By 2021, there is a prediction that mobile apps will generate around about $693 billion in revenue through app stores and through in-app advertising. Better still, it is estimated that the net worth of enterprise mobility would be worth $510.39 billion by the end of 2022.
There are several companies attempting to take advantage of the trend that’s been set, many have no clue how they should create a mobile app successfully. Success in a competitive landscape that these growth projects are focusing on can slowly become a reality that your company is looking for, the catch however that it should be supported through a specifically cultivated process of mobile application development.
An efficient and effective flow of the app development process spans over six prime phases. Let us check each one of them deeply, one at a time.
Never mind the size or scope of the project, if you follow the development process would make your business initiative on mobile app development a huge success.
This is the first phase of the process in mobile application development that is defining the strategy to evolve all your thoughts into a successful app. You could include a highly significant portion of this in your complete strategy of enterprise mobility. As one application has a different objective than the other, there is still an impact that is app-specific to the mobility strategy that needs to be addressed during the process of development.
In the strategy phase, you would:
- Identify all the app users
- Research on your competition
- Establish the goals and objectives of the app
- Select one mobile platform that you could use for your app
On average, mobile apps cost $150,000 – $200,000 and could take anywhere from 4 to 6 months for development. Your strategy would help you focus your vision on a clear picture of the app idea you have. With the strategy in mind, you could go deeper into the next phase of the development process of your mobile application.
Analysis plus planning
At this stage, your app will start taking shape also turn into a completely actual project. Analysis plus planning would begin with specific use cases plus capturing functional requirements in detail.
After you are done identifying the requirements that your app needs, prepare a roadmap of the product. This would include prioritizing the requirements of your mobile apps and then grouping them into milestones of delivery. In case of time, resources, or even costs are your concern, then you need to define your minimum value product (MVP) and prioritize this for the initial launch.
Part of the phase of planning includes identifying what skills are needed for the initiative to drive app development. For instance, the mobile platforms in Android and iOS use different stacks in development technology. In case your goals are to build a mobile app for both the Android and iOS platforms then, the team of mobile app developers should include both the developers.
If you haven’t selected the name of your app, you need to know that mobile application names are like domain names and would need each app store to be unique for each app store. Research for each app store also making sure your app’s nomenclature isn’t in use already.
The work of an app’s pattern design is delivering an effortless and seamless user experience with a completely polished look. The success of any mobile app is identified on the basis of how deftly users adopt and receive benefits from each of its features. The focus for UI/UX aspects of mobile design is to create an excellent user experience where you make your intuitive, interactive, and user-friendly. While with polished UI design you get early adoption, your app needs to have intuitive UX to keep your app users extremely engaged.
The success of any mobile app development company and its apps are identified on the basis of how well the users are adopting plus benefitting from the entire kinds of features it comes with. The goal for any mobile app’s UI/UX design is to create excellent user experience so that the users are kept engaged.
Information Workflows and Architectures
The very first step in the process of your mobile app design is determining the data your mobile application would display to its users, the kind of data it would collect, the kind of user interactions with the complete product along the user journey within an app.
For enterprise mobile companies, they have users that come with different privileges and roles, and it is mandatory that these rules are incorporated as part of the information architecture of your app, workflow diagrams help identify each possible interaction that a user has with the mobile app also the navigation structure of the app.
The often task of the mobile app designers begins with paper sketches. Digitally when you sketch it is a wireframe. Wireframes are low-fidelity mockups or conceptual layouts- they provide a visual framework to the functional requirements. Wireframes focus more on the user experience and aesthetics rather than on font, color, or style. Wireframe creation is a quick and financially viable approach to design app layouts and going through them in the review process of the design. While you are creating wireframes, you need to consider a design that is device-specific. So, irrespective of the type of phone your app gets used to, it can provide a device-specific and intuitive user experience.
These are living documents where the entire process from an app’s design benchmarks from your business’s branding rules to the navigation tabs are documented.
