Imagine your life without mobile applications in 2021. The pandemic would have been more disastrous if we didn’t have mobile apps for different purposes. It blows your mind, doesn’t it? If this doesn’t blow your mind the next stat will make you go wow!
In 2021 mobile apps generated $693 billion of revenue through app stores and app advertising.
Amazing! If that’s what you think, so do we. Now if you are thinking of developing a mobile application but are not aware of the mobile app development process. Congratulations! You have reached your desired destination.
This article will guide you through crucial steps of mobile application development and its lifecycle.
Important steps of Mobile App Development Process
To get a full-fledged, error-free and best-quality Mobile App is the main purpose of any business owner as well the app developer. To end up having such an app, an extensive pre-planning and systematic procedure are required. So, here we come up with steps of the mobile app development process- a detailed and step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Strategy
This phase of the mobile app development process is the jumpstart of transforming your idea into a successful app. Here you define the strategy for achieving the goals by gathering requirements.
The purpose of the app may differ, but if you follow these parameters you will get a perfect strategy for your mobile app development.
Here you need to question yourself regarding the idea you have. What is the business requirement? Does my idea match the audience/customer’s perspective?
This will help you get an idea of what is your audience/ customer pool.
Once you have cleared up the objective you have to analyze your rivals. You will get a clear vision regarding the development of your app and how to make it better than your competitors.
The mobile application needs to meet the platform specifications. Select the best platform suitable for your app.
Step 2: Analysis & Planning
This step starts with the transitions of objectives and details and shapes them into real projects.
Analysis and planning involve defining use-cases and detailed functional requirements.
This leads to,
Dividing the project into different delivery milestones.
Minimum viable product (MVP):
If cost is the concern then it is important to define the MVP for better success for the app.
Identify your platform because there are different platforms with different technology stacks. So if you want your mobile app to be compatible with both android and iOS you will need a team including both sets of developers.
Step 3: UI/UX design
The purpose of this step is to provide an outfit for your application. This means a smooth and effortless user experience for your customer.
For companies, it’s essential to address every possible interaction of users with the app through flow diagrams. This will also give a hint to the app’s navigation structure and will be easy to get accuracy in design.
Also Read, The best UI design tools in 2022
Following are the parameters to focus on in UI/UX:
✦ Style guide
A style guide is documentation of application design standards. This include:
- Font Family
- Color scheme
- App design
Style guides are for strategizing the app’s design with respect to the company’s brand. A proper style guide takes productivity of the app to next level. Style guides will also with consistency in apps appearance and one should consider app design guidelines from Apple and Google.
Wireframes are basically digital sketches of the designs you planned. It provides an approximate layout for your app’s functional requirements. This shows the priority in wireframes is user experience. This is cost-effective as there is no focus on color, schemes, and styles. The wireframe provides the device-specific design so irrespective of any platform it will provide specific and intuitive UX.
Mockups are the ultimate renderings of your app’s visual design. Mockup is applying a style guide to the app wireframes. Adobe Photoshop is the most popular tool for creating high-fidelity mockups.
The mockups provide the visuals using static design. These can be further transformed into click-through prototypes using tools like Figma.
Prototypes come in handy for simulating the user experience and apps workflows to get a rough estimate regarding how the product might appear after completion.
Step 4: Development
This is a critical phase that involves the majority of work. The typical mobile application development lifecycle is not different than other methods. It also involves three parts:
✦ Front end
The front-End part is what end-users use and so it is also termed client-side programming. All the structure, design, and interactive features you observe is using front end programming.
For offline functionality, the local storage data is used allowing users to access the app. For the front-end, you have to choose the technology stack associated with each mobile OS platform.
For Native Mobile App Development,
Android: Java or Kotlin
iOS: Objective-C or swift
Mobile application development is not restricted to these techniques you can always go with a different set of technologies suitable for your project.
✦ Back-End (Server-Side)
This part covers database and server-side objects for the interaction of functions of the mobile app. If using an existing database, you might need to change the configurations to achieve the desired mobile app functionality.
