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A Step-by-Step Guide to Custom Mobile App Development

By Alan

Google Play and Apple App Store receive thousands of apps by custom mobile app development companies around the world. These mobile applications can be of any genre like games, social networks, e-commerce, event registration etc. In this article, we are highlighting the basic strategy for app development. This procedure is followed in almost all professionally developed applications, even though each app is unique.

App development methods are getting richer and better tools are being developed each day. The main stages of any iOS app development or Android app are as follows:

Ideation:

custom mobile app development

Many people have gotten to their present successful state by having an innovative app idea. Many apps have been contributing to the discovery of new businesses and creation of new jobs. So, having the right idea can be the founding element of your application development strategy.

However, if you don’t have a groundbreaking idea, that doesn’t mean that you cannot venture out in the custom mobile app development business. In the absence of an idea, just think back on the problems you always feel can be solved in a simpler app, think of a way to recreate this solution into a mobile application and voila you are there. You can talk to people about the said problem and take in their responses. Speak to professionals about and learn if what you are thinking is actually do-able? The answer usually is yes. You should discuss all practicalities at this stage to avoid any potential pitfalls that may cost you dearly in term of money, efforts and time.

 

Strategy for App Design:

Competition: Once you have identified and refined your app idea, then comes the part for you to categorize your competition. Check out the similar apps and check things like (number of installations they have, ratings and reviews along with company/ app history.

 

The reasons for these measures are:

Analyzing your competition and its history; is a huge learning opportunity. Everyone makes mistakes but learning from other’s mistake is what matters. You can get most of the things right the first time and avoid wasting precious resources. Then there is the obvious reason, you can learn who you are up against and strategize how to hold up on your own. If there are vendors offering the same thing, you can ask what more would customers like and alter your solution to meet their demands.

 

Monetization: Hardly, anyone makes an app just for the sake of it. People have app developments to earn money. That’s why many apps use in-app purchases, premium features, ads, selling user data, asking to be paid for downloads. Beware of when you decide to monetize your app, for startups, this strategy may offer more harm than use. Check out what market is already willing to pay and which method of payment is normally adopted by them.

Marketing: This step in custom mobile app development strategy matters. It is where you recognize the challenges that you will be facing during the marketing app. You will have to figure out a game plan to drive app adoption. Why should people switch to your app, while there already an app in the market they are using? You need to define your marketing goals and plan budget. Some apps, though, like event registration and enterprise app do not even require marketing.

 

Road Map: This is where you lay down all your cards. What do you hope to achieve? What ingredients do you already have? What more do you need? This initial version is also termed as MVP (Minimal Value Product). You will draw an idea of what your app will be doing and what task is at which priority rank. You can also decide which features to add later on. You can get random users to give you feedback here for improvements.

User Experience Design:

custom mobile app development

Information Architecture: This process decides which type of functionality and data should be offered on your app and how to organize it. Write a list of features and a list of what needs to be displayed on various app screens. This lays the foundation for wireframes.

Wireframes: Here you create screens and assign functions and data to it. You can offer the same function on various screen but bind it to one origin. Begin writing code only when all the specs are decided to avoid having to rewrite things over and over again. Once you have screens, then comes app workflows.

WorkFlow: These are paths that a user navigates when using an app. Here you decide what a user can do and which screen will be best for him to access a certain feature.  Take your time but make sure that the flow of your app is so smooth that a user needn’t think before tapping. Go back and update wireframes if you must but make your app user-friendly.

Click-through Models: These models help you test efficiency of your wireframes and workflows.  You can check your wireframes on the phone screen for a more realistic approach, even though the app isn’t functional at this moment.

User Interface Design:

custom mobile app development

Style Guides: These are the building blocks for what your app is going to look like. A style guide can help you improve app usability. It can offer practical insights that will make your app more attractive to the user, without being overly complicated. A consistent design methodology helps the user understand your app sooner.

In this step, you identify your users and their habits (e.g. are your user’s night owls, which means you need a darker theme). A great design team will design your app to fit your customers like a glove. The output of this phase is the right set of colors, fonts, and widgets (buttons, forms, labels, etc.) that will be become the face of your mobile application development project.

Rendered Designs: This is a process of replacements of greyscale elements with your chosen style guide elements on your wireframes. You don’t have to strictly follow them as long as they give a harmonious feel to the entire app.

Rendered Click-through Models: When all your screens are rendered, you can test your app again through click-through model application. Take time to go through every spec if you want to avoid costly mistakes later on.

 

Design to Development Conversion:

When you are satisfied with the look and functionality of your app, you have to make your development team understand exactly what you expect from your apps. Choosing a team that can both design and develop can pay-off hugely when it comes to avoiding miscommunication between design and code. There are tools for smooth design to development transition but ultimately it depends on the skill of development team.

 

High-Level Tech Design/ Stack

In order to build a mobile app, there is a combination of technologies involved which is term as tech stack. Each tool, language, the framework has its own features and pitfalls. The trick is to choose the right stack for your specific project. A reliable developers’ team can figure out what tech tools they deem best.

Front-End Development: Choose between methodologies of native, cross-platform native and hybrid. Each methodology has its own uses. This step will need you to realize which devices are being used by your customers. Once you know that you will have your answer to which methodology to go with.

Back End: Server side scripting is responsible to give your app functionality and scalability. Technologies used in the backend are same as used in web-based apps. Your developers need to pick a language to write code in, selecting a database engines, design database schema. Organizing data ensures long time success. Finally, you need to decide where and how your API will be hosted. You will need to make decisions regarding performance, costs, the reliability of your app to pick the right hosting service.

Development & Iteration:

custom mobile app development

True custom mobile app development process is iterative. Terms like sprints or agile methodology refer to breaking up a project into milestones and develop an app in series. Each stage would require planning, coding testing, and review. Going through all these stages in every milestone ensures that your app will finally come together nicely.

Final Review

In this stage, your app should be complete and ready for a more, thorough, fool-proof testing. Test the app on a sample user pool by using focus groups or beta testing. After getting the final results, you will get minor details you will be needing to improve your app. After final edits, your app is ready for deployment.

Deployment:

custom mobile app development

To deploy your app in the market you will be dealing with two major components. You will need to submit your app to mobile stores (Google Play/ App Store) while also deploying your web server into a scalable production environment. Apps need a server backend to operate, in most cases. These servers move data to and from the app.

Conclusion: Custom Mobile App Development is a long lengthy process that requires technical experts and project managers with right abilities. That’s the only way your app has the possibility to do well in the app stores, otherwise, your amateur app will be laying forgotten with no new functions or smooth experience to entice customers.

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