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Create a Successful App: Your Step-By-Step Guide to the App Development Process
Saturday, 16 March 2019

Your Step-By-Step Guide to the App Development Process

There's more demand to create a mobile app. But how can an amateur design an app? Follow these steps during the app development process.

 

App developers now make more money than the Hollywood box office, and it doesn't look like its growth is even close to petering out.

Is that really a surprise? Since 80% of Americans own smartphones, it can be assumed the vast majority also use convenient or entertaining apps across their daily lives.

Seems like an easy market to tap into, right?

Don't be fooled: Very few apps ever make it to market and even fewer find success.

If you aspire to create a successful mobile application, you'll first have to be familiar with the app development process.

Avoid wasting your time with common app development pitfalls. Here are six steps to creating a worthwhile app and ensuring a smooth app development cycle.

1. The App Development Process: Start With Strategy

Before you even conceive a phone app, you need to understand why people use them. Apps provide convenient solutions to our everyday problems.
What are some widespread problems or desires that could be resolved with an app? List several, even those that might have competition.

As long as your app provides something that others don't, it can still find tentative success. Just look at how many dating apps coexist. The secret is each one has found its own niche and target audience.

After you research your idea and potential competition, you should flesh out its features. What services will your app directly provide its users?

If you plan on monetizing your app, at this stage you should plan its revenue stream. For example, will there be advertisements or a subscription model?

Lastly, it's time to decide on a mobile platform. This decision hinges on the features you plan to provide, but should also seek to maximize coverage.

Android is the biggest platform and provides the most coverage -- but perhaps your app will run more effectively on iOS.

Creating an app requires specialized knowledge and a significant time investment. This is why you should also consider hiring a team that specializes in mobile app development
 
2. Chart a Roadmap

You'll need to prepare more than a list of features and a revenue model before you begin production. At this point, it's time to create a roadmap.

Think about your app's features. What elements will be necessary from both the front and back ends? Don't leave any stone unturned. When you and your team have covered every function you'll need to code, set these components on a development schedule.

Your roadmap will provide a clear, step-by-step process and guide you to the end product.

3. Design the UI

No matter what the function of your app may be, its UI design is arguably the most important element. It's the one and only way your users can interact with the app. If it's confusing, slow to respond, or just plain ugly, most users will bounce even if your app provides a much-desired service.

Take a user-friendly, intuitive approach to UI design. How will your app organize its features and services? Minimize the number of interactions required to use these features.

Once you finish plotting the workflow, now it's time to consider the app's aesthetic direction. Fonts, colors, and response effects are just some of the ways you can personalize the UI's art direction.

4. Develop the Prototype

With a roadmap and UI mockup, it's finally time to develop the prototype. Stick to the schedule and develop the features accordingly.

Hangups can and will occur. When this happens, consider removing features to stick to your development timeline, or pushing the timeline back entirely.

If you're looking to sell your prototype to investors, note that your application doesn't have to be feature-complete. In this situation, focus on the primary app features when a time crunch occurs.

5. Gather Feedback

Once your prototype is operational, don't assume it's ready to deploy. You'll need to gather metrics and input from user testing to make sure it's functioning as intended and is an intuitive experience.

During your beta test, your targeted users will help you eliminate bugs and offer advice for improvement.
 
But these aren't the only goals.

A beta test will offer insight into the app's actual performance. If it's chugging along and hogging a phone's resources, you'll want to make the program more efficient.

Likewise, you may discover your application has memory leaks, or your app's network isn't durable enough to handle the load of multiple users.
Don't skimp on security testing either, especially if your app utilizes a network or backend. Undiscovered security flaws could bring down your entire app, leak private information, and deter users from trusting you or the application.

6. Deploy the App

Repairing issues after your beta test will take additional time. But once resolved, you'll be ready to submit your app to the app stores of your choice. The review process tends to take between 24-48 hours to complete.

Launching your application isn't the end of the process. Through mobile analytics, you'll want to track some key performance indicators. If you see a significant amount of user issues, such as crashes, you'll need to work on a fix.

Maintaining a popular phone application means you'll be pushing out regular content patches. Apps require a constant stream of support. As mobile platforms update, your app will have to too, or it could suffer new performance issues and glitches that eventually render it unusable.

Your users may also request new features, and it's in your best interest to placate them. You'll keep your app fresh and broaden its appeal.

Success Isn't Guaranteed

Oftentimes helpful apps with great functionality don't find the success they should. It's easy to underestimate your competition or overestimate the demand for your app's services.

That said, every successful app on the market followed this app development process -- and now yours can too.
 
Looking for more helpful advice? Check out our odds and ends blog.
 
 
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