Overview of the mobile app development process
Creating a mobile app can be a piece of cake when you come up with an idea, throw something together, test it, and submit it to an App Store. Or it can be an extremely complicated process that involves up-front design, a full beta lifecycle, and QA and usability testing on tens of devices.
So before starting the development of a mobile application, you should have a clear understanding of some basics about mobile application development.
- The cost of developing an app depends on a complexity (gaming app, complex or small)
- The estimated time to develop an app depends on their type (highly multifaceted, multifaceted, moderated, or simple)
- The per hour price of creating an app in different countries can vary (Both iOS and Android)
Generally, the lifecycle of the mobile app development is no different than the development of desktop or web apps. As a rule, it includes five major stages of the process:
1. Inception – Any app starts with an idea. It should become a solid basis for an app.
2. Design – This stage includes defining the application’s User Experience (UX) such as how it works, what the general layout is, etc. Then, the UX should become a User Interface (UI) design (it is a job for a graphic designer).
3. Creation– It is the actual building of the app and the most resource intensive stage.
4. Stabilization – After the app is created, QA should test it to find and fix bugs.
5. Deployment – At this stage you finally get your app out into the wild.
Often, some of these stages are overlapped. For instance, an app may be going into a designing phase at the same that a new feature is being added to it.
Let us explain each of the these stages in more detail:
Nearly any person who has a smartphone has an idea for a mobile application. At the inception stage, this idea should be defined and refined. To create a successful app, it is crucial to consider some things. Here are some of them:
- Value – How will users use this app? What value does it bring them?
- Mobility/Form – How can value be added using mobile technologies such as the camera, location awareness, etc.?
- Infrastructure – What existing infrastructure will it extend or integrate?
- Competitive Advantage – Are there any similar application on App Store already? If so, will this app differentiate from others?
Once the functionality and features of the application have been determined, the next stage is solving the User Experience (UX).
It is usually done via mockups or wireframes using tools such as Visio, Mockingbird, Balsamiq or just paper and plain ol’ pen. A mockup allows the UX to be created without worrying about the UI.
An app should always “feel at home” on all platforms. Therefore, when developing the UX mockup, it is important to consider the Interface Guidelines for the different platforms that the application will target.
In addition, form factor can also influence UX decisions. For example, tablets can display more information as they have bigger screen. What compressed into one page for a tablet needs multiple screens on a smartphone.
Furthermore, the hardware itself can also dictate UX decisions (for instance, devices running iOS have no physical back button).