With over 2 million apps available on the app stores, crafting feature-packed apps together with powerful marketing strategies is the only way to reach the pinnacles of success.
But since the competition comes so strong, the best way to amplify your changes of delivering a winning product is by observing an acknowledged app development process. This will help you in preserving your valuable time and resources throughout the developmental process. With that being said, here is a list of the 8 steps involved in the app development lifecycle and the objectives and trials faced along the way.
- Discovery & Market Research
You already have an app idea that you think is great. That’s for sure a good start, but before you get into the design and app development phase, you need to conduct a comprehensive research as well as validate your idea to make sure that the demand exists. For this, you need to ask yourself the following questions.
- Does your mobile app fit with both- your market niche and your marketing goals?
- Who are you looking to address with your app?
- What platform are you planning to use?
- Who are your competitors? What kind of apps are they selling? What features do they bring to the table?
- What is your app development budget?
- What is your current timeline? When do you plan to launch the app?
- What will be your marketing strategies to promote your app?
If you think that any of the aforementioned queries is unanswered, gather your entire app development team and discuss the information collected during the research and discovery stages. A little effort in these initial stages will certainly pave the way for an easier development process.
- Instituting Mobile App Goals and Objectives
Establishing your mobile app goals and objectives is certainly a significant part of the entire development process. To begin with, you need to address the following queries:
- What is the main purpose of your app? What problem will it solve for the users?
- What all features will be included?
- What is your app’s core functionality?
Addressing these will help you in chalking out the app features and its benefits. You can also decide upon the scope of work, i.e. what pieces of the process will be executed in-house and which all will be outsourced.
- Wireframes & Storyboards
By now, you will have a fairly good idea as to how your app will look like and what all features it will have. So, now it is the time to begin drafting your app and developing a storyboard.
There are a plethora of tools available online where you can create a wireframe of your app. The basic purpose of this is to see how your ideas and the anticipated features combine together to form a fully functional app.
You also need to create a storyboard to understand the link between different screens and see how the customers will navigate through the app.
There are a few points that should be kept in mind while developing an app draft:
- Emphasize on offering optimal user experience
- Keep in mind the differences in the manner in which users operate a mobile app and a mobile website
- Defining the Backend of Your Mobile App
The backend structure of your app – APIs, servers, data diagrams, data integrations and push notification services, depends upon the wireframes and storyboards developed in the previous stage. You may be required to alter your wireframes or storyboards a little, in case of a technical limitation encountered in the backend development process. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay little flexible.
- Finalize Your Wireframe and Test Your Prototype
Now you are required to finalize your wireframe and make any needed amendments identified during the backend development process. Once the wireframe and storyboard have been finalized, it’s time to create a prototype.
Creating a prototype is extremely crucial as that helps you to gather fruitful insights and evaluate the performance as well as the design concept of your app.
There are numerous online prototyping tools available that make the process easier. You can gather a bunch of people who do not belong to your development team and ask them to interact with your prototype. This way you can gather instant feedback on the app’s functionality and correct any inadequacies identified during the phase.
- Developing the App
To begin with, you need to create a developer’s account by registering with the respective app stores you wish to distribute your app on. Kindly note, this step may take several days to complete. On the other hand, you can go through the app store guidelines to understand their norms and make sure that your app doesn’t get rejected during the review procedure.
Now it’s time to move into the app programming and coding phase. If you plan to hire an app developer for the same, make sure to review his portfolio before beginning with the development. Sign a non-disclosure agreement and plan a timeline for project completion.
At this stage, the developer will create the app screens which will be the HD renderings of your wireframe. Pay a lot of attention as the UI/UX details make quite a difference.
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- Test Your App
At this stage, you have a complete app with engaging graphics and appropriately placed text. Now it’s time to test it thoroughly in an array of real-world scenarios so as to identify and rectify all technical flaws.
You can make use of a plethora of online UX testing tools that offer instant feedback and analytics. Make sure to test your app to check the cross platform compatibility of imageries, illustrations and user experience.
Once you have rigorously tested your app and it is working seamlessly across all platforms, it’s time to do some final preparations to mark the launch of your app.
- Preparing for App Launch
Preparing for app launch is extremely crucial as it may have the biggest impact on the final success of your app. As a foremost step, you need to get your marketing team involved in the process.
They will help you with the process of keyword research which is significant for app store optimization as well as SEO purposes, thus making your app discoverable.
You may also need to create a promotional video or a landing page/website in order to promote your app. The chief components of the landing page/website should contain:
- The name and icon of your app
- Names of the particular stores from where your app can be installed
- HD quality screenshots of your app
- A promotional video
- Contact information
- A press it
- Links to your social media accounts
- User reviews and testimonials
It is a good idea to endorse your app on your official websites and social media accounts to arouse the interest of the customers.
You can also hire some social influencers for the same. Also, do not forget to incorporate app analytics to optimize your app for enhancing its charm to the targeted customers.
Another thing to consider during the app’s pre-launch stage is submitting it to PreApps. PreApps is a marketplace that links the app developers with early app adopters and helps in gathering re-release feedbacks.
- Official Release
The official release of your app should create some thrill among the audience. You can make use of some engaging write-ups and blog posts written by top bloggers to make an announcement to customers who depicted an interest in your app prior to its launch. You can send email notifications along with the links to your social media profiles. All this is undertaken with the sole purpose of increasing the rate of downloads.
It is important to know that marketing is a continuous process and you constantly need to devise new ways of keeping your users engaged. You can indulge into offering special discounts, free products etc. to inflate your customer base.
Establish a potent channel for gathering feedbacks and be receptive to the changing needs of the users. Introduce timely updates to make the users stick to your app.
This article can help you in better understanding all the chief processes involved in the iPhone or android app development. This way, you can be prepared in building an app with all the required functions and features – on a budget that suits you and a timeline that you can accomplish.