Advancing technology has made it important for all businesses to develop mobile apps. From eCommerce apps, religious apps, apps for internal employee communication, to fitness apps, everything currently has an app, thanks to its better and intuitive UI and UX compared to websites. That said, whether you want to design an app for your business or personal reasons, this guide highlights the app development process.
- Define Your Goals
Like any other project, your app development process should begin with well-defined goals. Your goals should define what you want to achieve or the problems you want to solve. As such, you should develop SMART goals with specific KPIs as they will define the entire app development process. Depending on the purpose of the app, goals should relate to the end-user and your business.
- Conduct Market Research
After identifying your goals, the next step is to ensure there is market demand for your mobile app. While all apps are good theoretically, you should validate the idea before proceeding. Therefore, it is best to conduct market research before you start the development process. Otherwise, you may end up spending time, money, and resources on mobile app ideas without market demand.
That said, if the app is for your existing business, consult your customers to understand their needs. You can easily assume that customers want specific features, but consulting them is the only way to confirm. Therefore, run surveys and interviews extensively.
- Create a Wireframe
As a beginner, you might be wondering what a wireframe is. Well, this is typically a rough layout of the app. It shouldn’t necessarily be formal, and you don’t have to worry about its graphic designs yet. Wireframes can be drawn on paper, napkins, whiteboards, or digital wireframing tools. The main purpose of a wireframe is to illustrate the layout and features of the app.
- Choose the Development Method
The next step is choosing the development method that suits your unique situation. There are five mobile app development methods, and what’s best for one app may not suit another. Therefore, you should consider several factors, including your technical skills, budget, time to market, and app type, to choose your preferred development method.
Just to mention, the five mobile app development methods include;
- Native development
- Hybrid app development
- Using rapid app development builder
- Cookie-cutter app builder
- Building with buildfire
- Research Existing Solutions
Researching existing solutions is the final step in the pre-development phase of app development. Before wasting a lot of time and resources building an app and finding all essential components, it is wise to check if a similar solution is already present. In-app development, some components, such as push notifications, hosting, and design, are designed to accomplish several standard functionalities that every mobile app needs.
If such exists, it is affordable buying something pre-built compared to building one from scratch. Besides, you can make custom changes to existing solutions. Developing a mobile app is challenging enough, and you shouldn’t complicate the process further. Opt for already existing reusable tools.
- Identify Technical Specifications
The first step in this phase is advancing your already created wireframe with technical specifications. Technical specifications are the internal workings of the app. As a developer, you should evaluate your wireframe and various technical challenges beyond the visual aspects. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert in coding to complete this.
Technical aspects of your mobile app should include all features in your MVP (Minimum viable product). Just to mention, the MVP is an important aspect of app design as it keeps you in check.
If everything on your MVP has been featured, it is time to deploy your app. This is the final stage in the development process that involves getting the app live to your audience. Though it might be the end of the app development stages, you shouldn’t be worried about backward compatibility challenges and other issues. You should focus on the uptime and visibility of the app.
However, like other products, app deployment should be done after quality assurance. Therefore, test your mobile app on actual Android or iOS platforms. Doing this will enable you to identify and mitigate bugs and potential user problems before real users encounter them. While your mobile app shouldn’t be overly perfect, you should eliminate errors that can shoot it down before it reaches your market. User interface and user experience changes can be made later.
To deploy your app effectively to your target market, you should submit it to various app stores. Ensure that your app adheres to all guidelines required by Google Play Store and Apple App Store before submitting it to avoid rejection.
App development doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult, and you don’t have to be a coding wizard to build an app. Several tools and resources can help you design your app to completion. The above steps can guide your development process.