For many organizations, mobile app development is easier said than done. The demand and expectations for "mobile first" digital experiences are sky-high, as are the challenges with underlying legacy platforms. The mobile app development process can vary from app to app, but there are several key steps that are commonly used in mobile app development.
This guide explains how to make a mobile app, focusing on seven integral steps.
Develop the Strategy
The first step is to define the app's goals, capabilities, and business model. Articulate the problem the app is trying to solve as well as the target users' needs, desires, behaviors, and relevant demographic information. Research the competition and ask, Are there apps that serve the same purpose? How are they performing? What are the reviews like? Learn from others and discover opportunities for differentiation.
Another important part of strategizing is to select the platform for the app. Is it a custom Android solution, an iOS app, or a cross-platform app? The type of app will determine many aspects of the course ahead.
Finally, choose a monetization method. Here are some common monetization solutions:
- In-app advertising
- App Store purchase
- Affiliate marketing
- Paid apps
Analyze and Plan
The next step in the mobile app development process is to analyze and plan. This is a practical step for hashing out all of the details. Address both the functional and non-functional requirements. The functional pieces are the tasks the app performs, and the nonfunctional requirements pertain to the quality of the software's performance.
Create a roadmap that delineates all the tasks the app needs to be able to do and sequence the capabilities in order of importance. Schedule rollouts first for the essential features and then for others that can be rolled out on future dates. Identify the skills needed to create the app so you can hire the right people and build the right technology stack.
Design the UI/UX
The user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) must be intuitive, user-friendly, engaging, and seamless. Determine what data is in the app, how it is displayed, and how users interact with it. Develop workflows to keep track of user interactions with the app to see how the app's navigation needs to be implemented. Create a digital sketch of the app, also referred to as a wireframe, to articulate the visual structure of the app's functionality. Create a style guide that details the app's design strategy to ensure it looks and feels harmonious. Consider the fonts, color scheme, spacing and positioning instructions, buttons, widgets, and other relevant design elements. Use the wireframe and style guide to create mock-ups to ensure the design is consistent throughout the app. Make a prototype to simulate the user experience and app workflow and test to detect and resolve issues.
Develop the Back and Front End
The backend and front end of the app must be developed. Building the backend involves creating databases and objects on the server side that power the app's performance. Choose the programming language and start to code. Building the front end consists in designing a user-facing platform that is fully optimized for iOS, Android, or cross-platform.
Test the Mobile App
Testing the mobile app is a process that begins with threat modeling in the early planning stages and continues with many other tools throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Make sure the app is stable, secure, and bug-free. Test the functionality to ensure the features work and performance to ensure it is responsive. It can handle volumes of users, security that it meets data protection standards, and platform and device to make sure it is compatible with devices and platforms.
Deploy the Mobile App
Deploy the mobile app according to the distribution model corresponding to the platform the app is designed for. Submit the app to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and follow the platform's instructions.
Keep track of app downloads, active users, average visit time, retention, churn, conversions, lifetime customer value, ratings, reviews, crashes, bugs, customer requests, and overall performance. Make regular updates to ensure the app is compatible with the latest operating system. Conduct continuous maintenance to maintain high performance standards.
Develop Mobile Apps with Encora
Fast-growing tech companies partner with Encora to outsource product development and drive growth. We are deeply expert in the various disciplines, tools, and technologies that power the emerging economy, and this is one of the primary reasons that clients choose Encora over the many strategic alternatives that they have.
Contact us to learn more about our mobile app development solutions.