Have you ever thought about creating a mobile application? That’s a good idea. According to eMarketer, people in the US spend about 90% of their mobile time using apps.
The number of mobile solutions downloads is also impressive. In 2021, it amounted to about 230 billion. For comparison, just a few years ago, in 2016, global app downloads totaled 140 billion.
As the users’ demand increases, the global mobile app market is rapidly growing too. If by the end of 2022, its value will be more than $200 billion, then in 2030, it will likely reach over $565 billion.
Given the stats mentioned above, mobile app development is promising for businesses. There is a demand for such software solutions, and this market is subject to constant investment. Moreover, mobile applications are suitable for any niche, whether FinTech or eCommerce.
That’s why today, Arounda has prepared an introduction to mobile application development for you. We’ve been creating such solutions for over five years and can describe this process step-by-step. So, see our detailed guide below.
A mobile app development project typically consists of seven steps, which we’ll now discuss. The process may vary slightly according to the needs and goals of individual solutions, but the sequence remains as follows:
The strategy stage, or the discovery process, begins with working on your idea. Here you define your product’s goals and consider what are the requirements for developing an app.
Your team, in particular, gathers information about the market, your competitors, and your target audience. Developers choose the tech stack, platform, and application features according to your idea. Additionally, the designers come up with mobile app screens and UX concepts.
Also, at this step, you estimate the approximate cost of the application and choose a monetization model that will directly bring you profits.
You have detailed information about your mobile application’s market, potential users, and needs at this step. Your team analyzes all this data and produces a precise development plan. You’ll get a product roadmap at the end of this stage.
Now, your team moves on to the UI/UX design of the mobile app.
First, designers work on user experience. They think through the information architecture of your application, that is, what data and content will be in your product and how it will be displayed. The focus always remains on user interaction.
Next, designers sketch wireframes that are concepts of your app design’s visual structure. At the same time, specialists are working on a style guide or a design system. These will include all the information about the general look of your product, for example, fonts, main colors, buttons, etc.
After that, your designers come up with mockups, for example, app screen design and other visuals. They also make sure that the design of your product is consistent.
The finale is the creation of application design prototypes.
This stage has your developers involved. They implement the app features using the selected technology stack. As a result of this step, you’ll have a ready-made front-end and back-end of the mobile application.
After the Android or iOS app design is ready and your developers have implemented the front-end and back-end, it’s time to bring your product to perfection. For this, you need QA specialists.
These experts will test your product for functionality, performance, security, and usability. They will also check the compatibility of your mobile application with different devices and versions of operating systems. QA specialists can also test the app among real users.
As a result of all this work, your team will be able to identify bugs and limitations of your product and fix them before launching the app.
At this stage, you directly release your mobile app to the market. Here you choose distribution models according to the application’s operating system. Apple App Store or the Google Play Store are examples of where you can distribute your product.
In this step, you also use various marketing strategies to make your app popular among users.
It’s the last and never-ending step. It involves continuous improvement and support of your application. These can be releases of new features, improvements to existing ones, implementation of any design changes, or bug fixes.
Let’s take a closer look at the development process in which your engineers are directly involved.
Mobile application development consists of two parts: front-end and back-end. Let’s talk about each of them.
This part of building your product involves developing what is visible to users. That is, it is a mobile UI.
In this regard, your specialist can use several approaches, depending on your app’s platform:
Platform-specific. It is nothing but native app development. The front-end expert will work separately on iOS or Android app design and development.
Cross-platform. In this case, the front-end developer will create a mobile interface for various platforms, both iOS, and Android. To do this, the specialist will use universal code and tools.
Hybrid. Such development involves using tools both for platform-specific and cross-platform app development. In this case, the specialist employs standard code, which he then wraps in technology for native applications.
Front-end developers also synchronize the visible part of the app with the back-end to ensure its proper operation.
Back-end developers work with the server part of the mobile application. This process is critically important because your product’s overall performance and scalability directly depend on the back-end’s quality.
Unlike the front-end, where the developer works with the application’s visible part, the back-end handles the code. The specialist works with databases, frameworks, APIs, and hosting.
Let’s focus on the post-launch support and maintenance stage separately. This phase requires a lot of effort from your team to keep your app running smoothly.
We mentioned the testing phase in our example project plan for mobile app development. Now we’ll say more: you need QA specialists’ services even after the application’s release.
When your mobile application is already on the market and gradually gathering users, this doesn’t mean you can relax. Next, you need to collect feedback from your audience, analyze it, and implement improvements based on it.
There is no 100% protection from bugs missed during the development stage. Now you will need to fix them, so testing is a must.
Of course, putting your users’ needs first is critical. Your audience will tell you about inconveniences or suggest interesting features to implement. Based on this, you can constantly update your product and earn even more loyal users.
Each project is unique, so it is challenging to say how long it takes to develop a mobile application. Let’s consider the factors that affect the development time:
The number of team members. The larger your staff is, the faster they will implement your idea and vice versa.
The number and complexity of the application’s features. A basic mobile application with core functionality will take much less time to develop than, for example, a complex one with many functions.
Selected technologies. According to the chosen tech stack, the development time will also vary. For example, if one programming language is implemented quickly, another may require more time and effort.
Design features. The design and its complexity also affect the development time.
Furthermore, consider variables such as force majeure or changes in the original product requirements. All of this will also force your team to push back the deadlines.
Yet, we managed to estimate the approximate development time for a simple, average, and complex mobile app:
The best option for you will be to contact the development company directly. They will determine the development time as accurately as possible.
As you can see, mobile app development is a challenging but, at the same time, promising process. Given the rapid growth of the mobile solutions market and widespread smartphone use, you need such a product for your business.
To develop a mobile application, you need an entire team. Front-end and back-end developers, UI/UX designers, business analysts, project managers, and QA specialists are necessary.
If you are looking for such a team, we’ve got good news for you. Arounda provides full-cycle mobile app design and development services, so we can help you. If you are interested in our offer, feel free to contact our team.
Sign up to our newsletter to get weekly updates on the trends, case studies and tools