With 2021 nearing its end, take a look at the cosmos of mobile applications.
According to Statista, the annual app revenue has reached $111 billion. Moreover, it shows a tremendous rise in the number of applications available on the Play Store and App Store. Not only that but also many new trends are observed in the mobile app development process.
Long before, the concepts that we thought of in sci-fi movies or books have become commonplace in multiple spheres of our daily lives. Be it AR, VR, Machine Learning, or the Internet of Things; they bring a revolution in every industry.
So, how have all these technologies impacted or tweaked mobile app development or its process?
The point is app development is not just like hanging around the parks. Instead, it requires a contemplative and step-by-step procedure to reap the expected benefits.
Want to know about mobile application development services and its procedure?
In this article, we have covered the modest point that comes under the app development life cycle. Although, before getting into the process of building an app, let’s first get through an overview of app development and its platform.
What is Mobile App Development? – A Brief
From a technical perspective, developing a mobile app is a process or procedure for creating software that runs on smartphones. The app is later downloaded and installed by a user from the App Stores.
To create a mobile app, there are myriads of things to take into considerations, like its screen size, features, app development platform, designs, and so on. Henceforth, there is a need to hire a mobile app development firm, who has an entire team to work on your requirements.
The types of mobile apps built by developers are Native, Hybrid, and Web apps. Here we will learn about mobile app development platforms and their process.
Mobile App Development Platforms
The two dominant app development platforms are – iOS & Android.
iOS applications run on Apple hardware that includes iPhone and iPad. The software is built with Objective C or Swift and later deployed on App Stores. On the other hand, Android apps are built on the modified version of the Linux and Java language environment.
Basically, there are 2.87 million apps available on the Google Play Store and 1.96 million apps on the Apple App Store. But, despite that, there is hope for new apps to get the path and become popular among users.
As already mentioned above, with the increasing use of smartphones and technologies, mobile apps have become a new normal among people. This shows the app market is still looking for some big hits in the upcoming time.
So, are you planning to build a mobile app for your startup idea? Running down with so many questions like,
The fact is we keep receiving such questions from our clients. And, that’s the reason why we’ve decided to write this article.
A pro tip – You should bookmark this article if you’re planning to build a mobile application for your business and startup.
Ready to deep dive into the ocean of app development process steps? Here we go…
Mobile App Development Process – A Step by Step Guide
Each app is different, but the process of developing an app remains almost the same. Our methodologies are constantly evolving based on the app requirements and its domain.
Nevertheless, here we have rounded up a standard procedure and stages to build a mobile app. The steps are based on Android and iOS app development. So let’s have a closer look!
Step 1: Explore Your App Idea
As prominent as it sounds! Each app development process starts with an idea. Then, it requires a lot of brainstorming and research to have a clear vision for an application.
Are you clear with your app idea? If it is, then you can directly move to the next step. But if there is a doubt, then get the answer to the five questions mentioned below.
- 1. What is the primary goal of your app?
- 2. What problems will be solved by your app?
- 3. Who is the target audience?
- 4. How will your application stand out from others?
- 5. Why should people keep using your app?
So, once you’re clear with the above points, it’s time to build your app strategy and conduct market research. Creating a strategy for your future mobile app is like planning a vacation.
You need to conduct thorough market research in your industry domain, pick up the best options for your app, and then calculate the budget and set the time frame.
It sounds similar to planning a trip, right? (jokes apart)
Learn about the current market trends and the problem being faced by your audience. Then, it is a crucial step that you provide a solution to the user problems through your application.
Thoroughly think and research the benefits that your product brings to you and your customers. To put it short, study the competitive environment, and find your profitable space.
So, this is the first and pivotal step of the mobile app development cycle. Let’s head towards the next one!
Step 2: Discussion on Project Requirement
Okay, now you’re clear about the intent of your mobile app.
Have you first decided on mobile app development platforms? If not, then it is the first thing you need to do.
Furthermore, you’ve already worked on your target audience, therefore it is easy for you to decide the platforms. However, here is a quick overview on the percentage of Android & iOS mobile users across the globe. (It will help you to decide your app development platforms)
Okay, it’s time to work on the functionalities, features, and business model of your application.
