experience we’ve done plenty of mobile applications for different companies and individual entrepreneurs from all over the globe. Based on our experience, we discovered a common problem from the non-technical customer’s side, which is a misunderstanding of software development workflow.
Each day thousands of mobile applications are being published to the Appstore and . That is why it is important to understand the mobile app development workflow to avoid misconception of the mobile applications industry in general. Every application, in spite of its unique concept, typically includes the following stages of development such as idea, strategy, design, development, deployment and post-launch phase.
How to evaluate mobile application development idea?
Every project starts from scratch by creating a general concept of the potential product or service. If you can identify some problem or missing place on the market that hasn’t been taken by someone else, you are on a halfway to form your successful mobile application development project. If you’ve defined the problem, the next idea-forming step will be to understand why this problem exists and why nobody has made an application to solve this problem.
We believe that these key points will help you to evaluate the idea of your potential mobile application software development project. Once you have an idea of a mobile application, you can seek for contracts which can develop your project in the most efficient way. If you want to know how to define if the development agency will perfectly fit your needs, we highly recommend you read our article about finding the right partner for outsourced software development.
How to make mobile application development strategy?
To create a successful strategy for mobile app development you must define your final goal. This will let you narrow your thoughts and processes around the final goal you are planning to achieve.
The second stage for mobile application development planning should be market analysis. Check for similar decisions on the market and define the most valuable features for your specific mobile application. If you don’t have enough resources to do the analysis yourself you can always outsource it as well.
The other important aspect is the monetization of your app. Unless you want to make a mobile application for charity, open-source or your personal purposes you should think about how it can benefit your business.
Marketing strategy is also one of the biggest challenges you will face during the planning stage of your mobile application. You must admit that unless your mobile application will stand out on the market it may need some advertisement to get popular.
Defining the most valuable product is the last stage of the mobile application development strategy planning. If you have a limited amount of time and resources, you should think about minimum viable version of your product. It will make it easier for you to reach the market while constantly developing and improving your mobile app with regular updates, not to mention that it is a more cost-effective decision for mobile application development in general.
How to create UI/UX design for mobile application?
Using all of the information from our customer’s future mobile app, we architect the flow of the mobile application logic and then we design mockups . We write down all the screens and processes that must be delivered to the mobile application and then transfer them to the whiteboards. On the whiteboard stage of the mobile application design development we make first steps into the creation of the product’s prototype. The following stage will be a creation of the application’s workflow. Workflows are pathways which will guide your user through the application, so you should consider making your mobile app as much intuitive as possible. Then you should finally design the interface of your app based on the architecture and workflow that was predefined previously. To set up more eye-appealing and up-to-trends design, we highly suggest using the latest guidelines which could be found on the web. When the architecture, flows and user interface designs are finished, it is time to prototype the app within specialized software to check if everything looks as planned and if there is a need in re-designing some parts or maybe re-working all the UI/UX right from the beginning. If all stages of designs were passed successfully and you feel confident about the results – you are ready to design-to-development handoff.
Tools we use at this stage: Whiteboard, Pencil & Paper, Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe XD, Sketch, InVision.
How to define the technology stack for mobile application?
The number of already existing technologies, solutions, development models and workflows for the mobile application development in numerous. The main differences between them are usually the price and the performance criteria. The worst possible outcome at this stage is to choose an unreliable technology stack for your mobile app development project. That is why choosing the right development partner is critical in this process.
Similar to other development practices there are two basic parts of mobile application development: front-end and back-end.
Front-end mobile application development is the practice of converting data to a graphical interface which lets you establish an ability to interact with your app. For the front-end development there are 3 main approaches to choose from. You need to decide whether to choose native, cross-platform or hybrid mobile app development. Here’s a quick overview for each of them:
Native applications are ones which are being built using a native programming language. Which usually means that if you’re having plans on hitting both iOS and Android markets, you will need to develop these applications separately using their native programming language. The main advantage of native development is the fluid work of the application and entirely native look. This is the most expensive, but reliable approach. We recommend using this approach only for the specific projects which are planned for single platform, which often could not be considerable decision for commercial mobile applications.
Cross-platform development approach can use a single programming language for multiple platforms which will still look natively to users. Some of the most popular cross-platform programming languages are React Native, Flutter and Xamarin.The disadvantage of a cross-platform development is that it requires more attention to QA testing to avoid the bugs and errors. This approach is the most cost-effective and can be optimised and styled for each platform.
Hybrid mobile applications are usually built using web technologies which are later installed via native wrappers, such as Cordova, Ionic or PhoneGap, for example. This option is the cheapest one, but the performance won’t be as high as cross-platform or native mobile app development.
The next decision is which database will be used for your mobile application project. Commonly, there are two main types of databases – SQL and NoSQL. There is a big variety of their implementations which should be classified depending on your specific project needs. If you want to learn more about the databases and the back-end part of mobile application development, you can request a free quote on this page. Remember, that your database may define the perspective of your application long term success.
How to establish a successful mobile app development process?
There are two main development methodologies that are commonly used all over the mobile and web development industries – waterfall and agile. In most of the cases, our mobile development team usually works with agile methodology. Agile methodology means that you are breaking your process into different milestones and building your mobile application within series of ongoing cycles. If you want to learn more about development methodologies, we recommend you read our article: “Waterfall vs Agile Methodology in Software Development”.
If you’ll decide to use another mobile development methodology, the following steps could still be applied to your project, but the order and length of them may vary.
The first step in the mobile app agile development process is planning. Once you’ve come to a development stage of the project, you need to plan the list of tasks that must be implemented during the current iteration. For each task you must define clear requirements that should be understandable by programmers. After getting all the tasks, developers will need to estimate the time for each of them. For each of these iterations developers will complete their task and pass the results to the QA testing team. If all the requirements were implemented correctly it is time for the next sprint. During the mobile app development project it is important to clearly understand the goal of the application in general and specific features in specifically. During the development process of mobile application, it is important to perform tests to prevent bugs and deliver best quality application.
Once your application has been developed and has been extensively tested, it is time to deploy it to the stores.
How to successfully deploy your mobile application?
Deployment of the mobile application often consists of two parts – server deployment and delivering to the stores. Most of mobile applications require back-end to be deployed on the server to fully functionate. Server side of the mobile application is responsible for the data delivery. If your server won’t be setup correctly, it may lead to improper work of the app or even stop it’s work at all. Proper and scalable servers is a guarantee of mobile application’s stability. One of the most already existing decisions for the stable workload of the app are cloud services like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform. It is not necessary to use cloud services to establish a stable working mobile application, but if you want to ensure that the server side of your app will be scalable when it gets popular then cloud services are the best options.
Submitting of your mobile application to the stores is an important process which should be moderated. To prevent the unexpected decliments of your mobile app it is necessary to make sure that the guidelines of each store is followed during each stage of the mobile app development process and prepare all the required publishing materials precisely.Additionally, Apple always manually reviews every mobile application before publishing it to the App store. That is why you should always be aware of a risk in need of additional edits to the app, even if the guidelines were followed. Once all the requirements of both stores are done, your mobile application will finally meet the stores and will be available for the download.
Mobile application development process consists of a lot of steps that are required to give as much involvance as possible, but in the end it is a rewarding process. We have built this guide based on our experience in the mobile app development which we have achieved over the last decade in the software development industry. We believe that these steps will help you to get an understanding of what makes mobile application development process successful.
If you are looking for the right development partner to make your next or first mobile application – we are always up for a new challenge!
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