Mobile application development is the process of creating a software application that runs on any mobile device and utilizes a network/local data to work with remote computing resources.
The mobile app development process involves creating installable software (code, binaries, data, assets, etc.), implementing frontend and backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on the target devices.
So, if you want to develop an efficient and profitable mobile app, you need to understand all the phases involved in the mobile app development process.
In this blog, you will get to know the 5 innovative phases of mobile app development process that explains how to make an app, what are the technologies used in development process and finally, how to market the finished product.
Splitting the mobile app development work into a step by step process will help anyone to execute the task easier with less complication and also you can have a time frame which helps you avoiding delays in completing the project.
The key phases that are involved in any mobile app development project are listed below.
Whatever be your process, start with planning which helps you have a clear idea towards process/work.
Before you start your planning, you must ensure yourself whether you have the following details or not:
> A clear vision of what you are going to accomplish.
> Your application needs and how it works.
> Collective details about the application which makes the developers understand what they need to do.
Get an Idea: All successful apps and solutions began with a simple idea. The best way is to train yourself to think always over problems and a relevant solution for them. If the problem is identified, then you can find a solution easily.
Understand why the problem exist, what are the solution provided by others and discuss about the problem with others to have their minds over it.
Your idea should answer the following questions:
>Can the problem be solved?
>What is the possible solution to the problem?
>Is the solution being valid?
Competition analyzes: Analyzing your competitors will give you more insights about the application’s features. Find an app which provides a similar solution or deals with a similar problem and gather the following information:
>Is anyone is using these apps?
>How many users are using apps?
>User like and dislikes about this apps.
>What are the features and functionality of the apps?
>How these apps changed over a time and what are the changes.
>Challenges faced by the developer during evolution.
Once you gathered information about the app, compare it with your problem and solution and include features accordingly.
Before you start to develop, you need to know about all the features and functionality of the app which helps to understand what the app is going to do.
In agile methodology, the process begins with clients describing how the end product will be used and what problem it will solve.
Analyze the features which you need to include in the app such as:
>Who are all the user of the app?
>What are the most important features of the app?
>Which platform are you going to use?
>What are the overall app needs in terms of time, effort and money?
Gatherer all the requirements for developing the app and analyze whether requirements can be fulfilled or not.
Planning includes what are the needs of the project and how they can be fulfilled. It requires more attention because it outlines how you are going to handle the whole process.
Each process can be broken into individual models so that designers work on each process at a time. This help to finish the process quickly.
Platform Selection: Mobile Application Development Platform (MADP) is a tool that is used for designing, creating and maintaining the mobile application. The platform allows the builder to build, test, debug and maintain apps throughout the application lifecycles.
Before selecting the right platform, consider the following things:
>What type of app are you going to build such as native or hybrid?
>Which design strategies you needed to implement such as graceful degradation or multiple codebases or single codebase?
>Whether you need a third-party library or not?
The platform you have adapted must include all the features you need for developing the application.
Since the app you are going to develop is purely based on your requirement, choose platforms that provide usability and satisfaction to the end-user.
Designing is the most important phase of the mobile app development process because only in this phase the user interface is designed. Your application must offer user-friendly and seamless user experience.
The design stages can be broken into following activities:
Data Architecture and Workflows: Data must convey all the details of your app that the user wants. It should be collected in such a way that satisfies the user needs.
Workflow describes how will be the step by step working process of your app. Every solution has certain rules to be followed to achieve the right product, workflow helps to incorporate these rules with the information. Workflow allows you to know about the process requirements and how they can be used efficiently.
Wireframes: Wireframes are conceptual layouts; they give a visual structure to your app’s functional requirements. The wireframes provide the interconnection between various elements of visual design, thus establishing the flow of the app.
It is focused on the user interface, user experience and mostly on the application layout. Here you can organize the ideas and design concept in the right way so that it will help you in fixing issues in the earlier stage itself.
Prototypes: Prototypes help in simulating the user experience and the app’s workflow. Prototypes need more time to develop, but it offers an earlier stage of testing to your app’s functionality.
Agile methodology uses a prototype to ensure the functionality that is going to be implemented is right or needed to take a change in the design of the functionality.
According to agile methodology, development phase is given more importance where actual coding of your app takes place. It includes developing an environment, coding, preliminary testing and later installation testing.
The app development process must be an iterative process where each development work is broken into small milestones to build your app.
Iterative process is broken into 3 main phases
Planning: In the planning phase, the task needs to be performed in the developing phase for the current iteration is listed first. Each task is clearly defined with all the aspects like the objective of the task, requirements, expected result of this iteration.
Here developer will decide whether to reuse the code with changes or to create a new code for the assigned task. The time needed to complete this process is calculated at first, so it will easy to assign the next task accurately.
Development: Typical mobile app development process involves the development of front end, back end and API.
Front end is the user interface where they will directly interact with your app. The supporting function of your application will be the back-end server. It includes database and server-side support.
Applications Programming Interface (API) allows the application to communicate with other applications. APIs are not a database or sever it's a code that provides access to the server.
Iterative development phase
The iterative development phase begins with:
>Implementing the styles and functionality of your app.
>The finished functionalities are assigned back to a QA tester for testing.
>The test results are forwarded to the project manager for review.
The developer must understand the goals and features of the application which they are developing. Each phase of the iteration is needed to be tested and verified for their better performance.
Testing: Testing is the most important development phase because if bugs are not identified, then it directly affects the App. Mostly quality testing is performed to ensure whether the application is secure and stable.
According to the recent statistics, “44% of in-app defects are found by the user. 47% of apps need more time for testing.”
Review: At the end of each iteration, a review is done by the entire team to make what are the changes needs to be performed. In agile methodology, when an iteration ends, the finished functionalities of the app are delivered to the customer.
New features are added right after the completion of app development. In review, close communication with developers and testers is required to analyze requirements and planning.
Deployment: This is the final stage of the development process where you launch your App for customer usage. There are two ways it can be done:
> Deploying API: Your tested API is deployed into the production environment. You should ensure that your team has deployed the application in a scalable environment such as Amazon Web Server.
> Deploying API in App Store: Deploy your app in the Play Store to make your App available for the users. You need to make sure your apps are properly configured for release — fill out forms for each store, submit marketing materials, and write a description for your application.
For mobile app development process, you have to make a wise decision on choosing the development model, because it decides the complete outcome of the process. It's a tedious process for anyone to make an application but if the processes are done in the right manner, you are extremely rewarded.
Following an agile methodology development process makes your app development faster. It involves continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the app development lifecycle. Infinijith Technologies rigorously practices agile methodology and uses top-of-the-line technologies to improve productivity and quality.