Did you know, a whopping eight apps are launched daily for the iOS and Android devices? Certainly, the rise of the apps in the mobile phone scenario has invaded the attention of many traditional entrepreneurs.
No one wants to be left behind. The app development process is no longer a top secret! Thousands of business providers who are jumping on the app bandwagon are empowering themselves on this process. The thing is, the app development process is no simple feat. The more you know as an app visionary, the more ideas and functionalities you can create. Let’s look at the basic phases of an app development process. Towards the end of this article, you can earn some bragging rights on your app-related knowledge.
The Pre-Planning Phase
In this phase the design team will define the project and create storyboards. Use cases are developed and all actors are identified. This step demonstrates who will be interacting with the app and why. This step also determines the true direction of the app by revising the goals and objectives of the app. The questions: “Why will the consumer use this app, how is this app unique, how will it bring in revenue?”, are also answered at this point. Several use cases are created based on the answers to these questions.
This step also requires the team to look into the market for something similar. The team along with the client determine how they can create a better app that fills the gaps existing in the current apps.
The Prototype Phase
This is the phase where true ideation and discovery takes place. All possibilities are measured and carefully sifted. All theories are now put to test. The app is built from the practical perspective. The app is developed and tested in terms of technical functionalities. In short, the teams determine and share with the client what features are possible, and what are not feasible for the app. Clients determine the direction they want to take in terms of the app design and development. Expectations from the app and its performance efficiency is set at this stage. The budget also gets clearer at this point.
Once things are more stable, the use cases are strengthened with the aid of storyboards. The templates and themes are developed and available for selection by the client.
The Technical Phase
Information technology members of the team test for back-end support for the app. They determine the number of estimated users of the app in a given time. They calculate the data transfer and database management size needed for the app. What kind of API’s will the app need? Will the team build a customized abstraction for interactivity?
Second, the IT team will also refine the direction of the app development process: Is the app being developed for the Android device? Is it for an iOS device? Will the development be native? What personal data will the app use from the native device?
At this stage, the client is involved again to review the feasibility and practical status of the app. Changes are made based on mutual decisions between the team and the client.
The Refinement Phase
This phase is all about playing with the app in its testing phase. The client and the development teams test the app and generate all possible scenarios for the app to handle. Errors are highlighted and more possibilities (and the needed budget) is determined.
Rapid prototyping is done to weed out errors quickly and have the end user (testing user) play with the app. The experience is documented and shared with the client. After feedback from both the end-user and the client, further changes are documented for the app.
The Design Phase
Now the real work begins!
The user experience (UX) design kicks in. All interaction architecture of the design elements are determined and coded. This phase will determine the look and feel of the app. The client is involved as well as the end user for intermittent feedback and changes. The end result is a wire frame that is refined and leads to desirable UX. This wire frame becomes the beacon for programmers and engineers to build the app with.
By the way, the more the teams involve the client and the end-user in the app development process, the more agile is the development. The Agile Development approach for mobile apps leads to many iterations and resulting alterations. This keeps things more adaptive, transparent and collaborative – leading to a satisfying app development experience for the client. The dynamic field of mobile apps yields many new changes every day. Agile development takes into account, all the new developments to create an app that is ready to fight for its space in the app market.
The Beta Testing Phase
Your app is complete except for one last step: testing. This is where the development teams test for UAT (user acceptance testing). A carefully selected group of end-users play with the app and provide feedback based on prepared questions. This target audience knows what they want and will complain if they don’t find it. They will also praise the app if it meets or exceeds their expectations. The teams know what works and does not work for the users after the UAT.
The beta test is more open to the type of users interacting with the app. Feedback front his group of users will determine whether or not the app will operate well in the real world environment.
The Launching Phase
Ready, set LAUNCH!
When you know you are ready, you submit the app in the app stores for launching. It takes about 2 weeks to launch at the app stores. Remember, this is not the end of the app development process. Your app may require new updates, features, versions based on the feedback from the users. Maintenance and support from the app development team is critical more than ever!
We hope you feel confident about the stages of the app development process. It’s now time to reap the fruit of your labor – enjoy your well-earned ROI!