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Mobile App Development Process [7 Steps Guide for 2022]

Many businesses are exploring the mobile app development industry due to the increasing use of mobile devices for everyday tasks. It is possible to have a concept for an app, but creating it from scratch requires undergoing an entire mobile application development process.

In this blog, we will discuss the app development process in a simplified manner that helps businesses like yours make the right choice.

When you know how to build a mobile app, you may avoid the snags and have a more successful project.

If a company wants to deliver actual value to its consumers, it should follow a step-by-step process for creating a mobile application in 2022.

According to research, the typical smartphone user would engage with the device every five minutes.

If you are moved by this data and looking to leverage the growing industry, let's start with the app development process.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Mobile Application in 2022

Creating a mobile app involves the following seven steps, as mentioned below. In this blog, we will run you through each stage of the process and answer the most often asked question: "What is the process to create a mobile app in 2022”. If you hire a mobile app development agency, they are bound to follow some of these steps to ensure a robust app for your business.

Steps in Mobile App Development Process

1. App Idea Validation

Having a concept for a mobile app isn't enough; you need to gather enough data to ensure creating a viable product. If you know what their clients want and how much they're ready to pay for it, you are ready for the next big step in the mobile app development process.

A. Start with user research

If you are an existing business looking to enter the mobile space, then begin with speaking to your existing clients. Also, if you're considering launching a company based on a mobile app concept, you need market research.

In this case, hire the services of a market research firm. Second-hand data collecting may also be done by referring to Google trends, trade publications and other existing data.

B. Competition research

Other apps on the market probably do the same things as yours. In this case, researching what works and what doesn't during the app development process helps figure out the ideal solution that your app can offer.

It also lets you find out ways to distinguish your app from competitors. This will involve conducting a SWOT analysis and giving your business an Opportunity Potential Score.

Here, you need to do the following—

  • Identify whether your mobile app can provide a unique service to your organisation.
  • Question whether your app provides a solution that other traditional channels, such as websites and software, do not?
  • Analyse the current state of the market to determine the feasibility of developing and monetising an app.
  • Maintain a high business potential score for your app concept to ensure it meets all three parameters.

2. Creating project documentation

The next step involves creating a comprehensive project requirement document to define its scope fully. This is a crucial document to create as a part of a mobile app development process which helps designers, developers, marketing professionals, and even project managers.

We know how much it costs to develop an app, which often involves knowledge transfer amongst team members. Ensure following this step to determine the tech stack you need, the design convention to follow, and the team strength required at each step of the project.

For instance, if you are creating a cross-platform app, then it is best to decide whether you need to hire a Flutter developer or go for a React Native team, among the other crucial project decisions during this stage.

Here are some of the key requirements to consider when creating an app.

  • Mention and properly describe pre-validated app ideas along with
  1. Target audience
  2. Business objective
  3. Current and future competition
  4. Unique value propositions.
  • Include details of the mobile OS for which you are creating an app. This one is crucial as many technology choices would depend on whether you are developing an app for Android or iOS or building a cross-platform app.
  • Mention the frontend and backend technologies you plan to adopt for app development.
  • Also, mention all the third-party tools and APIs you plan to incorporate throughout the mobile app development process.
  • And finally, add the project timeline that also showcases the resource requirements.

3. Wireframing & Prototyping

This is a crucial step in the mobile app development process as it involves creating a functional prototype that contributes to UI/UX. Efficient planning at this stage helps carry out the development process more effectively.

App Development Wireframing & Prototyping

A wireframe represents an app's features, functionality, and usability as a blueprint or digital sketch. A prototype is an interactive and dynamic model that users can explore and interact with, allowing designers to see what your app's interface will look like.

The primary goal of an app's design team is to create a user interface that is attractive, functional, and simple to navigate.

A sophisticated UI/UX design is possible following the steps below.

  • Data architecture and processes are the first things you need to determine when creating an app. It helps determine how users will see and access the application data. This also impacts the overall UX of your mobile app.
  • The second stage is sketching the app's wireframe to understand how the app will appear and feel. It will show how you organise your mobile application.
  • Next, you need to create a. clear style guide for the app UI designers, enabling them to pick font style, colour, and other visual design decisions.
  • Later in the mobile application development process, you’d build a mock-up for an app which helps incorporate all of the design elements into a cohesive whole.
  • Lastly, you’d create an interactive prototype in the design process, unlike static mockups. This follows dynamic prototypes, allowing users to engage with the design and identify potential faults.