Things that are included in the style guide:
- What kind of font family the app’s text would use?
- What would be the color scheme?
- How would your brand reflect in the app design?
Style guides are the main contributors to the design strategy of an app. By establishing an early style guide on about the part of your process of mobile app development will improve the productivity of your developers. The style guide also helps you keep the look plus feel of your app consistent.
These are high-fidelity patterns that are final renderings that you give to your app’s visual design pattern. Mockups get created when you apply your style guide to the wireframes of the app. As you begin to finalize the app’s design, expect more modifications towards its aesthetics, workflow, and information architecture. Using Adobe Photoshop you can create high-fidelity mockups.
While mockups showcase the functionality of your mobile app, with static designs, these could turn into prototypes that are click-thru with some of the finest tools. To simulate app workflow and user experience prototypes are highly useful. While this development takes time, the effort you put into it is well worth, owing to the fact that they offer to test at an early stage of your app’s functionality and design. Most often, prototypes can identify medications in the proposed functionality of the app.
Certain companies like to create prototypes at wireframe stage itself, mainly when the functional requirements of the app aren’t well thought out. Alternately, if there is a need to review the proposed functionality of the app with a focus group.
Planning continues to be an integral part of the phase in the process of mobile app development. Before you start the actual efforts at development/programming, you would have to:
- Define your technical architecture
- Pick up one technology stack
- Define the milestones in development
A specific mobile app project is constructed of three basic parts: back-end, front-end and API(s).
This portion includes server-side and database objects essential towards supporting functions within your mobile app. In case you are using an old back-end platform, then in that case modifications may be necessary to support the desired functionality on your mobile.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is one method to communicate between the back-end server and the app.
The front-end is the native app in mobile and end-user or customer gets to use it. In maximum cases, mobile apps are made up of user experience essentially interactive that uses back-end plus API to manage data. In certain cases, the app uses local data storage when it needs to allow all users to function without internet access.
You could utilize almost any of the web language plus database for the back-end. For your native apps in mobile, you require picking the technology stack needed by the specific OS platforms of the mobile. Use Swift or Objective- C programming language for iOS apps. Java or Kotlin is used in building Android apps. Mobile technologies advance at a much faster pace with the newer versions of mobile platforms. This approach supports software releases that are frequent with completed functionality. While iterating your mobile application defining mobile milestones within your agile development plan helps enormously.
Mobile technologies develop rather fast with new versions within mobile platforms. Additionally, new mobile devices get released every couple of months. With the platforms plus devices changing rapidly, agility is rather necessary to build mobile technologies within budgets and timelines. In case your priority is time-to-market, use the approach of agile development. This approach supports frequent releases in software releases that come with complete functionality. Defining the milestones in development as an integral part of agile development supports the development of mobile applications in iteration.
The following step is passing on to the testing team to validate after the completion of each development milestone.
Conducting thorough quality assurance (QA) testing while in the process of mobile app development makes these apps secure, stable, and usable. To ensure QA testing in your app, you would first require preparing test cases that would address each and every aspect of app testing.
Similar to the process of use cases driving the process of developing a mobile app, test cases take to driving testing mobile app. Test cases get used for performing the test steps, recording of the testing output results to evaluate software quality, and tracking fixes for the purpose of retesting. Test cases are using test steps, for recording the testing results to evaluate software quality, also tracking the fixes for the purpose of retest. A best practice approach is to involve your QA team in the stages of Analysis followed by Design. If you are familiar with your app’s requirement in functionality plus objectives, it would help you in producing perfect test cases.
Your app needs to conduct the following methods in testing, so that they can deliver mobility solutions of quality.
Testing of User Experience
A crucial step in the field of testing mobile app is ensuring that the final implementation would match the user experience that is created by the design team. The visuals, interactivity, and workflow of your app would enable your end-users to receive a first-hand impression that your app comes with. Ensure that your app would employ consistent fonts, style treatments, padding in the space between data, color scheme, navigation, and icon design. Ensuring that you have a matching strategy to the original guidelines of design with your app would provide a direct impact on how the user adopts it.
