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STEP-BY-STEP MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

The mobile app development process is feared by many.

No matter how amazing the idea, big the opportunity, or strong the potential is, most people succumb to the thought of building a mobile app from scratch — even if they’re not the ones developing it. 

What most people don’t realize is there are a wide variety of ways to develop an app. Furthermore, the amount of time and effort spent on developing the app varies, with some apps taking no longer than a month to develop and others taking six months to a full year. 

Much like anything else in life, preparation is critical to ensuring the success of the process from start to finish. It eliminates any fear you have going into the process, minimizes the amount of mistakes made throughout the process, and maximizes the quality of the end product. 

Since most people are unaware of the steps involved in the mobile app development process, let’s break it down for you step-by-step — starting with the birth of your idea. 

STEP ONE: CONFIRM THE IDEA WITH MARKET RESEARCH

You just had an amazing new idea for a mobile app, but that idea is nothing unless it means something to potential users. After all, they’re the ones downloading it, using it, providing feedback for it, and finding value in it. 

It doesn’t matter what you intend the app to do, who the app is intended for, or why you came up with the idea — you must first confirm your new app idea with market research. The last thing you need is to spend months developing an app that’s already available to app users. 

Believe it or not, this is an extremely common issue when developing an app today, especially since there are over two million apps in Apple’s App Store and nearly three million apps included in Google’s Play Store. 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF DURING THIS STEP:

  • Is there a demand for my mobile app?
  • Are there any similar apps already on the market?
  • Is my app unique compared to the competition?
  • How does my app help the user?
  • How can I monetize the app for future revenue?

When developing an app that both appeals to the user and blows away the competition, market research is essential. It’s important you understand what the user wants, what they need, what they’re currently getting from other apps, and what they’re currently not getting from other apps. 

Once you’re confident in your new idea for a mobile app, time-to-market becomes extremely important. Not only are there a wide range of apps you’re already competing with, but new apps are added to the App Store and Play Store every single day. 

STEP TWO: TEAMING UP WITH THE RIGHT DEVELOPER

You’ve now confirmed your app idea with quality market research, which means you’re one step closer to developing a mobile app. The next step in the process is finding a mobile app developer capable of bringing your new app to life. 

Searching for the right app developer is a daunting task to many, but it’s a task that requires your full attention and maximum effort. In fact, it plays a much larger role in the success of your app than the actual development itself — so it’s essential you get this process right the first time.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR POTENTIAL APP DEVELOPER DURING THIS STEP:

  • Do you have any experience building similar apps and can I see samples?
  • How often do you communicate with your clients?
  • Do you have a team of developers or do you work alone?
  • How long will it take you to complete the app?
  • Do you fully understand what we need to accomplish?

Once you’ve teamed up with a quality app developer, they’ll start to prepare you for the process ahead. They’ll discuss the next steps with you to ensure everyone’s on the same page and ready to go. This is where your developer becomes an integral part of your team. 

Many developers today utilize workflow diagrams when laying out their process. If this is the case with your developer, having access to the workflow diagram and receiving daily updates regarding the progress on the workflow diagram is essential for any app owner. 

STEP THREE: DESIGNING WIREFRAMES & MOCKUPS

Now that you’ve hired your developer, the real fun begins. During this step, a majority of the design is completed as app owners get their first visual look of their idea in motion. It’s an exciting time, but it requires a large amount of collaboration between the developer and owner.

Most mobile app developers utilize two major design elements during this stage of the process — wireframes and mockups. A wireframe focuses more on the structure of your app, while a mockup represents the app’s visual appearance. 

Mockups and wireframes are extremely important because they’re extremely easy to make changes to. They allow you to constantly test new ideas without having to change the actual app, which is often a costly move. 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF DURING THIS STEP:

  • What are the core features of my app? 
  • How do I make the app appealing to the user?
  • How will the user navigate through the app?
  • What colors, logos, fonts, and other visuals should I use in the app?

When designing an app, nothing is more important than UI/UX design. Most people have seen this term blasted all over social media, but many don’t understand what it means. 

UI stands for user interface, while UX stands for user experience. Together, they form the two most crucial factors to the design process. Without a visually-appealing user interface and unforgettable user experience, it’s difficult to gain any traction with users anywhere in the world.

