How Do We Actually Develop a Mobile App?
Posted 17 December 2014
The development of mobile apps continues to be a vital step for many businesses. Whilst responsive mobile website design is becoming increasingly standardised, apps nevertheless have various advantages, offering unrivalled functionality and engagement. A successful mobile app is also a great way to generate additional revenue, with software-as-a-service (SAAS) being seen as one of the most efficient ways to scale a business and generate head-turning cashflow.
As a leading UK web design company we regularly develop mobile and desktop apps for our clients. Here is a brief introduction to the process of designing and developing a mobile app for business.
1. Defining Goals
The first and most important step is to establish the strategic goals for the app. There are various ways to develop an app and the overarching ambition will have a big impact on how we go about things practically.
Most apps are designed for a very specific purpose, so this tends to be a relatively straightforward process. Getting the goals clearly defined at the start of the app development process helps to avoid distraction and accelerate the development process later on in the project.
2. Researching and Mock-Ups
The next step is to begin researching similar or rival products and beginning to think about the functionality and form of the app. This will involve one of our designers starting to sketch out an early interface that will help us to identify how the app is actually going to work. Taking time to research, compile ideas and produce mock-ups will help to iron out any problems, improve the functionality of the app and build confidence among the team and stakeholders.
3. Design the Interface
This important step involves putting life and colour into the app. It will typically involve a degree of branding, and our highly skilled designers will work through the usual processes involved in designing an system. This may include some market research and testing to ensure that everything is looking as it should.
4. Development and Testing
An app might have a beautiful interface and solve a frustrating problem but if it’s not well-built then it won’t be very successful. If you’re selling it through an app store then negative reviews will have a crippling effect on momentum, and if it’s designed for client use then it may create a negative impression of your business.
This potentially time-consuming process helps us to ensure that the app will function properly across a wide range of devices. It will also help us to put it under strain, test it in various conditions and check that it’s still meeting the goals defined at the outset of the project.
5. Launch and Iteration
The most exciting phase in the app development process is clearly the launch! It’s a great feeling when the app goes live and you start to get it into users’ hands, market it and see the first revenues come in. However, it doesn’t stop there. The very best apps will continue to be developed by iteration, with a number of small, regular improvements to deliver premium performance.