Have you thought of ways to generate revenue or the business flow of your application? That’s where a business model comes into play. There are various types of business models like subscription-based business models, two-sided marketplace, freemium business model, in-app purchase & advertising business model, and so on. Turn your idea into action with a perfect business model.
Based on your industry domain, start analyzing the key functionalities that you can provide to your users. If you’re a non-technical person, then with the help of the mobile app development firm you hire, work on the technology stack. Implementing a trending and reliable tech stack is a dominant thing for the smooth working of your app.
Your product roadmap is ready now!
Next, we would recommend you to first go for an MVP product for the initial launch, then come up with the final app development thing.
Describe Minimum Viable Product
There are four core elements to build an MVP product – Functionality, Readability, Design, & Usability. Below is a directory of a few reasons why you need an MVP product.
App Development Plan
You have everything in hand now. Though, did you work on the name of your application? To get a perfect name, think about the vision and mission of your application. Find a unique, and effective name for your application.
“Pro Tip: Do not forget about the app store optimization. Henceforth, choose an app name that is unused and users can easily find on the App Store.”
So, your complete app development plan is ready now. You’re clear about the app goal, its business model, mobile app platforms, name, and everything. It’s time for the final step before the actual app development process begins.
Step 3: NDA Signing
Security is a core thing for any business be it online or offline. Henceforth, before you begin your mobile app development, we would recommend you to sign an NDA with the software firm you hire.
Most of the top app development agencies always sign an NDA before starting the development. The NDA contains every detail of your app development, and the company needs to provide you with everything present in the NDA.
To make it more clear to you, here we’ve mentioned a few points that must be considered in your NDA.
So, everything is finalized and it’s time to give a kickstart to the real-time mobile app development.
It is time to let the real action begin! Avengers Assemble!
Step 4: App Design Steps
Do you believe in first impressions?
The same thing applies to your application. The look and feel of a mobile app are one of the top priorities for users. And, that’s when the UI/UX design of an app comes into the picture.
Whether it is a top-notch application or just an MVP product, user experience plays a crucial role in the success of an app. You can achieve this goal with the help of a perfect mobile app design service.
The mobile app design service is divided into many parts. Just like the app development process flow, UI/UX design also has its process and sub-parts.
Before getting into the sub-part of app designing, let’s first understand the two important terms of designing i.e UI and UX.
Synopsis of UI (User Interface)
The UI design is defined as a graphical representation or layout of a mobile app. In simple terms, the UI designer gives/build the look and feel of the application.
Be it about placing the click button, sliders, images, text entry fields, and all the elements to which the user interacts. Besides, it even includes animations, the layout of the screen, and every bit of the micro-interaction you can think of.
The UI designers will also work on the colour combinations and button shapes of your application.
In short, UI app designs work with each element of an app and make them feel united.
Synopsis of UX (User Experience)
UX design of an app is outlined as the way a user interacts with the UI elements of your application. The main goal of a UX designer is to link all the UI elements and give seamless navigation to the user.
Additionally, a certain extent of iterative analysis is part of the UX design. They will build the wireframes rendering of their user interactions, and then integrate it into their designs.
The only thing that a UX designer focuses on is having a holistic understanding of how a user wants to interact with the application. They follow various UI design principles like feedback principle, reuse principle, structure principle, simplicity principle, and the list goes on.
If you ask about the difference between UI and UX, then here is the answer!
UI designers work on determining how the user interface will look whereas UX designers take the charge of how the user interface operates.
Now you’re aware of these terms, hence it’s time to get into the whole app designing thing. Here we’ve showcased the mobile app design process followed by Excellent WebWorld. We always design an app keeping the end-user in mind.
We’ll begin with the initial phase, i.e conveying your app idea into the paper. The very first part wherein your app idea is sketched on the paper. To give it a simplified version, later we’ll develop a wireframe for the same.
