Mobile App Development: Key Activities Unveiled

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Key Takeaways

The planning stage in mobile app development addresses high-level questions about market viability and includes market research and feasibility studies​.

During prototyping, feedback is collected on wireframes representing the app’s UI and UX, focusing on the MVP’s main features​.

In the design phase, UX and UI designers refine wireframes into high-fidelity models, and a marketing plan is developed​.

Early planning stages are crucial for assessing the market need and viability of a mobile app.

Prototyping is an iterative process that shapes the app’s functionality based on target audience feedback.

Designing an app involves not just UI/UX refinement but also strategizing its promotion and market presence.

Theoretically, knowing the stages of mobile application development helps you set realistic expectations for your team. Be ready for specific discussions in advance, and understand why a particular phase is essential. The stages of developing a mobile app are covered in this post. It is a well-acknowledged fact that Android and iOS are the most widely used mobile programming platforms.

The entire process is covered from the beginning of the project through the point at which a team delivers their output to you. For individuals who are interested in software projects and be on the same wave as successful businesses, this post will be helpful.

1. Research and preparation

The planning phase should start as soon as you have a concept for an app in your head. The planning stage should address several high-level questions concerning the viability of your idea in the current market environment. 

Researching the market and doing a feasibility study are typically included in planning. It is necessary to answer questions like “Are there other applications that do what mine will accomplish?” “Is there a need for my app?” and “What is the value proposition of my app?”

Before investing significant money in developing and promoting your app, it is crucial to know whether there is a market niche for your app idea.

Another critical decision is choosing the platforms your app will run on (iOS, Web, Android, etc.). You must choose between a hybrid strategy and developing natively for every platform if you plan to build for more than one. Consider the level of competition and the location of your target market when choosing the platform(s) that make logical sense for your app.

These subsequent two inquiries can assist you in determining not only whether the app as a whole is feasible but also where you would want to focus initial development efforts to create a proof-of-concept. To ensure that your application at least has a possibility of success, it is crucial to spend a lot of effort in advance on preparation. 

Pose the inquiries. 

1) Are there users of your app? 

2) Are there users ready to pay for your app? You should be able to reply “yes” to these queries confidently before moving on to the design process. Given that you haven’t put much money into this place yet don’t be frightened to stay a while. 

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It is better to have faith in your app’s market viability than to release it and discover that you should have catered it to a different audience or avoided building it.

2. Prototyping

During the prototyping phase, you begin quickly creating wireframes and making adjustments based on user feedback. A wireframe, which provides an overall sense of the operation and flow of your app without delving into the finer points of colour or design, can be viewed as a low-fidelity reference to the UI and UX of your app.

Focus on displaying the main features of your app’s MVP (minimum viable product) in your wireframes rather than giving them a comprehensive feature set to get input. You can use resources like InVision to gather feedback on the wireframes for your app. It would help if you collected information from a sizable portion of your target audience.

Without it, you risk creating an app that falls short in terms of usefulness for your target market. It is crucial to adopt an iterative process at this point so you may show as many mockups to your users as you can, allowing your app’s functionality plan to change and adapt.

Don’t be reluctant to take your time here because you want to be sure that your app will satisfy your audience’s demands.

Instead of returning to this stage in the middle of development, getting off on the right foot from the beginning is preferable. It is time to proceed to the design stage after revising the feedback you have obtained from your audience and ensuring that they favourably respond to your prototype.

3. Design

It is up to your UX and UI designers to improve the already authorised wireframes. This entails UI element placement and design, user flow definition, understanding of element hierarchy, etc. It would help if you now created high-fidelity models that your developers may use to create a functioning app.

These mockups should also include what happens when objects are tapped, swiped, moved, etc. If you don’t already have one, you should create a brand guideline to ensure that your app’s identity is recognisable and well-understood by both your developers and designers. Each screen must adhere to your rules for your app to be cohesively designed.

At this point, a marketing plan should also be developed. Typically, this entails planning how you will promote your app (social media, generating a blog, etc.). A website to gather emails from users who could be interested in your item, a periodical, or a following on social media might also be necessary.

4. Development

During the development phase, you start writing the code for the “ultimate” program version. Here, you use the input from the wireframes to inform some significant, possibly final decisions. Here is where techniques like agile or waterfall can be used. A mobile application should ideally be developed using an agile methodology.

