Steps in iOS and Android App Development – Flosum Guide to Mobile App Developers

Through the application development projects we work on, there is one consistent trend we can notice is that mobile app development is always like a black box if you do not know how to code it out. If you are making a mobile app for iOS or Android for your small or medium-sized business, you should have a clear understanding of what it takes to execute it. As per a recent study, about one-third of the SMBs have launched their mobile apps by now, and it may be necessary for all types of businesses to have a mobile app in the future. Here are some stats to support this claim.

  • Now, mobile apps account for nearly one-half of the time of the digital media consumers online.
  • Smartphone users now spend about 90% of their mobile phone usage time on apps.
  • About 85% of consumers prefer to use native apps over a website on mobile.
  • Mobile apps also account for 42% of all mobile sales for Fortune 500 companies.
  • The total revenue through mobile apps is expected to cross $90 by the end of this year.
  • An average consumer tends to have installed about 30 apps on their smartphones and spends nearly 40 hours a month using those.

Even though all these points mandate the building of an app for your business, the decision to move forward is not easy to accomplish. There are nearly more than 2 million apps on the App Store and Google Play, so it is important to understand how mobile app development works and how the apps you make will fit well into your market niche and goals. In this article, let us look at the app development life cycle and explore the challenges and objectives of the same.

  1. Starting with mobile app development – Market research and discovery

By the time you start thinking of a mobile app, you may already have a good idea about it in mind, which is a good point to start. However, before getting on to the design and development, you should first take a deep dive into it with thorough research based on your business market and target audience. You may also look at your competitors’ apps and strategies to have a broader picture of how it works altogether. Some key questions to answer are:

  • What is the goal your mobile app needs to achieve?
  • How is your target audience?
  • How you want to present and make them use your app?
  • What platforms (iOS / Android) they are mostly on?
  • Which development language and development framework should you choose?
  • What are your app development budget and the timeline for the same?
  • Establishing the goals and objective

This is the crucial next step in building your mobile apps. Once you have determined the goal your app should achieve, you have to map it out as to how to reach there. Consider the factor like what problem your app solves for the customers, what features it should have, what should be the core appeal of your app etc. In many cases, as Flosum points out, it is also important to decide the benefits and features of your app should be well balanced to not tamper with your budget and resource capabilities. However, in terms of prioritizing your app’s functionality, emphasize customer engagement over the exclusive services, and do not let your budget restrictions limit this.

  • Focus on foolproof user experience

For a mobile app, user experience is everything as they spend a considerable among of effort and time to install the same on their device. So, consider various ways in which people may use your mobile app versus mobile websites. Define the backend of your app and identify how it interacts and deliver data through the front-end. There are many industry standards and W3C practices followed, which you need to abide by.

  • Finalize the wireframe and test the app prototype

Once you prepare a proper wireframe, you may first nail down your wireframe’s shortfalls during the back-end planning process. Once your team is agreed upon the storyboard and wireframe for the project, you can build a prototype next. Prototyping is an important step as it gives you first-hand exposure to how your design concept will further actualize. You can evaluate it, get feedback, and identify the flaws and dead links in your app’s workflow and usability.

There are many prototyping tools available out there for you to accomplish this process. While testing the prototype, it is a good idea to use people who are not part of the project to test and evaluate your prototype’s flaws. Observe their interactions with the app and get honest feedback on the application’s functionality and ease of use. This phase aims to finalize the design concept for your app, which will guide you through the actual development process.

  • Development of the app

Once testing the prototype and streamlining the design concept is over, you can start with the development phase. If you are not using any app development platform or BaaS provider, the developers need to set up the databases, storage solutions, APIs, and back-end servers for your app.

Set up the developer accounts for app stores where you plan to publish the as if you do not have one already. The creation of a developer account and getting approval may take several days, which may ultimately delay your release of the app if you do not take care of it at the first point. Go through the store guidelines of publishing to minimize the chances of your app getting rejected during the review.

  • Test, test, and test

Once the development is done, you have to start with the most crucial and exciting phase of the mobile app development lifecycle. Rigorously testing needed to be run in all possible real-world scenarios to sniff out potential technical failures or damages.

During the testing phase, you may go back to the design document and go through each feature again and test it for the desired out. As it was working fine during the development phase, never assume that it will deliver the same in the end product.

While testing, it is also ideal for observing the users at real-time usage of the app. You may also want to use any mobile UX testing tools to get real-time feedback and user analytics. When you are fully confident about the app work as desired in every desired scenario, you can then move on to the final preparations to launch it.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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