A. Wireframing of App Design
To describe the wireframe in a sentence, it is a part of the app development life cycle that helps to work on the final design solutions. Designing wireframes are prominent no matter what industry domain or the digital platform you’re working on.
“The simplest and fastest way to bring your wireframe to life is to get the Double P (Pen and Paper)”
The sketches built for your mobile app are the cornerstone of your wireframes. Product wireframing is all about discovering potential app design solutions. You can even call it a schematic version of the future project.
The only thing to take care of here is that the wireframe design for mobile app must be accurate to your product.
Here we’ve exhibited one such wireframe of an app with every minor detail. Get into it for a better understanding of wireframes.
B. Style Guides
Are you worried about brand consistency? If yes, then unique and effective UI style guides are crucial.
Confused about what a style guide is? Let us give you this part of the app design process.
A style guide is determined as a holistic set of UI design standards for UI elements and their interactions with different app products. It ensures that consistency is maintained among the various design teams and companies.
Some essential elements included in the UI style guide are fonts, colours, layouts, design patterns, component libraries, graphics, dialogues, alters, buttons, and so on.
Here are a few reasons why UI style guides are beneficial for your app design.
To make a long story short, style guides enable each part of the mobile app development team structure to stay on the same page.
In the realm of mobile app design workflows, mockups are a high-fidelity simulation of how the app design will look.
A final design sent for the prototyping is known as a mockup. The fact is mockups are built on the combination of structure and logic of a wireframe with graphics and UI elements. One of the best ways to know about mockups is to check on how cars are designed.
Besides, mockups enable you to figure out the real design problems that might be unnoticed in the above steps.
In summary, the mockup is a mobile app design phase that comes at the end of the lo-fi stage and the outset of the hi-fi stage.
At some stages, mockups are quite tough to build. However, thanks to the mockup tools these days. A few popular mockup tools are Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, Photoshop, InVision Studio, Webflow, and so on.
D. App Prototype Design
It’s time to build real app designs!
You can call a prototype a preeminent representation of your mobile application. Many even say that a prototype is a high-end mockup enriched with interactions, animations, UX pieces, the feel of clicking a button, and anything that gives life to the design.
Prototypes of a mobile application take the abstract idea from the mockups and convert them to tangible products.
The designer team takes the help of various tools to build the prototype of an application. Some of the tools are Balsamiq, Atomic, Adobe XD, Figma, Framer X, InVision, and more.
You can even share the prototypes with your friends, partners, or anyone for suggestions. In addition to that, it is the perfect time to showcase the app design to your investors. Everything right from your app icon to colour schemes, fonts, and elements placement is covered in this stage.
The design process workflow consists of the four steps mentioned above; however, we’ve added to the two extra points in designing a mobile app development phase.
E. Motion Design
Yes, this is a key point that we’ve added to make your app design appealing and intuitive. The prime reason for a motion design is to make your mobile app captivating to the users.
Take a note of the point that users are always attracted to the motion. Henceforth, adding such an app design will work as an extra point for the success of your application. It will let your users take the complete feel of your application.
3D modelling and animations are the core parts of motion designs. Therefore, developing a simple application with a few interesting motion designs will draw the users’ attention.
Human Interface Guidelines vs. Material Design
In today’s scenario, the mobile app development process involves the two most evolving operating systems, i.e., Android and iOS. The fact is UI/UX app design guidelines. Unfortunately, many of us always get confused with these terms. Like are material design and interface guidelines the same, or do they differ at some point?
Here we’ve shown a short brief on both these terms.
Material design is a system built by Google to give a highly digitized experience to the users. It contains guidelines, components, and tools that enable designers to create the most appealing user interface. Google’s material design guide is applicable for both Android and iOS. On the top of everything, material designs are easy to implement, and it is trending among the users.
As the name itself suggests, iOS Human Interface Guidelines specially came into action for the iOS application designers and developers. These guidelines aim to bring uniformity across all iOS devices. Besides, it enables developers/designers to know about the core architectures, sizes, elements, design principles, and so on.
Well, you’ve successfully done with one of the core steps of app development. The real action begins now!
Yet need more information on mobile app design or its flow?
