Mobile applications have become an important part of everyone’s life. From playing games to ordering groceries, mobile applications have made life easier.
Mobile Application Development is like a black box if you do not understand how to code. Successful completion of any mobile application requires you to fully understand what it takes to execute it. A recent study suggests that about one in five small to medium-sized businesses have recently constructed a mobile application. Mobile Application Development course for beginners is increasingly gaining importance all around the world.
Mobile application statistics narrate an extremely compelling story for businesses who are still hesitant:
- Mobile apps account for 42 percent of all mobile sales for Fortune 500 companies.
- They are expected to reach close to $60 billion in revenue.
- The average consumer has about 30 apps installed on their mobile and spends about 35 hours a month availing its services.
Even with all the statistics and evidence available in favor of building an app, the decision to actually go ahead and perform the process of mobile application development cannot be taken lightly. It is crucial to understand what entails in mobile app development, especially when about 1.5 billion apps are present in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Businesses should gauge the market conditions and then reach a conclusion that how their app will fit both their marketing goals and market niche. With that said, here is your guide of the lifecycle of the Mobile Application Development and the purpose, objectives and challenges along the way.
Discovery, Market Research, and Mobile App Development Tech-Stack.
Businesses usually have good ideas for their apps, and that is definitely a good place to be in. But one cannot right away start building apps. Thus, the foremost step is to do a deep dive research- into your own business and potential clients, as well as that of your competitors. Following are a few questions that you may need answers to in the process:
- What do you want your mobile app to achieve? And where do you see it happening in your mobile marketing plans?
- How do you want your customers to utilize this app?
- Mobile platforms that you will use.
- Who is your target audience?
- Which mobile app development framework and language would you like to take?
- How are your competitors performing in the market? Do they have apps? If so, how do they market it?
- Budget you have decided for your overall app development.
- What is the timeline for development and when do you want to launch the app?
- How will you promote and market your app?
If these questions still remain unanswered, put your mobile app development team with people from applicable departments (marketing and sales, product development, executives, finance etc.) and review information that you have gathered during the research and discovery phases. Valuable feedback in these early stages will make the entire process much smoother going forward.
Establishing Mobile App Goals and Objectives
An important step while you are in the planning phase of your mobile application is setting your aims and goals. In most cases, determining an app’s benefits and features is a balancing act between the app’s overall budget and your in-house capabilities. However, one functionality that remains a top priority is customer engagement. And every app focuses on emphasizing it over exclusive services.
- What is the core appeal of your app?
- What features will the app include?
- Problems will your app have solutions to for your customers?
Wireframes and Storyboards
This is the stage where you, more or less, know what your app is going to look like and what features it will include. At this point, you should have developed a scope of work- what parts of the process will be taken care of in-house and what will be outsourced. Now is the time to start sketching the app out and creating a storyboard.
Plethora of online tools are available for wireframing an app; your goal should be to construct a clear picture of how your ideas and features will amalgamate together into a functional app. A roadmap, or a storyboard is to be created in order to demonstrate the connection between various screens and how the mobile users will navigate the app. The following pointers can be kept in mind:
- Focus on the user convenience and experience.
- Keep in mind the differences in the way people make use of a mobile app versus a mobile website.
- Find opportunities to make your brand visible.
Defining the Backend of your Mobile Application
Your storyboard and wireframes will serve as a guide for the backend structures you will require to support your app- think APIs, servers, data integration, data diagrams, and push notification services. In many cases, SMEs find choosing a mobile backend as a service (BaaS) platform logical, since they resolve common challenges such as paucity of in-house talent or scalability.
Finalize your Wireframe and Test your Prototype.
Prototyping is an integral step in the mobile application development process, because it offers you a chance to really evaluate design concepts, gather feedback, and identify flaws and dead links in the usability and flow of your mobile application.
It is a good idea to bring in people from outside of your mobile app development team to test and evaluate your prototype. Observe them when they interact with the app, see how comfortable they are while using the app and ask them for honest feedback. Work with a UI/UX designer to correct any shortcomings identified at this stage. Your goal is to create a high fidelity prototype and finalize your app design that will steer you through the actual app development process.
Mobile Application Development Process: Developing Web and Mobile Apps
You are now ready to move into the programming and coding phase. Here, you need to narrow down what mobile operating systems your app will work on. iOS developers will be needed for your app to work on the Apple App Store and Android developers, if you want your app live in the Google Play Store.
Cross platform development is definitely in your best interest. This ensures that your app is functional on every mobile device and doesn’t make any user feel left behind.
Test and Test Again
You have come a long way- You finally have a wholesome app concept with exciting visuals and perfectly placed texts. You must stringently test your app in a variety of real-world scenarios to sniff out and correct any technical flaws. May want to make use of one of the online mobile UX testing tools that give you real-time analytics and feedback. Be sure to test for cross platform compatibility of graphics, images, and user experience.
Preparing for Launch and Official Release
The steps you take to prepare for your app launch will have the greatest effect on its final success, and getting your marketing department involved is of paramount importance at this point. Keyword research is what marketing helps you with, which is essential for SEO and app store optimization (ASO), both of which are key for discoverability. Key components of your app’s landing website or page should include:
- Your app’s name and icon
- Promotional videos and screenshots
- A press kit
- Testimonials and user reviews
- Contact and support information
- Links to your social media accounts
Finally you have a smooth channel for feedback and you must be responsive to the concerns and queries of your users; a solution or timely update can work wonders for retaining your customers.
Ans – One of the best ideas is to gauge the feedback you get from users who have spent time utilizing the app. You, as a mobile app developer, should promptly be able to find ways to address them. Also, be open to innovating and testing your product.
Ans – It depends on factors like:
1. The advent of new technology that your app may utilize.
2. How competitor apps are performing.
3. Negative feedback that highlights weaknesses of your app, which you may have to address.
Ans – Demographics, Find out everything you need to know about your customers, and you’ll never remain in doubt as to whom you should be targeting. Their location, age, time, spent using the app, among other factors, are what you should focus on.