The Great Breakdown of a Mobile App Development Process

What is a mobile app development process for you? A simple business journey or a unique project disrupting the market? Find out in this article

Every mobile app development has a lot of steps and sections that should be completed to produce a quality product. Almost every single part of it is essential to the final output. So before you raise a question, it does affect the process for the development of mobile apps.

So what kind of actions should you take? What kind of materials and artifacts have to be prepared before the mobile app development kicks in? What should a common entrepreneur be prepared for? To answer these questions, we will break down each business process for development of mobile apps in detail.

The start of your grand product development begins with an idea. A perfect start is where one can ask himself a lot of questions regarding the future product vision. Think about the applicability of a product, what kind of business or common problems should it solve. Discuss the potential places where you would like to see your product and its value.

Next, you should understand the underlying reason or root of the problem that you are trying to solve. For that, you want to discuss it with someone who had experience in developing similar products. Also, try to understand why it is so little or no product analogs have been produced. What kind of difficulties are there? Once you’ll understand that, evaluate how a mobile app could solve the problem.

Product Research

Competition

First things first, do a proper competitor’s research. We know that you’ve heard this point many times, that you’re sick of it. But it holds a key to many of your questions and every basic mobile app development has to include this research. For several reasons:

  1. Understand how a product (similar to yours) has reach success in your business field
  2. Pinpoint the market gaps, which others have ignored.
  3. Learn and avoid the mistakes from those who have experienced it Once you have an idea, you need to plan for your app’s success.

And there are two ultimate goals that you should accomplish during your business journey. The first one is to gain and grasp as much knowledge as it is possible to do so. That way you’ll have lesser chances to step on the same mistakes that others did and you’ll save time for unnecessary approaches. The last goal in mind is to tackle down the complexity level of your business industry. Someone might say that it might be complete nonsense and there isn’t much to it. However, the more you predict what people may think about your innovative product, the closer you’ll be at succeeding in your market.

Monetization

Monetization is like your business engine, which you have to acquire and configure. In a nutshell, you need to make money to let your business survive. The approaches and methods vary depending on the app type you are going to create. You can have in-app purchases, premium features, subscription payments, ad-revenue, and traditional paid apps. To comprehend which will suit your users better, take a look at the similar apps on the market. Determine how their users prefer to pay for the app services.

Marketing

Whether you have a great design executive who knows how to make a user-friendly interface, one of the most underestimated challenges is marketing. Even if you push the development process hard on your application, one thing that will remain is to solve the mystery of user adoption. The market is large and the variety of apps like yours is humongous. So try to understand what kind of approach you’re going to be using to gain more awareness.

App Design

Information Architecture

Every design process begins with the data that you are going to display on your man mobile application. You have to show what your service is all about. The first step towards building an information architecture is to understand what kind of data you should have. Try to identify its value, location, any special blocks, user types, and the user experience within the app journey.

As a final step, divide your user roles and privileges. This has to be done to provide limitations and restrictions for each presented live user. Know what areas he can gain access to and where he can venture forth, exploring more insights.

Wireframes

A wireframe is considered to be a sketch of your mobile application. Its main goal is to show the functionalities that your digital product will have. You can even say that it is a logical draft version that shows what your prototype will look like. Moreover, a wireframe sketch can be easily created with just a piece of paper and pencil or by using some free wireframe builders.

User Maps

User maps are like real-life journey maps that describe how your potential client will transfer from one section to another of your mobile app. Each section should fade in and fade out logically without any constraints. Make sure that it doesn’t take too many clicks for the user to find what he is looking for. And take yourself for a user map ride. See whether you’ll be able to easily progress through each iteration without the urge of deleting an app from your phone. It’s a good practice to do it and find any disconnections or weak points that you can fix.

Dynamic Models

Once all the previous steps of your app design process are finished, you can produce a dynamic prototype of a mobile product. No, it won’t be a functional one yet. Since all that it will contain is the design sprints that you have created combined in Invision or any other relevant software. By the time you’ll finish your dynamic model, you will understand how a user will pass through the app’s journey.

Modern Mobile App Development Process

Venturing to this step would mean that you’re half-way through your business journey! The real work starts right now. Try to follow up with the regular flow described below or at least refer to this mobile app development process diagram.

Planning

Before you dive deep into the mobile app development process steps, you need to stress out the development tasks. You should state definite requirements, such as estimated delivery time and description of the function. Once done, try to distribute them evenly among all of your developers depending on their level of experience and available time.

Backend Development

The main and the very middle of your mobile app development process is the backend development. Where you will make your first prototype and try to answer your target audience answers. Typically, you need to clear these essential things:

  • Technical architecture
  • Tech stack
  • Milestones

Once you define all of them (before you come to this part), you are finally ready to initiate your main development process. Declare what kind of features your app must have on its first iteration. As it is essential to include only two or maximum three functionalities to test your first MVP.

On the other hand, you have the deadlines of your mobile app development process steps. They highly will depend on the type of your application and the complexity of your functionalities. For instance, to develop a simple e-commerce app, one needs around 1 to 3 months for it to see the real customers. In contrast, if you are developing an educational platform with an embedded AI integration, that will take at least 1 to 3 years time.

