How to proceed with mobile app development

In this article you will find the description of the whole process of mobile app development from receiving the idea, through making estimations and building the product, up to finishing the project, and of course supporting the app after release.

Provided that you have decided to create an app, you are probably wondering whether you should do it on your own or outsource it. Here’s an article that might help you make that decision: 5 reasons why you should outsource your mobile app development.

Depending on where you are with your product or idea, in this one and in the next five articles you will find some hints on how to prepare for the development process. No matter if you choose the path of in-house development or outsourcing your project, this might be helpful. You’ll get to know what will be expected from you and what you can expect before even talking with a team and with a mobile development company.

The requirements analysis for your mobile app

Once you have chosen the software house, it’s time to start discussing the features and the overall look of your app. But these depend on many things you should put into analysis first, such as:

  • localization — is the audience in your area going to be interested in this kind of app?
  • who is the end user — who is actually going to use the app and why? Make a detailed description of the recipient and try to guess what he/she wants or needs,
  • how many users is the app going to have — do you plan it to be a big app, useful for thousands of people? Try to estimate the number of users,
  • your competition — do a comprehensive research on other mobile apps that are or might be competitive to your idea, so that you simply get better than them.

Remember that you don’t have to be all alone with these activities. The team can help you as it has experience in this area and knows what aspects should be considered. As soon as the destination is settled, you can start the discussions about features. And these won’t be three half-an-hour calls to set all things straight. In order to succeed, a constant communication with your software development company is just essential.

Taking advantage of the experience we have, we’ll always give recommendations or suggestions for your app development. The team is going to ask you many questions to understand your needs in the best possible way. They can also help you with the market research by checking e.g. similar apps, with verifying the viability of the project. You can also organize workshops together, which is a great way to understand each other, get along, figure out the crucial needs and therefore to facilitate the process. That’s what happened for example with Knauf in our company. The workshops made us realize who exactly were the recipients of the mobile app we were about to create. We’ve learnt the characteristics of the average users’ profiles, their age, needs, barriers and what the product will serve them for. This concerned non-professional and professional users. That way, when creating the design, we knew exactly how to suit it to the end users in order to make them download the app and use it for a long time.

Creating designs and estimating

As soon as the analyses are done, the designer/designers team starts the show. Actually, designs are usually being created during the analyses, but the whole process can only be finished after everything is discussed. As a client, you’ll be updated at every stage, you’ll be able to check the status of work and give your feedback. It is very important to give your comments on the work of the team throughout the project. This way you will avoid any misunderstandings and failures and in return you will get a great app that will help you succeed in your business.

It also works the other way round — the team will give advice on the designs or ideas you present. Remember that app developers already have experience with various types of projects and have an insight into the usefulness of different mobile app features. More about the process of creating designs at FiveDotTwelve in our next article: Mobile app development with nothing but an idea.

After the approval of the designs for the app or during their creation, there comes the time for estimating developers' working time. Estimates are very important but the first thing you need to know is that they aren’t fixed permanently and forever. It happens that time devoted to some particular activity extends or is reduced due to changes made by you or the team. While building an app, developers constantly use models made by the designers. Every detail, every icon, every animation and function is meaningful and requires a certain amount of time. So it’s not possible to make accurate estimates without specifying these details.

You can read about how we managed to reduce the time spent on the project for one of our clients in the article 5 reasons why you should outsource your mobile app development. You’ll also find there additional hints concerning the estimates done by the development team.

Development, testing and launching the app

Once the designs are done and the choice of technology is made, the team starts the development. This is still the part in which you cooperate with the developers regularly to check the status of work.

You can also make some changes on this stage, but remember about how it changes the estimates too. Whenever you decide to add a feature, it will extend the development time, but on the other hand, if you want to remove something, you’ll save some time and money. It’s a natural process and a standard part of creating an app. You’ll get access to the team's tasks schedule so you can see exactly what they’re doing at a particular point in time.

Testing isn’t actually something to be done at the end. Tests are being conducted at every stage of the process — after implementing each function. They are kind of a polishing stage in the app development process and include, among others, functional and usability testing.

The app is going to be launched at mobile stores only after all the tests are done and after we make sure it’s all working as planned.

Support after launching and further development

Releasing the app is not the end of the cooperation. Long-term projects usually last more than 2 years, so the app is constantly updated and checked long after it’s released to be useful and convenient to users at all times, but above all to work properly.

At FiveDotTwelve, we provide our clients with constant support. We’ll make sure the app is working and keep it updated by providing the latest system versions, fixing potential errors and other issues and needs that arise during product life. These might be licences matters, law changes (e.g. like GDPR, data protection law) and platform requirements (e.g. Sign in with Apple required for every iOS application submitted to AppStore that utilizes a 3rd party authentication method).

If you have any further questions about the mobile development process, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.