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Mobile application development is a process that requires clear planning and exception. Every stage, from ideation to deployment, is crucial. But before beginning this exciting journey, it is essential to examine critical criteria such as target audience, platform compatibility, and required features. 

Well, you can create an app that engages users and provides outstanding experiences. But remember, it’s not a piece of cake. Each step required detailed understanding and careful consideration. 

So, do you want to develop a successful mobile app? Worry not, this ultimate guide has covered it all. For ideation to launch each step is discussed in detail. Therefore, what are you waiting for, grasp your favorite cup of coffee and join me till the end of this ultimate guide. 

Are you ready? Let’s get started

1. What is Mobile app Development?

Mobile app development is a process of creating a software or application that operates natively on any device. To create an effortless and user friendly application you must go through several stages, such as 

  • Planning
  • Market research
  • App design
  • App Development
  • Testing, and deployment. 

All of these steps are crucial, which means neglecting any step will only bring a downfall in your software. So, to learn how to develop a successful mobile application lets discuss each of them in detail. 

2. 7 Key Steps of Mobile App Development

Mobile app development processes can differ slightly from one person to the next. Therefore, you should expect to go through the following seven stages that are discussed in detail below. 

2.1. Step 1: Strategy Development

Key Steps of mobile app development

The very first step in app development is idealizing your strategy. So, think carefully about app models, their goals, target audience, and the app model.  

a. Formation of ideas

Mobile App Development is not a child’s play. You need to brainstorm your app ideas to make your dream come true. So, if you have finalized your plan, then great, but if you are still struggling to find out the best idea for your app, then pursue the following questions 

  • What are your goals for the app?
  • To whom do you want to design it? 
  • What features will your app contain? 
  • How much of your budget do you have while creating your app?
  • How will you develop the app? ( Outsourcing, App building, in-house team) 

It’s normal to have a bundle of ideas at the same time. But remember that if you want to make a mark, avoid unnecessary elements while idealizing your app. 

b. Market Research

With the 2.20 million apps available for the iOS platform and 3.40 million available for the Android, it is essential to understand the trends and competitors of the software market. So, here comes an integral part of the development process. i.e., market research.

After forming your idea, look into your competitors and outline the strengths and weaknesses of their apps. Now, consider the weaknesses as your base and refine your ideas properly.

Apart from that, it also helps you to have a closer look at the trends in the software market. And you know what the best part is? Well it helps you to find out any flaw you encounter while forming your idea. 

c. Identify Objectives

After thorough market research, identify your objectives. Determining whether it’s for personal use or a business. If you want to discover how you develop the app, consider the following questions. 

  • How will the application address the issue at hand?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What exactly will your app be about?

Since you may already have a basic concept for your app in mind, you may only need to give these questions a little thought. But it’s wise to write down the main points to remember what you’re working on. 

d. Selection of Platform

Another stage in strategic planning is selection of appropriate platforms. Remember that  there are  three major platforms in the digital market

  • Android
  • IOS
  • Cross-platform. 

Based on your market research and competitor analysis, determine which platform works best with your app. 

Whether it be Android, iOS, or cross-platform, remember that each has pros and cons. So, understand each of them properly and choose wisely. 

e. Choose Appropriate Monetization Models

The most critical step in strategic planning is determining how you will earn maximum revenue. Here are various options that help you to turn your investment into handsome earning. 

  • In-app purchases
  • Advertisement 
  • App Subscription 
  • Paid apps
  • Affiliate marketing 

Remember that the monetization model entirely depends upon your app choice. For example, if you are creating a dating app, going for in-app purchases might not be a suitable choice. Similarly, if you decide to develop a gaming app, then opt in-app purchases or advertisements model etc. to drive maximum revenue.  

2.2. Step 2: Analysis and planning

The second step in building an app is to get practical and discover all the details you need to design and develop your application. 

a. Functional/ Non-functional requirements

The very first step in analysis and planning is to understand and find out functional and nonfunctional requirements of your app. While considering the functionality of your app, list the duties you want your software to execute. Because it helps you to have a better understanding regarding the features that your app requires. 

Apart from that, consider the software’s non-functional requirements as well. Since, they  help you to track the app performance quality of your system that affects the user interface. 

b. Product Roadmap

The next step in analysis and planning is to build the road map for your app. It is similar to planning and creating a precise strategy to achieve your long-term objectives.

Make sure that your goal while releasing your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) works flawlessly without any errors. 

So, list everything you want your app to be capable of while building the product roadmap. Additionally, find out the top feature that gives your app prominence, choose the most suitable one, and introduce it to your app later. 

c. Identifying Technology Slack 

The last step in the planning and analysis process is determining the expertise you need to complete your mobile project. Therefore, if you intend to create an iOS app, consider seasoned iOS software developers. 

Similarly, for the cross platform application look for a developer with the expertise of technologies such as Titanium and Xamarin. 

Remember that, before proceeding, do not skip the technology slack compliment because it is the fundamental pillar of your project. 

2.3. Step 3: UI/UX design

One of the most crucial steps in mobile app development is to consider user experience. If your app fails to appeal to the user, then consider your app a failure. Users will quickly reject the tool you’ve labored over if it becomes messy or defective. Therefore, to get the desired result, you need to pay great attention to the design of your application. 

a. Informational Architecture

Establishing ground principles for your app’s information architecture is an essential initial step in creating an app. Aside from deciding what data to include in your app, it would help if you also chose how to display it and how users will interact.

Using this information as a foundation, you may draw up workflow diagrams to catalog every conceivable contact between users. In essence, they will enable you to observe the implementation of your application’s navigation.

b. Wireframing 

The most essential step in app designing is Wireframe, which involves visual representations of the app’s layout and structure. 

