In 2020, mobile apps are projected to generate approximately $188.9 billion in revenue via app stores and in-app advertising. Similarly, enterprise mobility is estimated to be worth $510.39 billion by 2022.
Multiple companies are trying to take advantage of this trend. In this scenario success within the competitive landscape of these growth projections can become a reality for your company provided the fact that it is supported by a precisely cultivated mobile app development process.
An effective app development process flow usually spans over six key phases.
The first and foremost step in the mobile app development process focuses on shaping the strategy for transforming a valuable idea into an eminent app. It can also be considered as a significant part in enterprise mobility strategy which depends on the objective and impact of an app. This step considers features as mentioned below:
- Analyzing similar apps in market/trend
- Set up goals and objectives of the app
- Select an appropriate mobile platform for your app
On an average mobile apps cost $150,000 – $200,000 and can take a considerable amount of time to be developed. A perfect strategy helps to set your vision regarding the app and further assists you to dive deep into the next phase of the mobile application development process.
- Analysis and Planning
At this stage, your app idea turns into an actual project. Analysis and planning begin with recognizing detailed functional requirements.
After you have identified the requirements for your app, prepare a product roadmap that includes grouping the mobile app requirements into delivery milestones. You always have the option of defining your minimum-viable-product (MVP) if time, resources or financial support are a concern for the initial launch.
Proper planning also includes distinguishing the skills required for app development. For example, iOS and Android mobile platforms use completely different development technology stacks. Thus, to build a mobile app which will run on both iOS and Android mobile platforms your mobile development team should comprise of both iOS and Android app developers in india .
- UI/ UX Design
The purpose of an app’s design is to deliver a coherent and consistent user experience with a polished look.
The success of a mobile app is streamlined by how well users are adopting and getting benefitted from all its features. The intent is to make an app interactive, intuitive, and user-friendly to deliver great and satisfying user experiences. While elegant UI designs help with early adoption, an app should provide the users inherent experiences to keep them engaged.
Workflow & Information Architecture
The first step in designing an app is to ascertain the data that the mobile app will display to the users; the data it will collect from user interactions with the app, and data that an user will experience within the app.
For organizations and enterprise mobile solutions who have multiple users with varied roles and privileges, it is necessary to incorporate few norms as part of an app’s information architecture. Workflow diagrams help discover every possible interaction a user has with the app and the app’s navigation structure.
Mobile app designers often start app design with Wireframes, the digital form of sketches. Wireframes can be considered as conceptual layouts which provides a visual structure to your app’s functionalities and requirements.
Generating wireframes is a quick and cost-effective approach for designing app layouts. The criteria of device specific design should be considered while preparing a wireframe to provide an intuitive and device specific user experience regardless of the app being used on iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablets.
Style guides contribute substantially to an app’s designing approach. Style guides takes into consideration factors that are pre-set and followed by an enterprise such as:
- font family
- color theme
- reflecting company brand in the app design
Establishing a style guide as part of your mobile app development process improves the productivity of it. Additionally, following a style guide helps to keep an app’s look and feel consistent.
A mockup is a full rendering of your design ideas which is created by applying a style guide on app wireframes. These high-fidelity designs provide significant and additional modifications to the information architecture, workflow, and aesthetics of an app. Adobe Photoshop is the most popular tool for creating mockups.
While mockups display mobile app’s functionality using static designs, these can be modified into prototypes with tools like Invision and Figma. Prototypes are extremely beneficial for simulating user experience and in determining an app’s workflows as expected from the finished product. They aid in an early-stage testing of your app’s design and functionality. Prototypes also help identify modifications to the app’s proposed functionality.
Some organizations prefer doing prototypes at the wireframing stage, when an app’s functional requirements have not been fully devised.
- App Development-
Planning is a constitutive part of this phase in the mobile app development in India process. Following factors are to be borne in mind before actual development efforts start:
- Describe the technical architecture,
- select a technology stack
- Specify the development milestones.
A typical mobile app project has three parts: back-end/server technology, API(s) and the mobile app front-end.
This includes modifying database and server-side objects that are necessary for supporting functions of your mobile app. For an existing back-end platform, modifications may be required to support a particular functionality.
An Application Programming Interface or API is a method of communication between the app and a back-end server/database.
Mobile App Front-End
Mobile app front-end is the native mobile app for end-users to use. In most cases, mobile apps consist of interactive user experiences that make use of an API and a back-end for managing data. In case an app may need to utilize local data storage in order to allow users to work without internet access.
There are multiple programming languages and technology stack available for building mobile apps. The trick is to select for a technology stack that is best suited for your mobile app. For native mobile apps, you can choose a technology stack as required by each mobile OS platform. iOS apps, on the other hand can be developed using Objective-C or Swift programming language and Android apps are primarily built on Java or Kotlin.
With platforms and devices changing rapidly and considering the fact that Mobile technologies progress with new versions of mobile platforms, agility has become one of the essential factors for building mobile apps within timelines and budgets. Agile mobile application development in India approach helps organize planning and design strategies, development & testing methods during the entire cycle of mobile app development.
