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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.

Categories
Business

OUTSOURCING

FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE IT AND FAILED

You’re thinking of outsourcing. You’ve looked at firms locally, out of state, and overseas. You’ve gone to those popular outsourcing websites your friend told you about where you could spend $5 and get a full-blown platform built…you know the ones I’m talking about. You’ve posted your project online and gotten a range of bids from a hundred bucks to a hundred thousand dollars and all from firms or freelancers who look like they know what they are talking about. They pressure you to pick them: now, do it now, right now! It’s overwhelming, and this is your baby, the idea you’ve thought about every day and night for weeks or months or even longer; this has to go perfectly.

What do you do?

Stop, wait, breath. This is a big decision but there are a couple things to keep in mind that can make this whole process go much smoother. The best thing you can do is take the time to write out a specification document and a flow document. This may sound confusing but you don’t have to be a state of the art programmer to write these. For a spec doc a simple bulleted list of all the features you can think of will work just fine and for the flow document try to explain as best you can what a user would experience when they come to your site or open your app for the first time and then take the reader through the process of what pages or screens the user will see and then which ones they can go to next. These two documents will save you a massive headache as you can give them to every potential developer out there and see what they say. This will be the guide for the developer to make your vision come to life.

After answering any questions from the potential developer on your flow and feature list the next step is pricing and how long it will take to bring the project to life. Development is a sticky business and you get what you pay for, most of the time. If you are hiring the guy that says he can build a full Tinder clone app in four weeks and for a cost of $1,000 you’re in for a lot of problems. We offer free quotes on projects so feel free to send us an email or chat with us directly on our website to get your free quote. Though it is possible that the developer could actually deliver most likely what will happen is those four weeks will turn into six months and when you do see the product it will not be what you were expecting or the developer will ask for more funds at every stage.

Most projects will go over the time the developer says for different reasons but the biggest ones are that some feature may have been listed in the spec doc but had extras that the developer did not anticipate and the client didn’t explain in detail thinking that the developer just knew. Though the developer may or may not charge you extra for these it will delay the project. A simple task that may seem easy may actually affect multiple features and could delay the project significantly. A good idea is to ask your developer for updates often, usually upon some pre-agreed upon schedule before starting the project, and that way you can work through any issues or changes that may come up and keep the project on track.

The key takeaways for outsourcing are to maintain communication with your developer, explain all features and the flow of your project in detail, and when it comes to pricing do your research on potential costs to deliver a proper product.