As number of smartphone users is increasing, the global market becomes more and more full with apps that consumers use on their phones. Maybe you also have a great app idea is burning in your brain but you have no idea how to bring it to life and from what point you are to start?
It is easier than you think ! The mobile app development process can be divided into 6 stages.
STAGE 1: Idea
Good mobile app idea- good place to start. Get a pen and paper and make a deep dive into research. First of all, determine the target audience, as well as evaluate competitors. You’ll need answers to the following questions:
- What is the aim of the mobile app? Where does it fit in client`s mobile marketing plans?
- Who is the target audience?
- How do you want the app to be used by customers ?
- What problem (or problems) will the app solve for its users?
- What platform (or platforms) should be used?
- How your app is going to generate money. Will you charge your user to download it?
- What are competitors doing? Do they have apps? If so, what features do they offer?
- What is the app development budget?
- What is the deadline for development? When the app should be launched ?
- How are you going to market and promote the app?
- What features will it include?
STAGE 2: Technical specification
On this stage you are to create a detailed technical specification- document what sets out the computing logic of your application. But don't forget, there are difference between a technical specification and a design specification documents. A design specification largely focuses on the intended functions and look of your mobile application when technical one details how those functions will actually be implemented by code. If you’re not a technical person, find a qualified developer to write the document for you.
Your specification - your plan ! We all know that : If you want to build a skyscraper you must to have a plan, plan isn’t so important when you are going to build a tent.
STAGE 3: Design
- The first step on this stage will be Sketching . By creating sketches you are building the foundation for your future interface. In this step you visually conceptualize the main features and the approximate layout and structure of your application. The first, rough sketch of your app will help you to understand the mission. These sketches will be used as a reference for the next step of the project development.
- The second step on this stage will be Wireframing. On this phase put your ideas and features into one clear picture. Wireframing is the process of creating a mockup or prototype of your app. The idea is to show the connection between each screen and how the user can navigate through your app. Perfect wireframes - foundation for Perfect UX design.
- After wireframing is complete, the design stage begins. Before dive into code, developer/designer must design a User Experience (UX) where the interaction architecture of the design elements is to be created. A User Interface (UI) - creation of the look and feel of your app. This is a multistep process with its own review stages. During this stage each screen of the mobile app and the elements that may be present in the app like graphs or sliders, colors, styling, fonts, etc. will be designed. That is time when the look of your app is nailed down.Once you’re happy with the visual design, developer moves onto the development stage.
STAGE 4: Development
Here is the coding begins. Each development team chooses its own development approach and methodologies. Our team prefers Scrum Methodology where:
- A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
- During sprint planning, the team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list, a sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those pieces.
- The team has a certain amount of time — a sprint (usually two to four weeks) — to complete its work, but it meets each day to assess its progress (daily Scrum).
- Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
- At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially shippable: ready to hand to a customer, put on a store shelf, or show to a stakeholder.
- The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
- As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins to work again.
STAGE 5: Testing
You have built an app. Now it’s time to get some of your target users to help you test it.
UAT testing also called beta testing is a final testing performed when functional, system and regression testing is completed. The main purpose of UAT is to validate the software against the business requirements. This validation is carried out by end users who are familiar with the business requirements. UAT, alpha and beta testing are different types of acceptance testing. As user acceptance testing is the last testing carried out before the software goes live, obviously this is the last chance to test the software and measure if it’s fit for the purpose
STAGE 6: Launch
The time has come to submit your app to the stores. Make sure you are familiar with the submission guidelines. The process of publishing your app to the app store takes some time. Publishing process differs between Apple Store and Google Play. On iOS, Apple manually reviews each app submission and may ask you to make changes before publishing it, when Google play store auto review, and after 3-5 hours , the app will appear on the Play store. It's recommended to submit the app a week ahead of your target launch date so that you have time to make any last-minute revisions, by request.
If you have a good idea - make it live. Volpis team will be glad to go this way with you! Good luck!