Phases of Mobile App Development You Need to Know About

Phases of Mobile App Development: Tricks and Turns Involved

Analyzing the app development stages and their various inclusions.

Updated on :
January 15th, 2021
Twinkle Kalkandha
Twinkle Kalkandha
Product Strategist

If you are looking at this blog, chances are that you are already in the process of developing your app or plan to do so in the near future.

If you intend to get into the app development cycle, first and foremost, do not rush up things, as you could end up creating a mess of the whole process. Remember, app development takes time and effort, apart from the cost of building an app.

Though there are more than 3 million apps out there on the Google and Apple store, less than 0.01 percent are successful. So app development cycle is serious business, and needs to be treated like one.

App development phases that will help you get the task done

Mobile app development is a continuous and dynamic process that transforms into app maintenance and updation, once the development part is done. It is like getting on a bandwagon, without a ‘break’ system installed. You can go slow or speed up things, as per requirements and options, but traversing through all is a must.

We shall now take you through this journey of app development phases with its involved milestones:

1. Mobile app idea and its development strategy

Before you actually begin to build an app, you need to know as to why you need an app? You would also have to understand about your mobile app idea’s market viability.

To have a clear answer to these questions; you will have to conduct thorough market research in terms of your business idea and the industry around it. In This aspect of mobile app cycle, you would have to look into:

a. Your exact market and targeted users:

As part of any and every applications development lifecycle, it is imperative to understand the market of the business at hand and outline the customers they wish to target strategically. You all need to research the markets to analyze what exactly are these user’s expectations and requirements.

b. What your competitors are already doing:

Another important inclusion of app development phases is to find and analyze the already existing market players, which may or may not end up becoming your direct competitors. This will help you get a clear idea as to what your users are in the habit of receiving. It will also give you a clarity in terms of marketing strategies that work and what does not seem to work.

Taking a leaf out of the above stated pointers you could then devise a plan as to what you wish to develop and how you wish to develop.

Once you are clear about your markets and audiences, you will require a well designed roadmap which will take you to your app success. This mobile app development roadmap should include:

a. Analysing app goals:

First and foremost, to enter within the stages of mobile application development you should be clear as an app owner as to what exactly you want your app to do and to fill in what market gap. Thus, you should create workflows and jot down points that exactly define the goals of your mobile app, including its target audience and market expectations.

b. Analyzing development platform requirements:

Once you are clear about your app development goals, you need to analyze the app development frameworks you would require to develop your app as per your goals. Herein, you would have to choose if you would want to develop an app for the Apple App store or the Google store or both. Also, you will have to set your priorities straight as in what you would want to do first.

c. Native or Hybrid Apps:

If you wish to develop an app that does not include much graphics (as in a 3-d game graphics, etc.), you might opt for a hybrid app, wherein the same code can be utilized for both app developments stores. But, if you require a high graphic output and separate developments for both the stores, you would have to go in for the native app development.

mobile app development cycle

Take in consideration the reigning development trends that could make things happen the way you want.

d. Cost involved:

As an app owner, you should have a clear idea beforehand about the total app development cost as per your mobile app requirements.

P.S: To draw a clear app development cycle plan, you should also be aware about the involved hidden costs.

As an app owner, you should also be clear as to how and from where will you get your app funded? Will it be your own savings, family assets, loans, funding from external sources, etc.

e. Monetization strategy:

As an app owner, you should also define how your app will make money with a clearly defined monetization strategy.

Once you have zeroed in on the details of how you will transform your mobile app idea into reality and the timeline for app development, you are ready to enter the next phase of mobile app development cycle, i.e. finding the best app developer as per your requirements.

2. Hire an App Developer

If you are an app developer yourself or in direct links with an app development company, you could begin app development directly, without any further ado.

But, if you are not an app developer; you will have to hire an app developer for the same. You can then choose from the below enlisted options:

a. In-House developers:

If you are not very clear about your app goals hiring in-house developers as an extension to your already existing team would be an apt inclusion for your mobile app lifecycle. On the other hand, if you are extremely confident in your app goals and are keen to overlook app development yourself on a daily basis, hiring in-house developers will be the most suited choice for you.

b. Freelance developers:

However, if you are unsure about the app development lifecycle and are comparatively low on budget, you could hire freelance developers. These are mostly remote developers with the requisite expertise and experience to develop an app. However, they may or may not be working as a team. So, generally working with remote developers and managing them as a team, tends to become a hard task when developing a complex mobile app platform.

c.Outsourcing app development:

If you have devised your mobile app strategy well (as in the first phase), outsourcing app development to an experienced app development company is your best option for your mobile application development life cycle. They tend to develop it in the right manner, at the right cost and as per you your requisite app development timeline.

Remember, you should hire an app developer as per your budget and as per your experience and expertise requirements. Also, communicate to them about your aap development goals and strategy and provide them with your detailed timeline for app development, so that they can begin working on the same. If you are not sure, where to find them, you could look into online directories like Appdexa, that provide a complete list of app development companies out there with complete information on their experience and expertise.

