Let's figure this out as you go through the six steps of the development process: brainstorming, design, development, testing, launch and post-launch, and the new trends that are now shaping the digital world.
Step 1: brainstorming
A very important part of the overall mobile app development process is a thorough understanding of the Google Play Store and the Apple Store as they provide a goldmine for market research. Once you've narrowed down to an idea and set the target audience for your app, you can search the app stores for similar apps, see the number of users who downloaded them, browse their features, review their reviews, and see you soon. This will not only support your market research, but will also bring you closer to the competition. In addition, using these apps, you can use them to find out what they are missing, and find a way to fill the gap they have left, so your application has an edge over existing competitors.
Once you've determined the viability of the idea, in the next step, you'll need to mark a timeline and the specific goals you want to achieve against the milestones.
Step 2: Design
Now that you've identified your audience, budget, capabilities, and timeline, it's time to engage in designing and visualizing the features of the app and its interface. There are several ways to go through the design phase of the mobile app development process.
Storyboarding would be a visual record of your users' journey as they navigate through your app and explore various features. When storyboarding you should note the following:
● Visualize the exact layout of each screen in the app and place each item, including banners, buttons, and icons, in the right place.
● It's always good to have a unique user interface as long as you make sure the user experience is not compromised.
● Your app's screens should always be aligned with their primary goal. Your user should not feel lost while using your app.
● Experiment with the layout of your screen. Determine whether resizing a button or placing a symbol is aesthetically and functionally better.
When you have completed the functions and appearance, you will need to start with the technical details next.
In the final phase of the design phase, a prototype is created.
Step 3: Development
The point at which you start setting up developer accounts in app stores where you want to publish the app. Previously, however, the mobile app development process consists of several phases, as follows:
1. The alpha phase is the phase in which only the core features of the app are developed but not tested. At this time, the app can barely function and has many bugs and glitches that need to be fixed.
2. In the beta phase, all key functions and features of the app will be integrated, and the app will have to undergo a series of light tests. Although most bugs are fixed, some are left over. However, after this phase, the app can be selectively shared with some external users for testing purposes.
3. The release phase is the last phase in which each error was identified and resolved after several rounds of testing. The app can finally be shared with the audience.
Step 4: Testing
Each iteration allows you to do different kinds of tests, including the following:
● Bump test to check if the functions work exactly as they are needed
● The usability test asks new users to test the features for usability and navigation
● Performance tests are performed to ensure the least response time for each task your app performs
● In the Fit and Finish test, designers can test all features and screens of the app to make sure that the developers lived up to their expectations when designing the app
● In the regression test, as already mentioned, all functions are repeated in each phase
● In device-specific testing, as the name implies, the app is tested on different screen sizes and with as many different operating system and device combinations as possible to ensure the versatility of the app. Tools like Google's Firebase can help emulate this. However, practical tests for some leading devices are always preferable.
● In User Acceptance Testing, your app is tested by the target users and receives feedback about each feature
Step 5: Start
The main goal of this phase is to get a good number of downloads for your app. And that requires a lot of work, which can be divided into the following steps:
● Similar to SEO, app store optimization is critical to a successful start. There are just under three million apps in both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. To attract attention, you need to pay close attention to the appearance of your app – the keywords, the description and name of the app, and so on.
● While the App Store is eventually downloaded by users, it's important that your app's website rank high in search results. So SEO is something you need to do for your app and your app's website.
● If you're talking about websites, your app's website or landing page needs to be linked by describing the app in the App Store. In terms of content, on this page you can see everything from screenshots to frequently asked questions.
● Exclusivity is another element that can help ensure the success of your launch. If you invite selected people to use the app as a beta user prior to launch and consistently link it to quality content, you will receive a large number of initial downloads after launch.
● In addition to the organic reach you want to achieve through your social media, you must conduct paid promotions on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms based on your audience to reach and engage a broader audience installations.
● One buzzword in today's digital marketing world is influencer marketing, which has succeeded in replacing PR in many ways when it comes to spreading awareness of apps through word of mouth. Find the influencers who could use your app and connect with them to develop their follower base.
Step 6: After the start
A successful start does not mean that your app has overall success. Post-launch monitoring, analysis, updating the app to fix errors and crashes, listening to social media, reviewing reviews, and answering these questions are all important steps to take after launching an app.