Contact Excellent Webworld! Our team will assist you with the entire mobile app design service.
Step 5: Mobile App Development
It is believed to be the most active phase of the app development life cycle. You can even call this stage the soul of the whole mobile app development process. However, the vision of your app must be clear to each member of the app development team structure.
You can even call this phase of coding that includes frontend development and backend development. Next, it’s time to empower the user interface functions.
The development of apps is separated into three major steps that are followed by the sub-steps. Before getting into the detailed version, let us share a quick recap for the stages of the app development process.
A mobile app is built on the three core components i.e., Backend Server Technologies, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), & Frontend Development.
The elements that users see and interact with are the frontend of an application, development for the server-side working is the backend and the one that connects one application to another is known as API.
So let’s nose dive into it to learn about each step in depth.
A. Sprint Planning
Any app development process flow begins with sprint planning.
Now you might have a question on what this unfamiliar term sprint is. Well, it is a common and popular term in the process of developing an app.
Most companies follow an agile methodology for an end to end application development. It makes the management of projects easy and simpler. (We follow the agile methodology as a step of building an app)
Coming back to sprint – it is a part of the Agile method. The projects working with the Agile method are broken down into small parts, which are known as sprints.
A sprint would last for 1-4 weeks, depending on the size of the project. At the beginning of every app development phase, sprint planning is conducted by the project manager. Each sprint contains drafts and visual prototypes, which later result in the version of a deliverable.
Every sprint consists of three teams, as shown below,
Scrum Master: A person responsible for the agile scrum and takes care that the process goes without hurdles.
Scrum Team: The ones who will work on the project. (Consist of designers, developers, testers, and so forth).
Product Manager: The one who is the commander of the mobile app development process. They assign the task to the team.
In summary, sprint planning breaks down the whole project into bite-sized chunks. At a time, the project manager plans a single sprint, and the future sprints depend on the outcome of the previous one.
Thence, your mobile app development project is divided into sprints for further execution.
DO YOU KNOW?
The three key factors of an app development process are- Tech Architecture, Tech Stack, and App Development Milestones
B. Backend Development
Starting with backend development – it is a procedure that happens behind the scenes of the user interactions with the app. It is the centre of an app that stores, access, process, and secure the data.
A backend is like a server for the users to get the required information. Many business logic and algorithms come into the process to process, store, and retrieve information in the app. And this occurs in the back-end of a mobile app. For instance, the user signs up/login, solving queries, storing data on the cloud, etc., occurs in the backend of an application.
A backend development mainly works with three aspects of an app,
You can use the pre-existing MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service) for your backend. This saves your time and Money. The four best MBaaS you can use are AWS (Amazon Web Service), Firebase, Parse, and Back4App.
Confused about what a backend developer does? Here is an answer for the same.
These developers perform many functions including the basic architecture of the project. The logic of the entire app system is built by the backend developers.
In essence, anything that an app owner/admin changes in the backend directly gets updates in the user-side app.
One of the crucial tasks performed by the developer is to design the database of the app. The tools used for designing the database are MongoDB, MariaDB, Hadoop, MySQL, etc. In addition to that, backend development is used to write the APIs of the app.
Bonus Point: When you choose your backend base, make sure you keep in mind the two peak points. First, the strength of your mobile app. It must be able to work in any extreme conditions. Your app should respond to any unpredictable requests, sensitive information, and hacking. Second, flexibility to handle the updates of the device and new features.
C. API Development
If you’ve answered yourself in mobile app development, then you might have heard about the term API.
API is abbreviated as Application Programming Interface. It enables your app to get access to 3rd party applications or platforms. These are the functions that work as a bridge between the two different digital environments.
For a better understanding, it means API enables the communication between various software elements by maintaining the protocols and subroutines. Just like social media and eCommerce apps are the norms that let people stay connected and engaged, APIs are essential for the convenience and significance of a mobile app.
Whenever you’re designing new tools or managing the existing ones, APIs enforce you with amazing flexibility, simplify administration, design, and use of the app. Apart from that, APIs eases the process of connecting your own infrastructure through cloud-native app development. A popular example here is a Google Map API.
