Mobile applications touch every crucial aspect of life. Mobile apps are available for everything, from buying your daily essentials to financial transactions or taking a ride back home. However, if you do not get the mobile app development right, it can go haywire! It enables a seamless experience for users, increasing engagement.
Another important aspect is improving the userbase. Therefore, you must balance app development efforts and business activities like marketing for better results. Take an example of RDio. It was the first music streaming application developed by founders of Skype- Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom.
However, the RDio team focused on developing new features without a marketing team. It led to a lower user base, ultimately hurting the app. This is why focusing on the overall mobile app development, not just the technical part, is essential.
How do you have efficient all-around app development?
Here is an ultimate guide for you! Let us begin with the fundamentals of application development!
What is mobile app development?
Mobile app development is creating software applications that run on users’ devices. These apps can work through a network connection to remote resources. In other words, it is a software bundle comprising binaries, codes, and libraries that is installable on mobile devices.
Statistics related to mobile app development
- Mobile applications will generate more than $937 billion in revenue by 2023
- Apple store has more than 1.93 billion applications published on the platform
- The worldwide mobile application development market is set to reach a $44.3 trillion valuation by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 25.4 %
- Total mobile users will be more than 7.49 billion by 2025
- In 2021 there were more than 230 billion app downloads with a resounding $170 billion spent by users worldwide(State of Mobile Apps 2022)
Now that we know about mobile app development and why it is so popular among businesses. It is time to understand how the entire process works. The app development process involves several stages: planning, design, development, testing, and deployment.
Stage 1 Strategy & Planning
The first step in developing a mobile application is formulating a business strategy. Some of the critical questions that your strategy needs to address are,
- What are the business problems that the application will solve?
- Which are the pain points of customers?
- What are the business benefits of developing a mobile app?
- How will app development influence customer engagement?
- What value will the mobile app deliver to the end customer?
Based on the answers to these questions, you will need an elaborate plan for mobile app development. So, what do you need to plan for?
First things first,
You need to plan the design, development process, and deployments. Application design relates to UI/UX, and you must identify critical features before designing the application.
Step 2 Feature identification
Mobile applications solve the pain points of customers through different features. While some features are primary, and others are supporting ones. For example, your primary feature can be a web player for music streaming, and having a user profile to add music preferences can be a supporting feature.
So, it becomes key to identify features, their complexity, and scale for mobile app development planning. This will also help create a wireframe of the entire project along with an app development cost estimate. Once you have a wireframe ready for the project, the next step involves creating an app design.
Step 3 UI/UX design
Mobile UI design is not just about aesthetics. You need to create functional designs that deliver value. It is essential to keep it simple. One of the most significant mistakes that most mobile app developers near me make is using extensive animations. Using minimal animations and keeping the UI functional can help improve the user experience.
Step 4 Development process
Once the design process is ready, it is time to develop the application. The mobile app development process involves building a reliable backend architecture that can offer flexibility, security, and scalability.
For example, you can use the MVC (model-view-controller) architecture for app development. It separates the application into three logical components- Model, View, and Controller.
- The model component deals with the data-related logic. It represents either the data transferred between View and Controller or business logic. In other words, the model component deals with the business logic you need to execute.
- View component deals with the UI logic of the application. For example, UI components like text boxes, dropdowns, menus, etc. Customer interaction with these UI components is dealt with in the View part.
- The controller component acts as an interface between the Model and View part. It handles all customer interactions on the View part and updates the data accordingly on the Model component.
Mobile app development platforms
It is one of the essential aspects of the app development process is the tech stack which involves,
- Backend development platforms
- Frontend development platforms
- Deployment and testing platforms
Backend development platforms
The backend is the backbone of your application. It helps in executing your application’s business logic and enables features to function through prioritized resource allocations. Therefore, a reliable backend is one of the most crucial parts of your application, and that is why you need a more robust architecture.
For example, you can use decoupled backend architecture through a micro service approach. It helps you break down the application into smaller, manageable units. Some of the best tools to leverage micro service architecture are,
- WildFly Swarm
- Spring Boot
Frontend development platforms
Frontend development platforms help in developing the presentation side of the applications. Therefore, there are two sides of an app: the client-side of the customer-facing part and the server-side. Frontend handles the client-side of app improving on the user experience. Some of the best frontend frameworks that you can use are,
Step five Deployment and testing
There are two major platforms for mobile application deployments Android- and iOS. Mobile applications developed specifically for these platforms are called native applications. Such apps have platform-specific features, user interface design, and functionalities and run in native environments. Native applications are an excellent option to leverage specific functionalities and native capabilities.
On the other hand, a cross-platform application works across iOS and Android devices. Therefore, if you are aiming at both iOS and Android, cross-platform apps are the best option for mobile app development. Other types of apps that you can develop are hybrid apps, progressive web apps, and decentralized apps.
Fortunately, several tools that you can leverage to deploy and test apps across platforms. Some of the critical deployment and testing tools for mobile apps are,
- AWS code deploy(Cloud-based deployments)
- Appium(One of the best QA tools)
- Katalon(Codeless testing automation tool)
- Jenkins(CI/CD automation)
- Selenium(Testing automation)
Now that we have covered everything about mobile app development, it is time to discuss some of the best practices for better efficiency.
Being market-fit is vital if you are trying to build a successful brand. One of the significant reasons for a mobile app to fail is non-relevance. If your app is not market-fit, it will not be relevant to the target audience leading to failure.
Here are some tips for creating market-fit mobile apps,
- Ensure proper market research
- Have potential customer surveys
- Allow users to experience the prototype for feedback
- Identify the features according to market
While having a market fit app is essential, security is another crucial factor.
Mobile app security is key to customer trust. If your application exposes users’ personal information to hackers, they will not trust your brand. According to a survey, 88% of customers will not buy from organizations they do not trust. Therefore, you need to ensure that your application is secure.
One way to secure your app is through a code-signing certificate. It protects your app’s code integrity and allows users to verify the legitimacy of the application developer. Here, you can buy code signing certificate from different certificate authorities or CA, which are trustworthy. Some of the leading CAs are Comodo, GoDaddy, DigiCert, etc.
Next, the best practice is to have a balancing act! You need to have a balanced focus on mobile app development and marketing.
Marketing apps are a way to reach your audience! You may develop the best application in the world with exquisite features, but if the audience does not know about it-, your efforts will not produce results! Therefore, marketing applications become critical, and here are some tips to follow,
- Optimize app store marketing
- Design promotional campaigns across channels
- Leverage mobile advertising for app promotion
- Use a gamification approach to engage users
- Have dedicated rewards and loyalty programs
Lastly, you need a well-defined monetization plan!
Why do most businesses fail? A simple answer would be that they run out of cash! Therefore, whether your application is just a measure to support offline business or is an ecommerce app, you need to have a well-defined monetization plan. This is where your business model comes into play.
A business model will help you define the remuneration sources and monetize the application. For example, if you are developing an on-demand application for food delivery, you can monetize the app through,
- Delivery charges
- Commission charges
- Featured restaurants
- Subscription charges
Mobile usage is increasing each day, with users demanding advanced features. Therefore, no denying that you need to develop applications that are rich in features and provide a seamless experience. However, customer retention can become challenging without the right strategy and efficient mobile app development. So, start securing your apps, make them market-fit and define monetization strategies for efficient mobile app business.