Mobile App Development Process Steps to Build Your First Successful App

mobile-app-development-process

Successful mobile applications = Result

For example, these top smartphone applications Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, Snapchat, Tinder are results.

Wait, wait, result? These applications are results?
Results of what?

These top applications are the result of a tested mobile app development process.

Being a custom mobile app development company, we have developed over 3500 mobile applications on Android and iOS platforms. Many of those apps are featured in CB INSIGHTS, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Financial Times, and BBC News. In short, we know each and every step that is required to develop a successful mobile application. Today, we are going to share this step by step app development process with you.

Ready?

Introduction

When you get an idea to develop a mobile app or how to make a mobile app, you will come across a lot of questions. Like

  • What to know before developing a mobile app?
  • What is the mobile app development lifecycle?
  • What are the steps in developing an app?
  • How to develop a mobile app from scratch?
  • How much time does it take to develop an app?

In fact, we receive a lot of such questions. So we decided to write a blog on the same topic which we can share with our future clients as well. Bookmark this article if you are planning to develop an app. Reason? Because this article will help you to understand the basic app development process steps and methodologies. There are many answers on what to do with your new mobile app idea, but extensive research on the process of developing an app has not been done in an open article like this. 

9 Mobile App Development Process Steps That We Follow For a Successful App Development

    1. Project requirement discussion

At first, we will have a typical phone call, casual, short, just to identify if we can assist you if we can take this project forward.

Project requirement discussion

What do we expect from you, from our clients?
First, we want the basic details from your end. Like what kind of application you want to develop, what is your budget, what is your timeline, do you have any other app similar to your app idea? At Space-O Technologies, we believe that “healthy conversations lead to trustworthy relationships for future ventures.” The more we know about your idea, the better we can assist you.

30-min free consultation
Our sales representative team provides a 30-minute free consultation, where you can ask questions related to app idea. Then, our team prepares a proposal for you along with WBS (Work-breakdown Structure). Our aim is to check the feasibility of your idea and suggest the best technical go ahead.

    1. Business Insight & Estimation

After consultation with you, we have a kick-off meeting, wherein we decide the team members and provide recommendations or suggestions for your app development. Our process in the meeting starts with a QA involvement and test case availability.  The early involvement enables QA to understand customer requirements better. Application flow-related queries get resolved in the very initial phase. 

Business Insight and Estimation

Once requirement analysis and designs get freeze QA starts with the test case creation. It requires 20% extra efforts of whatever efforts we have estimated for testing.  We try to cover the maximum positive and negative test scenarios while writing test cases. We also create a test plan document to define testing scope and objective but it depends upon the project requirement. This allows us proper cost estimation for your app and provides a feasible concept of real mobile app or website.

    1. Signing NDA 

Now after the test cases and cost estimation, if you are willing to go ahead with us for your customized mobile app development, we make it official by signing the agreement, NDA.

Why NDA for your app idea?
We ensure that your idea is safe with us. In fact, it avoids misunderstandings or miscommunication between us.

Signing NDA

What you will get in the project development agreement?
After completion of the project discussion and providing an estimation, the next step is to sign a project development agreement which is the key to associate with Space-O Technologies. The agreement contains – Project deliverables, Milestones, Legal clauses, and Reference/Annexures.

Being a professional in the app world, we provide mobile app development services specified on-paper. Our real-work starts after signing an agreement which consists of understanding project requirements, defining communication methods, scheduling scrum meetings, file sharing, and expected delivery phases in set milestones.

For development, we do a kick-off meeting at our company. This meeting defines the app developers and other team members, who will work on your project.

    1. Wireframing of the app

After the project, requirements are understood and communication methods (Slack, Skype, Basecamp) are set, the question of how much time will it take to design an app arises. The designing part is the most intricate mobile app development process step. 

What is the wireframe?
The wireframe can be understood as a pillar for application/website. It helps you to understand the flow of the system and gives a rough idea of how the system would function. The wireframe helps in the precise estimation of the development timeline. It also helps the designers get a gist of the system flow and aid them in creating flawless and accurate designs.

Wireframing of the app

Which tools our BA team uses for wireframing your app idea?
Our Business Analyst team analyzes your app idea to make a wireframe of required features using Balsamiq 3.5.17 and AdobeXD wireframe design tool.

Why do we need a wireframe? What is the importance of a wireframe?
An app has many features, for instance, you want a chat feature in the app. But there are a variety of different chat types viz one-to-one chat, group chat, timeline management. That particular requirement can be clearly penned down in wireframes and gives an idea to the stakeholder how the chat flow would work.

    1. UI/UX design

Before starting to prepare initial app designs, we sent you a questionnaire that helps us in knowing your preferences. It consists of questions like.

