Mobile App Development Life Cycle: Important Steps

A business that strives to prosper, increase profits and want to be one step ahead of the competition cannot do without a mobile application. Mobile device usage statistics convincingly prove that you should not give up on app development:

  • almost 90% of all the time that people spend on smartphones and tablets is on mobile applications;
  • 85% of consumers between the mobile version of the site and the application will choose the application: it is more convenient, faster and more functional;
  • The average user has about 30 apps installed on one device and spends 30 to 40 hours a month using them;
  • Mobile apps account for 42% of all mobile sales for Fortune 500 companies (a ranking of the top 500 global companies based on revenue).

If you decide to create a mobile application for your business, you need to know exactly what is required for this. However, if you are far from mobile development, then approaching the task for the performers can be difficult. It is important to take into account the peculiarities of the market environment and your own marketing goals. We will try to tell you as simply and clearly as possible about the application development life cycle, about the goals and possible problems.

Analysis and marketing research

You may already have a few ideas for a future mobile application, which is great, but before moving on to the design and development stage, you need to do research on the business and target audience. To make the application as useful and effective as possible, answer a few questions:

  • What do you expect from a mobile app? How does this fit in with the company’s marketing plans?
  • Who is your target audience (the more detailed you answer this question, the better)? What will customers use the app for?
  • What platform(s) will you be using? What budget are you ready to allocate for the development of the application?
  • How long does it take to create an application? When do you plan to present the finished product to the audience and how will you market it?

Do not forget to look at competitors’ applications, evaluate features, capabilities, and ease of use. This way you can get interesting ideas and understand what exactly should not be in your application.

The answers to the above questions will help the development team to create an application that best meets the needs of your business and customer needs.

Goals and objectives of the mobile application

This is another important step in the application planning phase. You need to know what problems your application will help customers solve, what functionality it will have (remember that the rule “the more the better” in applications is far from always true), and what will make the application as attractive as possible in the eyes of users.

Determining the functionality will help to strike a balance between the development budget, the capabilities of the application, and the implementation timeline.

Application wireframe and storyboard

The next step is the visual implementation. You must have a good idea not only of the functionality of the application, but also of how it will look like. You can provide the developer with screenshots of the apps you like, talk about the color scheme (don’t forget the company’s corporate colors), discuss screen transitions, and how users will navigate the app.

The important thing to remember here is that the app is an extension of your brand. And do not forget that the design should emphasize customer care, be as convenient and intuitive as possible. At the forefront should be the ease of interaction with customers, and not highlighting the exclusivity of services.

Framework development and prototype testing

The development team is already fully engaged in this stage. All necessary changes are fixed, the server part is finalized, the first approval of the application passes and its prototype is created.

Prototyping allows you to evaluate the design concept, functionality, usability, highlight flaws and errors. At this stage, you can attract customers to testing by offering them pleasant bonuses for testing and feedback. So you get the opinion of those for whom you are making the application and you can create a product that best meets the needs of your audience.

Application design

The prototype is created, it’s time for the design. The designer creates the actual screens that will be used in the application, it is important that you look at the finished design to make sure that the project includes all the ideas and wishes that came up in the early testing phase. Remember, you are creating an application that should not only be functional and useful, but also aesthetically pleasing. The target audience should enjoy using the app, so UI/UX details matter a lot.

More about application development

The development process consists of many steps: creating a design, choosing a storage solution, setting up the API and the back end of the application, and ensuring data security. All this is done by the development team. They can also set up accounts for the app stores that you are going to use to promote the finished product. Each of these stages requires a certain amount of time, so it is impossible to make a high-quality application in 2-3 days. It is better to allow enough time for development so that the team can work without haste, controlling each stage.

Choose a developer carefully, pay attention to the experience, products made and the degree of comfort in communication. If you cannot find a common language with the performer, no matter how good they are, it is better to look for another.

When ordering the development of an application, be sure to conclude an agreement with the developer, a non-disclosure agreement will not be superfluous, as well as the timing of obtaining certain results. So you will be calmer, and it is more convenient for developers.

Check and check again

This stage for the customer is one of the most important and exciting: you have an application that is almost ready for the official release. All tasks are completed, the text and the necessary buttons are perfectly placed, the color scheme is beyond praise, it remains only to test the application in various real scenarios in order to fix technical shortcomings and possible bugs.

We recommend not saving on testing, because it largely determines how quickly and stably the application will work. Even if something worked at the stage of early testing, this does not mean that there were no errors and shortcomings at the final stage. Testing can be completely entrusted to the development team or involve users who can offer interesting ideas and improvements.

When you have made sure that the application works correctly in all possible scenarios, and you are satisfied with the result from the application icon to the very last screen, it is time for the final preparations.

Launch preparation

The steps you take to prepare for an app launch can have the biggest impact on its success. We recommend that you involve the marketing department or specialists from the developer company in the early stages of development. They will pick the right keywords needed for SEO and App Store Optimization (ASO), both of which are key to promotion. Market research and keyword analysis will help you choose a name and write a description of the application for the site and various articles about the product.

A full-fledged website or page on a company website is a great tool for branding and increasing awareness of the target audience. Promote the application on social networks, tell about it in the news on the company’s website. If the company has a blog, post changes throughout the development process to keep users interested. Ask for help from popular bloggers, place promotional articles on large thematic resources.

Consider alternative app markets beyond the AppStore and Google Play. Submit your app to PreApps – This app store brings together developers and users who are ready to test beta versions of products. So you are guaranteed to receive feedback before the official release of the application.

Official release

The release date should be well planned by the marketing department, and your customers should look forward to this day. The more actively you fueled interest, the more downloads you will provide in the first days of launch.

After launching the application, do not stop there, because now you need to get the maximum possible number of downloads. Come up with incentives for installation: a one-time discount, a service for customers, or a free product for everyone who downloads the application. Remember that marketing is an ongoing process and the more you talk about the app, the more effectively it will work for you.

Follow user feedback, respond to their comments and concerns. A timely fix or update will help retain people, increase loyalty, and show everyone that you treat your customers well.

As you can see, application development is a complex process consisting of many stages, each of which is important. If you do not want to delve deeply into the development, call us and tell us how you want to see the application, we will do the rest ourselves.

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