4. Mobile App Development

Many experienced mobile app development experts see this phase as one of the busiest and most important ones in the entire app development process. This stage, therefore, is also referred to as the heart of the entire process of creating a mobile application.

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Here, developers are engaged in creating a fine front- and back-end development where a lot of coding takes place. Post this, it is time to give more control to the user interface.

Back-end server technologies, APIs, and front-end development comprise a mobile application's three pillars.

The front-end of an app is what users see and interact with, the backend is what developers do on the server side, and the API ties everything together.

Note: There are many different "types of apps" to consider during mobile app development. But, developers would want to know the use of the specific platform and operating system on which the app will run. Currently, there are three major types of app development.

Native Apps

These applications are built for a single platform — Android or iOS, or Windows Phone. Here, developers need to create a separate app for each platform. The benefit is that the user's experience is tailored to their specific device and platform.

Mobile Web Apps

Mobile web apps serve as a basic web page that users can browse on mobile browsers like Safari or Chrome. These apps are web pages that run as an app in a browser and are usually referred to as "HTML5 Web Apps."

Cross-Platform Apps

Developers will use HTML and JavaScript to build these cross-platform apps, also known as "hybrid" apps. Cross-platform apps offer the same UI/UX and appear the same across various OS, devices, and browsers.

You may choose the type of app depending on the kind of business you are running and your expected user base.

But, here’s how to make the right choice—

  • Choose a native iOS app if you want to target users with Apple devices or demographics who are more likely to spend money on apps.
  • Choose cross-platform apps if you want to run your apps on both Android and iOS devices.
  • You can also opt for a mobile web app that is used on any device with an internet connection if you want to reach a wider audience and expand as soon as possible.

Once you choose the kind of mobile app platform, next comes the programming and development requirements. In this phase of the mobile app development process, coding takes centre stage as this is what makes your app.

When you are done choosing the platform, you’ll need to start thinking about what kind of programming language you want to use and find reliable app developers who can write the code for you.

Here are the three widely used mobile app development programming languages—

Kotlin

Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-based Kotlin is a general-purpose, cross-platform programming language you can convert to JavaScript source code or LLVM. Developers may use Kotlin to create apps for Android, iOS, and a wide range of other platforms.

Swift

Swift is Apple's sophisticated and user-friendly programming language that is useful for creating applications for iOS, iPad OS, Mac OS X, tvOS, and watchOS. Swift is a highly preferred programming language if you are looking to develop iOS native apps.

Java

Java is a popular programming language that supports cross-platform programmes and devices while being a preferred language for Android app development. Java applications are Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA) codes, meaning you can execute the same on every Java-enabled device without modification.

For programming, you need to address three key areas —

Front-end

Front-end code turns back-end data into what a user can see or interact with as a client-side interface.

Back-end

Back-end code forms the app’s logic that works as business rules. Also, it will define database access and security as its key responsibility.

API

Access to third-party data and resources is possible through Application Program Interface (APIs). Applications cannot function independently as they need access to the data from other systems (websites, databases). For instance, receiving the most up-to-date forecast for a weather app that leverages APIs.

The entire app development process is complex, time-consuming and may involve certain complications. But, if done correctly, a mobile app can ensure stability, security, and performance.

Therefore, if you want to offer your mobile application to succeed, you need to invest in the app development process by hiring an experienced team. Such teams would help create the code and build the application cost-effectively.

5. QA Testing

This is the final step in a mobile application development process. Quality Analysis (QA) ensures the quality of the final product before rolling it out to people. Code reviews ensure your mobile application has no bugs.

Here's a quick look at the primary QA testing procedures that are majorly used in an app development process

QA testing process in app development

Documentation testing

This test begins at the start of the project to ensure that all of the project's essential aspects and functionalities are thoroughly tested. This test is needed to identify any major problems or anomalies in the project that need to be rectified promptly while documenting the same.

Performance testing

This testing method guarantees that your mobile app operates properly, provides an excellent user experience, and is stable. Here, your testers may include stress and concurrency testing.

