According to a survey conducted in February 2021, nearly half of the respondents stated that, on average, they spent five to six hours on their phone on a daily basis, not including work-related smartphone use. Just five percent said they spent less than an hour a day on their smartphone. These are impressive figures, but only if your company takes the time to develop an app.
We use our phones at home, at school, while shopping, in bed, in our cars, and even while eating. Which begs the question: what are all of these people doing on their phones? Apps account for 90% of the time spent on mobile devices. On average, a user spends 20 minutes on a mobile app each day. Another incredible fact is, the app installs increased by 31% in 2021.
Furthermore, it is expected to surge in the coming years. This means there is hope for your app. Read on to find out how to build a successful mobile app that achieves your business goals.
The Definitive Guide to Mobile App Development
One of the most significant advantages of mobile app development for businesses is increasing brand awareness in concert with other marketing efforts. A smartphone app can be even more helpful in this situation.
While traditional awareness advertising efforts struggle to keep your brand in front of customers’ minds, a mobile app puts your company’s brand front and center on their mobile devices’ screens.
If you have designed features that enable communication with your customers frequently, you can be sure that once someone installs your app on their device, they will see your brand numerous times during the day.
What is Mobile App Development?
Mobile app development is the process of creating specific software applications that work on mobile devices. It involves creating installable software bundles, implementing back-end services, and testing the application on target devices. Mobile app development is also about the strategic process of designing, building, and launching a successful mobile app.
Mobile app development is a technique that leverages all the benefits a mobile device has to offer. This process considers the limitations of mobile devices and helps businesses balance cost with functionality.
Stages of Mobile App Development
- Pre-Development Stage
- Designing User Experience, Crafting the Aesthetic & Functionality of Your App
- Mobile App Development
- Post-Development Stage
I) Development Stage (Discovery Stage)
All too frequently, people leap right into developing a mobile app without a plan or understanding of the process. They arrive with preconceived beliefs that overlook and discard some critical aspects of the app’s success. What happens is that a lack of preparedness leads to several bumps and obstacles, which ruin their momentum and cost them a significant amount of time and resources.
Poor planning and strategy are one of the leading causes of mobile app failure. Always make sure you measure twice and cut once. The Discovery Stage is another term for the Pre-Development Stage. This stage is meant to describe the app’s goals, the problem(s) it solves, and end users’ expectations. The goal of this stage is to:
- Define the project from a project management standpoint
- Determine the project risks and dependencies
- Formulate a reasonable time & cost estimate for the project
If you want to make money with your app, which you should because you’re investing time and money into it, you should start with an app idea that has the potential to be successful in the long run. Typically, an idea arises from a problem that you, the app author, have encountered.
It could possibly be a problem that some people you know are dealing with.
People who use silly tech idioms like to refer to it as “scratching your own itch.” But be careful with that one, as believing that you are the user and hence know everything there is to know about the user might be dangerous. That is almost seldom the case. If you wish to take that path, make a list of the issues you want to solve and pick the one that keeps you awake at night. That’s the one you want to move forward with.
There are thousands of apps available now that serve the same purpose. As a result, studying your competitors is an excellent strategy to start your project and position yourself to surpass the other apps in your category. While researching other apps, look for the following metrics: number of installs, company history, star rating, and reviews. Iterations are beneficial, but they are time-consuming, costly, and, to be honest, sometimes frustrating.
Identifying your competitors will save you a few iterations. As a bonus, it will help you identify the distinct feature that sets you apart from the competition and enables you to stand out to your target audience.
Identify Your Target Audience
“People come here for popcorn; I sell popcorn. Therefore, this must be a good idea”. That is simply not the case. Similarly, you wouldn’t just put your app in a specific category on the app store and hope everything else works out.
You must establish a certain target group to appeal to in order to make a successful app. Age, gender, locality, hobbies, and so on are all useful metrics, to name a few. the factor that is sometimes ignored is the phone brands that your target market utilizes. You may wonder why this is significant.
Because phones, like any other device, have specifications and restrictions, you must consider things like screen resolution, color saturation, and other more technical aspects like hardware performance, battery life, and required accessories.
Before You Monetize Your App
This stage is best described as “how to get strangers to send you money via the internet.” It’s blunt, but it’s a good representation of the task’s difficulties. I won’t go into detail because this isn’t a monetization tutorial, but here are a few options to consider: in-app purchases, sponsorships, ad income, crowdsourcing, the freemium model, and classic paid ads.
Again, this is not a monetization plan, but as a starting point, attempt to figure out what your target audience often pays for online.
Create an MVP
The final step of the Pre-Development stage is to define the project’s roadmap, but only the Minimum Viable Product, not the entire project. That could signify a variety of things, but the simplest definition is a testable product with missing features. Why should something be testable? Because it aids in the early collection of data and user input. You’ll make small adjustments to subsequent iterations based on this input.