How accurately your mobile app functions is really critical for its success. It is really difficult to predict each and every end user’s usage scenario and behavior.
The functionality of this app has to be tested by a maximum number of users so that as many as many potential testing conditions possible can be covered. You may just find some catch bugs when two different kinds of users test the same set of features but receive varied results. For instance, both the users could fill in the same form, but given the condition where both might just enter different set of data leading to the discovery of a defect.
The purpose behind functional testing is to make sure that the users can utilize the features of your app and functionality without facing problems. It could be further broken into system testing (the app functioning incomplete single whole unit), plus unit testing (each individual functions of the given app operating perfectly).
If you are creating an app for the Android and iOS mobile platforms, then for you the functional testing has to include a comparison of the two mobile app versions.
Several quantitative criteria are employed to measure the performance of your mobile app. Some of these are:
- How well does the app respond to all user requests?
- How fast are the screens of the app loading?
- Is your app causing memory leaks or draining your phone battery?
- Does the app possess efficient usage of network bandwidth?
- Is your mobile app size bigger that what is required?
One of the topmost concerns for all enterprise mobile apps is to ensure that the app is tested and there isn’t any data leakage.
Platform and device testing
On average, newer mobile devices would enter the market every year with new designs, firmware, and hardware. All mobile operating systems get operated every couple of months.
Multiple manufacturers of mobile devices, devices like Samsung, HTC, Readme, etc. utilize the Android platform. However, they custom design the platform for mobile devices (as Android is an open-source platform). This device comes in several shapes and sizes.
When comparing to Apple, which functions in a much controlled environment, since they are the ones who control both the OS and the hardware. However, there are multiple Apple iOS devices there in the market.
This is where the mobile app development testing process differs rather distinctly from that web app testing. You can escape by conducting web app testing on the chrome browser on a Windows platform.
Testing is rather necessary for the future success of an app. It comprises a huge section of our complete process of mobile development. Coming with a comprehensive strategy for mobile testing is an absolute necessity to deliver a quality laced mobile app.
Along the phase of testing, there are several ways of distributing all your app development builds to your testers. The most predominant approach with iOS is to use the testing a software designed by us.
Deployment plus Support
Releasing your native mobile app needs submitting your app to the app stores, Google Play for Android, Apple App store for all your iOS apps. However, you would need a developer account with Google Play Store and Apple App Store before you launch your app.
An app’s release in your app store would need preparing the metadata including:
- The title of your app
- Launch icon
- Screenshots of App store
Once you have submitted in the Apple Store, iOS apps go through an entire process of review which could take from merely few days to several weeks based on your app quality and how closely it would follow the development guidelines of Apple iOS. If your app needs users to log in, then you would require putting Apple with a test user account as part of the entire release process.
There isn’t any kind of review process with Android apps and remains available in the app store within merely few hours of the time submitted.
After you have made your app available in the app stores, monitor how it is getting used through the mobile analytics platforms also tracks key performance indicators (KPI) for measuring the success of your apps. Check cash reports frequently, or other issues reported by user.
Encourage your users to give your company feedback plus suggestions for your app. Prompt good support for the end-users also frequent patching of the app with few improvements would be vital to keep users in the loop. Unlike the web apps where the patch releases can be available to the app users rather instantly, mobile app updates would have to pass through the same submission plus review process as the first submission. Moreover, with the native mobile apps, you would have to continually stay on top of advancements of technology and routinely update your app for newer OS platforms or mobile devices.
App development is one ongoing process and would continue after the first launch as you would receive user feedback also builds additional functionality. ParamInfo has its record of being a leading mobile app development company in the USA. We have provided leading mobile app development services to several companies across finance, construction, retail, healthcare, consumer products, etc. We follow this process for all the mobile apps created by us.