STEP FOUR: DEVELOPING THE MOBILE APP

Designing the app is exciting because it’s your first real look at the app, but it’s nothing compared to watching the developer actually build the app — little by little. While this is the most daunting part of the process, it’s primarily handled by the developers.

That means the app owners get to sit back and watch the amazing progress as the developers bring the app to life. Of course, that also means the developers must communicate with you often. Otherwise, you’ll have no idea how far along the developers are. 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF DURING THIS STEP:

  • Is my developer giving me updates frequently enough?
  • Are there any ways we can improve the app?
  • Are my developers staying on track with the schedule?
  • How happy am I with the effort being put into my app?

As you watch your developers work, don’t hesitate to let them know of any new ideas you have for the app. That includes any changes, fixes, or updates you have to the design. The sooner you let them know, the sooner they can add it to their growing list of daily tasks. 

Other than that, it’s crucial you ensure the app developers are maintaining the integrity of your idea. They need to prove how passionate and talented they are — and this is their moment to do that. If at any point you aren’t happy with the progress, don’t be afraid to voice your concern.

STEP FIVE: TESTING & QUALITY ASSURANCE

With the development stage complete, you’re now the proud new owner of an app! While this is an exciting time for anyone, it’s not the end of the road. For many, it’s actually the beginning of the road because this is where things get real. 

Before your app is ready for release, it’s highly critical you put your app through an intense and rigorous testing process. Ideally, this is something your app developer can do for you, but it’s the app owner’s responsibility to make sure it gets done. 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF DURING THIS STEP:

  • Have I tested this app in every possible setting? 
  • Is this an app that’ll impress users around the world?
  • How fast is the app and how easy is it to navigate? 
  • Are there any bugs, errors, fixes, or last-minute changes you need?
  • Has the app been tested on every device and screen size available?

When you release an app full of errors and bugs, users grow extremely frustrated with your app from the get-go. It makes it difficult to gain customer loyalty and often leads to users uninstalling the app immediately after downloading it. 

Quality assurance and a rigorous testing process are your key to avoiding this from happening. It’s your opportunity to test the app on any device, any screen size, and in any setting (low battery, receiving a phone call, etc.). 

STEP SIX: APP RELEASE & APP MARKETING

When you invest in quality assurance and testing, you gain an extreme amount of confidence when releasing the app to users around the world. This confidence is important and it often translates to a more satisfied user when it’s all said and done. 

Before releasing your app, you should connect with your developer to go over any last-minute tips or strategies they have. They should have a clear idea of how to get your app approved in an app store and should be able to help you complete the process properly. 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF DURING THIS STEP:

  • Where can I connect with my target audience?
  • Does my developer know how to release an app in the app store?
  • How can we monetize the app to make a future gain?
  • Do I have a quality description with a feature list and screenshots?
  • Do I have a video to show off to potential users as a teaser?

In order to grab the attention of potential users, your app needs to be marketed correctly. That means providing quality screenshots, descriptions, video teasers, and frequently asked questions. It’s always appreciated by the user and leads to more quality installs. 

You should also have a variety of ways to monetize your app. Whether you require the user to purchase the app, offer in-app purchases, or make money off ads, your developer should have the experience to give you the best recommendations when monetizing the app. 

When done correctly, your app is set up for sustained success and has the potential of earning back everything it cost to develop it — plus some!

STEP SEVEN: APP MAINTENANCE & APP IMPROVEMENTS

You could build the most perfect and flawless app ever created, but that doesn’t guarantee the app remains that way in the future. There are a wide range of challenges, difficulties, bugs, and errors that might arise once an app is released to the app store. Your developers are crucial to the app’s continued maintenance and support

Ensuring your development team is prepared to stick around for future updates is essential to the app’s sustained success. With the proper protocols in place, your users receive a quality experience no matter what technological issues are thrown your way.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF DURING THIS STEP:

  • Are my users satisfied with the app?
  • How are users rating my app on the app store? 
  • How can we make the app better for users?
  • Is there any new technology that might take the app to the next level?
  • Have user demands or behaviors changed since we released the app?

App owners also need to prepare themselves for changes in user behavior and user demands. What the user wants today might differ tomorrow and your app needs to accommodate those changes. That’s where the relationship with your development team comes in handy down the road. 

