9 Levels of the Mobile App Development Lifecycle
From brainstorming ideas to finalizing a design, these steps can make or break your business mobile app.
Mobile business applications, once considered a wave of the future, are now almost certainly a necessity to stay current in the business landscape. According to the latest statistics, individuals spend roughly 52% of their digital media time on mobile apps, showing that companies can increase their revenue by capitalizing on mobile app development.
Once you have made the decision to develop a mobile app, the process of fleshing out your vision begins. A product that will in some ways will become the mobile face of your business has to be right and include a lot of research and soul-searching.
Define Your Vision
The process starts with brainstorming your vision for the app. In this brainstorming session, you should answer the following questions:
What do we want this app to accomplish?
How does it fit into our marketing strategy?
What is our budget?
What is our timeline?
What are our competitor’s doing?
What are our customer’s needs and how can this app make their lives easier?
Organize Your Vision Into a Strategic Plan
After brainstorming and coming up with exciting ideas for your new app, this vision now needs to be organized into actionable steps. Begin with your goals and objectives for this app; these should center around the customers’ needs. List out each benefit and feature, including how they will make the customers’ lives easier.
Determine the Look & Feel of the Mobile App
Now that you have all of the details lined out, it is time to figure how the app will look. This is commonly achieved by first sketching out the app by hand and then creating a wireframe. There are plenty of online tools to assist in creating your wireframes.
Once the wireframes are complete, you will want to create a storyboard to demonstrate how the screens work together and how the customer will navigate through them. Don’t forget to incorporate your brand into as many screens as you can.
Check With Tech
Now that you have figured out how you want the app to look and how you would like each screen to function, you have to make sure that it can technically be done. This is the backend of mobile development and includes tools and structures needed to support your app like data diagrams, data integration, APIs, servers and push notification services.
The type of device or platform the app will be made for will also need to be taken into account.
Finalize Your Design
If any changes were made due to technical limitations, they need to be changed in the wireframes and storyboards that were initially created. It will then be time to build a prototype. With a prototype, you are able to bring all of your ideas together and see how it all works.
Most importantly, you will be able to test your product and gather feedback - both good and bad - and make changes accordingly. It is most beneficial to use people who are not a part of the mobile app team.
Bring the Mobile App to Life
Depending on the type of app being built, you may be using cross platform app development tools or the developer will be building it from scratch. This process also includes programming, coding and the creation of the actual screens.
Test Your Mobile App
Now that the app is complete, it is time to test it. This is where you will go back and comb through all of your original ideas to make sure they have all been incorporated. Observe others as they are using the app and pay attention to the feedback you receive. If a fix needs to happen, the time is now! There are also online testing tools with real-time feedback.
Prepare for Launch
There’s a saying: “If you build it, they will come.” But how will they come if you don’t let them know? This is where marketing comes in. You marketing team can help with keyword research - an important part of app optimization - which will help with discoverability. Marketing will play a role in the titles you choose as well descriptions. It will also help with app store optimization.
The marketing department will also work on a website or landing page geared towards promoting the app and make sure your social media accounts are doing their part. There may also be an email promotion and blogs created to get the word out about your app. As you can see, almost as important as the app you create is getting the word out to let people know that it exists.
Liftoff & Revision
Congrats! You have made it to end of the app development process and your app is now ready for launch. Now comes picking a release date. Once you do launch, be ready for customer feedback which will further help in honing your mobile app. It is a continual process
Understanding these steps of mobile app development will help prepare you for a successful launch of a product that you will be proud of. Here at Innovative Architects, we can partner with your team to walk you through each step and ensure the success of your enterprise mobile strategy. Contact our expert enterprise mobility consultants for more information.