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App Development Process: A Guide to Designing Mobile Apps

App Development Process: A Guide to Designing Mobile Apps

App design is a continuous process that comprises user experience and user interface. 

Designers commence the process by ideating and continue defining solutions, creating the flow and structure of applications, and make stylistic choices. 

The versatile designers base their choices on user research and feedback. 

The result is an ideally suitable application that is commendable and enthralling. 

So, the well-designed application process compresses: 

  1. Research 
  2. Ideation 
  3. Problem identification 
  4. Design 
  5. Feedback 
  6. Problem evaluation 

Designers play a crucial role in handling all iOS App development and Android app development processes in a persistent and simultaneous flow. 

And that is both for user experience and user interface throughout the lifetime of an application. 

Another crucial thing to consider is that there is a massive difference between the UX and UI designs. However, you need both for creating a successful application.

Research and make a business plan before commencing the app development processes 

The first step in designing an application is to research and make a plan. 

There is an immense need to have a general yet overarching idea. So always ensure to ask yourself the following questions.

  • What type of problems and points do I need to solve?
  • How am I able to solve the problems of users?
  • What type of application am I designing, and for what platform?
  • What is the purpose of my application, and who is the target audience?
  • What is the unique selling point of my application?
  • How can I set the application apart from the competitors?
  • What features and design will make my application appealing to others?

By answering these questions, you will be able to set a ground for your application. You’ll have a clear goal and a starting point. 

It’s also the point where it is imperative to establish brand positioning and strategy. You wouldn’t want to leave the branding strategies until the last minute. 

One of the easiest ways to keep a record and track your questions and answers is to create a canvas.

The Business Canvas Template for an Application 

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Problem: The associated application problem that you want to solve.

Solution: The possible solution to that problem.  

Value: The value you offer to customers. 

Advantage: The advantage you have over competitors.

Ideal user: The target audience and their locations.

Metrics: The things you need to measure for marking success.

Channels: Ways of reaching and gaining users.

Costs: The cost involved in running the business. 

 Revenue: The strategy and plan of earning money. 

Since you have a proper plan, you might want to do more targeted research. Always ensure to make the adjustments as you go along. 

Through the app development process, there is an immense need to note that there are various things that you can do yourself. 

But, for several things, you either need to depend on a well-renowned company or an app development professional.

Pro tip: It is always a great idea to read the reviews that users give about your application or the competitors’ applications. The free feedback platform helps you build all types of user personas. You will get to know what users like or dislike about your application. 

Without a shadow of any doubt, this is one of the best ways to develop more applications according to the specifications and requirements of different clients. Moreover, you will promptly get insights about pitfalls and wins. 

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Undoubtedly, you cannot learn app design overnight. And if you do not have expertise in graphic design, you are not an appropriate candidate for app development. 

So, there is a need to hire the design team either sooner or later. That is because designers carry out preliminary tasks before the development process starts. 

Then they hand the projects to programmers. Next, they work with programmers throughout different development stages. Then they design, test, and maintain the product after development.

Designers and developers must stay in contact and communicate from the beginning of app development. 

They can figure out whether it is easy or difficult to implement various ideas and solutions. 

When the product design reaches its later stages, both teams examine the prototypes and cases in detail. That reduces the time for completing the project. 

A great application design is pivotal for every stage of product development – from conception to launch. 

That is why always ensure to hire a technical team of experienced people who can handle all the aspects of app development processes at all stages of development.

The options when hiring a design team:

  1. Hire in-house designers who work directly on your application.
  2. Hire freelancing app designers who work remotely on your application.
  3. Hire an app development agency that takes care of the entire designing process.
  4. Hire an app development company that can build and design the applications for you.

Well, there is one issue. The issue is creating a mobile app design strategy. 

An individual or a company cannot create a business application like competitors. 

Your competitor might have an entirely different business objective than you.

The development of an application involves a few stages:

  • Understanding of business strategy
  • Business mobile application strategy
  • Application strategy
  • Product management strategy

Let us explain every stage with complete detailing. 

Stage 1 – Understanding of business strategy 

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To comprehend the business strategy application is the foremost thing of an app development process. 

Misalignment between the strategy of the company and the strategy of mobile might be suicidal. 

There is a myriad of benefits to creating and implementing a mobile strategy. First, that supports the overall company strategy. 

  • It maximises the ROI.
  • Reduces the overall training needs.
  • It leads to the utmost customer satisfaction
  • Decreases the bugs and requirements of integration.
  • Improvement in productivity, value, efficiency, and customer engagement.
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To be precise, a successful and well-designed business strategy is the meeting point of all the business objectives, mobile opportunities, and user needs.

How to define a mobile strategy for business? 

It always begins with comprehending the strategy, market conditions, customer journey, competitors, threats, and weaknesses. 

Stakeholders want to see their company successful in the future.

