The mobile app development process can be quite daunting. As an app development company, one thing we say to people all the time is to look for a strategic partner. Few things can impede the success of a mobile app as a company that is not the right fit for your project.
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- The Right Mobile App Development Partner
- guaranteed ios ranking
- buy cheap ios app installs
- play store algorithm
The process of developing a mobile app isn’t only about the app idea or the technical knowledge of development and design. Other elements like the right culture, defining the business model, knowing how to organize an app’s release, the User Interface, and choosing the right marketing strategy also count. The ideal mobile app development partner is that which looks at clients’ business holistically.
There are various ways to approach the different steps that make up the mobile app development process. Sometimes it is useful to go for a general and conceptual approach. On other occasions, an operational focus is more convenient. Whichever development cycle path you choose, if done correctly, it will surely be an extremely rewarding process. Most importantly, it will surely lead you to build a successful app if you consider the small details.
In this post, we discuss the operational steps involved in the hands-on mobile app development process without going too deep into the technicalities required to build a successful app. If your mobile application development partner has the right experience, they should definitely follow these stages of app development.
Mobile App Development Process Steps
Laying out the app development process steps can be problematic because they don’t just follow a linear path. Instead, it often is an ongoing process where app developers constantly participate in a rigorous review process.
For a mobile app, it is sometimes necessary to go back and forth multiple times between steps until you get it right. It may even occur that the process will require you to go back further in order to analyze basic assumptions and restructure them. Having to do so is normal when it comes to a mobile app, whether it is for Android apps or iOS apps. Not surprisingly, all mobile apps are demanding digital products.
Developing world-class mobile apps should consider two great pillars, Agile Development and Design Thinking:
- Design Thinking is an ideation and testing process where the team is aware that it does not have all the answers. It requires multiple iterations through the different development steps until you have something that works. This last is known as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
- Agile Development is an iterative project management methodology that allows mobile app teams to work in a faster, more efficient way, optimizing resources as you go along. Through it, the development process becomes an essential part of guaranteeing your product’s success.
The general overall process of building a mobile app encompasses more than just the development stage. It should ideally consider the following steps: discover, design, develop, and deploy. However, building an app is a much larger process and we will not be discussing it in the finest detail.
Strictly speaking, the development process of a mobile app considers the following steps of the app development lifecycle: understand the requirement, design an initial solution, implement and test the solution, refactor to optimize, and deliver a solution. The better you implement these to your own app, the better the results you can expect.
1. Understand the Requirements
What is it that your mobile app plans to do? How will it do it? How will your target audience use it? What programming language will it use? These are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself before starting to develop your mobile app.
They may seem like basic issues, but if you are able to get them right, you will avoid costly rework further ahead in the process. Additionally, they may help you see the big picture of how your mobile app fits within your business model and strategy. It often happens that our expectations hit a wall when the moment to develop comes, so it is best to be realistic about the scope.
When building mobile apps it is important that these matters are made clear with the project manager for communication purposes. If your development partner is not in tune with your project, it will most likely flunk. Make sure that everyone understands the basics of your app concept and you will be on the right track. Fail to do it and you will eventually derail.
Clear and concise mobile application requirements may help revise your pricing assumptions.
2. Design an Initial Solution (Hypothesis)
The best way to get mobile applications right is to go ahead and start building them. Only by doing so will your product be able to evolve. Otherwise, you’re just going around in circles around ideas, and that leads to nowhere in terms of execution.
A prototype is based on your initial hypothesis. It should sum up your assumptions and allow you to test them. In turn, this helps you refine your product as you iterate from what does not work to what does. For this, the app design process plays an important role. Ideally, an app’s design should start with basic wireframes and evolve from there.
An app’s visual design plays a major role in this and the following step as it will help you validate or discard your user assumptions. You can think of this as the mobile app front-end design. Keeping your app design team involved at all times is crucial to building a successful mobile application. To make the most out of your app design tasks, make sure to use state-of-the-art mobile app design tools.
3. Implement and Test the Solution
Once you’ve got something you can test, it is time to move to the next step. Testing does not require you to have a completed version of your mobile app. In other words, it is not necessary to have all the features of your mobile application ready. A good thing about Agile Development is that it allows you to test mobile app features separately.
App testing can save you a lot of rework, as it can help you see how your app will look on different mobile devices. Additionally, it can help you deploy your product in the app store faster, whether it is for the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The Google Play and Apple App Store have different guidelines, but they both demand a considerable quality level. In general, app testing is crucial to an app’s success, even beyond deploying to the app stores.
For mobile app development, it is best to have a QA team perform the necessary QA testing tasks. Whether for Android or iOS development, consider usability testing and functional testing. The first will help you guarantee your app’s usability. Functional testing will help assure your mobile app’s functionality. Testing your app’s functionality is extremely important if you want to actually have a functional app. You might also want to consider performance testing to make sure your app’s performance is adequate.
Field testing with end users produces valuable user feedback. You should always make sure to receive user feedback. User data is an important input that will help you make important decisions and improve your app’s features. If something does not work, you need to pivot towards another direction. This applies to both development and design.
4. Refactor to Optimize
Refactoring code means optimizing or making it more efficient and simple. This needs to be done in an organized manner and with the right documentation. This will save you from many headaches in the future. Some refactoring changes might seem simple at a glance, but when integrated into your app they can make a considerable difference.
You can also think of optimizing in terms of design. This is done by making sure your app delivers the best UX. To do so, it is recommended that you perform A/B tests.
Optimizing is something that never ends even when your app is deployed. There is always something that can be done better, especially as new features and updates arise.
5. Deliver the Solution
We’d love to tell you that the app release is the last step, but it is probably just the end of the first of many iterations of the mobile app development lifecycle. This is a good thing, as you surely want to make sure that your product is good enough before it hits the app market. Not doing so might generate a negative reaction on behalf of users.
Sometimes the solution needs some tweaks before being deployed. It may even occur that, even after reaching the market, there are still things to be done. This is alright if you have delivered a robust MVP. The important thing is that the development team makes sure of delivering continuous improvements.
A solution is not the same as a finished product. As a matter of fact, as we mentioned in the previous point, a product is never really finished. Here, the development cycle begins anew. After all, there is always some app maintenance to be done.
The beauty of Agile and Design Thinking applied to mobile development is that they allow you to constantly improve. This is the only way to deliver the best possible product to your users.
The Right Mobile App Development Partner
As I mentioned initially, the app development process is more than just having the right technical expertise or the best app idea. Developing mobile apps requires looking back at the decisions made and making sure they are the right ones. For app owners, it is, above all, an iterative process.
At Koombea we prefer to think of mobile app development as being similar to crafting a work of art. It takes a special insight to make the right mobile app development choices. Our custom Agile Methodology and years of Design Thinking experience have taught us the value of iterations for the further development of your mobile app.
Understanding the mobile development steps helps depict a clear idea of how the process goes, but each project is unique. Thus, having the right mobile app development partner is essential.