Thousands of businesses are releasing mobile apps to tap into the ever-growing demographic of smartphone users. Mobile apps offer multiple opportunities to business for marketing and selling their products and services, enhancing customer engagement, and optimizing business workflows. Before developing such high-functioning mobile apps, business leaders should understand several intricacies of mobile app development. Mobile app development lifecycle involves various procedures that require accuracy, skills, and expertise from a team of professionals. A typical mobile app development process consists of the following steps:
Business leaders and developers may have some great app ideas that need to be validated. For this purpose, business owners can start by researching their target audience and competitors. During research, business leaders can ask themselves the following questions:
After finding answers to these questions, business leaders can develop a comprehensive strategy for mobile app development.
Defining mobile app goals and objectives is a critical step in mobile app development. In this process, business owners can understand how the app will address their customer’s pain points and which features will be included in the app. In some cases, business owners may tend to go overboard with their app’s features, which can lead to shortage of funds. Hence, business leaders must ensure the balance between app features and their allocated budget. Also, business owners should aim to design apps that can enhance customer engagement along with functionality. Determining app goals and objectives will help developers understand business requirements better.
After deciding the target audience and app features, businesses can focus on how the app would look like. For this purpose, business owners and developers can create wireframes for their app. Wireframes can be created as simple sketches or by using free and premium online wireframing tools. Wireframes include visual representations of every section of a mobile app as well as navigation strategies for different app sections. Also, wireframes can clearly represent the UI of the mobile app, which can be tweaked in order to improve user experience. In this process, business leaders can obtain a clear picture of their final app with all the proposed features. Also, businesses can include their logo at specific spots in the app UI to improve their branding.
Back-end platforms consist of databases and server-side objects necessary for various app features. For this purpose, mobile app development teams incorporate an Application Programming Interface (API) to establish effortless communication between a mobile app and back-end platform. In case businesses intend to use existing enterprise back-end solutions, then necessary modifications need to be made to the back-end platform as well as the mobile app. Also, businesses can utilize mobile back-end as a service platform to face challenges like scalability and shortage of in-house developers. In case developers find technical limitations in back-end development and integration, app designs may be modified or some features may be removed until a solution is found.
Developing a prototype is one of the most crucial steps in app development process. Prototypes enable developers to evaluate design concepts, detect dead links, identify errors in the app flow, and gather valuable feedback. Businesses can also ask non-tech people to evaluate and test their prototype. With this approach, developers and business leaders can understand how different types of users interact with their app and ask them for feedback. With the help of received feedback, developers can alter the app UI to improve user experience. Also, end-users may discover certain bugs that are not discovered by developers, which can be addressed while reviewing feedback.
For app development, businesses need to have an in-house team of developers. These developers will develop the front-end of a mobile app. The front-end needs to adapt to different screen sizes of various mobile devices. Developers can use different programming languages based on the requirements of mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. Also, app developers will integrate back-end technology such as databases and APIs with the core app during the app development procedure.
Business leaders need to set up developer accounts for different app stores where their mobile app will be released. This step may require several days, which is why business leaders should execute this step as soon as possible. In this process, business owners have to go through several app store guidelines to avoid getting an app rejected in the review process.
Testing is one of the final steps in the app development lifecycle. During app testing, developers can design test cases for several real-world scenarios to find bugs. For this purpose, developers can also launch closed or open beta testing programs. In beta testing programs, end-users can test a mobile app and multiple app features to give crucial feedback. With this approach, developers can test their app on a wide range of users and devices along with cross-platform compatibility tests. Also, SMBs can test their mobile app using online mobile UX testing tools that offer real-time analytics and feedback. During the testing process, developers can conduct performance testing and security testing to analyze how their app performs under immense load on the system and how effective their security protocols are.
Once the final app is developed, businesses can release it on multiple app distribution platforms like Google Play Store and App Store. However, before the official release, businesses need to create a landing page for their app to promote and support the app. Search engines can use the content on the landing page for SEO purposes. Also, businesses can promote their app release with email and social media marketing.
After the official app release, developers need to provide frequent updates to address various bugs and security threats. Additionally, mobile apps need to adapt to newer versions of Android and iOS that are released every year. Hence, developers have to keep track of all upcoming updates and make necessary modifications to the app code to ensure that the app is compatible with new OS versions.
Business leaders have to understand that app development is a never-ending process that requires a dedicated team of developers. Hiring an in-house team of developers can prove to be expensive for several businesses. Hence, they can outsource mobile app development to Digital Fractal in Edmonton to create user-friendly business apps.