An MVP varies from a prototype in that it is a fully functional solution that can be distributed to the general public. While it will only have the functionality that are required to solve the major pain points you identified, it should function in the same way as the final product on the user’s end.
II) Designing UI/UX
It’s not just about designing software; it’s also about getting to know the product from the inside out. It all comes down to understanding the app’s features and operation, as well as designing everything with the end-user in mind. The appearance and feel of your mobile application has a big impact on your consumers’ minds.
You must ensure that the design is excellent and that it provides the best possible user experience, whether it is a full-fledged program or an MVP.
Designing mobile apps necessitates a thorough understanding of two key design concepts: user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
User Experience (UX)
“UX is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.” – The Interaction Design Foundation.
The user experience refers to how people feel while using your products. In our situation, the design must elicit a specific emotional response from the customer once they have used the app. It is the procedure for establishing the overall structure of a designed application or website. It’s commonly done through a set of schematic screens or pages with a low or medium level of fidelity.
The goal of this stage is to establish a clear and ordered structure for every layout, transitions, and interactions based on the problems and pains that the product will address. Design, accessibility, marketing, usability, overall system performance, ergonomics, HCI, and utility are all elements that affect user experiences.
Creating an intuitive user experience for your mobile application is a no-brainer, with an increasing number of organizations concentrating on user-centered design.
Wireframing & Prototyping
Wireframing is a process where designers draw overviews of interactive products to establish the structure and flow of possible design solutions. These diagrams are based on user and business requirements. Wireframes, whether drawn on paper or in software, aid teams and stakeholders in developing optimal, user-focused prototypes and products.
Wireframes are simple visual guides that show how experimental solutions would flow for target users. They are used by designers to propose elements for screens and webpages. For design teams to examine how concepts suit user and business needs early in the interaction design process, wireframing is crucial. You sketch down the bare bones of a solution and add navigation features and more depth.
Prototyping is more about testing interactivity and advanced versions that may nearly resemble released products when done at the highest level of detail. What is the significance of prototyping? Prototypes are often used to evaluate a product with real people.
Early prototype testing can save a lot of money and time that would otherwise be spent on designing the incorrect interface and back-end product architecture. It’s a useful validation tool for product design and development.
Furthermore, presenting a prototype to users and allowing them to go through some simple use-cases is incredibly informative and inspiring for the entire team.
User Interface (UI)
User Interface is actually a finalized interactive field in which the user interacts with the product. It comprises all of the tools needed to improve usability and meet the needs and desires of target users. All aspects of visual perception, as well as acoustic and tactile sensations, that influence product use and interaction should be studied and adjusted for the app or website’s intended function.
Color palettes, types and fonts, shapes and forms, illustration and animation, and so on and so forth, for example, can all have a significant impact on the end product’s performance, both positively and negatively.
In general, the UX research and wireframing stages are concerned with how the website or application functions, whereas the UI is concerned with how it appears. Both stages work on successful interactions, but the UX stage is primarily concerned with logic, linkages, and user behavior, whilst the UI stage is concerned with visualizing all of the concepts.
It suggests that the designer should prioritize the UX component of the project, focusing on the layout to make it more powerful, well-thought-out, clear, and simple to use. You run the danger of making a complete mess of the user interface if you don’t do this important work.
III) Development Stage (Mobile App Development)
It has been determined that you and your company require a mobile app. The next step is mobile app development, which depends on the type of app you want to design. A methodical approach to mobile app development is required to generate a successful mobile app. I understand if you’re perplexed and can’t decide which platform to choose or which mobile app development business to work with.
Choosing the best platform for mobile app development seems daunting, especially with so many options. To get more views and income, you should be clear about the facts, such as who it will serve and what type it should be. Mobile app development may be split into two categories in terms of types:
- Native app development
- Hybrid app development
Native App Development
The native application is the most common amongst developers. As we all know that Android and iOS have different mobile application designs. Android requires coding in Java or Kotlin, using Android Studio for the environment. With iOS, you require coding in Objective-C or Swift and the IDE is Xcode.
Therefore, this approach requires at least 2 developers or even a mobile app development team to build the two versions of one application.
Native apps are coded for a specific mobile platform — Windows, iOS or Android. The programming language used to write these apps is supported only by the operating systems of those platforms. A native app can leverage your device’s hardware and functionality to a large extent, which elevates the user experience. It also means you can use fancy native components and patterns.
Hybrid App Development
So, this web app which is wrapped by native codes gets to access the device’s hardware resources. So you get a real native app that you can download from the app store. It has that WebView UI component which then loads your app as a web page.
To develop a hybrid mobile app, you will need middleware like Cordova, Titanium from Appcelerator, React Native, PhoneGap, or Ionic. These tools allow you to create a mobile app with native language wrapper.
However, with today’s hardware and Internet speeds, the performance metric is diminishing drastically. There are top-rated hybrid apps out there that are UI-intensive. One example is Swiftspeed Appcreator App, which was made with IONIC on the app maker platform. It’s doing incredibly well to build a mobile app in a fraction of time and cost.