3. Designing your app

Hiring the perfect app developer, is not the end of your job; rather it is the beginning. As a responsible app owner, you shall have to stay abreast of all your application development phases.

To step in the next mobile app development stages, you will now have to work with specifically hired designers or designers who are part of the hired app development company to develop a user interface and user experience that will be most suited to your users.

Remember, your User interface is the face of your app and any UI/UX mistake in this aspect can prove quite disastrous both for you as well as for your business. Remember the following pointers when designing for your app development stages:

a. Your app design should be intuitive:

As a necessary inclusion of your mobile app development lifecycle, you should be trying to create a design that is intuitive in itself, i.e. it does not require the user to look for functionalities and information. For this, try sticking to conventions in your stages of mobile app development. For instance: if a user tends to look for the menu on clicking on the 3 lines on the right or left top corner of a mobile app, let it remain the same way in your app design. They should get it, where they expect it.

b.Prioritize your mobile app design:

With mobile app users far outnumbering the global desktop users; it should also be where your priorities lie for a successful full cycle app development. Remember, that there is hardly any scope or space for frivolous or out of context content within the interface of a mobile app. So, try to design an app with enhanced user experience.

c. Onboarding is must:

Do you know that almost one out of 3 apps gets uninstalled, after only one month of installation, as the user is unaware about its utility and functionalities.

applications development life cycle

So, your app design should provide a detailed onboarding to new users to ensure they understand your mobile app well.

Once clear about the inclusions of design of app development cycle, let us now understand how to design an app:

a. Wireframe your app:

As part of your app development cycle, you should first wireframe your app design, i.e. you need to create loose representations as to what your app screens will look like and how their functionalities will flow. For instance, if you have to make a painting app that helps give you a quote on the same. Your wireframe will help you analyze your mobile app development cycle and how many steps of creating mobile software will it take to get this quote for a good user-experience.

b. Developing first concepts by inserting colors:

In this part of mobile app development phases, the developers tend to pick 2 to 3 screens and insert colors, fonts and patterns to finalize a look for the app. Herein these concepts are sent back to you for choice and feedback. If your brand already has a palette, you could provide it to your app developers to insert.

c.Developing prototypes:

Once the color palette for your mobile application development steps are finalized, you could go on to develop the final working prototypes. The final visual designs herein are combined with workflows to look at the overall user experience created by the app.

d. Testing:

The developed user experience within the prototype is then given to a select set of users including the business team, to analyze user experience and recommend required changes or improvements.

At the end of these mobile application development steps, you will have a working prototype with wireframes user experience and a loose idea of how the screens of your app will finally look like.

4. Developing the App

Once you have finalized the design of your mobile app and other technical inclusions, it is time your app developers enter the code development part of your mobile application development lifecycle.

Remember that app development takes time and effort. So, it is always better for the developers to break down the complete process into smaller milestones for effectivity.

For your app development process we recommend using agile methodologies (Agile methodology of software development includes breaking up of a project into several stages and involving collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage). It helps to include flexible planning, progressive development, early deployment and constant improvements within your project scope.

Mobile App development cycle herein generally includes 3 stages:

  • In the first stage, the core functionality is added within the prototypes; but it is not checked for bugs
  • Most of other smaller functionalities are included in this second stage of mobile app development steps. Light testing and minor bug fixing is also undertaken in the second stage.
  • The third and final stage of app development includes final testing and deployment of the app in its app store.

At the end of the development stage of the mobile app lifecycle, you will have the final product at hand with the complete source code. Ideally, you would have also launched an app on the app store of your choice.

5. App marketing and updation

Even after your mobile software development cycle is completed, there are bound to be glitches, that your users would encounter and recommend for changes. You should take these recommendations positively and try updating your app by resolving them in the form of bug fixes.

You could also create a transparent log of these bug fixes on your app store listing in the form of update logs and send in notifications to the users about the same. It would help you build trust amongst them as they would feel heard and respected.

But, sauntering through these mobile app development stages is not simply enough to develop a successful app. You would have to ensure your mobile app gets seen and heard.

For this part of app development phases, you will have to market your app with an optimum campaign. You could also choose to hire an app marketing company for the same. They would help you develop a sound marketing strategy including all App Store Optimization aspects.

Remember, that app maintenance costs and marketing would include approximately 20% of your app development costs. Put them in your budget as well within hidden costs of app development phases.

Mobile Application Development Life Cycle Requires Constant Work

Once you are done with the app development phases, your work will not end. Mobile apps require constant market research and evolution as per its parameters. You would have to update and maintain it as per your brand and business growth as well. We hope the above stated stages of application development give you a clear insight of the process.

Next up

Outsourcing app development to specialized agencies is a hassle-free way of creating an app with an emphasis on performance & UI/UX. This economic solution comes with added benefits of aligning with industry experts and increasing market presence.