Mobile App Development Process and everything you need to know!
This era stands for the startup wave. According to statistics, everyone out of the three youngsters is planning a new startup idea. But only physical existence is not enough, you need to leverage every opportunity that tends to attract better visibility. Online existence through the company website and mobile app development is among the technical leverages that need to be accessed to keep up with your startup irrespective of the fact if it is product-based or service-based.
What is Mobile App Development?
Coming on the mobile app development topic, with millions of apps being scrolled on the app store; you need not have to think twice if your business really needs an app. Apps are the essence of a scaling business or even a start-up that is in its initial phase. Businesses are supposed to make things easier or say THE Easiest for their customers, thus, only a mobile app cannot do the needful, instead, a well-planned, well-optimized, and user-friendly app is the need of the hour.
But, the major quest that every entrepreneur is facing is the comprehension of the app development roadmap. No one can explain the process better than somebody who has actually been through the same. So, here I am – Vinay Krishna Gupta – CEO of Antino, writing all my experiences on app development for start-ups. Let’s start it right away.
Is developing an app worth it?
Starting with the most important one! Mobile apps have offered a simple and pocket-friendly approach for both sides. Businesses can conveniently leverage the benefit of omnipresence and customers are comforted with the appropriate solutions to their needs eased out through modern technologies and app inventions. This offers us a significant gist i.e. the strategy is not only to build an app but to offer a suitable solution to a problem by getting into the shoes of the user.
Today’s generation is all about smartphones. According to statistics, 3.5 Billion+ people are actively using smartphones to keep themselves hooked on the outer world. More than 95% of our screen time comprises mobile apps being scrolled either for entertainment purposes or for finding solutions to our daily problems/daily routines. These data figures themselves imply how crucial is a mobile application for business. It allows your business to target your customers from every point possible.
Worldwide Mobile App Revenue
In 2020, global revenue from mobile apps increased to over 318 billion U.S. dollars. This was an increase of over 60 billion U.S. dollars compared to 2019. The strongest segment that year was the mobile games segment with a revenue of over 200 billion U.S. dollars, followed by social networking mobile apps, which created revenue of around 31 billion dollars. The Statista Digital Market Outlook estimates that revenue across most segments will increase over the next few years and overall will reach around 613 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
Mobile Application Development Challenges and Best Practices
In this developing era of innumerable apps, not every app can be perfect. Each iteration teaches you distinct challenges and best practices to be analyzed and properly implemented throughout your process. Thus, try learning from the ones who’ve already fallen before. So, here are some challenges and best practices you need to consider before running to the app development phase.
- “Everyone has an app” is not a valid reason to start!
- Your vision is not Clear and Ascertainable
- You don’t have a Sufficient Budget
- Letting go of App Marketing
- Underestimating the Industry Research
- The Process doesn’t end with Launching
“Everyone has an app” is not a valid reason to start!
Just hurrying up on application development only because your competitors or the industry as a whole is using an app to increase the reach can never be a valid reason to start the app development phase. Before actually running to the developing team, make sure you have your objectives, USPs, target audience, approaches, plan of action, and resources clear.
Your vision is not Clear and Ascertainable
The worst to start or proceed with is not having a clear, measurable as well as a feasible vision of the product. Every plan of action should start with SMART Objectives! Where SMART implies:
You don’t have a Sufficient Budget
Thinking you can get the best with the lowest budget possible is the most redundant approach to start with. Either you will have to compromise with the quality or will have to broaden your budget constraints. Keeping up with a low budget implies access to an incompetent team, an inappropriate tech stack, and of course, an undesirable outcome! So, be specific with your goals and plan of action to ascertain the appropriate budget for the same.
Letting go of App Marketing
How would your customers know what solution you are offering until you spread the word? Thus, App marketing is crucial for not only letting people know about the solution being offered but also for brand building. Consider different aspects of app marketing including paid marketing campaigns and organic campaigns like App Store Optimization (ASO). You need to understand the app store algorithms to appropriately rank the app in the App Store ranking.
Underestimating the Industry Research
No one can sustain in any industry if he is ignorant of the industry research irrespective of how beneficial or how unique their offering is!
