How to get from an Idea to a Feasible Product
From games and social networks to eCommerce or food delivery apps, one thing is for sure – the number of mobile apps available on App Store and Google PlayStore gets bigger by the day. In fact, according to Statista, more than 3000 new Android apps are released in the Google Play Store every day on average. And what do all these apps have in common? They all follow a standard mobile app development process. Today we are going to share this step-by-step guide in order to develop a successful mobile application. Let’s dive in!
1. Planning and Product Definition
If you’re looking to build a mobile app with a team of highly skilled and experienced app developers, the first step would be setting up an online meeting. This is helpful to discuss your idea. Based on this, the mobile development company will assure the necessary skills and resources to help you take this project forward. Asking the right questions is more important than you think, here we have a non-exhaustive list:
- What programming languages do you work with for developing native mobile apps?
- What is your experience in developing cross-platform apps?
- Have you worked on similar apps?
- What monetization strategies do you recommend for my app?
- What do you need from me in order to provide a quote?
- Which mobile analytics should I include into my app?
- What is your QA process?
- Do you provide app maintenance and support?
The first team-steps
Once you find the right app development team for your needs and agree on the engagement model. The first phase of the mobile app development process is coming up with a plan to transform your idea into a successful app. This is a team effort, so make sure you provide enough insights to your app development agency. This is the process to help identify the target market for your app, in order to develop a useful mobile app. This task is in tight correlation with the app’s goals and objectives. The development team will need as many industry-specific insights as possible in order to design an app that really meets the expectations of your target market. The next step of planning to develop a mobile app is researching the competition. What do they offer, what do users appreciate the apps for, what are their weaknesses. The most important question is: how will your app differentiate from its competitors.
Based on all the insights you and your app development team gather, the Product Manager will start working. He will prepare a product roadmap that will highlight all the mobile app requirements, along with a delivery date for each and every one of them. If costs, time or resources are a concern, it’s definitely a good idea to define a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and prioritise this for the initial launch.
This represents the end of the planning and product definition phase. This way, you will have a clear picture of your app idea. It is helpful because you can move on to the next step of the mobile app development process: ensuring your app offers a seamless user experience.
2. UX/UI Design
If you are not familiar with the UX/UI Design term, you need to know that the success of your mobile app depends mostly on it. That’s because users nowadays don’t only focus on the benefits of an app. They constantly aim for an effortless user experience with a modern look.
Your mobile app UX/UI design needs to be user-friendly, interactive and, maybe most important, highly intuitive. For this to happen, you need to understand your potential user’s behavior. Based on this, you can identify every possible interaction a user can have with the app.
If you already have a design in mind, let your mobile app designers know. This will help them a lot when creating the wireframes for your app. This quick and cost-effective approach for designing app layouts will be the basis of your app’s aesthetics. The next step will be to define a style guide that includes aspects like the fonts and the colour scheme the app will use. If you don’t know where to start on the design front, we recommend you to study the app design guidelines provided by Apple for iOS and Google for Android app.
When applying your style guide to the app wireframes, a mockup will be generated. This way, you can have a better understanding of your app’s visual design. Tools like Figma or Invision will take the mobile development process to the next level. They allow you to simulate the user experience and offer early-stage testing of your app’s design and functionality.
The actual development in the mobile app development process starts on the back-end. Here, things like databases and server-side objects are included in order to support the desired functionalities. The web programming language differs depending on the type of app you need. An iOS app development process will need Objective-C or Swift programming language. However, an Android app development needs to be built with Java or Kotlin. Depending on the complexity of the project and its requirements, the development team will follow one of the recognized software development methodologies such as Waterfall, Agile, Scrum or Lean. This is helpful in order to better handle the complexity and variability involved in development projects.
Next, the mobile app developers need to use an API (Application Programming Interface) to link the app with the back-end server. Only then we can talk about the front-end mobile development. This is the process that delivers the mobile app and end-user will use.
4. Testing and Quality Assurance
The initial feedback of a mobile app depends on the Quality Assurance testing made during the mobile app development process. Don’t limit to the app’s functionality and aesthetics. Your QA team will also need to test user experience, performance, and security on different mobile devices and platforms in order to ensure smooth working for all users. If you opted for both iOS and Android app, your testing process should also include a comparison between both versions of the mobile app.
Launching a native mobile app requires submitting your app to the app stores. But, first of all, you will need to prepare some metadata. Some info can be the app’s official name, an icon, a description of the functionalities, keywords, as well as some screenshots with the app. If you choose to launch a Minimum Viable Product first (a basic version of the application, with the most important core features) you can use it as an opportunity to get a validation of your idea from actual users. It is also helpful to get useful feedback to guide future development phases. This strategy of releasing an MVP first is great for keeping your costs lower. Also, this allows you to get an idea for potential strengths and weaknesses of your app idea.
Keep in mind that in Google Play Store the app becomes available within a few hours of submission, without any review process. However, the Apple App Store has a review process that may delay your expected launch date. This is why we at Redbee Software have implemented a risk management strategy when it comes to deploying on iOS. This way we can identify potential problems in the early stages of development.
Within the first days of the launch, while promoting and monitoring app downloads, you will also need to check eventual crash reports, and users feedback and suggestions.
Our mobile developers at Redbee Software provide mobile app development services to companies across the globe. We focus on industries such as education, fintech, healthcare and media. If you are interested in building a mobile app for your business, or you have more questions about the mobile app development process, feel free to book a consultation with one of our experienced app developers.