To elaborate it in layman’s terms, an API is just like an URL that is built in NodeJS and resides in the cloud server.
D. App Development (Frontend Development)
The front end of an application is what a user sees and interacts with. It is usually managed through local databases, some APIs, or the backend.
A front end developer focuses on what’s going on in the front scenes of the app rather than the behind-the-scenes. The developers are involved in converting the UI/UX of an app design to the codes in order to showcase it properly on the screen.
Front-end developers work for analyzing code, design, and debugging applications together with providing a seamless experience to the users.
For instance, when you open the YouTube app, you will see previews, videos, and such things. Think about what happens when you click on the video? Some visuals and sensory experiences come into the action. (That all happens due to frontend development)
The front end developer technologies for native app development includes Objective C or Swift for iOS app development and Java or Kotlin for Android App.
There is another option available these days is to go for hybrid app development. Hybrid apps can run on both operating systems with the same code. Flutter, React Native and Ionic are the best languages to develop a hybrid app.
E. Mobile App Security
Any type of software development requires security. Mobile app security is a precaution from external threats like digital frauds, data security, server scalability, GDPR, SQL injection, token-based API authentication, custom encryption and decryption algorithm, firewall setup, and other malware.
One breach can cost millions of dollars to the company. While you’re busy building an app that is intuitive, innovative, and user-friendly, security breaches have shaken up the cyber world.
Some crucial initiatives taken by our mobile app development firm are,
Here comes an end to mobile app development. The team has given all possible efforts to develop an app. It’s time to test the skills and dedication!
The app development phase is crucial to understand among all the phases available.
Our experts can guide you through this phase in case of any queries. Share your question with us, and get an appropriate answer for it.
Step 6: Testing of Mobile App
When you decide to go for developing a mobile app for your business, testing the app before its final deployment is worth it.
The mobile app development process involves testing to let app developers know if the app meets the expectations or not. Testing not only helps in finding the bugs but also draws attention to the new possibilities.
It checks whether the new features are accessed properly. The testing involves a QA (Quality Analyst) Team for the various testing executions. Take note of the point that testing does not have any type of time limit, as their aim is to accurately find out each issue that was addressed during the app development process.
Consequently, there are two types of major testing for mobile application development – Functional & Non-Functional.
Functional Testing: The app is tested for all the functional requirements from the client’s side. It aims at checking all the functionalities of a software system.
Non-Functional Testing: The main goal is the quality of the application. The tests are carried out for some non-functional factors like usability, scalability, security, time, etc.
To get a better understanding of both these terms, let’s dive into their differences.
|Parameters||Functional Testing||Non-Functional Testing|
|Execution||It is performed and analyzed before non-functional testing.||Comes into action after functional testing.|
|Usage||You can learn about the app performance.||Helps to validate the app performance.|
|Requirements||It is carried out based on the functional requirements mentioned.||This testing is based on the performance specifications.|
|Functionality||It describes what the product does.||Know about how the product works with non-functional testing.|
|Testing Type||Manual testing is more preferred in comparison to automatic testing.||Automatic testing is a choice.|
|Test Case Example||Test Functionality of the login form.||Test the time the login form takes to load.|
|Best Practices for Testing|
Now, you might have a complete idea of app testing types. At Excellent Webworld, to keep track of your app testing phase, QA sends a document after each build is released. We follow an approach of build and continuously test to avoid any bugs or issues. Parallel testing is carried out whenever a module or milestone is completed.
Step 7: Time To Launch/Deploy Your App
In a way, we can even call it a final chapter of a mobile app development process.
Based on your primary goals, your app is redirected to Google Play or Apple’s App Store market for the application deployment. However, the app deployment rules are a bit different for both these platforms.
To get the confirmation for app launch from these platforms, you need to follow a set of rules.
How to Deploy Android App to Play Store (Android)
Here is a list of Google’s Guidelines for app deployment,
How to deploy an app to Apple App Store (iOS)
Peep into the iOS app deployment guidelines,
Once you publish your app in the App Store, the apps undergo a review which may take a few days to several weeks to complete. It depends on how closely your app matches the iOS app development guidelines.