Questions we ask our clients

      • Which color would you prefer for your app?
      • Basic preferences for color and fonts
      • Which apps do you like?  

This helps us to know your preferences.

Tools our UI/UX designers use
According to your taste, we make sample screens using mobile app design tools like

      • Adobe XD
      • Sketch and
      • Adobe Photoshop

UI-UX design

What do we deliver during this phase?
The sample contains an app icon, splash screen (first screen), log in, or sign-up form, the home page. We prepare two UI/UX choices for you. After sending the samples, we wait for your feedback and make the changes, if any, according to your preference.

Expert Tip: Once you have identified the requirements, before the final development, you can easily go through a minimum-viable-product launch. This will help you in developing mobile apps that are tested and approved by the targeted audience.

 After the final approval of the design, we make a systematic app development flow to start the app development process to make it a user-centric product by using Flinto or Invision.

We prepare an up-front design of your complete app without writing a single line of code.  

    1. App development

After coming together with app designs, the mobile app developers get down to bring everything into action. The project manager defines tasks to the developers and a systematic mobile app development steps plan is made to achieve the set milestones. 

App development

We value your time and money, thus, a discussion of every thought, suggestion, or decision is done with you. The progress of the mobile app development process steps is given to you by a “walk-through of the developed app screens” via project management tools like Basecamp and Trello.

For Android development, we use the following technologies
Programming language: Java, Kotlin
IDE: Android Studio
Database: SQLite, Realm
Tools: Android SDK, Android NDK

For iOS development, we use the following technologies
Language: Swift, Objective C
IDE: XCode
Database: SQLite, Realm, CoreData

mobile app development process steps
For Backend development, we use the following technologies
Languages: PHP, RoR, GOLang, Node js, Angular Js, React Js, .Net

    1. Q/A testing

When you decide to create a new app, it is inevitable to keep testing the app. It helps in keeping the cost low and to build a qualitative app. The farther in you go into the mobile app development cycle, the costlier it becomes to fix the bug. 

QA testing

When developing mobile applications, before the final reveal to the world, our QA team runs various tests to make sure that the app works flawlessly. Have a look at the difference between functional and non-functional tests included in the process of mobile app development.

      • Functional test: Through this type, the app is tested against the functional requirements/specifications of the client. It provides the appropriate input and expects the correct output, testing the user interface. In short, all the user requirements are specified by the business are well tested.
      • Non-functional test: It focuses on the good quality of app software especially the nonfunctional aspects such as response time, security, scalability, usability, performance. It covers all the tests that are not covered in functional testing.

Let’s dive into the difference to get better clarity about the QA testing as an integral part of stages of app development.

Functional TestingNon-Functional Testing
This testing is performed using the functional specification by the client and verifies the app against the functional requirements.This testing checks the performance reliability, scalability, and other non-functional aspects of the app-building.
During the application development process, this test is performed first.This test is performed after functional testing.
Manual testing and automatic tool are used for functional testing.Tools are more effective for this testing.
The requirements of the business are the inputs for functional testing.Speed, scalability, and other performance parameters are part of non-functional testing.
It describes what the product actually does.It describes how good the product is.
Easy for manual testing.Tough for manual testing.
Examples: Functional Testing

  • Unit testing
  • Smoke testing
  • Sanity testing
  • Integration testing
  • White-box testing
  • Black Box testing
  • User-acceptance testing
  • Regression testing
Examples: Performance testing

  • Load testing
  • Volume testing
  • Stress testing
  • Security testing
  • Installation testing
  • Penetration testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Migration testing

The application is tested to check its usability, compatibility, interface checks, and performance. We have around 50 iOS & Android devices to check, locate, and fix issues that arise due to UI. The devices come in different dimensions, screen sizes, OS versions. Thus this type of testing ensures that there are no functionalities that are causing the problem to the application when it is live and used by the users.

For keeping track of your mobile app testing phase, QA sends a release note with every build release.  We develop and test simultaneously to find bugs as early as possible. Parallel testing is done as soon as a module s developed or milestone is completed.

First, we perform the unit test, QA testing using a black-box testing method that is commonly performed for functional and regression testing.

Black-box Testing

After completing testing and making your application 100% bug-free and smooth from our side, we send it to you, and we call it UTA (User Acceptance Testing) testing.

    1. Launching the app

How to publish app on Appstore and Playstore?
Don’t worry. We assist our customers in uploading their application on Appstore and Playstore without charging any additional cost.

What do we need from your end?
We only need developer account credentials from the customers to upload it.

Launching the app

Is it easy to publish the application?
The AppStore and Playstore are having strong policies to make the app live, but we do have quite good expertise in this domain where our experts help our customers to get it live. In fact, we have successfully launched over 3500 mobile applications to date.

