Why businesses are increasingly adopting a mobile-first approach for initiating digital transformation, is not difficult to understand. According to a Pew Research Centre study, 85% of Americans until last year owned at least one smartphone device.

With an increasing number of people relying on mobile apps for transactions and business interactions, it is inevitable for companies to show interest in mobile app development services. This is why we are here to provide a comprehensive guide on the mobile app development process. Here below, we explain.

Complete explanation of the mobile app development process
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Validating the app idea

A successful app starts from a great app idea. This is why in order to know how to make an app from scratch, you first need to make sure that the idea is relevant enough to attract the right audience. If you are still working on the app idea, make sure it offers a very useful solution to a clearly recognised problem.

If you already have decided on the core app idea, it is high time to validate the idea against audience needs, market demands and competition. Only when you have fully validated the app idea, it can be pursued with the execution process.

For validating the app idea consider the following things.

  • What purpose does your app serve? Is it going to be absolutely essential for your business? If yes, explain how it can add value to your business.

  • Who is going to use the app? How the target users are going to connect with the app idea?

  • What are the unique value propositions of the intended app project? How are these value propositions unique from other existing apps in the competition?

  • What are the principal apps going to compete directly for market share? What are the key strengths and weaknesses of these competitor apps? Is your app offering a better solution to the user problem than the competitor apps?

  • Are you ready with the financial resources, human capital, and infrastructure to pursue the app project till success?

Prepare a project requirement document

The second and inevitable step in the mobile application development process is preparing a detailed project requirement document. Ultimately this document will guide the designers, developers, project managers and all stakeholders throughout the project. What tech stack you need or what design convention you need to follow can be decided based on this document. Whether you hire Flutter developer or go for a React Native team, this project requirement document will guide you.

What are the requirements for developing an app?

The requirement document should consist of the following things.

  • Describe the validated app idea, its objective, target audience, competition, and unique value propositions in detail.

  • Now mention the operating system platform you want to target. This is important because based on your platform choice, your app can be for Android or iOS or it can be just a cross-platform or hybrid app.

  • The next thing is to mention the frontend and backend technologies you are going to use for the project.

  • You also need to mention all the third-party APIs and tools you are going to use for the project.

  • Lastly, mention the project deadline, and the required resources for the project in a realistic manner.

UI / UX Design

The second most important stage in the mobile app development process is UI/UX design. The role of app design is basically to deliver a sophisticated and clean look and feel and an effortless user experience. Thanks to UI/UX design can be interactive, intuitive, easy to use and effortless to get things done in a whizz.

For a sophisticated UI/UX design you need to take care of the following things.

  • The first thing you need to decide is how the app will use data architecture and workflows. How the app data will be displayed to the users depends upon this. The overall user journey will depend upon this.

  • The second important step is drawing the wireframe of the app to understand the basic look and feel of the app screens. It will explain the app structure visually.

  • The third important step is to create a detailed style guide to guide the app UI designers on the font, color choices, and graphic elements.

  • The next important step in the app design process is creating a mock-up that by incorporating all design attributes together makes the design more reliable.

  • The final step in the design process is creating an interactive prototype. While mock-ups are static designs, dynamic prototypes are created to allow interactions and evaluate the design flaws in a more real context.

Core development

Finally, it is time to progress towards the core and fundamental stage of the mobile app development Software process. Now developers or programmers by using the required technology stacks will build the features and configure the server-side elements for faster and smooth responses against user interactions.

The core app development consists of the following aspects.

  • The developers based upon the chosen backend technologies and databases for the project need to configure the server-side activities ensuring faster server response time and smooth app functioning.

  • For server-side configuration, developers may also need to choose reliable third-party APIs.

  • Now it is time for the developers to build the client-side or frontend of the app. Developers here will make use of platform-specific frontend technologies or cross-platform frameworks. When you hire front end developer, make sure they have a great command of the latest front-end development trends.

QA testing

Man With Smartphone In Hand

Finally, QA testing is the most important stage in the mobile app development process that guarantees the quality of the project output. Many app projects these days carry out code reviews alongside development to keep errors and unclean code writing in the check. This is a great measure to prevent flaws in the app product.

Let us briefly explain below the key QA testing processes adopted by most mobile app development projects worldwide.

  • Documentation testing is carried out in the very beginning as a preparation to check all the key elements and features you intended to incorporate into the project. This testing is done to pick gross discrepancies and flaws in the project that should be immediately addressed.

  • Functional testing is carried out to evaluate how smoothly the app functions or response to the user interactions. It is crucial to evaluate the user experience of the app.

  • Testing business-specific functions separately are crucial, particularly in the case of apps where customer interactions fetch businesses. How the transaction feature or shopping cart is working, how social media buttons are responding, and how promotional features are working, are the key aspects to evaluate at this stage.

  • Usability testing further evaluates how the app flawlessly functions across devices with different screen sizes and device features.

  • UI testing is carried out to ensure that the app’s UI design perfectly meets all the intended design standards and specifications.

  • Compatibility testing evaluates the compatibility of the app across different smartphone devices with varying capabilities. This testing also evaluates configuration for different operating systems, browsers, databases, devices, and networks.

  • Performance testing helps evaluate the app performance and reactions under different loads of tasks, user volume, and network conditions. Some of the key testing methods under performance testing include stress testing, load testing, concurrency testing, volume testing, and stability testing.

  • Security testing is one of the most crucial steps in the QA process that evaluates the security vulnerabilities or app’s exposure to security threats. This testing is done to test whether the app can prevent hacking attempts, malware threats, or bot attacks.

  • Finally, Certification testing is carried out to evaluate whether the app fully meets the prescribed standards of the respective OS platforms, terms of use, licensing rules, platform-specific guidelines, etc.

App launch

The ultimate step in the mobile app development process is launching the app on the intended app marketplaces such as App Store for iOS or Play Store for Android. Normally, the app development company or the hired team of developers looks after this stage as well. There is also app development Software available. You need to look for who besides helping you with the app launch will also take care of the subsequent updates and maintenance tasks with a professional spirit.

Some of the important aspects to consider here include the following.

Launching the app

Smartphone Hand

Let’s remember that it is never really easy to release and publish an app and become discoverable unless and until you follow the footsteps of other successful apps. N regard to app launch, regardless of your niche and target audience you need to adhere to the platform-specific guidelines thoroughly.

For the release of the app in the app store, you need to make sure that the app comes with an instantly engaging app title and a simple but visually engaging and meaningful app icon. You also need to provide a meta description describing the key value propositions of the app and enrich the description with some search-friendly keywords. Lastly, you should provide some screenshots of the app that instantly give an idea of what the app is going to do.

Summing It Up

The mobile app development process we explained above perfectly corresponds to the time-tested industry standards and principles. You can only deliver something more over and above this development process, not by bypassing it. By adhering to these development practices and steps, you ensure making the groundwork that further helps you to make more value propositions.

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Written by
Tech entrepreneur & Founder of Impero IT Services - an award-winning software development company! Raza has worked with 500+ clients, from Startups to Enterprise levels. Raza's key expertise is around tech consultation, where he assists businesses by creating a roadmap for their digital journey. Raza and the team at Impero are also greatly recognized by Forbes and Clutch for their outstanding services!

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