With approximately more than 5 million apps collectively in Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play store, it is imperative that you understand the mobile app development lifecycle and how your app fits into your niche market as well as your goals for marketing and sales.
Businesses have been increasingly turning to mobile application development in recent years because they allow businesses to connect with their customers in a quick and convenient way.
What can’t be done with a mobile app!
Whether you’re operating a retail store or working in the service sector, you can benefit from providing your customers with a mobile app.
Regardless of your app’s purpose, it must meet industry and regulatory standards and give users a great experience across all platforms. To be a success, you need to follow the complete guidelines of the mobile app development lifecycle.
And this blog post will cover the much-needed steps that will give you a basic understanding of the mobile app development lifecycle before you actually start creating an app.
So keep reading!
The Mobile App Development Lifecycle: Stages
- Market Research and Planning
- Technical Specifications
- Prepare the Basic Prototype
- Code Development
- Quality Assurance
- Make it Live
- Maintenance and Support
Market Research and Planning
Before deciding to build a mobile app, you should do a deep dive into the realm of research. That is, you need to understand your own business as well as that of your competitors. For that we have divided the research and planning part into two parts:
- Idea Evaluation: The process of investigating an idea, correcting it, giving advice and creating a rough logic to support it.
- Competition Analysis: Examining the activities of other players.
- SWOT Analysis: Identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and other threats of the product.
- ROI Calculation: By assessing future app market performance, you can determine the true value and adjust the budget accordingly.
- Requirements Scope: Compiling all requirements for the future product.
- Market Research: The goal of the study is to give a general overview of the current state of the market so the concept of the product can be adjusted accordingly.
- Defining User Personas: Knowing who your target audience is essential to crafting an advertising campaign.
- Technologies & Tools Assessment: Identification of specific tools needed in the industry and selection of technologies to meet the project’s objectives.
- Complex Promotion Strategy: The process of acquiring and retaining users.
Technical Specifications aka Software Documentation is a phase where you decide what kind of technology you need to use and devise a strategy to keep your project on track. This technical manual of your product contains details about requirements, business logic and a guide to all project stages.
The objective is:
- Better understanding and flexibility for future changes.
- Give control over your own product.
- By giving a clear manual, it is possible to reuse existing parts of the application.
Prepare the Basic Prototype
The purpose of prototyping is to define a concept in visual terms and to figure out how the app might improve a misconception. At this stage, you should have a pretty good idea of what your app will look like and what features it will include.
After you write up a scope of work, you can start working on the other pointers.
- Sketching out your app and creating a storyboard.
- Creating wireframes to provide the visualization.
- Checking for possible inconsistencies in the original concept through a clickable prototype.
- Demonstrate connections between each other screens.
- App Navigation to let users navigate through the mobile app.
At this stage, designers will produce high-resolution mockups of your wireframes (the skeleton of a mobile app) that represent the interface your users will eventually use to interact with your app. This means you are creating an app you want your customers and target audience to actually enjoy using, so UI/UX details do matter.
That is why we have divided the development phase into two parts – front-end development and back-end API creation.
Its main purpose is to create an effective interface and integrate it with the app’s back-end. It involves creating displays for various mobile layouts and connecting them with the back-end.
Back-end API Creation
This portion of app development involves the server and database. Back-end development involves the API layer, data management, and processing. The network settings provide information to servers and databases for this stage of mobile app development.
This is an exciting time in the app development lifecycle—you have a fully-functional idea, complete with graphics and text. Now you need to test your app in real-world scenarios to find flaws and make changes before finally delivering it to your customers.
This includes a continuous stream of processes:
- Device Compatibility Testing: Testing how the app looks and performs on different screen sizes and platforms.
- Interface Testing: Checking the functionality of buttons, menus, and navigation.
- Low-level Resources Testing: Analysis of the app when the battery is low, when the internet connection is slow, etc.
- Security Testing: Ensures data security for users.
- Beta Testing: Enable users feedback.
Make it Live
Once your app is tested thoroughly, it’s time to distribute it to your user base. For Android, this is the Google Play store; for iOS, it’s the Apple iTunes store. These stores have standards in place to guarantee that applications follow specific laws and regulations.
To give your app the best chance for success, you should involve your marketing department in the development of your app and its preparation for launch early on. Your marketing department can help with a variety of things, including keyword research, which is fundamental to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and App Store Optimization (ASO).
Maintenance and Support
Any application, once deployed, will need some sort of ongoing support. You can get this via an administrative panel or a cloud service. The support will help ensure that the application keeps running smoothly.
These tips will help you get the most out of your mobile app development project:
- Consider what’s trendy as well as study the market and your target audience.
- Specify as specifically as possible what the project will deliver.
- At the planning and prototyping stages of a project, defining the smallest features and functions of the software can help find savings on the actual development.
- Negotiate the specifics with your development team.
We hope you now have a clear understanding of all the stages of the mobile app development process.
In case of any doubts, feel free to ask in the comments section below. We will be happy to answer your questions!
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Guest article written by: Naveen is the marketing and product head at JoomDev. He loves to convert his ideas into reality by developing products to make your online business successful with his WordPress plugins and mobile app development services.