The number of app users and apps developed each day simply seems to be accelerating. In the app market, every enterprise wants to leverage mobile app development to expand its business. According to a survey from B2B Research, around 15% of SMBs currently own a mobile app and this adoption rate is expected to increase to 50% by 2017.
With the mobile app adoption graph sloping upward, the competition in the app economy will get fierce. Therefore, the decision of quickly getting an app developed for your business could be difficult.
Moreover, Google Play Store and Apple iTunes currently consists around 2.2 million and 2 million mobile apps respectively.
This makes it more imperative for businesses to thoroughly understand the process of app development and determine whether the app they want to develop will be a right fit for the market niche they choose and their marketing goals. Having said this, let’s take a look at each phase of the mobile app development process and carefully understand how to build a great app.
Phase #1 – Preplan your App: When creating a mobile app, preplanning is the most critical phase where a lot of your time goes into researching whether your app already exists in the market or not and how you can build it better. You are required to define your app for the users to explain how it will benefit them, what problems will it resolve, what features it includes, etc. With the help of this information, you can then create the use cases which will also guide you through your project.
Phase #2: Define the Concept: Defining the concept of your app in visual terms is the first step towards discovering how your app will evolve. This is where you will have to involve your technical team as they will help you determine the feasibility of your idea along with the time and cost estimates. Thereafter, with the help of the use case information from phase 1, you can create rough sketches on whiteboard or templates to understand your app’s screen representation and uncover usability issues.
Phase #3 – Assess Technical Feasibility: Apart from having cool interactions and easy-to-understand visuals, ensure that the backend systems support your app’s functionality. You can follow the below steps to assess the technical feasibility of your app:
- Your app should be able to access usable data. You can either source a public API or build your own abstract layer.
- Determine the devices and platforms (iOS, Android, and Windows) you want your app to run on. You can either choose native app development or consult Xamarin mobile app developers to get insights on cross-platform app development.
- Refine the project definition and develop a go-to marketing strategy.
Phase #4 – Create a Prototype: Defining the touch experience is difficult without knowing how it actually works. Create a prototype using the most common use cases to see how the app works. Just use a rough wireframe and allow the stakeholders to touch the prototype to provide feedback.
Phase #5 – Design your App: Prior to coding, you must design. A user experience (UX) designer will create the interaction architecture of the design elements and a user interface (UI) designer will create the look and feel of your app. This phase involves multiple steps and reviews wrapped up with an end-result that includes a visual direction or a blueprint that informs the developers of the envisioned final product.
Phase #6 – Develop Mobile App with Agile Practices: Now that your app design is ready, it’s time to build the app. Prefer an agile development approach as it provides collaboration, transparency, and rapid iteration benefits that are required for adapting to change.
Phase #7 – Test the App: Finally, your app is built and now you want to test it. There are two ways to test your app:
- UAT testing – Ask some of your target users/audience to test it and provide feedback or approval to see if your solution works.
- BETA testing – Allow the beta users to test your app either via an open solicitation for participants or enrollment of groups identified previously. Their feedback will help you figure out whether your app’s functionality operates well or not.
Phase #8 – Launch your App: Your app is now ready to be launched in the real world environment. Create some buzz using attractive write-ups and articles to announce your app launch. Market your release with email blasts and on social media channels to generate downloads, ratings, and gain some momentum.
Now that you know how to carefully create a mobile app, kick-start it and do share your app development experience with us through the comments.