With the demand for mobile apps burgeoning in the global market, there is no time like now to become an app developer! We bring you a step-wise breakdown of the app development process ideation, designing, development, testing, launch, and post-launch and take a look at the processes involved in the light of the new digital trends in the development world today.
For an idea to be successful, it must solve a genuine need of the end-users in terms of addressing a pain-point or filling a need gap. To determine the market feasibility of the idea, you can conduct some market research, undertake an analysis of the competition, and then set out to establish and define requirements and goals.
Market Research can be carried out in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store; look for similar apps and note down what all they feature (or don’t). To be successful, your app must outshine all similar apps in the market, and to judge how best you can do that you should check out user reviews. Make a list of all the features you wish to incorporate in your app and establish a timeline for the design, development and launch. Figure out the scope of your product and the estimated budget. See how the new trends in the digital world- AR/VR, machine learning and AI, and so on can be used in your app to make it better than the rest!
In this stage, you will actually start working on the conceptualization and visualization of the functionality of the app and its user interface. This can be done through Story boarding, which involves chalking out your user’s path as they navigate through your app and explore its features. Make sure that you visualize the exact layout of every screen and place all elements including banners, buttons, and icons, correctly. Experiment with the aesthetics and the functionality.
Decide which are the APIs, push notification services, analytics tools, user engagement platforms, and database types that you will need. If you can use an existing app to build your infrastructure on, your work will be easier than building your app from scratch.
Once all your decisions are made, get started with building a prototype. Check if your app does all that you want it to, and get it tested by all the stakeholders. Use tools like Marvel and In Vision to build a high-fidelity prototype and test for glitches and flaws in the UI/UX.
If you are not building the app from scratch, there are Mobile app development platforms like Shop gate and Good Barber that can be used to build a fully functional prototype.
Now, you need to set up developer accounts on the app stores where you will be releasing the app. The development stage itself consists of these phases: During the Alpha Phase the core functionality of the app is developed, but not tested. A lot of bugs and glitches may be there. The Beta Phase is when you add all the major features and functions of the app, and a round of light testing is done A few bugs may remain. The Release Phase is the last stage where every bug has been identified and fixed after many rounds of testing. The app is ready to be released.
During development, be mindful about the devices and their processors that your app must be compatible with. If your app is heavy on the processors and memories of a majority of the smartphones, users will get annoyed with your app and will uninstall it.
Regardless of how seamless your mobile application seems, carry out enough rounds of testing to ensure that it is ready for users. It is more expensive to fix glitches later once you’re in too deep with the development so keep testing at intervals. Every feature must be tested in every phase ; do make sure that you keep referring to the original planning documents for different cases.
● Functional Testing checks if the features are working correctly.
● Usability Testing involves requesting new users to test the features for navigation and ease of use.
● Performance Testing is done to ensure good performance with least response time.
● Fit and Finish Testing tests every feature and screen of the app to ensure your requirements are all met.
● Regression Testing, involves repeatedly testing all the features in every phase.
● Device-Specific Testing, is when you try out the app on various screen sizes and with as many different OS and device combinations as possible to ensure versatility.
● User Acceptance Testing is getting your app tested by the target users and getting their feedback for improvement.
Finally you are at the most important stage! Once launched, try to get the most downloads for your app.
This involves the following steps:
● App Store Optimization is important to ensure that your app stands out from the others and gets noticed. You have to pay a lot of attention to the presentation – the keywords, the description, name of the app, and so on.
● Create a website for your app and ensure that it ranks high on search engines, using SEO techniques and the right keywords. Your app’s Website or Landing Page must be linked from the app’s description on the app store.
● Call on selected people to use the app pre-launch as beta users and keep sending them high-quality content, so that their reviews are all positive. Once you have gained enough download momentum, it will continue to get a high number of continuous downloads after launch.
● Carry out Social Media marketing through Paid Promotions across Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms targeted to your desired audience, to reach out to a wider audience and induce installations.
● Influencer Marketing helps to spread awareness about apps through word of mouth. Figure out who can be used as influencers and tie up with them to make use of their follower base.
After the launch, keep interest high in your app through marketing, post-launch monitoring, analytics, and constantly update the app to fix any bugs and crashes. Carry out social media listening, checking reviews and responding to them to ensure that you are right there with your users.
The app development process is not easy and involves a lot of investment in terms of time, money and effort. If you diligently follow all the steps listed above, from identifying the need gap to consistently ensuring quality performance post-launch, then you can ensure that your app is very successful. Good luck!