Mobile application development: Top 9 steps to build your startup
As soon as one has got an interesting idea of a new app, he or she wants to realize it very quickly. But at first, let’s look at the plan everybody must hold to when starting to design an app.
You need to set goals, consider the structure and plan the way of app design and development. Here you find top 9 steps from the abstract idea of to the practical implementation. It doesn’t matter whether it’s developed for iOS, Android or Web, this plan is useful for every developer.
This infographic leads you from “the bottom stage” to “the upper stage” of your project.
The steps of the app development were described in general terms.
Now each of the 9 steps, its goal and necessity will be described more precisely.
1. Write down the purpose and ideas of an app.
The abstract idea must turn into the exact goal. In what way is your iOS or Android application helpful for users? It should solve some problems and simplify the life of users or serve for entertainment.
Write down your ideas concerning generating money from your app. Either it’s offered for free (then you can earn money with ads appearing in the application) or paid. Each feature must be described exactly.
2. Market survey and target audience
Maybe you think that your idea is unique. But something similar has ever appeared already. That’s why it’s important to make a research of apps existing in the market. Analyze applications similar to yours, and after carrying out the competition analysis you should decide upon advantages and disadvantages of the competitors.
For the successful app design and development, you should make the portrait of the average user interested in the app. The ads for older women and for teens has to be different so let’s decide what your target audience is. After you have defined these target users, try to look through their eyes. What do they want? What sources must they learn about your app from? That would be a plus to describe your app creation idea to some of these users and to ask if it’s interesting for them, what they wish to see in the app and what seems boring.
3. Making a wireframe
The wireframe is a basely detailed presentation of the app design. With help of wireframes, you can clarify the future look of your app both for yourself and for developers. There are wireframing tools enough in the internet so everybody can figure out how to create a wireframe and do it rather fast.
The app design is sketched very quickly using these tools:
Now you should move to the creating of the user interface. Basing on your previous plans you should make the skins of app design. They are clickable, look like the full-fledged product and simplify the testing (It would be preference to invite friends for testing and to listen to their opinion).
These tools help you to create the design on your own:
If you have employed a designer, show him your wireframes. The experienced designer will not only create the unique design but also advise you interesting solutions, he will draw your attention to preferable features and explain what is annoying and uncomfortable for users.
5. Decide upon the back end
After having created skins you have clarified the app design expectations and plans about the functionality of the app. But the application needs the back end, so decide if you create it yourself (for that you need to decide upon your servers, to develop APIs yourself) or if you don’t understand much of how it functions, use a service offering you back-end development and hosting.
And you should make an account in Google Play and Apple. In this way your application should be brought to the market.
7. Testing and improving
Now when the demo version is ready, you should let the friends and acquaintance test your application. Especially pay attention to the opinion of those friends who belong to the target audience. Ask them what they like and don’t like about this app idea development. What do they want to change? Is the navigation comfortable for them? What colors do they prefer and what seems strange to them? Be ready for the criticism and improve your app design.
Take the feedback into account and improve your app. When you think everything is OK about this app, you should start with beta testing. You need to examine the final layers, interactions, and design (these platforms can help you: Proto.io and Pixate)
The same team or target audience which has tested your product for the first time helps again and should evaluate the changes. Ask them if the application has become better if their concerns were taken into account. Of course, the bugs have to be removed and the app design sometimes has to be modified again.
8. Time to release
Finally, this time has come! You have tested and improved the app many times and it’s time to release. The way from the idea to the full product is travelled! But you should know some peculiarities of the operating systems.
Concerning the way of coming to the market, Android and iOS are different. If you make an Android application, you can just add it to the android store. The same thing is with the Google Play store. But iOS is more strictly. If you publish the app on iOS, the iOS team has to review your app before release, so you have to wait a couple of days.
9. Upgrade and new materials
To release the app and to think that you’ll become rich instantly would be strange. Other new apps appear very quickly so you should keep the users interested in your app. Prepare yourself for making updates and creating new content.
Use the feedback and analytics to understand the behavior and interests of users. Such an important thing as KPI (Key Performance Indicator) measures the success of your app. There are many indicators and you should choose the right ones.
Inform the users about new functions with help of notifications but don’t change the interface fundamentally and very often, sometimes it’s annoying for users.
News, updates, interesting functions - you need them to hold the interest of your users, for your app not to be forgotten in a couple of weeks.