The mobile application development process takes a lot of time and the idea has to pass many stages before it turns into a real app. To fulfill the project’s requirements and make sure everything goes according to plan, the team manager or project manager has to organize and monitor the process of creating the mobile app. And in this article, we gathered the information and put all best practices into 7 easy to follow steps.
Step 1: Start small
The app development process requires much responsibility, that is why it is important to understand that everything starts small. This is the right time for brainstorming and planning. Although we think that every great product starts with a great idea. It is important to plan your further steps, goals, and requirements beforehand because it will set the tone for the rest of the work. There are a few things you need to figure out before getting to the second step, for example, think about what your app needs to be like and what your goals for the app will be.
During the mobile application development process, answering the right questions and distinguishing all technical requirements can not only drastically quicken the app-building, but also prevent you from risks in the future. Here are some of the important questions to answer:
- What problems will my app solve?
- How will the app help other people?
- How will it simplify people’s everyday life?
- What operating systems do I want my app to support?
- What features will the app have?
At this stage, it is also important to do an analysis of who your users will be, what they need, what devices your target audience uses, and what are their reasons to start using your new mobile app. You can’t expect your application to succeed without understanding who uses it every day. Understanding your target audience will help you in building a successful mobile app and in creating the right experience for your users. We go into details of UX in Step 3.
Step 2: Create prototypes and wireframes
Creating prototypes and wireframes is a great way to express your ideas and see how they will work in reality. This step is important because it will not only help you have a clear picture of what the mobile app will look like, but can also save time and costs in the future. During this stage, you’ll still be able to add or delete some features and make changes. This is the stage when you are able to experiment with interfaces, transitions, features, etc. because it’s cheap and not risky.
One of the main reasons why the prototyping or wireframing process is essential for your mobile app development is because you can adjust little things like colors, buttons and improve the product’s integrity without changing everything from the start or spending additional costs from your budget. Once you see what your app will look like, you’ll be ready to invest money in development.
There are many tools, which you can use for creating prototypes and wireframes, and here we collected some of our favourites.
Adobe XD – Adobe XD is one of the most popular ones. It is quite easy to use, and there are a lot of videos on YouTube that guide you and teach you how to create prototypes and wireframes without previous experience.
Figma – Figma provides you with an editor that is completely user-friendly and lets you build your app by using simple tools. It also has a lot of additional free plugins that will make the work go even smoother.
Sketch – Sketch is one of the most used tools in the prototyping world. It is like Figma but more complicated. Although, it is only available for iOS.
Mockplus – Mockplus is software that provides the user with everything they need for creating prototypes during the mobile application development process. It is available for both desktop and mobile versions.
Step 3: UX/UI Design
User Experience Design covers all aspects of the user’s interaction and their experience with it. UX Designer analyzes how the customers will use the product, what they feel, and how easy it is for them to accomplish their tasks and find what they need. The purpose of UX design is to make an app user-friendly, easy to navigate and to create a pleasant experience.
And user interface design focuses on the appearance of the app based on the analysis and research that were made during the UX stage. For the UI part, a designer should make the product more intuitive and understandable in use, by creating the right buttons, transitions, positions, typography, and color schemes.
Consider hiring a professional UX/UI designer for mobile app development. During this stage, you determine the whole structure of the project, because this will affect what developers will do, how they will do it, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. Treat previous steps to develop the app as preparation for successful UX/UI design for your project. It is important to make sure you hire the right person for this job. They need to have previous experience in the domain related to your project, need to have the required skills, and be with you on the same page. You have to trust this person during the mobile app development process. That is why you need to check who you hire and be prepared beforehand because this will help you choose the right designer for your project.
Step 4: App development
This step is one of the most important mobile app development stages. It is about converting everything you found out on previous stages into the code and an actual application. Mobile app development is usually the longest and the most expensive stage. There are a lot of things to pay attention to because here you build the features that users will actually use. And because of that more people need to be involved in the process. Front-end and back-end engineers, QA engineers, a project manager will be part of the development team.
It is important the team or developers make sure that the code is correct and meets the requirements of operating systems.
Step 5: Testing
After the developers implement the code for the mobile app, the next step is testing. During this phase of the app’s development process, the quality assurance engineer has to check whether the developed functionality meets the initial product requirements.
At first, QA engineers test the app, look for problems and find out what works incorrectly, and then the developers work on those problems and fix them. Ideally, the testing and the development processes run simultaneously, because during all stages different bugs and mistakes arise and have to be fixed. And if you test the separate features as soon as they are developed, it will prevent you from having too many problems to fix in the end and ensure the quality of the code. But remember that all of that will also depend on your project and its complexity.
Step 6: Use the right tools
The app development process can definitely stressful, but there are a number of tools that can help you in organizing it.
Use your email calendar
During mobile app development stages, you are going to have a lot of meetings, calls, and sometimes it can become overwhelming to remember and plan everything correctly, which is why using an email calendar is a great decision because it can send you notifications, alerts for these meetings and calls. And your mail is syncing with other devices, so you won’t miss your meeting and be able to prepare for them, join on time and monitor the daily schedule.
Use project management tools
The mobile application development process takes a lot of time but also requires you to stay on track of all the tasks and documents. It can be really easy to lose control of the situation and drown in hundreds of to-dos. However, there are effective tools that will definitely make organizing easier.
Take for example the well-known Trello. Trello is free and easy to use. You can organize different projects, create boards and share everything with the team members. It also lets you change the status for every task, which makes organizing more clear.
Zoho projects is another popular tool for the organization during the app development process. Zoho will help you not only manage multiple projects, deadlines, but also keep an eye on personal tasks. You can use it for different tasks and constantly add new features that you need to organize.
Infinity will let you manage and track everything you want, starting from HR activities to finances. You’ll be able to sort, edit your items, schedule however you like, and collaborate with the team.
Don’t forget about quality communication
While going through the mobile app development stages, it is important to remember to communicate with people you work with. Miscommunication will only bring wrong results, unwanted mistakes. It is important to schedule regular calls with the team, including status meetings, planning, and retrospectives. If there isn’t an opportunity for a direct meeting, use phone calls, Zoom, or Goole Meet, that is definitely so much better than nothing at all.
Step 7: Release the application
And finally, step 7. This is one of the best stages of the mobile application development process because here you will actually see the results of your work and the users will be able to meet your mobile app. Remember that this stage doesn’t mean the end of the work, because it is also important to make sure that your hard work is being noticed.
There are many ways to rank and promote the app on Apple App Store and Google Play Market. Your knowledge and analysis made in step 1 will definitely help you here. If you know what your goals toward the application are, and who your target audience is, you’ll be able to promote and publish your app successfully. Remember to also use keywords in the name and description, and show people screenshots of the app to help them better understand what’s waiting for them.
There are many steps to develop an app, which can result in an overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start or how to keep everything under control. But in this article, we explained what steps are better to take first and why and how to make the organizing of the mobile app development process easier and more effective. Keep in mind that everything starts from small steps, the development process is not an exception. Use the right tools and remember to check in with the team.
The author Dennis P. Reed possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology.