With the revolutionizing technology, the mobile app market has expanded. Whether it’s blockchain, fintech, media & entertainment, or any other industry, mobile app development has become a need for all.
As per Manifest, a few back 21% of Millennials open apps on their mobile devices about 50 times. The Statista also predicts that mobile app revenue will hit approximately by the end of 2022. $430.90 billion. Eyeing these figures, the mobile app development market will not face any downfall.
Worldwide, business owners are choosing to develop mobile apps to expand their customer base and catch up with improved sales.
The changing business needs and increasing user demands may transform mobile apps. Still, the mobile application development process will likely stay the same, with a few minor changes.
This post will uncover the entire mobile app development cycle, including the latest insights, steps to build an app, and much more. Following the below app development stages, you will surely make an interactive and highly engaging mobile app.
Why Invest in Mobile App Development?
To explain this point, let’s focus on some app market facts and figures below:
In the forecast period of 2022 to 2030, the app development market is likely to expand at a CAGR of around 13.4% and, by 2023, will hit an estimated value of approximately $565.40 billion.
Additionally, mobile apps are expected to reach $613 billion and even more in 2025. Among all the app categories, mobile games will be the biggest contributor to the app market revenue.
Per records of Q3 of 2022, the Google Play store will showcase around 3.55 million Android apps for download, whereas the App Store will display roughly 1.6 million iOS apps.
Source: Grand View Research
After checking these numbers, it’s time to know how investing in mobile app development is beneficial.
Improving Customer Engagement And Loyalty
Businesses can build and solidify their relationships with customers through a mobile app by offering them better access to your products and personalized services.
Apps permit customers to interact easily with your business, which leads to increased engagement, loyalty, and ROI.
Catching Up with Innovative Trends
Not being restricted to media sharing, calling, playing games, and more, mobile apps are transforming to match the steps of revolutionizing time.
Many brands invest in mobile app development, integrating the latest AI and AR caliber, and several cloud services. Such mobile apps are handling complicated business challenges, witnessing more companies adapting to this trend of innovation and becoming industry leaders.
Enhancing Employee Experiences
With mobile apps, businesses let their staff access real-time work-relevant information and customer data regardless of location. Besides, employees don’t need to get stuck in the web of manual and repetitive jobs, improve their skills, etc.
Building New Revenue Sources
Besides permitting companies to enhance their business process, mobile apps can guide a pathway to recognize new expansion areas. Such apps also assist companies in digitizing business practices and find them a plethora of opportunities to provide new products and services to their current customers and unlock their doors to engage new ones.
Read More: How to Develop a Blockchain Wallet App
What Is Mobile App Development Process (Cycle – infographics)
Whatever the features, functionalities, and business requirements, the process followed to develop a mobile app is always the same.
Let’s elaborate on all the mobile app development steps to create a user-friendly mobile app.
What are the Mobile App Development Steps?
1. Project Requirement Gathering
In the starting phase, this process helps identify the project’s needs that can be managed all through the project timeline. It may take time to gather requirements, but it may lead to successful and expected project results.
Sign NDA Before Sharing Idea
One of the important processes of mobile app development is signing an NDA, which the companies can’t miss. Why?
Well, asking your app development company to sign an NDA to keep your app development project details confidential is essential. By keeping your project information uncovered, you will stay confident when it comes to the protection of project-specific facts and data.
What Problem Is Your App Gonna Solve?
Next, it’s time to define the problems your solution will resolve after its launch, and that also quite concisely. This is usually tagged as a problem statement in which you can choose to describe the primary problems your app would address in one to two sentences.
First, your target should be to make your app capable of resolving one essential issue for its users; you can plan to add more later. Be sure to keep this problem statement focused, as it will act as a communication tool that will help your team concentrate on the project’s objective from the start.
Recognize Business Use Case
A written description of how users will conduct the jobs on your site is known as a use case. It considers the user’s perspective to outline how a system responds to a user request.
Each use case is described as a sequence of easy steps, which starts with a user’s objective and ends when it’s achieved.
You should let the project managers know about the use cases as they assist you in communicating your strategy to stakeholders. This way, the stakeholders will get to know who your customers are and how they interact with your app.
App Development Budget
Ahead, it’s time to set your app development budget to help you deliver the expected and best outcomes.
Above that, while budgeting, be sure you consider varied factors affecting the app development cost, like the team you hire, its location, features, and functionalities you want to include in your app.
App Development Timeline
An app development timeline may make or break an app before it gets rolled out. The longer it takes to build an app, the more expensive it will appear. So, be sure you know how long it will take to develop your app.
2. Analysis and Planning
In this stage, analysis and planning start with defining use cases and getting detailed functional needs. After you identify the app needs, you should craft a product roadmap in which you need to prioritize mobile app needs and, next, group them into delivery milestones.
So, target defining your minimum viable product (MVP) and keep this as your top priority for the initial launch.
An enterprise or a consumer, whichever app you are developing, starts with its chief objective identification. For that, you should answer the below questions:
- What issues will your app solve?
- Who are your target users?
- What outcomes do you want your app to attain?
Next comes researching potential or existing competitors. Search for apps serving the same purpose on the app market, check their performance, and the number of installs and positive reviews.
This way, you will discover the mistakes others have already made in your industry. Besides, you will learn about the mobile app trends in similar categories and how you can emerge with something unique to stay ahead of the curve.
This step will give you a comprehensive description of the features and functions of your app. Besides, they explain how the app will work and respond to users’ requests.
Technology Stack, Platforms
The analysis and planning phase’s last part embraces the identification of the skills that you need for your mobile project.
For iOS app development, you need to hire experienced iOS developers. And for developing a cross-platform app, you would need someone with expertise in the required technologies, such as Xamarin, Titanium, and others, that best suit multi-platform app development.
So, remember to consider the technology stack aspect before you move ahead.
Defining your app’s roadmap is similar to being set for the future and creating a detailed plan of steps to reach the objectives you have marked already.
While making your product roadmap, you are supposed to pen down all the goals you want your app to attain. Next, highlight the top-priority app functions and consider the features you would like to add later.
In such a way, one day, you would launch your successful Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with no room for potential errors.
Choose the right monetization for your mobile app. Let’s check a few:
- In-app purchases: You can provide users the power to purchase extra features or virtual items within your mobile app.
- Freemium model: You may also provide a basic version of your app for free but charge an amount for premium features or content.
- Advertising: You can also display ads within your app and earn revenue based on the number of clicks or impressions the ads receive.
- Paid app: You may change your app users a one-time fee to download and use it.
- Subscription model: You can allow users to subscribe to your app monthly or annually, offering them access to premium features or content.
Eventually, your mobile app’s best suitable monetization strategy will rely on your target audience, the value your app delivers, and the competitive stage. Experimenting with diverse strategies to check what works best for your mobile app may be useful.
Recommended Read: Food Ordering App Development Company
3. Mobile App UX UI Designs
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are essential aspects of mobile app development. UX design targets the complete feel of the app and its ease of usage to accomplish the objectives. UI design, on the other hand, UI design targets the app’s visual elements, like layout, color scheme, and typography.
To create a good UX and UI for your app, try the following:
- Keep it simple
- Include consistent design elements
- Keep track of the user’s context
- Test your app to get feedback
By following the above tips, you can develop a mobile app that is functional and aesthetically engaging, which can assist in improving the complete user experience.
Mobile App Wireframe
The app’s user interface’s visual representation is a wireframe, a low-fidelity design that marks the app’s layout and structure.
Typically, wireframes are created in the early design process before finalizing the app’s visual design. A better way to communicate the app’s functionality is a wireframe. It helps gather feedback on the app’s navigation and layout.
You can create wireframes using the best tools, like Figma, Balsamiq, or Adobe XD.
Follow the best practices to create better mobile app wireframes that may communicate the app’s flow and functionality clearly:
- Use placeholders
- Be consistent while using design elements
- Target user flow
App workflow design includes developing a series of tasks or steps that are required to conduct a specific process or goals within a mobile app. You may use app workflow design to optimize the app’s effectiveness and efficiency and improve the user experience.
Style Guide & Moodboards
A style guide is a document that summarizes the design elements and guidelines for a mobile app. It may comprise details on typography, layout, color palette, and other design elements. A style guide ensures that the app has a consistent look and feel throughout and can be utilized as a reference for designers and developers performing on the app.
A visual representation of the overall look of a mobile app is a mood board. It may incorporate images, colors, and other elements that surface the desired look and feel of the mobile app. Moodboards can be crafted using Adobe Creative Cloud, Pinterest, or Canva.
You may follow style guides and mood boards to ensure your app’s consistent look and feel, including appealing images and colors.
A visual representation of a product, such as a mobile app, is a mock-up design that shows how the product will look and function. Mockups are usually crafted early in the design process to get feedback on the app’s functionality, layout, and overall look and feel.
Several tools can be used to craft mockups for a mobile app, like Figma, Adobe XD, and InVision; you can use any to craft your app’s mock-up design.
A functional representation of a mobile app is a prototype design that permits users to interact with the app in a way that mimics the experience. Prototypes can be created using tools like Adobe XD, Figma, and InVision.
This way, you may know how your app will respond to your requests.
4. Mobile App Development – Coding, Configuration
Time to give the expected structure to your app development project. This process includes the coding part and the development of your app.
The mobile app development process includes varied activities, such as creating a suitable development environment, creating different code parts, preliminary testing, and developing a mobile app that you can install and test.
Usually, four aspects are considered while developing an app:
- Front End Development
- Backend End Development
- API Integration
- Server & Database Configuration
Front End Development
The development of the user-facing side of an app is known as front-end development. It incorporates the user interface (UI) and visual design. Front-end developers craft the look and feel of the apps and ensure that they are easy to use and visually appealing.
Backend End Development
The development of the server side of a mobile app is known as back-end app development. It includes the functionality and logic of an app that strengthens the app. You need to hire backend developers to create the algorithm and logic that let the app perform expectedly and integrate it with external APIs and databases.
