In 2020, app development is no longer a foreign subject and many businesses have benefited greatly from using an app as part of their business. For those who have yet to introduce the use of an app in their business, fret not, today we will go through some best practices of how an app development process should go.
1. Coming up with a strategy
Firstly, think about what issues and problems you are trying to solve in your business with the help of an app. There is never a one-size-fits all app that works perfectly for everyone, and thus a good way to start is to fill the gaps and identify how an app could help with your business. A clear problem and solution should be defined, and you could do this by identifying the end users of the app, researching about the current competition, and selecting an appropriate mobile platform for your app.
2. Analysis and Planning
This stage would require more technical planning and identifying of the detailed functional requirements of your business. This can be done by using a roadmap to map down your entire work process or customer journey and pinpoint certain road bumps that could use the help of the app. At the same time, you should keep the capabilities and skills of the app developer in mind, and plan it in a way that your requirements matches what he or she could create. For example, Android and iOS platforms use different technology stacks, and you need to identify which one you are going for, and hire the respective app developer.
3. Looking into UI/UX Designing
UI which stands for user interface, and UX which stands for user experience, are both crucial in today’s app development world. With consumer expectations on the rapid rise throughout the past few years, coupled with competitive apps in regards to high quality UI/UX, I cannot stress enough that this stage is crucial for your app development process. The UI/UX contributes a lot to the success of an app. Ultimately, your goal is to provide your end users with a seamless and interactive experience when they use your app, thus it is advisable to invest some time in designing a high quality UI/UX for your app. With a great UI/UX design, it will keep users engaged especially when you first launch your app, and this will make them want to continue using your app.
A best practice among app developers is to make use of wireframes. A wireframe is a digital form of a sketch of your project design. It lays out the basic blueprint and overall look of your app, and maps out what should go where. At this point, there is no need for colour or any styles yet. Wireframes should mainly cover the functions of your app and the visual structure.
After that, the app developer would use prototypes to show you a simulated experience of the final product. While this stage may be time-consuming and ensues a lot of editing by trial and error, you will be thankful for this stage when you have the final product because you have modified it in a way that is closer to your idea.
4. Developing the actual app
Before programming the app, is it best practice to define the following:
- Complete technical architecture
- Select a technology stack
- Define development milestones
After these definitions, you should look at the backend, API and Front-end of the app. This would be the main parts of mobile app development and your developer should also take you through this journey.
This would have to do with what servers and database is needed for supporting various functions of your mobile app.
API stands for Application Programming Interface and is essentially like a link bridge which the app would use to interact with the server.
The front-end of the app is basically what the end users would see and use, so it plays a big part in the user experience (UX). Most apps use interactive UX which could use an API and connect to a backend server for managing the data.
8. Comprehensive Testing
Consistent quality assurance checks should be placed throughout the entire mobile app development process at the respective milestones which are set out. To do this, test cases should be prepared which accommodates for the different aspects of testing your app. These tests should then be recorded for software quality evaluation and tracking. For more effective results, these results should be analysed, modified on the app, and then the tests could be ran again to amend those bugs.
Now, it is time to release your app into a the app store. This would require you to have a developer account with either the Google PlayStore or Apple App store, depending on which platform you want to launch your app on. After submission, it takes a few days for Google or Apple to review your app according to their guidelines.
10. Feedback and bug fixing
Once it is uploaded, it is advisable to encourage feedback from the initial users and this would help in allowing you to note certain bugs and lacking areas and actively provide fixes for them through patches.
This is the typical cycle of how a mobile app is developed. Now that your app is up and running, it is good to continue receiving feedback and work on it consistently to provide your end users with the best experience and value via your app.
If you want to find out more or start on an app development project, SGI has been doing it for almost a decade and we would love to have a discussion with you.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9172 9726 to book a consultation session over zoom call or a meeting.