Additionally, it’s crucial to incorporate an analytics engine into your app at this stage. Create events for all potential user interactions to track how your software is being used and the overall user flow. Once your app is made available to the public, you can utilize this information to further iterate on its design and learn more about your consumers to create the most excellent possible product.

5. Improve Your App by Testing It

Conducting a code review procedure throughout development ensures that there aren’t any significant flaws that need to be fixed at the end. Once your application is aesthetically pleasing and fully functional, it’s time to run one last usability test with your coworkers. You might discover bugs throughout this procedure that you had missed, but this is where you can make the final adjustments to your product.

6. Stages of testing for mobile applications

Stages of testing for mobile applications

6.1. Tests on the documentation

Testing of the documentation is done initially for the mobile app. It is often referred to as the preliminary stage. The approach to developing mobile apps begins with screen layouts, navigational diagrams, and other crucial elements that are difficult to see in the design. At this point, you must verify the completeness and consistency of all the desired characteristics. Before the app’s construction begins, this step allows all developers to identify and correct any differences.

6.2. Usability evaluation

This round of testing verifies that your software provides a user-friendly interface that complies with industry standards and enables comfortable browsing for all of your clients. It offers quick and simple mobile apps that might draw users. These three factors are used to evaluate the usability of your app:

  • Satisfaction
  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • testing of user interfaces (UI)

User interface testing ensures that the graphical user interface of your program complies with all requirements.

6.3. Compatibility test

Testing for compatibility and configuration ensures that your mobile app operates as efficiently as possible given the device’s hardware, screen resolution, operating system, and other factors. Compatibility evaluation does take care of 

  • Operating system configuration
  • Web browser settings
  • Configuring the database
  • Configuration of a device
  • Configuration of a network

6.4. Performance analysis

Performance testing can assist you in evaluating the responsiveness and consistency of your mobile application under a particular demand. The performance testing includes.

  • A load test
  • Tests for stress
  • Stability Evaluation
  • Quantity testing
  • Concurrency analysis

6.5. Security examinations

This testing procedure verifies your application’s security concerns. Additionally, it assesses the dangers of malware, infections, security, and illegal access to all critical data.

6.6. Certification Evaluation

The certification testing procedures examine if your software complies with all of the criteria of stores such as Google Play, App Store, as well as Windows Phone, as well as industry standards, license agreements, terms of use, and other regulations.

6.7. Release

This is where you will request clearance for your software on the App Store or Play Store. Understanding this procedure is crucial because you will use it when you bring a new software version. At this stage of the development procedure, you ought to have fixed the majority of the significant flaws that your testers discovered. Your program hence ought to be of a calibre that will meet the requirements of the store where you intend to submit it. 

6.8. Maintenance

This phase should develop concurrently with release and starts at the same time. When performing maintenance, you check your app’s performance, address any problems that may be there, and ensure that it keeps functioning as intended. Maintenance includes updating your app to support new devices or OS versions.

Your app requires ongoing maintenance at all times. You will continue to support your app until you decide to stop (possibly leaving your end-users in the process).

7. Conclusion

I hope you found the eight steps we suggest for any application development project helpful. You’ll find that it requires more work than just having a concept for a good or service that you want to offer by developing an app. 

However, there is no reason your app idea cannot evolve into a solid and effective solution that satisfies your customers, internally or externally, for many years with the correct planning, processes, and resources.

FAQs

Q. What is the first step in mobile application development?

The first step is the planning and research phase, which involves market research and feasibility studies to assess the app’s viability in the market.

Q. How important is prototyping in mobile app development?

Prototyping is crucial as it involves creating wireframes and gathering user feedback to refine the app’s functionality and design.

Q. What does the design phase in app development entail?

The design phase involves enhancing wireframes with UI/UX design, creating high-fidelity mockups, and developing a marketing strategy.

Q. What methodologies are used in the development phase?

Development methodologies like agile or waterfall are used, with a focus on coding the final version of the app and incorporating analytics.

Q. What types of testing are conducted in mobile app development?

Various tests are conducted, including usability, performance, security, and code review, to ensure the app functions correctly and meets standards.

Q. What does the release process of a mobile app involve?

The release process involves preparing the app for submission to app stores and ensuring it meets all the required standards and regulations.

Q. What is involved in the maintenance phase of app development?

Maintenance includes monitoring app performance, resolving issues, and updating the app to support new devices or OS versions.

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