We live in a brave new world, where people spend close to a fourth of their waking hours in smartphones. That means a lot for businesses, as mobile has become a sure meeting place that is on your customers’ fingertips.
If you are considering launching a mobile app, here you will find a fast yet comprehensive crash course on steps to take, starting with an idea up to the point where your app is reaching its business goals.
Step 1. Defining the Idea and Strategy
As with any product development story, first, it's necessary to crystallize the solution you want to bring to the market.
Start with browsing around. Learn your potential competitors' features and customers' unmet needs. Think of your greater strategy and drive your app ideas from there.
Step 2. Choosing Your Perfect Team
Do you have an internal team of engineers, product managers, and designers? If so, get them together, share your big idea and decide if you’ve got enough expertise for all the tasks required.
If not, think about outsourcing. It may be cheaper and more convenient from a management point of view, and you’ll have a full-stack handy for the app maintenance.
Step 3. Deciding on the Type of Your Mobile App Development
Apps can be platform-specific or adaptable to both iOS and Android. Depending on your budget and what you want to squeeze out of your app, you’ve got the following options:
- Native app - Platform-specific mobile app development.
It is costly but great for complex high-performance solutions. Since it’s always developed for iOS or Android separately, a new platform means a new version and almost the same amount of resources.
- Hybrid app - An app developed on a single base compatible with both types of a mobile OS.
It’s a good solution if you are limited on time-to-market and/or investment resources and don’t need hardware functionalities like GPS or camera support. Another downside is weaker performance and UX.
It's the most cost-effective kind of mobile development. You don't need to create two different apps to access all the mobile OS possibilities like navigation and camera features, but UX can still be compromised.
- PWA - Progressive web application development software. Is run in browsers (desktop and mobile).
Still being a new kid on the block, PWAs may offer state-of-the-art UX and great solutions for eCommerce, but now PWAs are fully supported only by Android. The functionality is still limited on iOS.
Step 4. Indicating the Platform and Selecting a Suitable Language
Depending on whether you plan to launch your app on Android, iOS or both, your choice of languages is limited to the most compatible set. Let’s take a look at the most popular options.
Step 5. Building a Wireframe
The next stage is wireframing — creating a visual concept of your future app and finding the best ways for users to do what they will need to do in the app.
It's not a design yet, but a black-and-white architecture with functional elements specified.
Step 6. Frontend and Backend Development
Simply put, the frontend of an application is everything that a user will see and interact with. The backend is the server-side of your application, its remotely set logic.
Here is an approximate structure of a team for mobile app development:
- A UX designer will create an architecture of the app and build wireframes;
- A UI designer will create designed elements and structures;
- Frontend developers will make all the designs live and functional;
- Backend developers will manage your app's ‘behind-the-scenes’ functionality.
Step 7. Product Testing
Mobile app development is a tricky game, as the end product should be intuitive and sleek on small screens while interacting smoothly with multiple hardware.
Quality assurance engineers should test your app’s functionality on all possible devices, given all possible use cases provided by a product manager. This will help identify issues before the product hits the market.
Step 8. Deployment, Market Submission and Monetization
The next steps are submitting the application for AppStore and PlayMarket and monetization.
Monetization is a trickier beast. First, you need to ensure installations. For that, consider advertising, emailing, partnerships, SMS marketing. And of course, you need to choose a proper monetization model that will help you get profits.
Step 9. Mobile App Maintenance
Launching an app is just the beginning. Further, you’ll need to make sure it’s running well and take care of its development: update the existing features and launch new ones, make prompt bug fixes and add new content.
AppStore is removing around 50,000 apps every month for finding them obsolete. And there is a 71% chance your app will be uninstalled within the first 90 days. So, having a solid maintenance team is crucial to staying afloat.
Mobile web development is a complex process. It's also necessary for modern business considering today's widespread use of mobile devices. Understanding the peculiarities of Android vs iOS development and having a grip on application development software with insights into different languages will help you make educated decisions.
Keeping in mind solid product development practices, the app’s further monetization and maintenance will make you well set for the leap.