Five Essential Steps to Your Mobile App Development Lifecycle
If you are like many of today’s business owners, you’ve thought about mobile app development and the benefits of building one for your customers. It’s with good reason; according to data gathered by Business of Apps, the average American consumer spends more two hours per day with digital media. In addition, there were over 197 billion mobile app downloads last year.
While the market is saturated with applications for nearly every need or desire, you can still build a useful and memorable product for your customers - if you consider and launch each step of the development lifecycle carefully.
Besides an initial concept, you may not know where to begin. At iTexico a skilled mobile app development team will guide you through each phase of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) to maximize the quality of the app, as well as its affordability and time to market. As you research the process with your marketing or leadership team, explore the lifecycle steps below to learn more about what to expect.
Critical Phases of Mobile App Development
No matter what type of application you are creating, there are typically five major portions of the development process. These are:
Despite your industry or intended user, all apps start with your original idea. You will work with your development team and project managers to refine your concept into a practical basis for a mobile application. In a series of conversations, you and your developers will outline the main goal of the app, as well as its desired features.
Your project managers will then conduct market research to determine the viability of the idea. This initial step also explores what the app may look and feel like in its final iteration before deployment.
The next step is design, which consists of the defining the app’s User Experience (UX). Put simply, UX is the art and science of creating a useful, beautiful, and compelling design for the user. Not only does it begin to define the application’s product/service strategy and value, but it helps create a quality User Interface (UI), usually with the help of a designer.
UI focuses on what the user might do while using the application – and how the app’s layout and features will provide an intuitive experience for the user. During this phase -- which combines information architecture, interaction design, and visual design -- it is important to keep always in mind the objective of the application to deliver the most benefit to the user.
Development is the most resource-intensive phase of the mobile app development process because the application is built during this step. Skilled development teams will begin this phase as quickly as possible to create a prototype and test the idea. In most cases, the key principles of system architecture, as well as agile methodologies, are used to make the design and change process easier. This method also allows the development team to start working on the app quicker – also, facilitating more useful feedback.
When developers are far enough along in Phase 3, the Quality Assurance (QA) team begins to test the application to make sure all bugs are fixed. In many cases, the application will go into a limited beta phase, in which a wider user audience is given a chance to use it and provide feedback and inform changes. The beta phase empowers your development team to fix errors and refine features more quickly and efficiently.
After the stabilization process is complete, it is time for app deployment. During the deployment phase, your team is focused on delivering the app to the largest number of relevant users possible, including current and potential customers. Depending on the platform, there are a few different distribution options, which depend on whether you are launching your app on the App Store, Google Play, or with Microsoft. Decisions made in the initial phases will inform your deployment strategy.
Business owners should know these pieces often overlap, so it’s common for the development process to be in progress while UI is being finalized. In fact, it may even inform the UI design. Additionally, an application may be going into a stabilization phase at the same that new features are being added to a new version. By working with a responsive and customer-oriented development team, you will receive consistent updates about each phase of the development lifecycle and what it means to the success and affordability of your app.
Developing Your App with an Experienced Mobile Team
If a mobile app will help you reach your customers and grow your business, consider partnering with an agile development expert. iTexico is an end-to-end services firm that provides mobile app development solutions to improve both product and operational inefficiencies.
NearshorePlus is a service that offers a team of application development experts without the risks of offshoring. American businesses pair with groups in Guadalajara, Mexico. Since the technologically-advanced city shares the same border near the US, it provides a more convenient and economical option than teams in India, South America, and Ukraine.
It is time to design a mobile user experience that will make your company stand out. Contact us to see how we can help you meet your customers’ needs while reducing the time and cost it takes to deliver your app to market.