8 Stages of the mobile app development lifecycle
There’s plenty of evidence all around us that mobile applications are here to stay & rule. Currently, Apple & Google play store has over a million & and a half apps each, and statistics show that an average user easily spends more than thirty-five hours a month using them. If we just looked at our own phones & usage patterns, we would know why these stats hold true. Let’s go through the mobile app development lifecycle, what you should expect more, and this article could help you along the way.
As for the commercial end of things, whether you’re a part of a service industry, or running your own retail business, you’ve probably considered developing an app of your own at some point. And you wouldn’t be wrong in planning to do so because an app that is interactive & can facilitate necessary exchange with your customer base is bound to benefit you. But creating a good app can often be tricky. It would be a good idea to first familiarize yourself with the process of building one before deciding on mobile app development.
Here’s how experts at iTrobes approach the mobile app development lifecycle:
1. The Research/Planning Stage
Your first step should be to dive deep into the research phase- figure out your market and existing competitor apps. Brainstorm on details like the purpose of your app, your target audience, preferred platforms, app development language & frameworks, features your competitor app offers (and if you’d want the same/different ones), a timeline of development & launch, and how you’d want to market it. Strategic business analysis at an early stage will help you with calculating the right ROI, return on investment factor that will eventually guide you in deciding & maintaining the budget.
The next step is where you document and wireframe your application. Drawing detailed sketches of your vision of the app (how it would look, the features it would have, etc) greatly helps in bringing it to life in the later stages. Post sketching, wireframes come to refine all your ideas. Now you can arrange all your design components accurately and see if there are any visible usability issues. This step aims to draw a clear understanding of how your proposed functional app will look once all your features & ideas are infused together. Needless to say, let all your creativity kick in at this stage.
3. Technical Feasibility & back-end assessment
Once you have a clear understanding of your visuals, you need to consider whether the back-end systems can support your app’s functionality. Think- APIs, data diagrams, data integration, servers, push notifications, etc. You will have different requirements depending on whether it is an android app development or an ios app development lifecycle. The platform formats will also need a slightly different back-end working based on whether it’s on a smartphone, wearables, tablets, etc. By the end of this step, you might figure out that some of the initial functionality isn’t feasible for you. Thus, helping you rethink & review those features.
Now that you’re at this stage, you should build a rapid prototype. One cannot truly comprehend the experience of an app without touching it & checking how the workflows. Build a prototype and get it into a user’s hand to get a quick idea of how it works & feels. Take honest feedback as this will point you in the right direction in future development stages.
Once prototyping is done, you can dive into coding. Here, your UX and UI designers take over. Your user experience (UX) designer builds interaction between different design elements while your user interface (UI) designer builds the overall look and feel of your app. What you get here are visual directions & blueprints. These act as a guide for informing your engineers of your vision with the final product and how its interaction with the customers should feel.
This phase starts quite early in some sense. From working on a functional prototype & reviewing it with every step, it’s all a part of the development stage. But as this stage progresses further, the core functionalities are deeply tested. The app is then moved to the deployment phase. All the bugs are also fixed & taken care of. If it’s a complex project, the large application is broken down into smaller modules and dealt with in parts before putting everything together, so that the app is ready for release.
In the mobile app development lifecycle, testing plays a very important role. It’s often a good idea to start testing early as this could help with keeping the final costs in check. The farther one goes in the development life cycle, the costlier it is to fix bugs and other technical issues. At this stage, the app should ideally be tested for every aspect including usability, compatibility, interface, security checks, stress, and performance. Inviting some of your target audience to test it would be a good idea. This feedback from beta users will indicate whether your app can work in a real-world situation.
Finally, at this point, your app should be ready to submit. Select a day to keep the formal launch. Launching policies will vary for android app development & ios app development. Keep those factors in check. And lastly, keep in mind that this isn’t the end of your process. In fact, it’s a new beginning of its own. Once the app is out there, feedback will start pouring in, which you will need to accommodate into the future versions of your app. Thus, starting the new development cycle. Keep a check on your resources and your long-term commitment to your project throughout this step. And that’s it. With this, you’ve reached the end of the final stage!
Now that you’ve read about these stages, you must have gotten a fair idea that executing the entire mobile app development lifecycle successfully isn’t a simple task. Other than the execution of these complex stages, it’s also important to note that the app market is a highly competitive environment. Businesses coming up with new apps should therefore be extremely careful with their app development processes as every mistake could cost a potential market loss.
This is why most companies usually want to hire experts who can build them an app suited for their specific needs. At iTrobes, we pride ourselves in providing top-notch services to both, ios app development companies as well as android app development companies. With years of experience in building apps for different industries and sectors, our experts have a history of successfully launching & maintaining apps for all kinds and sizes of businesses. We let companies focus on their core business, and take complete care of building & maintaining their app from scratch for them. This app then promotes their business without taking too much of their time and attention. If your business is at a stage where an app is what it needs to accelerate further, don’t wait on it. Get in touch with us today with all your requirements. Rest assured, you will have the best team working on your side.