To ensure your users are met with the quality experience they deserve, you should keep a stern eye on your user reviews and feedback. These are the key to understanding how satisfied the user is, what they’d like to see in future updates, and ultimately how to improve your app. 

The mobile app development process might seem like a long and daunting process, but it’s an extremely rewarding one that’s met with a ton of excitement. If you’re ready to bring your new app idea to life, you’ve come to the right place. 

The Demski Group is a team of quality, passionate, and proven developers ready to extend their services to you. We can’t wait to hear the scope of your project and prove to you we’re the best developers for the job. Contact us today to learn more about our development services.

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Business

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT APP DEVELOPER FOR YOUR APP IDEA

Every great app needs a great developer. 

It doesn’t matter who the app is for, what the app does, or why you’re creating the app, the developer is the one that will turn that idea of yours into a reality.

In a perfect world, the person who came up with the app idea will have all the knowledge and experience needed to complete the project themselves. Unfortunately, developing an app is a difficult process that most idea owners won’t comprehend. 

If this sounds like you, there’s a good chance you’re looking for some advice on how to find the right app developer for your app idea. Don’t worry, we understand how much of a struggle this can be and we’re here to guide you through this essential process.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF PRIOR TO YOUR SEARCH

Before you can even start to search for an app developer, there are several questions you need to ask yourself to get an idea of what type of developer you need. App developers all come with different skills, backgrounds, and experience. Your job will be to find the developer that best meets your needs. 

Below, we’ll detail some of the more prominent and pressing questions you should be asking yourself when looking for an app developer. Once you understand your vision, you can successfully start to inspire others with that same vision.

ARE YOU LOOKING TO LAUNCH YOUR APP ON IOS OR ANDROID?

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When we have an idea for an app, we often think about all the fun and exciting stuff first. Not that it’s a bad thing, but the boring details about the app are just as important and need just as much attention. 

You have to keep in mind that not every iOS developer will know how to develop an app for Android — and vice versa. Furthermore, you’ll have to consider who the app is for because certain demographics are commonly found on certain operating systems. 

Once you can decide between iOS and Android — or both — you can start to narrow your list of potential developers. If you’re going to start with just one operating system, you’ll be better off hiring a specialist developer rather than a versatile developer.

WHAT TYPE OF DEVICES DO YOU WANT YOUR APP TO SUPPORT?

Much like the operating system, deciding what devices you want your app to support will play a crucial role in what developer you hire. When you finally start to sit down with potential developers, you’ll want to see examples of how their apps function on different devices. 

With iOS, there won’t be a whole lot of different screen sizes since most smartphones and tablets are the same size. On the other hand, Android devices come in virtually any size, shape or form. Android developers will have to understand this if they want to successfully develop your app. 

In addition to that, there’s a chance you might want your app to be available to web users, car users, smart fridges, watches, and much more. Since you won’t want to switch developers half-way through your project, these are things you’ll want to think about.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BUDGET AND TIME FRAME IS FOR THE PROJECT?

Most app developers are going to charge different prices for their work. In a perfect world, the more they charge the higher quality you’ll receive. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and you’ll often be forced to stick to your budget anyways. 

When you hire a developer, they will typically charge you hourly — the more they work, the more you pay. If you’re looking for ways to cut your budget, you can go through your list of features and decide which ones are most important. By waiting to add certain features through updates, you can pursue a developer that charges more. 

Of course, timeframe will also play a role in your decision. If you need your app completed quickly, make sure you account for that in your budget.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A TEAM OF DEVELOPERS OR A SINGLE DEVELOPER?

You’re going to come across a wide range of different developers and agencies, each one coming with its own set of pros and cons. This can make it difficult when you’re finally ready to start searching, so it’s best to narrow this down early. 

A team of developers will likely work quickly, be versatile, and have several developers with different talents — giving you range. Unfortunately, agencies are often more expensive, communication can be difficult depending on the size of the agency, and there’s a good chance your developers will be working on other projects at the same time.

With that being said, a freelance or self-employed developer will give you a much more personal experience and communication will be much easier because you’ll know who to contact. At the same time, they are only limited to what they know and they will often go to whoever is paying more — despite them still being less expensive than an agency.

DO YOU WANT AN IN-HOUSE DEVELOPER OR AN OUTSOURCED DEVELOPER?

