Key steps in the mobile application development process

Long gone are the days of cell phones with buttons, small screens and the only ability to make a call. Instead of phones, we could think of today’s smartphones as iPods, internet cafes, televisions, cameras, and other technology, all packed into these versatile gadgets.

The speed and memory of our mobile phones have increased, allowing many applications to be downloaded without affecting the functionality of the smartphone. Mobile apps have become home to much of our daily activities, from paying bills to tracking periods.

According to research, an average smartphone has more than 80 applications installedand in the United States, people spend about 90% of their mobile time using apps.

Mobile apps are great solutions for businesses that want to make their services easily accessible to their customers. Moreover, mobile apps are suitable for all niches, user interests and target audiences.

So, this article covers the key stages of the mobile app development process step by step, from developing your idea to monitoring app performance after launch.

#1 Complete the product discovery phase

The first step in the app development process is product discovery.

Product discovery aims to reduce ambiguity in the development process and put the app creation process on the right track.

During this phase, you specify your app’s goals, target audience, and must-have features, among others. Once done, your product discovery efforts should have answered the following questions:

  • Is there a market for your application?
  • Is the market big enough?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will users use your app?
  • How does your app help them solve their problem?
  • Does your app offer something users would be willing to pay for?
  • What challenges have competitors’ solutions failed to address?
  • What will your app do that others can’t?
  • How are you going to monetize your app?
  • What is your project budget?
  • How will you market the app after launch?

Collecting data on your market, competitors, and intended audience will allow you to make data-driven decisions that will bear fruit once the app is launched.

#2 Hire a Reliable Mobile App Development Agency

Unless you have an in-house team of mobile app developers, you’ll need to outsource your project.

When looking for the perfect agency to hire, be sure to do your homework.

View the agency’s portfolio, find references from past clients, and read testimonials. Plus, download some of the apps your top agencies have developed for examine the quality of their work.

Additionally, it’s wise – but not necessarily crucial – to partner with an app development company with relevant experience building mobile apps for your target user industry or region.

So if you’re developing an app to, say, advertise houses for sale, you’ll need a business at the center of your industry, doing mobile app development in miami.

In early meetings, strive for open communication and ask questions about the development process, the team that will be working on your projects, and cost estimates.

#3 Develop your development strategy

Now that you have signed the contract with your partner agency, it is time to plan your mobile app development process.

Share your thoughts and previous research on the app – who it’s for, what problems it’s supposed to solve, and what features it should offer.

Your agency’s designers and developers should help you along the way. The goal of the application strategy phase is to identify the technology stack, platform, and features that will meet your needs.

At this point, you and your team will estimate the approximate cost of the application and estimate whether the imagined monetization strategy will generate revenue for you.

For example, the choice of platform, Android or iOS, can significantly affect your app’s earnings. Namely, with more than 80% of the market, Android is the most widely used platform for mobile applications. Yet iOS users have greater purchasing power and make more in-app purchases on average than Android users.

Your team can also create a product roadmap to provide you with all the vital information, including cost and completion dates for each development stage.

#4 Iterate Design Prototypes

The design process begins by focusing on the user experience.

Designers consider the information architecture of your app, the content it will include, and how best to represent it to target users. Additionally, the design team will incorporate information into the prototypes about the user data that will be collected and the actions that users will be able to perform.

The main emphasis is on ensure high user engagement, comprehensive functionality and intuitive user flow. Creating an intuitive user experience and making your application attractive and user-friendly are the main goals of the UX/UI design phase.

Along with prototyping, designers will build a style manual or design system. This document contains all the details about the general look and feel of your mobile application, such as fonts, color schemes, animations, etc. Having these design points in one place is key to developing a cohesive mobile app with easily identifiable branding.

In the final phase of the design phase, your designers create mockups for the individual app screens. From this point, your mobile app development process moves into development.

#5 Let the pros code

Now is the time for your developers to shine.

The majority of the work in the development phase is done by the agency, with very little help from you as the client. Using the chosen technology stack, your development team code the front-end and the back-end of your applicationturning ideas and sketches into a real application.

The duration of the development phase depends on the complexity of the application. Simpler applications can be completed in less than a month, but for larger and more complex features, development can take twice as long.

Your development team should also work closely with QA. Performing QA testing regularly throughout the development process can save you a lot of nerves, money, and time. Rather than solving problems just before launch, integrating QA into development is considered a wise and pre-emptive approach to finding product issues and limitations and resolving them before the application is released.

#6 Perform thorough QA testing

Quality assurance is one of the key steps in a successful mobile app development process.

QA testing ensures that your product meets quality and performs functionalityas designed. During testing, QA professionals will assess your product’s overall user experience, functionality, software performance and stability, potential security issues, and more.

Additionally, the QA team carefully reviews every action a user can perform, such as checking if all buttons are clickable or if all pages can load as expected.

Additionally, they will examine how well your mobile app works with various hardware and operating system configurations.

Most mobile app development agencies will allow you to demo and test the app before it goes live in the app store. Prior to launch, your team will perform final quality checks, squash bugs, and make any necessary design changes.

#7 Deploy, Maintain and Optimize

Once your mobile app is ready to go to market, publish it to platforms like Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store.

But don’t think the job is done, because you’ve only just begun.

Your first task is to sit down with your development agency and make arrangements for all post-launch support on their side. This should include future upgrades, app maintenance, bug fixes, etc.

Next, it’s time to market your app to the target audience. Monitor insights and measure key performance indicators to determine your application’s performance.

Depending on your application idea, some of the KPIs to track are:

  • downloads
  • number of active users (daily, monthly)
  • churn rate (the percentage of users canceling or deleting your app)
  • number of sessions (daily, monthly)
  • session time (how much time users spend in your app)

Finally, optimize your app’s presence on app stores to target your ideal consumers, rank for relevant, high-volume keywords, and appear at the top of user searches.

Optimize your app title and descriptions with the keywords you want to rank for and upload engaging HQ screenshots and videos to engage users.

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