The mobile app industry is growing exponentially. There are now more than 1.5 million apps in the iOS App Store and Google Play combined, according to Statista. That’s an enormous number of applications for smartphones and tablets.
With that many apps available, it’s important for people who develop mobile apps to understand the entire development process from start to finish. Here are the key steps for app development:
Step 1: Creating an Idea
Before any coding can happen, a person or team has to develop the idea of the mobile app they are going to build. The idea can come about in many different ways. It could be an improvement on an existing application that already exists, or it may just be something entirely new that is designed with mobile use in mind. This is where having a general knowledge of what is available in the iTunes Store and Google Play comes in handy. Some great apps have gone undiscovered by mainstream audiences because someone wasn’t aware of their popularity before trying to develop their own version of them. Another helpful tip would be, if you develop an app idea, test it out on people who have never seen anything like it before.
Step 2: Cost Estimation
Once the development team has had a chance to develop an idea for an app, they will need to come up with a budget estimate. At this point in the process, they should have some sort of wire frame or mock-up of what their application will look like when finished. This allows them to develop a more accurate estimation of how much time and money is needed to produce everything in the design plan. Since each project varies considerably in terms of complexity and overall scope, cost estimations are often very difficult to make at this stage in proceedings without having something tangible in front of you (such as a wireframe). However, the more information you have about what is involved in the project, the less risk there is that you will drastically under or over-shoot your budget.
Step 3: Creating a Prototype of the App
If the estimated cost of creating an app turns out to be too high for a production company to develop it on their own, they may need to bring on another team member – such as a development partner – and seek funding from investors. When the budget has been estimated and agreed upon, a team can begin to develop a prototype of their app. A wireframe is typically used as the foundation for this process initially, and then more advanced features are added in place later on. This allows everyone involved to develop an idea for what they would like to see in the final product before investing too much time and money into development.
Step 4: Developing the App
After all initial concepts have been developed, it’s time to get started with actually developing the mobile application. This is where most companies develop applications using agile software development processes such as SCRUM, Kanban or Lean Startup methodologies. These allow them to develop working prototypes of new apps quickly and put them. At this point, they will develop a wire frame mock-up of how the app will look and function. This allows everyone involved with the process (and potential investors) to get an idea of what their money will go towards if they decide to invest. Once an agreement has been made and financing set up, the development will begin.
Step 5: Testing the App
Once an app has been created, it needs to be tested. This is done for many different reasons, but most importantly it helps make sure that the application works properly on multiple devices and doesn’t contain any bugs or coding errors that could cause issues with performance later on down the line. It’s important to develop a test plan at this point in order to develop a standardized testing method that can identify potential problems before they become serious enough to damage user experience. These problems can include everything from crashes, slow load times or other similar complications that would severely lower customer satisfaction with your app. It’s essential at this stage of the process to develop a testing plan that will develop a test for every possible function of the app, from core features down to smaller ones such as changing settings or scrolling through menus.
Step 6: Feedback and Refinement
Now that the testing has been performed, it’s time to develop a plan for what you’re going to do with all the feedback you receive from your users. The first thing many companies develop is a list of bugs they can fix – this includes everything from typos, crashes and other similar problems that directly impact user experience. Once those have been resolved, another round of testing can be undertaken to make sure everything else still works correctly. After fixing many flaws and doing multiple rounds of testing, you now have an app ready for market.
Step 7: Releasing the App
In the final stage of development, all applications will be released into the market. Most companies develop these apps through an online storefront such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store, but it is possible for them to develop custom distribution relationships that allow them to push their app out directly instead. Though this would require more time and effort upfront, it can give companies more control over who has access to develop specific features of the application – so it could potentially develop better results in some cases.
An Important Note about Development Costs
It’s important to note that every company has different rates depending on how much experience they develop with mobile app development. This means that what one company determines as reasonable for an hourly rate could develop drastically different results with another. For this reason, it’s important to develop a comprehensive mobile app development plan before getting started so you can develop an accurate sense of what they will cost.