It acts as a blueprint that guides you to locate the appropriate place for things like buttons, menus, and content sections. 

c. Style Guide

Developing the style guide is another essential element a user should consider while developing the app because it guarantees consistency and balance within the entire application style.

Moreover, the purpose of a style guide is to consolidate your company’s visual identity into a single document. This information typically pertains to the following feature of your app’s design:

  • Style guide Color palette
  • Guidelines for spacing and placement
  • Menu Items
  • Additional pertinent design components, etc. 

d. Mockups 

Once you have finished making your app style guides, you can create the mockups. By combining the wireframes with the style guide, these visuals represent the finished product of your app’s design.

e. Prototypes 

The last stage of user interface and user experience design is creating prototypes.

You may test the app’s features and functionality with a prototype before committing to a final version. Remember that with this approach, you can gain a solid understanding of the functionality of your app. 

Therefore, do not skip this step, even if it may take a while because a well-executed prototype can reveal problems within your product before its launch.

Find out more about Understanding User-centric design in Mobile app development

2.4. Step 4: App Development

Now it’s time to move on to the most important step of mobile app development: app development itself. 

This development step is divided into two parts such as backend development and frontend development 

a. Backend Development

The backend development involves creating the databases and server-side objects essential for the app’s performance. This step allows the development team to choose and select the proper programming language based on your app type and model.

Apart from that, it also enables you to begin the app coding. Moreover, you can also choose a hosting environment and database engines.

Last but not least, In order to make your mobile app scalable in the future,  remember that the backend component of the app development life cycle is essential. 

So, make sure you’re collaborating with seasoned programmers if you want your app to grow with your user base.

b. Frontend Development

The component to which the user interacts the most is the app’s front end. Therefore, there are three approaches essential for its development. 

i. Platform Specific Development 

The apps that contain a single code are platform-specific. This means that the app’s single yet distinctive code will often be used to create an Android app, which won’t work on iOS and vice versa. 

Although it is the most expensive way to build the app, but it provides excellent speed and responsiveness. 

ii. Cross-platform

Those apps built with this approach can run on different platforms with only a single base code. The best part of this approach is that it is highly cost-effective, and users can easily reuse its code. 

iii. Hybrid Development

Both web applications and platform-specific apps are components of this solution. They enable programmers to use standard web technologies to create and run the application’s code in a native shell. 

This alternative is ideal for those who desire cross-platform app functionality but need more resources to develop it in-house.

iv. Building Databases

Establishing a database is the best approach to make your app run smoothly. Therefore, select and install a reliable database management system like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB.

2.5. Step 5: Mobile App Testing 

Mobile App Testing

Mobile app development relies heavily on the establishment of a testing environment. Before releasing the software to users, developers can use it to find bugs, problems, and performance concerns. So, when evaluating a mobile app, keep these things in mind:

a. Type of testing

Running various tests throughout the testing phase is critical to guarantee high-quality software. You can find tests for performance, compatibility, usability, and functionality etc. Note that every test concentrates on the application’s functionality and user interface.

b. Beta testing

Incorporating consumers into the app testing process is crucial before releasing your mobile app. Because it gives you helpful feedback regarding the functionality of the app before its launch. 

c. Use of an emulator or actual device

If you want to ensure your app works on all the major platforms, you have two options: use an emulator or actual devices. Emulators replicate the functionality of various devices; however, authentic devices yield more precise outcomes. 

d. Bug reviews and test cases

To make testing your software easier, build thorough test cases that cover all the possible circumstances. This aids in making sure that every feature is tested extensively. 

Remember that testing your mobile app thoroughly is an integral part of the development process at every level, from initial planning and design to final implementation.

2.6. Step 6: Deployment

Now is the time to show your application development and design to the users. But before you actually launch your app to the public consider few options 

  • Make sure to choose an active environment like web server or cloud hosting.
  • Keep security measures in mind therefore install SSL/TLS certificates.
  • Use Advanced technology to ensure seamless app monitoring and error tracking. 
  • Remember to ensure daily updating and upkeep. 

2.7. Step 7: Updates and Performance Monitoring 

Now that you have launched your application, it is time to track its performance. Here are a few of the most crucial key performance indicators:

  • Downloads of applications
  • Users who actively participate
  • The typical duration of a visit
  • Holding on
  • Turnover Rates
  • Customer satisfaction ratings
  • Reviews
  • Recording app performance, crashes, bugs

The most crucial thing to remember is that after your app is released, the effort to keep monitoring is far from over. That’s just the beginning.

Maintaining compatibility with new operating systems, review standards, and performance requirements necessitates frequent app upgrades. Otherwise, you’ve wasted money on a solution that will only last for a while. 

Final Crux

Mobile app development is a lengthy and intricate process. Therefore, consideration of numerous factors is imperative.

Remember that the mobile app’s value lies in the fact that it can contribute to expanding your brand and your business as a whole. So, give great attention to each of the mobile app development processes.

Apart from following these steps, there is another option available to you and that is to decide whether you want to construct the app from scratch, hire a development company, or use an app builder. 

Remember that mobile app development might call for both technical know-how and marketing savvy; therefore Onyxtec is here to assist you in realizing your project goals and creating the apps that will serve your interests.

FAQ

a. What is the Android application Package? 

It is the file that Android uses to install or delete applications. It acts as the package of the elements that applications need for proper functioning.

b. When looking to build a mobile app, what is the going rate?

Several things affect the cost to build your new app. These include the number of people working on the project, the materials you utilize, and any other expenses associated with app development. Note that, compared to building an app in-house, outsourcing is usually more expensive.

c. What is the typical timeframe for developing a mobile app?

Creating a basic mobile app typically takes around a month or two. However, the more complex and expansive the app’s design is, the more time it will require and vice versa.

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