Only Guide You Need To Read If You Are Planning To Build Mobile App For Business
You have a great app idea, and you seem to feel a lot of business potential hidden behind it.
Well, without shaping this idea into a sophisticated app, you cannot unlock these potentials. How to go about it? You can ask an app development consultancy and seek their help in shaping the app idea into reality. Or, you can hire an in-house team of developers and experts for building the app.
To develop a mobile app from scratch, you need to follow the time tested processes that successful apps have used in their projects. Let’s explain the critical steps in building a mobile app for your business.
Validate the App Idea
Despite your high estimation for the newly cracked app idea, you cannot take its effectiveness and success potential for granted. Uniqueness isn’t alone a guarantee of success when it comes to apps. Similarly, usefulness isn’t also the ultimate assurance for success. A great app idea is a balanced mixture of several things.
First of all, know the reasons for developing a mobile app. Ask why in the first place you need it. Secondly, ask whether the app idea perfectly justifies your need if having a mobile app. Thirdly, ask whether the concept perfectly addresses the preferences and expectations of your target audience.
It would help if you also asked the key value propositions of your app idea that make it unique and stand out from the market. Is there any similar app in the market? How your app idea differs from similar ones, and what extra it offers? Lastly, ask how you can add more value to fine-tune the app idea and make a better product.
Know your target audience
Does your prescribed app have an absolute market demand? Do you know the actual audience who require this app? Well, these are the questions for which you need to get answers by carrying out market research.
Some of the critical attributes of your target audience that you need to know to include the following.
- The demographics of your target audience.
- The market where similar apps have a predominant presence.
- What are the leading competitor apps used by your target audience most?
- Which social media channels, online forums and web addresses represent your target audience most?
- What your target audience uses OS platforms and devices?
- What are the most significant pain points experienced by your target audience most?
Create the Wireframe
Now that you have a clear idea about the app and its target audience, it is time to create the design wireframe. This is just a basic design showcasing the elementary look and feel of the app through sketches. This is also the step to define the user flow or the clear pathway for the users to go from one screen to the next.
Some of the most effective and valuable wireframing tools for app development include InVision, UXPin, Balsamiq, Fluid UI, Proto.io, JustinMind, Prott, Figma and a few others.
Choose the Right Platform
You have two major mobile OS platforms such as iOS and Android. You can either build a single app for each outlet at a time, or you can go for building one app that can run on both platforms. If you choose the former, which platform should you prioritise? These are the decision making aspects that you need to go through at this phase.
There’s nothing like building two separate native apps for iOS and Android. But this involves quite a significant development budget and a good load on maintenance as well. On the other hand, you can quickly go for cross-platform development by reusing maximum code across both platforms. Latest cross-platform technologies such as React Native and Flutter are well equipped to deliver actual native user experience despite reusing ultimate code across platforms.
Now that you have decided on the design front and chosen the platforms, it is time to go into actual development. Choose the appropriate development environment first. You need to select the frontend and backend technologies separately. You also have to pick the right APIs to incorporate features and to utilise device functions.
You also need to decide on a development approach or methodology for the project. To utilise resources simultaneously and to make build time faster, embrace agile or scrum method. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is also a great approach.
App Testing and Enhancements
Finally, the app project must pass through rigorous testing to ensure no bugs or coding errors are left in the app product. Apart from detecting bugs and gross coding errors, the testing phase should also use usability, performance and other aspects.
Functional testing is essential to check whether the app responds as per the operational needs it is designed to fulfil. Then comes Usability Testing to evaluate the shortcomings in the user experience of the app. Compatibility testing is required to determine how the app performs in different OS platforms, devices, screen sizes, hardware settings, resolutions, etc. Performance testing is carried out to evaluate the app’s overall performance, including loading speed, stability, stress level, etc. Finally, Security Testing validates the security safeguards embedded in your app.
Some of the most critical testing tools that you can consider at this stage include Appium, Robotium, Selendroid and Ranorex for functional testing,
User Zoom and Loop for usability testing, Litmus, Ghostlab, Browser and CrossBrowserTesting for compatibility testing, Apteligent, NeoLoad and New Relic for performance testing, Google Nogotofail, Veracode and SQL Map for security testing.
The last but not least step is to launch a beta app version to validate the execution of the app idea and the final product by the users and incorporate changes as required. It is always advisable to embrace a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to unleash a basic app with essential features and add new features and bring incremental changes as per the user feedback. This will help to minimise the initial budget and reducing risks for the project.