Mobile App Development Process: From Idea To App
| Mobile App Design And Development Process
There will be 184 billion apps to be downloaded in 2024. App stores on Android and IOS are packed from wall to wall with various types of mobile applications, with the app market growing each day. Although people are realising the opportunity for business surrounding innovative mobile app ideas, many are unaware of what the mobile app design and development process entails. Building an app that is successful involves a firm business model, with a team of skillful app and software developers behind you.
In this article, we are going to discuss the mobile app development process step by step, and show you how to build an incredible product.
| Define Your Goals & Strategy
So, you have an app idea, but are finding it difficult to get started. Or maybe, you are seeing the ever-growing market for apps and want to jump in on the action?
If that is the case, you always need to be thinking of what problem needs solving to come up with a unique app idea. You may struggle with something day to day, or see a specific target audience where there is a gap for something that is needed.
Just remember, there may be a reason why no one else has approached this issue yet, or many of your competitors already have! Make sure to always research the market and speak to others to find how they view your app idea.
Once you have your idea at the ready, you need to create a project plan defining what your goals are along with a strategy. Here, you may want to ask yourself a few of these questions:
- How will you monetise your app?
- Who are your target app users?
- Will you release your app on IOS, Android Apps or elsewhere?
- What are your goals for this project?
| Find Your Design & Development Service
The next stage is to find the best team or individual to develop your app. This will depend on your budget, app complexity, and the overall goal for this project.
You may be a business with large-scale targets for this app, and are therefore on the hunt for a pricer team of developers and designers who have experience developing an app for more high-profile clients.
However, there are also lower cost companies and freelancers that can help with mobile applications on a smaller scale with fewer features or functions.
Whichever direction you are taking, make sure to research their portfolios, reviews, and make sure that you are both compatible and can communicate effectively.
| Create Your Product Roadmap
Once you know who you want to work with, it’s time to create your product roadmap. This will outline your app vision, any specific requirements, each stage of the process and your final goal.
The product roadmap will help your team understand the timeline of your mobile app to work against, which may include features, strategies, functions and milestones.
These are incredibly important as they give direction to your project whilst keeping everyone aligned with the timeline. They are also important when presenting to stakeholders to communicate where your product is against the final product.
| Start The UX (User Experience) & UI (User Interface) Designs
User experience refers to how a user will feel when using your app. You need to understand how people will interact with your product and design appropriately for this.
One step is to conduct UX research. This will involve studying your target audience, writing out personas, interviewing and carrying out surveys, and understanding the user journey.
When you really understand who you are creating an app for, the process becomes much smoother. You need to have users open your app and instantly feel excited by the UI, yet have a clear functionality to keep people coming back for the UX.
| Develop Wireframes
Developing the wireframes is the first practical part of the design phase. To begin, low-fidelity sketches can be used to present just the simple skeleton of the application. These can then be used to collate feedback before taking the drafts to digital.
Once here, the wireframe will then be worked on further by adding very basic layout designs, visuals, and the outline of the composition. These will help the development and design team to understand the core appearance of the app.
High-fidelity designs are much more complex, and will also include interactions through the prototype. This may be whether it’s a swipe or a click, how buttons respond, or how pages fade in and out. These allow for the team to actually interact with the app and have a real feel for its functionality, whilst presenting to the developing team how they will go onto build the app.
Your prototype will also benefit from being tested on participants to collect important user feedback. When you build a mobile app, you want to have as much early feedback as possible to continuously make improvements. This will ensure the highest chance of success for your mobile application when being released to the market.
You will then want to create a style guide for your mobile application to provide a set of requirements for the team to follow. This will help with any app updates and additional features over time. This will include the following:
- Fonts used
- Graphics (icons, buttons)
- Light/dark modes
| Start Developing The App
The mobile app development process will consist of back-end and front-end development.
The backend will be used to store and share data, host content and control the functions of your application.
The front-end will be everything that the user actually sees. This development will present the visuals to the user when interacting with the app (the user interface).
It is important to keep planning at this stage of the development and design process, as you will need to decide on a technology stack and other essential technicalities.
| Start Testing The App
Once your mobile application is built, you will need to conduct security, usability, performance, UX/UI, device, and functional testing.
This is a vital area that cannot be missed, each area tested will ensure compatibility, stability, and an overall successful app as a finished product.
Have your app tested by a large number of users, allowing for all different types of navigation to be explored. People may run into different bugs or issues simply moving around the app in a different direction.
You will also want to run data on the performance of the app, for example, response time, speed, and stability.
| Market & Launch!
Once your mobile app is listed on your chosen app store, it’s time to start marketing! Don’t forget to explore app store optimisation, this involves incorporating related keywords, video & image additions and including short powerful titles in your app listing.
Marketing your app can be done using various strategies. One way is by creating social media accounts to share content with your target audience, building a landing page to direct visitors with CTAs, and generating backlinks from related websites. This will all enable your product to become more visible online and generate a higher number of downloads.
| Take Your Idea To App With AppTailors
Do you have an idea you are ready to turn into a mobile application? At AppTailors, we are passionate about growing and building applications, through the use of beautiful design and functional technology. If you are looking to work with a team delivering high quality web and mobile applications, get in touch with us today at email@example.com to discuss your project.