Table of Contents
In this day and age, almost every adult has a mobile phone or rather a smartphone. Based on the data in Statista, there are over 6 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. This figure is still expected to grow in the coming years. Regardless of the age group they belong to, people today are learning to use mobile applications. For example, mobile banking, mobile wallet, online shopping, etc…
Hence business owners should realize that Mobile App Development is not just a trend. But an excellent strategy for tapping into a profitable market. All in all, a mobile app can help your business in many ways. Some benefits include increasing sales and giving the brand more visibility.
This article provides a high-level overview of the 6 Steps in the Mobile App Development Process. If you plan to develop a mobile app for your business, we hope you will have a clearer understanding of how the process is for you to have a successful launch.
Step 1: Identify the Goals and Requirements for developing the Mobile App
The first step in the Mobile App Development process is setting the goals for the app. You need to document the complete technical and non-technical requirements of the app. This is to ensure that you address all the reasons why you are developing a mobile app for your business and the goals you want to achieve. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the purpose of developing the mobile app?
- How can my business improve through the mobile app?
- How will my customers benefit when they use the mobile app?
- Will the mobile app increase the efficiency of my employees?
- Who are my competitors and what are they doing?
- What will be the Unique Selling Point for this mobile app?
- What are the tools and technologies that we might need to develop the mobile app?
These are just a few questions that you need to answer at the end of the first stage. In addition, you should also explore the possibility whereby the mobile app can be updated with more features to cater to future growth or requirements. This will make mobile app development a true success.
Step 2: Design and Prototyping
After you have defined all the goals and requirements for your mobile app, the next step will be designing. In this stage, you should be able to design a prototype to form a storyboard. You need to focus on the functions of the app and also UI/UX design. A good UI/UX design will create a good user experience and high customer engagement when your mobile app is intuitive, interactive, and user-friendly. For this purpose, you will need a working prototype of the user interface.
The common method to create a prototype is wireframing. Wireframing is a quick and cost-effective approach developers use to create the basic framework for mobile app development. It is also known as a mockup which let you have a visual structure of the functions of your mobile app. After the completion of wireframing, it needs to go through peer-review and be updated to reflect all the changes and suggestions given by customers or team members. When developing a mobile app, it is always easier to change the wireframe compared to changing the completed app. Only when all the changes to the wireframe are approved, you can then proceed to the next phase.
Step 3: Decide on a Backend
Every mobile app will need data storage. But the storage location will vary depending on the data type, cost, and the effectiveness of the storage environment. In most cases, users can store data in the phone’s memory either as a key-value pair of data commonly recorded in XML format or even in a Relational Database like SQLite. If the data needs to persist across users and devices, then using a Web Server will be the best option. Depending on your requirements, you can choose from a cloud server, custom server, or MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service).
- Cloud Server: Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, etc… are some examples.
- Custom Server: Data is hosted in a relational database or a NoSQL database on the company’s server. In this case, the data remains within the company yet is accessible from anywhere via an API call. However, it could be difficult to scale and optimize the mobile app in the future.
- MBaaS: One of the latest and most popular options. It is a pre-built cloud-hosted infrastructure that allows web and mobile applications to access backend APIs, storage, and various social networks seamlessly. Mobile App Development time can be shortened since developers can save time in doing repetitive time-consuming back-end development and server configuration.
Step 4: Developing the Mobile App
At this step, you should have a clear picture of all the requirements you need for the mobile app and your action plan. With all the findings gathered during the earlier planning, designing, and prototyping stages, you can start the development process.
You will need to choose the kind of environment in which you want to develop the mobile app. If you are targeting only Android users, you can develop the mobile app using Android Studio with Java or Kotlin. For targeting only IOS users, you can develop the app using XCode with Swift or Objective C. Otherwise for Cross-Platform, you can use options like Hybrid Apps with No Code or Low-Code Development.
Even though this phase takes the longest time, there is a good chance of discovering new functionality issues or even coming up with new ideas that were not being explored in the earlier stages. Especially if you are creating a complex mobile app, it is recommended to adopt the Agile methodology since it allows for flexible planning, gradual development, and continuous improvement.
Step 5: Testing the Mobile App
It should not be a surprise that we must test the app consistently to check for bugs in the mobile app. Having Quality Assurance tests in place helps make the mobile app stable, usable, and secure. As a general rule, you should test your mobile app with a lot of real-world scenarios to check for any technical issues. The whole testing process should include UI/UX Testing, Functional Testing, Performance Testing, Security Testing, and Device & Platform Testing. Only when you are confident that the mobile app satisfies all the goals and requirements you had identified earlier, you can then proceed to launch the app.
Step 6: Launching the Mobile App
Depending on the type of device your mobile app is built for, IOS or Andriod, you must submit it to the respective app store to release it. If your app needs users to log in, you will also need to provide a test user account as part of the submission process. Both Google and Apple have their process of testing your mobile app before officially releasing it for users to download. Usually, the review process may take a few days. If your mobile app is being rejected, you will receive a notification with the reason for rejection. You can re-submit your mobile app for a second review after you have corrected the issues flagged.
How do I ensure the success of my mobile app after launching it
After your app is available for download, monitor its usage through mobile analytics platforms and track the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your mobile app. Check your crash reports or other user-reported issues frequently. At the same time, encourage users to provide feedback and suggestions for your mobile app. Provide prompt support to users if needed. If necessary, periodically patch your mobile app with improvements to keep users engaged. With the dynamic technology landscape, you must stay on top of the technology advancements and update your mobile app routinely to ensure long-term success.
At TechTIQ, we provide end-to-end custom mobile app development for any business. We have helped many SMEs and Fortune 500 companies launch their mobile app successfully within their allocated budget.
If you have more questions about developing a mobile app for your business, we will be more than happy to assist.
Contact us today to arrange a friendly consultation.