- All Agile development methods are primarily based on the following principles:
- Quick response to any change with the help of adaptive planning;
- Elaboration of the project requirements;
- Rationalization of various tasks performed by the App development team;
- App development in a sequential manner with strict deadlines.
- This approach paves way for frequent software releases with completed functionality.
Following completion of each development milestone, it is put across to the testing team for validation.
Testing is imperative to an app’s future success as it encompasses a significant part of the overall mobile app development process. During the testing phase, there are many ways for distributing your app to the testers. The most common approach with iOS apps remains using the Testflight and for Android apps it can be accomplished via email or Over The Air (OTA) installs.
Implementing a detailed quality assurance (QA) testing during the mobile app development process leads to development of stable, usable, and secure applications. A suitable practice is involving your QA team in the Analysis and Design stages for simpler resolutions. A better alignment within your app’s functional requirements and objectives help produce accurate test cases.
User Experience Testing
Visuals, workflow, and interactivity of an app give users a first-hand impression of your app. Therefore, a critical step in mobile app testing is to ensure that the final implementation synchronizes well with the user experience. Make sure that the basic features like fonts, style treatments, color scheme, padding between data, icon design, navigation etc are designed and executed properly.
The purpose of functional testing is to ensure that users can use the features of a particular app without any hassle. The accuracy of a mobile app is critical to its success.
The functionality of your app should be tested by as many users to check for defects or bugging. The testing can further be divided into system testing with the app working as a whole, and unit testing to check whether individual functions of the app are operating correctly.
Functional testing should entail a feature comparison between iOS and Android versions if you aim to build an app for both the platforms.
There are many quantitative criteria’s to check for measuring the performance of an app. For example-
- How well is your app responding to the user requests?
- How fast are the app’s screens loading?
- Is your app draining the phone battery or causing memory leaks?
- Does your app leverage network bandwidth efficiently?
- Is the size of your app bigger than what it should be?
The app should be able to handle the load and perform well even when there is a spike in usage.
Security is one of the crucial factors for enterprise mobile apps. Any potential vulnerability may result in hacking. Many companies prefer a thorough security testing on their applications. Quality Experts and development team can take a few simple measures to build a secured app.
To begin with, log in sessions within an app should be tracked on the device and the backend. User sessions should be terminated by the system if a user has been idle for an extended time. Ensure using a trusted service if an app saves user credentials on the device to make it convenient for usage. For example, iOS apps come along with the Keychain feature that provides the option of storing user’s account details for a specific app.
Data entry forms within a mobile app should be tested thoroughly to make sure there is no data leakage.
Device and Platform Testing
On an average, new mobile devices are introduced in the market every 12 months with new hardware, firmware, and design. Mobile operating systems are updated as well every few months.
Multiple mobile device manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola use Android platform, but they customize the platform for their mobile devices since Android is open source.
On the contrary Apple has a more controlled environment, since they control both hardware and the OS. However, there are numerous iPhone & iPad, Apple iOS devices on the market, where testing during the mobile app development process differs significantly from web app testing. A mobile app has to be tested on multiple mobile devices to ensure a smooth functioning for all users.
The complexity of mobile app testing on different mobile devices, support costs, and mobile device management factors are primary reasons why companies tend to build their enterprise mobile apps for a single mobile platform.
- Deployment & Support
Launching a native mobile app has a prerequisite of submitting your app to the app stores which indicates Apple App Store for iOS apps development in india and Google Play for Android apps. However, a developer account is much required with Apple App Store and Google Play Store prior to the launch of any mobile app.
The process of releasing apps in the app store comprises of preparing a metadata as mentioned below:
- Title of the App
- A brief Description of the app
- Launch icon
- App store screenshots
Android apps become available in the app store within a few hours of submission to the Android Store.
iOS apps, on the contrary are screened through a review process post submission in the Apple App Store. This is a gradual process which depends on the quality of the app and whether it is abiding by Apple’s iOS development guidelines. Additionally, you are required to provide Apple with a test user account in case the app stands in need of users to log in.
Once your app is available in the app stores, you can observe its usage through mobile analytics platforms and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which indicates your app’s success. You also have to keep an eye on crash reports or other user reported issues. It is a good practice to encourage users to provide feedback and suggestions for the app. Prompt support for end-users and improving your app customarily leads to better retention of users.
With native mobile apps, you have to routinely update your app for new mobile devices and OS platforms, thus keeping a pace with the recent trends and technologies.
App development is a fundamental process which continues even after the initial launch depending on user feedback and to provide significant functionalities. IndGlobal Digital has been a renowned mobile app development company in India. Over the years, IndGlobal Digital has provided mobile app development services across many sectors like finance, healthcare, construction, retail, logistics, industrial engineering, consumer products and entertainment. We follow a particular process for all the mobile apps that we develop trailed by a successful launch of your app.