An app’s release in the app store includes:

      • Your app’s title
      • Description
      • Category
      • Keywords
      • Launch icon
      • App Store screenshots

Once when you submit your app in the Apple App Store, the iOS app goes through a review process that takes a few days to several weeks. It depends on the quality of your app and how closely it follows iOS development guidelines. If your app requires user login, then you also need to submit a user account along with the developer account. 

Unlike iOS, Android does not have a review process. The app becomes available in the app store within a few hours of submission. 

Once your app is deployed, our team constantly monitors its usage through mobile analytics platforms and measure your app’s success. We also check crash reports or other user-reported issues.

  1. Post-production support

As the application gets in the hands of users, feedback will pour in and for future versions of the app, you will need to incorporate that as an app update. Every app will need new features and technological updates, thus this is the last mobile app development process step. Typically, as soon as the first version of the app is released, the development cycle begins anew. 

Post-production support
We, at Space-O Technologies, provide you with an “after launch service program” which is 3-month support.

Read Here: Learn Benefits of Updating apps Frequently

What you will get in this free support?
During this period, if we face any issue or bug, we will instantly fix the issue. Once the duration of free support is finished, if a customer would like to extend the support period then, we prefer to sign an annual maintenance contract that can protect the app owner if any new issue/bug will arrive then, it can be immediately fixed.

Frequently asked questions for mobile app development process steps

  1. What are the main steps in developing a mobile application?

    When you plan to develop an app, there are several steps that form an integral process in the application development lifecycle. Let’s have a quick look at it.

    Research: It consists of app development idea, competitor analysis, the listing of features, market analysis.
    Wireframing: Sketching the app structure that helps you to understand the functionality and features. It helps designers get the gist of the system flow and aid them in creating flawless & accurate UI/UX.
    UI/UX design: See the actual placement of icons, color combinations, you can also modify information architecture, workflow, of your app.
    Technical aspects: Look into the process of mobile app development and know your technical feasibility. Your app’s requirement depends on its format as well as the platform, this is figured out with the help of public APIs.
    App development: The app’s coding, bug fixing, selection of technical stack libraries, it also consists of an app development milestone to keep a track of the development process.
    Testing: The QA tests the application. An app’s usability, compatibility, security, interface checks, stress, and performance.
    Deployment: The app is deployed on the respective platforms and web servers.
    Post-production support: Adding and updating features & functionalities in the app for better user experience.

  2. How do you start your own app?

    In a nutshell, there are thousands of ideas for mobile applications and the app market is growing faster than a beanstalk. Now, you might have made up your mind to build a mobile app, but what should be your next step? Go through these actionable steps for your new app idea and identify the correct direction and growth of the mobile app idea.

    • Research
    • Identify and study the top competitive apps
    • Look out for a problem and provide a solution with your app
    • List the features
    • Run the MVP test
    • Take reviews & recommendation into consideration
    • Keep updating and evolving
  3. How much does it cost to build an app?

    Giving a rough answer to how much does it cost to build an app. Let’s assume an average rate of $30 per hour and an app costs with basic features, app design & development will be $2400-$2700. (this cost is calculated considering the approximate hours i.e. 80-90 hrs)

    You can also apply a simple formula: Development time x Cost per hour = Total app development cost

  4. Is it hard to create an app?

    The creation of an app depends on the app idea and its complexity. It is the end product that you have in mind, which plays a major role in deciding the total cost to build an app too. You need to consult an experienced app development company like us who will define your app’s design and development goals. Thus, app development is hard or easy, depending on its features and functionalities. 

Conclusion

We hope that sharing this information about our app development process will give you a better idea while selecting the best app development company for your project. Every human tends to do some mistakes, and thus, we also are made up of the same origin. But our escalation ratio is very less, about 5-6% of projects hardly go under escalation. 

Our team members are committed to providing YOU with the best experience possible. We have received a lot of testimonials from our clients, and this is exactly what defines us, our power, our clients – the happiness and success of our clients.

Client Testimonials

In case, if you still have any query or confusion regarding the mobile app development process, cost of app development, how to create an app and make money, why to develop an MVP of an app, how to build an app, mobile app development process steps, feel free to discuss all your expectations about the app with our sales representative. Just ill the contact us form and we will assign our best resource who can help you out, who can validate your idea, who can guide you in the right direction. 

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This page was last edited on October 14th, 2020, at 3:36.

Author Bio

Jigar Mistry

Jigar Mistry

Designation: Vice President (Technologies)

Jigar Mistry is Vice President (Technologies) at Space-O Technologies. He has 14+ years of experience in the web and mobile app development industry. He has expertise in different mobile app categories like health and fitness, eCommerce, and on-demand.

 
 

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