You’re also going to want to make sure you reassess these metrics every couple of years. The dynamics of phones and the speed of the network will be different over time. But just as everybody used to learn how to create a low-level coding app at the start, they’re now turning more toward hybrid applications. The key reason for this is the business side of app growth. You can save a lot of time and money on hybrid mobile app development versus fully native mobile app development.
Every strategy has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. While some ways are less expensive, which may be okay for quick and dirty initiatives, others may be more expensive but better suited to a project that you want to extend and grow in the long run. Whatever path you take, make sure to think things through and pick the best strategy before diving in and locking yourself into a technology you don’t enjoy working with.
The stage is set once you’ve defined your approach and created your design. It’s now time to start working on the app. Again, as you may have figured by now, mobile app development is an iterative process including a (large) number of steps. Sprint or agile methodology, in which all development efforts are broken into smaller subtasks and milestones, is the best technique for mobile app development.
The process begins with breaking down the tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. The criteria for each small module that is assigned to developers are then determined. Developers begin designing their method to complete their given jobs once requirements have been defined and comprehended. .
During the mobile app development phase, developers start implementing the functionality of the app. The development is an iterative process where developers make continuous changes as far as the coding is concerned until and unless they get the expected results. From iOS to Android, Windows, or Cross-Platform, the versatile mobile app development team at SwiftSpeed Appcreator has the latest devices and right skills to convey strong thoughts into an innovative reality.
Once the first sprint is complete, the app gets to be rigorously tested in a variety of real-world scenarios, including uncommon cases referred to as edge cases. This stage helps to detect and correct any technical flaws and prevent the accumulation of technical debt. It is good practice to test the app early and often as it will minimize the final costs. The farther you move into the development phase, the harder and costlier it becomes to fix bugs.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – William A. Foster
Testing the app early and regularly is a smart idea because it reduces the overall expenditures. Fixing faults becomes increasingly complex and expensive as you progress through the mobile app development phase. Testing is an important part of the app design and development process since it can help uncover flaws before the app is released to the public.
Because the App Store will not accept any apps with compilation errors or defects, the mobile app that is ready for submission has no chance of having these issues. Users will typically exit an app if it has functioning issues, no matter how exciting or interesting it appears to be. Even the most basic apps can be successful in terms of commerce, business, advertising, and other goals provided they function correctly and efficiently, meeting the expectations of the target audience and solving their problems.
Here are some types of testing applied in the process of mobile app creation:
Functional testing. It is the most basic test for any application to ensure that it is working according to the defined requirements and there are no functions missed in the process of interaction.
Performance testing. This type covers client application performance, server performance, and network performance. For example, it checks the performance specifications and behavior of the app under certain conditions such as the low battery, bad network coverage, low available memory and etc.
Memory testing. This type checks that each application maintains optimized memory usage throughout the user surfing.
Interruption testing. An app may face various interruptions while working, such as incoming calls or network coverage outages and recovery. This kind of testing shows what will the app do under these conditions. The common types of interruptions include incoming & outgoing calls, SMS/MMS and different notifications, low memory warning, network outage or recovery, low battery notification, cable insertion or removal, etc.
Security testing. It checks the vulnerability of the app to hacking, authentication and authorization policies, data security, session management, and other security standards.
Usability testing. It is carried out from the early stages of app creation to verify if the app fulfills the established objectives and tasks getting a good response from users.
IV) Post-Development Stage
When you are done with complete mobile app development and testing, it is time for deployment. Deploying an app calls for proper planning to ensure that the integrity of the live environment is protected and correct components are released. This stage is very dense and involves a lot of moving parts.
Submitting an application to the App Store can be a complex methodology. The expert development team at SwiftSpeed Appcreator can assist you all along the way, not simply bringing out the best mobile apps solutions, but additionally helping you to adapt or enhance viably.
The AppStore and Playstore have strong policies to make the app live, but Swiftspeed Appcreator developers have quite good expertise in this domain where experts help customers to get it live. In fact, they have successfully launched over 4500 mobile applications to date.
Once 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, the development team constantly monitors its usage through mobile analytics platforms and measure your app’s success, while checking crash reports or other user-reported issues.
After the completion of mobile app development, the next thing is to measure its performance. This comes after your app has been listed in the app stores and is downloaded by the target audience. One thing that you need to keep in mind is to get some analytic tool integrated with your app. This will help you gather data about the app and help you make valuable decisions based on that.
The increasing adoption of remote work culture, online shopping, telemedicine, and e-learning has surged the demand for portable devices, particularly smartphones and tablets. This again has increased the need for mobile apps across all lines of business. According to App Annie’s forecast, the number of mobile app installs will reach 258 billion by 2022, an incredible 45% rise from 2019.
Swiftspeed Appcreator specializes in mobile app development, and our experts can help position your app for success right from idea to launch. In addition, leading review firms like Trust Pilot and Business of Apps have recognized our mobile app development expertise. Contact us to know more.