Functional testing

The purpose of functional testing determines how well the app works and how it responds to user input. It also includes considering the app's user experience.

Business-specific functions

Many applications rely on user interactions to generate revenue. This needs to be tested independently from those that don't. Here, key components to examine include transaction features or shopping carts, how social networking buttons behave, and how promotional features perform.

Usability testing

This test examines the app's ability to run smoothly on various devices and platforms, including those with varying screen sizes and capabilities.

UI testing

It is a necessary step to ensure that the app's UI design completely satisfies all the planned design standards and criteria.

Compatibility testing

To ensure that the app is compatible with a wide range of smartphones, it is necessary to conduct compatibility testing. Testers work on configuration for various operating systems, browsers, databases and other devices and networks.

Performance testing

This test aids in evaluating the app's performance and responsiveness under varying loads of jobs, user volume, and networking circumstances. It involves stress, load, concurrent, volume, and stability testing at this stage.

Security testing

You cannot move your application further without security testing. Here, the testers may include security flaws regarding how to open an app to security threats. This testing checks if an app can stop attempts to hack it, threats from malware, or sustain bot attacks.

Certification testing

Finally, certification testing is carried out to see if the app meets all the requirements of the OS platform, such as the terms of service, licensing rules, platform-specific guidelines, etc.

Here are some of the common tools that testers use—

  • BrowserStack for compatibility testing;
  • Selendroid for functionality testing;
  • Loop for usability testing;
  • Apteligent for performance testing;
  • Google Nogotofail for security testing;
  • Coded UI for user interface testing, to mention but a few.

Once your mobile app completes the test, you'll need to figure out what went wrong and correct it. If you want to ensure your mobile app works smoothly and provides a top-notch user experience, you'll have to keep re-testing it.

6. Deployment and Release

Before submitting an app to the relevant app store, decide on the app title, get one short and one long description, and prepare a few promotional images. Here, it is necessary to use relevant keywords.

The more relevant keywords you include in your descriptions, the more likely you will get people to download your app. Submitting the app to the app store is the next step.

Apple's app review time has been slashed to only one day, while Google's approval period is often a few hours. Launching your mobile application will need a developer account for the Apple iStore and the Google Play Store.

There are plenty of mobile analytics tools along with feedback from users that goes into this last phase. It also involves bugs submitted to mobile app developers, crash reports, and other issues. The QA team will keep a close eye on the performance and success of the app once it is released.

Before you submit the app to an app store, you need the following metadata —

  • Name of your application
  • Mobile app description
  • App genre or category
  • Important keywords
  • Launch icon design
  • App Store screenshots

7. App Maintenance

Once all the steps in the app development process are completed, you need to look at the application maintenance as well. This is an ongoing process to improve the functionality of your app once it is released.

App Maintenance - a crucial step in app development process

App maintenance requires continuous testing and managing of your mobile app functions. This includes running code checks, assigning bug fixes to engineers, and working on user feedback. The more app downloads you get, the more maintenance it requires.

One way to address effective app maintenance includes implementing a comprehensive QA that blends with a customer service strategy. It is because users will be concerned about how to install, create an account, and more.

Customer support is an essential element of the mobile application development process as you will get a lot of queries for your mobile application once through customer service platforms.

An effective app maintenance strategy will involve the following —

  • Respond to customer queries promptly
  • Enable a user feedback system in your app so they can quickly share their troubles using it.
  • Gather user feedback to learn what they want and how to keep your mobile app up to date and useful.

Conclusion

Now that you know the mobile app development process, you can hire developers or work with a mobile app development team to begin the work. Hiring a reliable team ensures your app remains up-to-date and user-friendly. At Intelivita, we have created plenty of mobile apps for a range of businesses across the globe. If you are interested in starting the app development process, connect with our team of app developers and discuss your requirements after signing an NDA. Alternatively, you can use this guide to prepare your business for a successful mobile app development project in times to come.
Dhaval-Author
Dhaval Sarvaiya
Co-Founder

Hey there. I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the Founders of Intelivita. Intelivita is a mobile app development company that helps companies achieve the goal of Digital Transformation. I help Enterprises and Startups overcome their Digital Transformation and mobile app development challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.

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