Whether you’re looking at a team of developers or a single developer, you’ll also have to decide whether you want them to be a part of your brand or an extension of your brand. 

Hiring them as in-house developers gives you more control over the work they perform on a daily basis. It’ll also set your app up for long-term success when you start to have developers purely focused on your app. 

On the other hand, outsourcing your app development is often much less expensive and allows for much more flexibility when scaling your app. Keep in mind that having someone work remotely will create a communication barrier and you won’t really know how much they have on their plate at any given moment. 

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE DEVELOPER PRIOR TO HIRING

Now that you have a much better idea of what kind of developer you’re looking for, it’s time to start finding the right one. You’ll already have a narrow list of developers to look at, but there will be some specific questions you won’t want to forget to ask during the interview process.

At the end of the process, you should be able to confirm four major things about the developers — their experience, their understanding of your vision, how their development process works, and their ability to maintain your app once released. 

Since the questions below will likely spark more questions, let’s take a closer look at the most prominent questions to ask your developer before hiring them!

WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS AN APP DEVELOPER?

There are multiple ways to get a feel for an app developer’s experience. First, you’ll want to look at their resume and education history because these will give you the brief rundown of everything. Next, getting to view their samples or full apps they’ve created is another great way to see their skill. 

In addition to that, it’s always recommended to have them explain their experience in-person or through video chat. An app developer that talks with excitement is likely passionate about what they do. Likewise, you can often pick up when somebody isn’t that interested in what they do.

Finally, you’ll want to see what kind of companies they’ve worked with or apps they’ve built. If they have no experience in your niche, industry, or size, they likely won’t make a good match.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR?

You’ve been thinking about this app for a long time, but you likely haven’t tried to fully explain it to someone — enough that they can develop the app. When speaking with potential app developers, it’s crucial to give them enough information that they understand what you’re looking for, but not enough information that they can steal your idea. 

Give them a brief idea of what you need, but focus more on how they would build it and what they could bring to the table. If it sounds like they can add a new perspective to your idea, it might be a good idea to shortlist them for later consideration. 

You’ll also want to confirm they’re okay with signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) if hired. This will protect your idea when you start to give them the full details of your app.

CAN I TRUST YOU TO MAKE SWIFT CHANGES AND UPDATES TO MY APP?

Communication is just as important to developing an app as it is to developing a relationship — it takes two sides for it to work. The truth is, there are going to be a wide range of issues, fixes, new ideas, and changes of plans along the way and your developer needs to be prepared for it. 

If they can’t respond to you in a timely manner and address core issues quickly, it will lead to massive delays with your time-to-market. Since you’ll also want to keep this developer long-term — beyond the release of your app — you won’t want to hire someone that will make your app look bad to the users. 

Don’t be afraid to set expectations for them. Whether it’s response time or following a certain protocol, make sure you and the developer are on the same page.

WHAT DOES UI/UX DESIGN MEAN TO YOU?

If you thought you were going to develop an app without paying attention to UI/UX design, you thought wrong. In today’s modern world, there’s nothing more important to the success of your app than its user interface and user experience. 

Most developers today understand this, yet most of them won’t follow the core principles surrounding this type of design process. Asking them what UI/UX design means to them will give you a clear idea of whether or not they even know what it is. 

That’s not enough, though. You’ll also want to look at their past examples and ensure that they actually follow UI/UX design principles. You want a developer that walks the walk, not just talks the talk.

DO YOU PROVIDE TESTING, QUALITY ASSURANCE, AND MAINTENANCE OF THE APP?

Finally, we need to ensure your app developer will be around long-term. There’s no bigger frustration than having to hire a different developer to perform testing, quality assurance, and maintenance to the app. It’ll throw the entire project off and lead to further delays. 

Keep in mind that your app is going to be prone to errors, bugs, and glitches that take away from the overall user experience. These will need to be taken care of swiftly to avoid users uninstalling the app due to neglect. 

You can save yourself from this by building a solid relationship with a quality developer from the start. It’ll also make things easier if you come up with another app idea, since you’ll already have someone to work with.

By now, you should know exactly what you’re doing when you decide it’s time to start searching for an app developer. All that’s left to do is execute your plan and bring that idea to life! 

If you’re ready to partner with a professional and experienced team of developers, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to contact us today with any questions, comments, or concerns you might have about your project!