How to develop a mobile-friendly app

1. App discovery

 

Developing a mobile app is a months-long process. Before a team starts preparing for it or a rough estimation is provided to the clients, an app idea needs to be validated. There are a number of methods to do that including looking at competitors, analyzing market capitalization, and studying user persona. Details of these three methods are as follows:

Market research

A few things can be done at this stage. These include hunting down the information for devices on which the app’s user works on, the features they love to use. This analysis helps to build an app that is the best suited to the user and its device as well. Competitor analysis is an important part of your market research process.

User Personas

Many factors including app size, app UI/UX features, and more depending on who is going to use your app. Thus, studying the user persona is very crucial for an app development.

Market capitalization

Apart from calculating the worth of a company, market capitalization also helps in developing an app idea. Information needs to be gathered about how much the idea is worth to be worked on. This information can be gathered in terms of users it will attract, the revenue it will be generating, and the funding it will get.

 

2. Analysis and scoping

 

At this stage, you decide what the app would do, the technology which would be used, and the features it would inculcate to fulfil its purpose.

App complexity

App complexity is all about the number of features an app includes.

  • Deployment architecture model: Using backend, information can be taken from the app. This information is then transformed into a solution and returned to the user. There are two options when it comes to backend development – Custom and BaaS. In BaaS, the clients get a readymade backend architecture. Whereas in Custom, they get their own architecture.
  • Admin panel development: This part in an app does the management of the whole app including tracking of activities, viewing stats, and updating the content without an external help of developers.
  • Third party integration: It is very often that your app needs to interact with other app’s functionality to easy the processes. For instance, your app can use Facebook login or PayPal to ease certain processes.
  • In-app purchase: In-app purchase is available in almost all of the apps today in one form or the other. This feature has been able to find a great demand for itself.
  • Use of device’s hardware: Smartphones and tablets today come with a number of features including Bluetooth, GPS, Nearby, Barometers, and more. These features can be linked to apps and as a result, they can power up the apps as well.

App category

There are a number of categories under which an app can be placed. These categories are formed on the basis of a number of users, security criteria, functionality, and more.

  • Stand-alone apps: No network is required to run these apps. Additionally, they are not dependent on any device feature. These apps need low data. Thus, a win situation for the users.
  • Social networking apps: There are certain common features in all social networking apps. These include real-time messaging, use of location-based service, integration with other apps’ functionalities such as media files and camera, real-time sync, and in-app purchases.
  • mCommerce apps: Online retail has been on a continuous rise all around the globe. People have been choosing the mobile version of shopping because of the element of ease added for these apps.

These apps need to perform in real time catering to millions of users. Also, they need to have a strong backend to make sure constant page maintenance and updates.

  • On-demand apps: These apps are created to cater to three people — the business, the person delivering the service, and the user.

These apps also have a number of features including in-app payment, real-time sync, chat support, rate and review support, real-time tracking, notifications, and more.

  • Enterprise mobile apps: Unlike other categories, these apps need to be more precise. Enterprise mobile apps are used by employees as a supporting element to ease their process.

Focus on hardware

It is often that IoT apps require very low-level interactions with the firmware to control the hardware. However, they need collaboration with hardware to make sure that the users are able to seamlessly pull data and send commands to get an action in return.

 

3.App design and animation

 

To make your user invest time in your app. To make this happen, a specific focus needs to be put on app design. You have two options while deciding on the app design. These include Custom and Standard UI.

Wireframing

Wireframing can be drafted using tools like Balsamiq, MARVEL, and Photoshop. In order to create a final app screen flow, every wireframe is approved by the client.

Animation

In apps like gaming and social media, the animation plays a prominent role. The design and coding of animation are some of the most complicated processes while app building.

 

4. App platform

 

It is on the business to decide what app platform and the number of OS versions the app will be launched on.

Native apps (Android and iOS)

The only difference between Android and iOS apps is that the Android app has to be developed for different OS versions. Talking about language, Android app development is done in Java and/or Kotlin. On the other hand, iOS app development is done on Swift and Objective C.

Cross-platform app development

This platform enables the business to develop an app for both iOS and Android. Presently, the cross-platform industry is divided into Flutter and React Native platforms.

  • Flutter

Being a new entrant in the market, Flutter comes with its own advantages by providing complete Native experience, the app running time of 60 FPS, and the support of detailed documentation.

  • React Native

This has become synonymous with Cross-Platform app development. To make themselves visible on both Android and iOS, a number of brands have adopted the certain framework.

Hybrid apps

A hybrid app is a blend of Native and Web app. It is installed like a Native app and runs in a webview component.

Hybrid apps use three major frameworks including PhoneGap, Ionic, and Sencha Touch.

Blockchain apps

Blockchain apps have become the biggest trend in the industries, globally. There are two types of platforms when it comes to Blockchain app development platforms – Public and Permissioned. The only difference between the two is that Permissions Blockchain provides an advanced level of security.

 

5.App deployment

 

It is very crucial for an app to adhere to the specific guidelines laid by both App Store and Play Store. Very often, an app gets rejected by the store because it does not fulfil the store criteria.

 

6. App maintenance

 

To keep up with the varying market trend and OS versions, businesses will have to continue changing their apps.

App update

Wireframing can be drafted using tools like Balsamiq, MARVEL, and Photoshop. In order to create a final app screen flow, every wireframe is approved by the client.

App bug fixes

No mobile app is bug-free. It is very often that these bugs are discovered only when the app is published. These bugs need to be looked after.

Design changes

After a specific time, app design gets old and becomes unable to engage users. It is crucial for any business to not let their design get outdated if they want to keep their users engaged.

 

7. Code reuse

 

Many businesses decide to reuse the codes of their existing app and just change the branding elements to bring development costs slashing down.

However, it is advised to reuse only the common elements including Contact us, Login, etc and develop the rest from scratch. This is done to ensure that the new app maintains its separate brand identity.

 

8. Team

 

The size of the team depends on who is developing your mobile application – a freelancer or a large-cap app development agency.

While freelancers and small shop companies are made of a developer and a tester with the rest being outsourced, mid and large cap companies are made up of a development team which somehow looks like this:

Project Manager

Technology Expert (Blockchain, React Native, Flutter, AI, IOT)

  • Business Analyst
  •  UI/UX Designer
  • Tech Lead
  • iOS Developer
  • Android Developer
  • Quality Analyst