Understanding your competition and the market trends of the industry you are intending to grow, is of utmost importance to analyze what your consumers want, how would they react to price changes, how would your competitors react to a sudden market change, and how you need to refer to these situations for future references! And the list never ends…. An EIC approach i.e. Economy – Industry – Company analysis approach is among the best methods for research purposes!
The Process doesn’t end with Launching
Just like any other business project, the process doesn’t end with the launch. Instead, the main undertaking has just begun. Constant evaluation, revision of strategies, SWOT analysis, and appraisals are required to keep the app updated in the technical as well as fundamental environment to consistently align with your long-term and short-term goals.
One thing that must not be overlooked is to always and always align your short-term goals with the primary objective of the app/organization!
Which Technology Stack should we consider?
It won’t be possible to define a specific technology that should be preferred for app development. For the fact that every app has its distinct features, functionalities, and development requirements, technology should be specific to these requirements! Thus, consider a consultation from an experienced app development company about the project tech essentials!
Some of the top technologies used to develop mobile apps include Swift, Java, MySql, Objective-C, Flutter, React.js, React Native, Node.js, and much more. Consult an app development company, specify your objectives and they will efficiently let you know what tech resources to consider and what not!
Mobile App Development Cost
The actual cost of any mobile app development cannot be predicted based on a brief description of the app. Numerous factors are taken into account for defining a range for the specified project. These factors are as follows:
- iOS or Android or hybrid development
- Features and Functionalities to be Incorporated
- UI-UX Elements
- Project Scale
- App Administration
- After Maintenance Cost
iOS or Android or Hybrid Development
Your objective should be clear regarding the devices and operating systems to be used for your app. Correctly instruct the developer if you want your existence to be on Android, iOS, or both! And the version of the operating system taken into account is also a crucial factor for cost estimation. Thus, your final cost will constitute which platform and OS you require!
Features and Functionalities to be Incorporated
The features and distinct elements to be embedded in the app keeping in view the primary objectives are also a major determinant of your final cost. If your app involves only a basic version of features, it will obviously cost less. But, an app that needs all the advanced features like voice recognition, image personification, chatbots, app personalization, in-app purchases, social media integration, and much more, will cost more!
The design development phase is not just about the outer design visible to the users but entails the most important stage of designing – user experience (UX). User experience is a lengthy process and is also the deciding factor about the success of an app. The better the user experience, the better the overall development. Thus, where the project requires deep insights into user behavior, the cost will be comparatively higher in comparison to the ones having limited research requirements.
The scale of the project is a crucial determinant for the cost estimation because the wider the target audience, the more will be the resources required! Thus, get your objectives and scalability factors sorted beforehand to estimate the total cost of the app development.
The project cost will also be affected if your mobile app requires a Content Management System (CMS) or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Developing a custom CMS or a CRM needs a lot of extra effort and resources, directly implying an increase in project cost!
After Maintenance Cost
The app development cost structure majorly depends on after-maintenance requirements. As stated previously, you cannot just leave your app after the launch, it is to be constantly reviewed, evaluated as well as improved to keep it working. Thus, your maintenance needs will affect your final cost structure to a great extent!
What are the Mobile App Development Phases?
Each phase in the development process is equally crucial. Depending on the scale and the requirements of the project, efforts, time, and money invested in the phase may vary accordingly. Do not forget to appropriately plan the phases beforehand to eliminate the trial and error strategies!
Proof of Concept
Find out what people think about the proposed app. You could create a simple landing page, documents that can be downloaded for free, or a mailing campaign to collect data that will be used to determine the app’s true market demand.
Defining an MVP
You’re all sorted with the app ideas and the market research, but your app is still in its early stages and you need to decide on the starting point! Begin by defining your MVP. A design sprint is an excellent tool to determine an MVP. It is a week-long or much longer series of workshops including all relevant app stakeholders, culminating in the design and testing of a design with real users.
You already have a mental image of the app, but now you’re curious about user feedback and the user experience. Make an interactive prototype that looks exactly like the finished product, then hold a test session with prospective customers to gather valuable feedback.
