While mobile application development is a growing industry, it’s also a very competitive one. You’re up against thousands of other businesses who see the need to invest in mobile application development.
Further, the application development process is a complex mechanism. It includes different stages, requires special skills, software, and tools — and each stage must be completed with high accuracy.
However, if you intend to create an app for your target audience, understanding the mobile app development life cycle will help you know how to proceed so that you get it right the first time. It will also help you understand what you require and what to expect during the development process.
What is Mobile App Development Life Cycle?
The mobile app development life cycle is a process that involves the concept of creating, testing, launching, and measuring the performance of an app. It goes through the stages of roadmap planning, defining scope and objectives, designing requirements or designs, prototyping, implementing, and testing.
Mobile app development life cycle is a spectrum of tasks which allow you to experience a smooth and seamless app usability. It also helps in customizing your app within the framework of existing needs. It includes all the steps that require you to develop, launch and maintain your mobile app.
Steps of Mobile App Development Lifecycle
Mobile application development lifecycle (MADL), also known as app development life cycle, is a development process for creating an application for mobile devices. The process is typical to any development procedure, and it consists of several stages such as project initiation, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Mobile app development life cycle begins with the idea or concept of developing a mobile application. It is analyzed, discussed, and agreed upon by the stakeholder or a group of stakeholders that includes project owner, project manager, business analyst, technical team lead, developers, and testers. It is the basis for the entire project, and without it, you would have no foundation to build upon.
Further, finding a great idea is just not enough. It should also be converted into a product idea. A product idea describes the vision, how it looks like and what it can do. This will help you identify issues when building your product, get projections on revenues and costs, specify technology requirements, and see if it makes sense to outsource some functions.
And when the concept of the app is ready, and you have done some research about the target audience. Now it’s time to polish your idea that can attract users and spark their interest in a new solution.
Before beginning the app development process, a strategy must be in place on how they will make the mobile application, which should contain the following:
- What will be the purpose of this application?
- What might be the unique selling point of your app?
- Who is your target audience?
- What do they want from your app?
It is essential to define these points before developing an app. It helps determine what features or functions need to be included as part of an application so that it is helpful for users.
Once the roadmap planning is complete, it is time to design the layout of your app. The goal of design is to provide users with a seamless experience that looks stunning. How well users adopt and utilize a mobile app’s features determines the app’s success. Creating dynamic, spontaneous, and user-friendly software is the aim of effective mobile app UI/UX design to generate compelling user experiences. Below are some examples of necessary design elements:
Architecture and workflow: An app’s architecture should be simple so users can easily navigate the application to get where they want. When designing an app, it is critical to consider how the user will move through each step and what actions they will perform. Having a simple and intuitive user experience is paramount for achieving a great rating on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Wireframe: Wireframes are a great way to communicate ideas and plans with clients and other developers early on in the design process. They are a good visual representation of an app’s layout and functionality, saving time and effort later on.
Technical Utility and style: The technical utility and style of the elements of an application unite the functionality and the convenience of use.
Everybody wants to create a perfect application for their brand, but we cannot underestimate the importance of technical utility and style. There are some questions you should always ask yourself before going into coding. What will the technical utility of your app be? Will users get everything they need from my app? It is essential to consider how users can make the best use of the application on their mobile devices due to limited memory. Also, you should make sure that your app reflects a specific style that meets the requirements of your brand or business.
Prototyping is an essential phase of the app development process. It helps in understanding what works and what doesn’t work and ensures that you can work with your developers to constantly improve the product until it’s at its very best. You can do this through:
Short development cycles: You can develop an app quickly using a prototype as your blueprint. It is handy if you have many requirements or detailed designs.
Quick decision making: A prototype allows you to go through the design and development process quickly to make changes and achieve faster results. It will help in decision-making, enabling you to test an app before it is released.
The app development phase is believed to be the most expensive and time-consuming stage of the whole mobile application development scheme. It includes tech requirements, design, and actual coding of the app.
App development is the most important step of the entire application creation process. It’s a vital stage, as it determines both how your final app will look and how easy it will be to use.
The coding phase consists of front-end and back-end development. The initial phase develops the appearance of the system and all functions associated with it, but not necessarily the underlying systems. The next phase builds the backbone for all systems, such as data analysis processing. Front-end represents all functions related to the user interface, whereas back end represents all functionalities that are behind the scenes, such as data analysis processing. The idea is to enable interface functions in a manner that is seamless and easy to use.
Front-end development: Front-end development is the app part that deals with how well the user can see, understand, and interact with the app. It involves the user interface and related elements, including images, videos, text, and multimedia. Rich internet applications (RIAs), which employ rich media like graphics, animation, and audio, are used by the front-end layer.
Back-End development: The back-end development is the part of the mobile app that deals with the database and its data. It involves programming the application’s database to store and retrieve data like web pages or text messages. It also deals with the logic and programming needed to make the app function, such as retrieving and displaying information.
Building and deploying an app primarily follows two stages, development, and stabilization. Developers create the application’s first version and then QA experts would test it, so as to find errors, defects, and make amendments. However, the methods they take while testing can also vary and differ.
The testing and debugging process is an essential aspect of development. It’s used for determining the effectiveness of a program, prior to its release. Application testing process starts on the alpha phase and continues on beta and release phases. The general product testing process may differ depending on the organization due to its policies, goals, and development processes.
Further, app testing is a lengthy procedure during deployment phase. It includes testing of: usability, accessibility, functional analysis, performance efficiency, security tests, user acceptance and device and platform review.
When developing an application, you’ll normally need to determine a deployment strategy from the onset. This should be done in conjunction with your application architecture and can depend on your organization’s overall strategy. Will you release via one platform first, or go for multiple smaller releases? Will this lead to feedback loops, or do you have processes in place to minimize that risk?
Decide on the deployment method that best suits your application style and architecture and take into account your delivery methods before making a final decision.
After your application has been uploaded on the App Store or Google Play market, you will start updating it with new features, new versions, or bug fixes. You will need to provide tech support for your product, as well as deal with users’ feedback and requests in order to improve the app and make it even better.
The app maintenance process is as important as the process of app development. In fact, it is even more important because it helps you to fix bugs and errors, maintain the desirable performance level and receive more positive reviews from your customers — all these will increase the ratings of your app in the online markets.
No matter how brilliant your app idea may seem, one thing is certain, the Mobile App Development process is tricky. It always has been and will most likely be in the future too. The struggle to find a service that builds high-quality apps is gaining momentum among entrepreneurs and business owners. We at XDuce make application development simple and help you deliver the best business solutions on time, every time. Our team of analysts, designers and developers uses the latest technology to build your app from the ground up. We’ll schedule meetings, stay on top of deadlines, ask for updates and present solutions for new challenges that come along the way.