Back-end developers use varied languages, like Java, Python, and PHP, to develop the app’s back-end. They may also use frameworks, like Django or Spring, to pace the development process.
API (Application Programming Interface) integration integrates a mobile app with external APIs to access extra functionality, like databases or external services. It can also be used to append features or functionality to the app.
Server & Database Configuration
It incorporates customization of your app environment and database server. Also, you can manage the database server performance and the availability of functions. You must configure your app’s connectivity to link client admin tools and apps.
5. Quality Assurance & Testing
While developing a mobile app, you should test it more frequently to keep the cost low and emerge with a high-quality app. As you move ahead in the mobile app development cycle, it becomes expensive to fix the bugs.
A QA team would help you conduct essential test cases to ensure the app performs flawlessly.
Importance of Testing
Testing is a vital step in the software or app development process as it makes sure that the application is of high quality and fulfills the defined requirements. Some of the benefits of testing are:
- Identifying issues and defects
- Enhancing app quality
- Meeting end-user and customer expectations
- Diminishing the risk of failure
- Saving resources and time
Types of App Testing
Various types of testing can be performed on an application, including:
A type of testing that targets evaluating the app’s functionality are known as functional testing. It ensures that the app holds the caliber to conduct the jobs and functions for which it was developed and meets all the specified requirements.
What Included in Functional Testing
Typically, functional testing includes a range of distinct types of testing, like
- Unit testing
- Regression testing
- Sanity testing
- Smoke testing
- Integration testing
- Black Box testing
- White-box testing
- User-acceptance testing
Non Functional Testing
A type of testing that targets evaluating the non-functional aspects of an app is known as non-functional testing. Non-functional testing is relevant to how the app performs rather than what it does. It is an essential step in the mobile app development process that ensures the software is performant, reliable, and easy to use.
What Included in Non-Functional Testing
Typically, non-functional testing includes a range of distinct types of testing, like
- Load testing
- Stress testing
- Volume testing
- Security testing
- Penetration testing
- Installation testing
- Migration testing
- Compatibility testing
6. Deployment & Launch
For a native app launch, you need to submit it to the suitable app store, Android apps on the Google Play store, and iOS apps on Apple App Store.
For your app submission on the store, you should use a name and a bundle identifier distinct from your app’s QA version. This way, you can segregate QA and the app’s product version. Before releasing app upgrades, you should test it constantly.
In the app store, the app release would need to create metadata, including:
- Your application title
- Short description
- Launch icon
- Banner graphic
- App store screenshots
- Promotional video
If your app demands users to log in, you should offer a test user account as a part of your app submission process. Once your app submits, it undergoes the app store review process. Well, it may take a few days, depending on your app quality and how closely it follows the app store’s guidelines.
You will get a notification, including your app rejection reason, if your app gets rejected. After you resolve issues, you can submit your app again and undergo additional review until your app is approved and published on the app store.
App Listing at iOS App Store
For your app listing on the iOS App Store, you will need to hold a developer account with Apple. The app listing process on the App Store generally involves below steps:
- Enroll in the Apple Developer Program
- Make your app ready for submission
- Use the App Store Connect tool for your app submission.
- After approval, release your app.
Generally, the process for an app listing on the iOS App Store needs detailed planning and preparation to ensure that your app fulfills all of the essential needs and is ready for release.
App Listing at Google Play
You will need to hold a Google Play Developer account for your app listing on Google Play. The app listing process on Google Play generally includes the following steps:
- Create a Google Play Developer account.
- Make your app ready for submission.
- Use the App Store Connect tool for your app submission.
- After approval, release your app.
Generally, the process for an app listing on Google Play Store demands precise planning and preparation to ensure that your app achieves all of the basic requirements and is ready for release.
Post Launch Activities
After your app gets published on the app stores, you should observe its usage by tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and analytics platforms for computing your app’s success. Also, check crash reports frequently or other user-reported issues.
You can motivate users to offer your brand feedback and your app’s suggestions. Besides, promote support for your end-users and, if needed, patch your app routinely with improvements to keep users engaged.
Mobile app updates are available to users instantly after the submission and review.
App Promotion and Marketing
App promotion and marketing are essential activities that help increase the visibility and adoption of a mobile app. Some common strategies for promoting and marketing an app include:
- A marketing strategy development
- An app store listing optimization
- Social media and other online channels usage
- Offer rewards and incentives
- Influencer marketing utilization
- Paid advertisement consideration
Various strategies and tactics are there that you can use for app promotion and marketing. But, you should choose one that may suit your business goals.
Effective execution of the mobile development process leads to successful mobile app development.
From hiring a mobile app development company to app launch and its maintenance, app development will be a constant process with the technology revolution. Besides, it’s essential to know that mobile app development is not a one-time job. An app should undergo a constant improvisation of the functionality and features after the app release and per the market trends.
One more crucial step you should follow to start your app development process, hire an expert app development company.