The app is well-defined, and you are confident in its added value as well as return on investment. It is now time to begin the development phase. You should start with the following:
- Adhering to a roadmap and scheduled releases
- Attending reviews and providing feedback to the team all through design sprints
- Evaluation of changes and improvements made along the way
You need to take small steps at a time. The process doesn’t end with the launch. You need to keep an eye on all the processes and be responsible for all the updates being covered. Some basic regular tasks may include:
- Planning additional releases and updates
- Planning the app’s maintenance and updates around your other commitments
- Keeping up with the marketing strategies for the app
- Constantly evaluating the app’s performance and user feedback
- Never be out of the roadmap and the final objective
How long does it take to develop an App?
To be concise, any app’s timeline will depend on the complexity of its features and components. So, the app deadlines can be divided into three categories:
The basic app structure with only a few elements and negligible third-party involvements, 100-130 hours of work will be needed including the research, design, development, and deployment of the project.
A moderately featured app will take around 500 to 850 hours of work. The extended features may include chatbots, social-media integration, online payment integration, and much more.
Highly Comprehensive App
An app to be framed on complex features like detailed content management and advanced data processing will definitely require more than 900 hours of productivity.
Mobile App Promotion
Promoting your application well is as important as the whole app development process. This guide to app development would have never ended without considering these highly prevalent mobile app promotion strategies!
As a newly built mobile application, influencer marketing should be considered the very first step to boosting up your word among the users. If your target audience is already being inspired by an influencer, then why not use the opportunity to promote your offerings!
Your app can be efficiently promoted on news and media channels to generate quality leads as the existing audience is actually interested in the content being published/telecasted!
Search Engine Optimization
The most effective and affordable way to app promotion is by using search engine algorithms to promote your app and business. You can use SEO strategies like keywords, backlinking, website optimization, and much more to rank your page on search engines.
App Store Optimization
Just like search engines, your app needs to be app store optimized as well. 90% of people only go for the apps that appear in the top results in the app store. Thus, try using trending hashtags, meta tags, appropriate descriptions, and much more.
SEO and ASO will take months to achieve the desired results. But, with paid advertising on search engines as well as app stores, you can see the desired results instantly! Thus, in the initial phase, paid advertising can be used to spread your word instantly, but, in the later phase, SEO and ASO can be utilized or even a hybrid strategy can be adopted!
In-house, or app development company?
Will depend on your business and your objectives. If you are a large-scale company having a budget to afford in-house IT operations and the constant updates required after the launch as well, you can go for in-house app development. But, if you have just started up your entrepreneurship, it will be difficult for you to manage and afford an in-house development, hence, outsourcing will be the best option for that situation!
How to choose the best mobile app development company?
The most important one! Not every vendor understands your needs and not every vendor will alter their offerings for your better! Thus, it is crucial to understand what is good initially but can get worse later. Delve into these pointers to choose the best mobile app development company for your project.
Whatever app development company you choose, it should be reputable and experienced enough to handle all your project requirements with utmost accuracy and precision. A web development company that has already worked on a similar project or similar tech as yours can be the perfect match because it knows exactly what problems can arise and what corrective actions are to be taken!
The portfolio of the company you are referring to should be diversified enough. The greater the diversification, the better the expertise, and the better the chances for the success of your app. A company that has already worked on a wide and distinct range of projects, will have an upper hand in terms of expertise.
Advisory and Partnership
Look for a company that is more than just a supplier! Instead of someone who will be ready to dance at your fingertips and will have nothing to advise for, go for an app development company that knows what can be the best for you, is ready to put input, and will guide you throughout the development phase, and is ready to be a partner, adviser and so much more than just a supplier.
Thus, working on a start-up is tough. But, building a good app for your start-up and keeping it updated to the customers’ requirements is tougher! You need a lot of brainstorming, planning, and appropriate implementation of the strategy. This cannot be done alone without the help of experts.
At Antino, we have a strong team of highly experienced app developers with a successful record of delivering innovative apps to transform your idea into a secure mobile application with advanced feature integration. You can rest assured of any tech consultancy you will need while planning your app strategy as well as in your app development phases.