Given below are the steps to understand your company strategy in the best possible way: 

  • The mission statement of your business. Its advantages, objectives, and where you would like to see it in the next five years.
  • Define the customer journey on mobile. For example, tell customers if they can purchase the products directly and if they have access to check the order.
  • Create the profile of competitors. And tell them about the strengths and weaknesses o your application.
  • Define the SWOT analysis of your application efficiently.

A successfully launched mobile application with a strong understanding of mobile strategy help businesses attains their long-term objectives.

Stage 2 – Business mobile application strategy 

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The mobile app strategy is the path toward success. Yes! The success or failure of an application. Every step from the beginning to the end interlinks with it. 

The business mobile app strategy is easy to create if you have answers to the following questions.

  1. The purpose of an application
  2. The benefit that end-users get from using the applications

There is an immense need for a business strategy to be specific, achievable, measurable, relevant, and complete within the time constraints. 

For instance, if your applications end up having more downloads than WhatsApp, you can count your application as one of the successful ones.

Breaking the idea of an application into different components is a win-win solution. It is also known as a roadmap. 

Helpful strategies like these make the app development process much easy. 

Distributing the entire application into teeny little tasks will make your activities and road map process easier.

A roadmap is responsible for keeping your team on track. Also, it helps all the stakeholders keep track of an app strategy—allocation of resources and capacity planning to the application associated with the company’s overall budget and current standing.

Budget allocation 

The amount of money your business is willing to spend on the application determines how quickly you can launch the application. 

The allocation of budget usually includes capital, human resources, operating cost, and other resources. 

Allocation of resources for application building and budget plan helps in budgeting and standing. The budget is also associated with the roadmap. 

So, if you intend to complete the app development quickly, you need to fuel an application with more resources. 

That is only possible if your business has an adequate amount of resources. The mobile application strategy does not exist in isolation.

Other requirements: 

The idea of functional application, roadmap and allocation of budget are the factors that you need for strategy. 

But, alongside, there is an immense need to think there are several other non-functional requirements. 

They include:

  • Access points
  • Availability of network
  • Maintenance of costs
  • Architectural support
  • The payment processing method
  • The security solutions
  • Access to tools
  • CDN
  • SLAs

These requirements are exceedingly beneficial for the IT team and IT Company. 

They share these requirements in visual layout form that is also well-known as a technology stack. 

The basic idea is to document everything and ensure whether the application performs seamlessly at the backend or frontend or not. 

An exceedingly clear and concise technology is what you need.

It improves speed and scalability. 

Stage 3 – Defining the application strategy 

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Now is the time for defining clear use cases based on the entire customer journey. 

That is a clear definition when it comes to a single application strategy. 

The use case is at the centre when it comes to defining the application strategy. 

These last actions describe the overall interaction between a role and a system. 

It is a simple use case that plays a crucial role in defining all the actions and roles of the buyers and sellers.

The vital secret is either focusing on one or more use cases. Let us not overwhelm the user but always ensure to focus on two user cases. Do them well.

Given below are the things for defining the application strategy.  

  • Creating and writing a document for every use case.
  • Clearly defining the intent of the use case.
  • Defining the main success scenario
  • Defining the alternate action parts
  • Using formatting of stimulus. That is also known as a response.
  • All types of specifications must be testable.
  • Write from the perspective of the actor in their vocabulary.

Defining of user case is the best part of a strategy. 

Target audience 

Finding an ideally suitable audience might be a difficult task. There is an immense need to know the age, gender, and demographics of the target audience. 

The fact is, no one can create an application for the entire customer base. 

The simple rule of thumb is to design an application for at least eighty per cent of the users. It plays a crucial role in categorising and symbolising them.

Stage 4 – Define your product management implementation strategy 

Once you define and document the mobile app strategy, now is the time to implement it.

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Understanding of a minimum viable product

Implementation of a strategy commences with defining the minimum viable products. 

It describes the product that has minimum features for learning and validating purposes.

Instead of throwing the features at once, you should prioritise the features and commence from the minimum acceptable ones. 

All the well-designed and versatile applications have to carry out this process and go through this phase.

Develop the testing strategy 

The test strategy is often defined before the coders go to work. The things in the test strategy include:

  • The scope of the application
  • Features
  • Individual cases
  • Outcome
  • The versions and integrations of an application     

Setting the scope 

Scope refers to things that companies do and what they want to achieve from the application. The scope includes: 

  • Nature of the application 
  • Target audience 
  • The crucial functions and features of the application  
  • Visual features 
  • Potential technologies 
  • Consistency 
  • Specific references.

Author Bio: Waqar Ahmed is an extraordinary Inbound Marketer and an excellent addition to Appstirr. His passion for his work and unmatched dedication is the talk of the town. Waqar knows search engine optimisation inside out and follows a result-driven approach.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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