The configuration of components in Back-End with the objects created during development should have proper testing done.
✦ API (Application Programming Interface)
API can be considered as a mode of communication between the Front-End and Back-End. API consists of different sets of protocols, practices, and tools. APIs for mobile app development are also used for GUI components.
Step 5: Testing
This step ensures the following aspects of your mobile app,
To achieve this you need to prepare test cases covering all the possible scenarios followed by rigorous testing.
Test cases provide the idea of the flow in your app. The functional requirements and objectives help to generate accurate test cases. So the involvement of a quality assurance (QA) team in the analysis and design steps would boost up the mobile application development process.
Your mobile app should go through the following testing phases for better quality.
Also Read, How many types of web development ?
Following are some of the Types of Software Testing:
#1 User Experience testing
This testing involves the visuals, workflows, and interactivity of the app. Focus is on consistency in the following features:
- Color scheme
- Padding between data
- Icon design
#2 Functional Testing
The precision in features and functionalities is important for the success of your mobile application because it will be covering logic for your application.
The functionality of the app must have as many users for exploring and executing every potential testing condition. Generally, when two users access the same feature it is possible to get two different outputs even with the same conditions.
So let’s say if two users are signing up the form and they enter passwords as per requirement and one user is able to signup while the other isn’t. This type of situation is always evident in this testing and it leads to early detection of small errors.
For achieving the best possible outcome this phase is further divided into:
System Testing: The app working as a whole is tested
Unit Testing: Checks the individual functions of the app
Tools: Selendroid, Robotium , Appium, Ranorex.
For Android and iOS platforms it is recommended that you have a feature comparison between them.
#3 Performance Testing
For better performance, the mobile app should have met the following criteria.
- Response time: users requests processing time
- Speed: loading of the app’s screen
- Network: bandwidth efficiency
- Device speed: Efficiency of the app must remain intact irrespective of device type i.e. no memory leaks or battery draining in any device
- Size: the app size must not exceed the original estimated size
When your app has passed through these criteria’s don’t stop, keep testing it. Use API for mobile app development and back-end for testing concurrent user count. The app should be capable enough to handle the load and perform smoothly despite the spike in the number of users.
Tools : Neoload, New Relic, Apteligent
#4 Platform Testing
New mobile devices enter the market frequently now. They all have different designs, hardware, and firmware. The OS also provides updates to become more efficient.
These days your mobile application needs testing in different OS and also different devices. This increases the complexity of testing and that impacts the budget of the project. Because of this factor companies go with a singular platform approach.
The best example is Apple. They build their mobile applications in a controlled and composed environment. The application doesn’t need testing on specific devices iPad and iPhone.
#5 Security Testing
In today’s digital world security is one of the top priorities, especially for enterprise mobile apps. Hackers can manipulate mobile applications. Any potential loophole or a back door compromises the security of the application and hackers pounce on this vulnerability.
The security in mobile applications or webpages ensures that the session expires after a certain period of time where Almost all mobile applications go with this approach and ensure the security feature.
Tools: Retina CS community, Veracode, Google NogotoFail, and SQL Map.
Step 6: Deployment and Support
For deployment of the mobile application, you will require a developer account with both the Apple app store and Google play store.
Requirements of releasing an app in-store along with Metadata:
- Apps title
- Launch icon
After the submission in respective app stores, the app goes through a review process. The review process may take more time depending on the quality of the app you have launched and the guidelines being matched or not.
The review process of an iOS app takes more time but Android allows launching the app within a few hours of submission.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) monitor the usage of the application and its success. Frequent crash reports and user-reported issues are also generated.
Closing up the Article
Hope the article guided you through all the crucial steps of the mobile app development process. Are you planning to develop a mobile app? Confused between Native or Hybrid? Check out our blog Native vs. Hybrid to get an insight into these two approaches.
We love queries! If you are still stuck in a decision loop don’t wait, call our expert and hire an excellent mobile app development team for transforming your amazing idea into a mobile application.