Before ordering the development of a mobile application, questions arise: how does this process proceed, what stages does it consist of, and what to expect? In the article, we will share how the app is built: what happens at the analytics stage, at what point they start designing and writing code, which is necessary for publication in app stores.
The process of creating a mobile application consists of the following steps:
- terms of reference or product vision;
- publishing in app stores;
- technical support.
The listed steps go through any mobile application, regardless of its complexity. Only applications with simpler functionality move from start to finish faster because it takes less time for developers to develop.
Before you create a mobile application, you need to find out the requirements for it: the purpose of creation and the tasks that the solution will perform. This is followed by an analysis of the market, competitors, and audience behavior. The main task is to develop an application that is as convenient as possible for users. The information received is recorded in the terms of reference (TOR) or product vision.
Technical specifications and product vision help to understand what a digital solution should be in the end. They act as a guideline for customers and the entire team that will work on the mobile application. In the TOR, the purpose of creating the application, the requirements for architecture, performance, interface, security, and functions are indicated.
At this stage, application screen layouts are prepared – wireframes. With their help, you can visually see what the mobile application will be like.
Prototypes can be static or interactive:
- Static – images with the layout of elements on the screens.
- Interactive – visualization of a mobile solution, with such a prototype, you can “feel” the future application and follow the path of the user.
Prototypes can be used to present a product to investors. It is always better to back up a story with concrete results. Another use case is testing the usability of the interface on focus groups. This will help to understand in which direction further development will move.
The main task is to make the application convenient and aesthetic, UX / UI designers are responsible for this.
- UX (User Experience) – the user’s impression of working with the interface. And it depends on how quickly and easily the user solves his problem. UX is responsible for the internal logic, functions, and adaptability of the interface.
- UI (User Interface) – the appearance of the interface. This includes colors, fonts, images, animations, and button shapes.
UX / UI design is the design of the user interface, in which usability and appearance are equally important.
There is native and cross-platform mobile application development. The first involves writing separate code for each platform – Android and iOS. For the second type, one code is written that can work on two platforms.
The development of a native application implies the creation of a product for a specific operating system using a specific programming language. This allows you to make the most of the hardware and functionality of the gadget.
The benefits include:
- high performance;
- full access to OS features;
- support for app stores;
- high speed of work;
- more familiar and convenient user interface.
The disadvantages include:
- high costs at the start and with the support of the application;
- inexpediency of use for the implementation of simple applications.
The point of cross-platform development is to write the same code for multiple platforms. If the budget and time are limited, then this is the best option.
The pluses include:
- more profitable development and support;
- operation of the application on several operating systems at once:
- spend less time on development.
The disadvantages include:
- reduced level of performance;
- less user-friendly interface;
- updating the system is not so easy and fast to implement.
Server side of the application
The reverse side of the mobile application is its server part. It is responsible for data processing, logic and speed. It is important to carefully consider the architecture of the backend of the application so that it can withstand heavy loads, work quickly and smoothly in any situation. Users don’t see the backend, but it’s just as important.
There are applications where the creation of the back-end takes a lot of time. For example, this applies to instant messengers and social networks. In addition to general information, this part stores the personal data of users, and this requires the organization of additional protection.
When the application has passed the development stage, testing begins. This is a test of the program’s performance before falling into the hands of the user. The tester checks the behavior of the application in different conditions: how correctly it displays on different screens and gadgets, how it reacts if a phone call comes in, how it can withstand a high load. All work at this stage is to release the application without bugs.
Placement of applications in stores
The finished application needs to be published in stores – App Store, Google Play. To do this, you need a description, icon, screenshots, video. After publication, the application is sent for moderation.
Listing on the App Store takes 24 to 48 hours. On holidays and during the influx of updates from different developers, moderation can take several days.
The speed of placing an application on Google Play depends on the following factors:
- new applications from new developers — from 1 to 7 days;
- new applications from experienced developers — from 1 to 4 days;
- app updates – from 24 to 36 hours, sometimes less.
iOS and Android operating systems are constantly being improved and updated. Therefore, it is important to ensure the performance of the application in changing conditions. You need to constantly check that everything is functioning from the technical side. And do not forget about development, as users leave reviews after downloading and using the application. You can rely on them to further refine the application.
Application development is a complex procedure. After the release of the finished product, you need to deal with its support, development, and promotion. Don’t forget to work with feedback, correctly define tasks, and take into account analytics data. Develop new features and measure results.