Frontend Development

The front-end development is one of the main components for one of the general mobile app development process steps. The majority of all the designs and brand processes are constantly changing. Therefore, you have to move along the trending lines by keeping your mobile app attractive and friendly to satisfy your users on all levels. During the front-end work, your developers might need to use API sockets and specific stacks to manage the data inside an app. Thus, choose wisely what kind of set of technologies you want to use.

Testing

The testing process involves checking the integrity and the hidden flaws that your mobile application may have. This process should be done by the QA engineers and not your developers. Not because they’re not specialized in doing it. But because QA workers have much more experience, knowledge, and expertise in mobile app testing. Usually, the types of testing are as follows:

  1. Functional Testing - Made to ensure that all the core functions are working as intending from the beginning.
  2. Usability Testing - This type of testing is focused on user-friendliness to see whether your app can be considered a simple and intuitive one.
  3. Performance Testing - Performance is the key to win the heart of your customers. And making sure your app is fast with every action user does is one of those criteria.
  4. Fit and Finish Testing - Each produced design sprint has to match with every implemented function. For that reason, designers thoroughly check the combined frontend and backend integrations.
  5. Device-Specific Testing - Be confident that during your mobile app development process, every phone hardware is configured up to your digital product services.
  6. User Acceptance Testing - The last testing is mostly done through beta testing on each respective platform with the integrated user feedback form.

If a bug has been discovered, a QA engineer will assign the same task for a developer to fix the problem. Along with it, he will attach the description of the encountered problem, as well as the unit tests with it. Once every test has been completed, you can proceed with the submission or deployment of your mobile application.

App Deployment

Web API

During any core mobile app development process steps, one will need to host a backend server for his digital product. All the web servers have much one job to do and that is to transfer and manage the data inside the app. If it’s overloaded, you can say goodbye to your app uptime. So, before you go live, make sure that all of your servers can scale lots of potential users without any downtime periods.

To do that, you can use some SaaS platforms that can do it for you. For example, if your app is deployed on Amazon servers, then you can configure them to take on high loads of traffic. Of course, it will differ in the price plans that you are currently paying for. However, it can be much simpler to do that rather than let your team take extra time configuring scaling.

App Stores

The next step on your list is to submit your respective mobile application to a specific digital store. Don't think that this process can be done in a few clicks, as there are some certain conditions. First, you need to make sure that your app is following the guidelines created for each respective OS. Then you need to submit the forms filled with app technical details, upload some screenshots, and write a short app description.

In regard to the Apple Store, they have much stricter guidelines compared to the Android ones. So don't be surprised if you miss some small details and your app will get a rejection. In some cases, you may be able to address these issues with the Apple Team and try to push your app without any changes. In others, you have to align your app according to the guidelines. Nonetheless, if your mobile app has been admitted and was published publicly with success, you may proceed to the next step.

App Monitoring

Once the idea is carried over through the analysis, development, and deployment stages, it’s time to release it to the public! But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your work is done. The monitoring process is an essential part of your mobile app development process steps. Take a look at what points you need to take into consideration.

Performance

Every mobile app optimization has to be met with performance checking and upgrading. More specifically, technical performance, aka “how fast does your application can open on your phone”. It may sound as a satire, but it is true that it is essential for your users. Thus, by finding the gaps and calculating the time required to perform certain actions, will improve your performance.

You’re going to be kidding many entrepreneurs and mobile app companies, if you think that you’re finished after the app is published. You’re going to be the same effort as you did initially. By solidifying and perfecting each mobile app development process steps for new features. Not only that, but every update or upgrade includes bug fixes, various minor or major changes and of course the performance updates.

Crashes

Lots of libraries can be used to monitor application crashes. Exactly they provide data about the user's actions, his device, and other technical information significant to resolve the occurred issue. Add a custom feedback box or a section where a user can submit all of these details whenever his app will crash unexpectedly. Every crash should be treated with attention, as you're fixing the issue, not for one user, but all of them.

Analytics

A treasure trove of knowledge for any given mobile app is its analytics. Examine the details of every statistic data that you can get, where most of the information will be all about your users. Like age, location, type of mobile phone, language, etc. You can configure action calls for every button the user is going to click. This is done to understand the user behavior, psychology of your customers and where you should invest your time and money into.

App Store

Every digital store has some valuable things that a company owner has to take note of, which are ratings and reviews. Exactly these two points are the ones that will somehow affect and impact your overall app awareness state. If you reply to the users, they will notice that you are taking their suggestions and recommendations or reward them with free bonuses. So it takes a little effort and assistance for your clients to boost the reputation of your application.

Conclusion

All in all, the modern mobile app development process steps can be hefty and complicated ones. Lots of steps, sections, and nuances are connected deeply, that you can’t throw them away. Since if you ignored one, you’ll be risking the total crash of your entire business.

On the other hand, the mobile app development process can be certainly an exciting and extremely adventurous path to take. There are many rewards to get and so much experience to gain. So if you are preparing an app for your future business, rest assured that our guide will put you on the right track.