Unlike iOS, Android does not have any review process. The app is available on the Play Store after a few hours of its submission.
With our app deployment process, we only ask for the developer account credentials from the clients, and the rest is done by our team.
Okay, Your App is Launched! Hurray!
But, what’s next from the app development firm you hired?
One more step of the app development life cycle.
Step 8: Post Production Support
Now your application is in the hands of users. Of course, you’re going to receive feedback and reviews from them.
You need to pour new features and versions of the app to keep it engaging, and that’s where app updates come into play.
In a way, as soon as your app gets launched in the market, a new app development process begins!
Additionally, always remember that successful and highly tested apps can even have ongoing bugs and missed spots. A quick response to this situation is post-production support of a mobile app development phase.
Our mobile app development agency is always eager to serve you with post-production support to solve any queries of your running application or update the app with new features and technology. As a beneficiary, we also provide three months of free support to our clients.
So, do you think that it’s time to dance (Bella Ciao! Bella Ciao!) just like the Money Heist team on their victory?
Well, not yet! Something important to always keep working on is the Marketing & App Updating thing! (A golden secret to always keep your app engaging)
Here is an end to the mobile app development process steps, however, we’ve also shared a few topics on developing an app for the business. We hope this helps you to make a wiser decision for your business or startup.
Let’s get started with why a mobile app is important in the current period.
Why Do Businesses Need Mobile App Development & its Power-Packed Process in 2021-2022?
As per the current marketing landscape, startups and organizations go the extra mile to achieve the expected goals. Going digital is one of the best ways to give a cutthroat competition in your domain.
People are habituated to mobile apps and prefer to get any service through their mobile phones. To give you a real-time scenario on the use of mobile apps, here are some essential statistics to draw attention to.
Subsequently, now you get the importance of the mobile app for startups and businesses. Besides we’ve mentioned some beneficiaries to build a mobile app.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Suppose, you have decided to start a loyalty program, but how will customers know about it? By developing an app, you can catch the attention of the users. Mobile app development is effective at creating a community of customers. Besides, once a customer gets rewarded for the services he/she purchased, they’re likely to return to your app.
Increasing Brand Visibility
Brand Visibility is a core thing in the current scenario.
You can call a mobile app the front face of your business in the digital world. An app helps you to increase brand awareness by showcasing your business in an innovative and out of the box way. It is a new way of marketing your business to any corner of the world.
An App is a Solution to Every Problem
With an app, the customers can directly get in touch with your service at any time of the day. For example, citizen problems can be accurately handled with applications. In fact, it is easy for the citizens to come up with their ideas via developing a citizen problem app. Digitization is a core solution for any problem that traditional management possesses.
Reaching New Customers
During these pandemic times, getting new potential customers is quite difficult. However, an app helps you best in this scenario. With the marketing of your application, you can directly reach out to the new costumes.
Also, customers can reach you from any part of the world as your mobile app is visible in all the regions you want to target.
Enhancing Customer Engagement
It is always said that a quicker response to the customer’s issues is a prime thing for leaving a positive impact on their mind. Developing an app makes this process quite easier, as you can solve the queries of your customers anytime and anywhere.
Get a Digital Presence
Digital presence is a primary thing as we already told you.
Building a mobile app is a perfect way to increase the ROI of business and expand your business worldwide. Additionally, you can even ease the management of your business with a digital platform. Every information of your business stays secured and with analytics, you can seamlessly know about activities going around the business.
Wrapping Up – Mobile App Development Process
The success of a Mobile App = Results.
For instance, the top mobile applications like Instagram, Instacart, Facebook, Snapchat, Amazon are the results.
But, wait results of what? (Seems confusing)
The apps are the result of a detailed and faultless mobile app development process. Being an experienced app development firm, we have an entire app development team structure that works as per the client’s expectations.
Just share your requirements, and our team endeavours to find the most appropriate solutions for the same.
To build your trust in us, check out what our clients say about mobile app development skills and how we work.