Modern smartphones have changed the way that we interact with the world around us. Millennials would have a really hard time imagining using their smartphones just to call or text people. The app stores of today have created an on-demand economy where every product or service that someone could ever require is available at their fingertips. From ordering food, doing laundry, taking a cab, finding a job, to doing chores, there’s an app for everything out there. This increased smartphone penetration the world over has forced businesses to adopt mobile apps in a big way as their main channel of doing business. In 2017, almost 57% of web traffic around the world was from mobile users. While in 2018, the percentage rose to 70 percent. It is projected that by 2025 above 80 percent of web traffic will be from mobile devices.
Currently, the average American adult spends around 3 hours daily browsing through mobile phones and 2.2 hours on their computer. The increased usage of mobile phones makes it a central channel for every business. Every business worth its salt needs to have a mobile app to survive in today’s age of cutthroat competition. If you’re a traditional business looking to tap into mobile audiences, this guide will take you through the step by step of building your own mobile app.
In this article, we divide the mobile app development process into the following stages:
- What is mobile app development?
- Creating a project scope document
- User and market research
- Wireframing (Initially using paper and polishing using design tools Adobe XD, Mockplus, Balsamiq)
- Prototyping and creating an MVP
- Taking user feedback and focus group testing
- Popular development languages and frameworks
- Mobile app development FAQs
- Testing and debugging
- Tips and tricks for app development
- How to choose a mobile app development company or mobile app development agency?
1. What is Mobile App Development?
The main reason that people fail when developing their mobile app is the preconceived notion that mobile app development involves only writing software that functions on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
However, a successful mobile app development strategy does not begin or end with developing the code. No. rather, it encompasses vigorous processes of requirement analysis, front-end design, continuous usability testing, and eventual deployment.
Investing time and resources in your app development process is a key step to ascertain the success of your mobile app vision.
This article will detail a mobile app development strategy adopted by our team over the years and have proven to be a success.
2. Creating a scope document
At Intuz, our main task when dealing with our clients is to help them conceptualize their ideas. We work with our clients to take their mobile app vision from just a concept to a successful end product.
To achieve all these, we use a scope document. A scope document helps in documenting your ideas in as much detail as possible. A scope document comprises of a layman’s description of the mobile application. This helps the development team understand your ideas and work towards it.
One way of developing your scope document is to document what you think the app should work for the user and what it should do. Put yourself on the driver’s seat and imagine what the app should be like and how it should function.
At this stage, your expertise level does not matter. All that matters is you express your idea to help your development team understand your mobile app vision. Remember as a developer, the more information you gather from the client the better.
As a company, these are some of the ways that we use to gather information from the client to develop their scope document:
- Design briefs
- Calls and Skype-conferences
- Chats in Slack/Hangouts
- Brainstorming sessions
Mostly, business analysts and marketers who can bridge between the clients and the developers can help in leading these sessions. A scope document should address the following:
- The product and its unique selling proposition.
- The target clients
- Target geographic region
- The company’s slogan that expresses its identity.
- Expected app structure and functionalities.
- Preferred app UI references
- Mobile technologies and devices preferred.
- The need to integrate the mobile app with the existing corporate identity.
- Data processing approach
- Other general preferences
The above list is not an exhaustive one but it comprises the major details that can kick-start the mobile app development process.
3. User and market research
The next step involves answering the question, what problem will your mobile application address? Statistics indicate that approximately 80 percent of mobile applications are uninstalled after their initial use. This is due to the lack of a user-centered app that addresses a specific need in the market.
One strategy to guarantee that your mobile app succeeds is to ensure that addresses a specific user’s needs. Users only download applications that satisfy a particular need. Given the millions of mobile applications being developed every week, lack of proper market research can prove fatal for your app. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct extensive market research to ensure your application addresses a particular gap in the market.
Comprehensive market research helps you to define your market audience, determine their specific problems, needs and requirements. Understanding the market dynamics and what users want helps you develop a customer-centric mobile app.
User research involves analyzing the target audience to determine their preferences, psychological aspects on how they chose their color, how they behave while operating mobile apps, emotions, and experiences.
Market research can also be conducted by analyzing competitors’ apps. Evaluate how they developed their application, its functionalities and how they operate in order to create an informed mobile development strategy.
Conducting good market research will help you to connect your mobile app vision to the needs of the target audience.
After gathering the app objectives, identifying the target audience and specifying the app features, now we can venture into the real mobile app development. The initial step involves specifying the app functionalities.
The first step in identifying the app functionalities includes listing down the specific features and how each feature relates to each other. Information architecture is the process of describing the user flow of actions and how each of these actions interrelates.
To develop proper information architecture, we use Wireframes. Wireframing involves creating a general structure of the proposed mobile application. The wireframe comprises the skeleton of the proposed mobile application.
The main purpose of a wireframe is to present an orderly structure of the mobile app layout, transitions, and interactions based on the set user requirements. Mainly, you should use visual features like screens, buttons, text fields, and pop-ups to illustrate how each functionality will be implemented.
Developing a mobile app wireframe is like drawing up a plan for a house. When drawing a floor plan of a house, various experts are involved. These experts include architects, civil engineers and landscape engineers among others. They each contribute their time and expertise to develop a design that works. Each floor is designed, the walls, doors and windows, staircases and the measurement of the section are well laid out. This simply means that you can visualize the house by simply looking at the drawings.
Similarly, a wireframe is like the floorplan of your app, it should help you visualize how your application will operate. Just like how architects take their time while designing a house, similarly, you should invest your time and resources to come up with a quality wireframe.
Developing a proper wireframe will help to reduce wastage of time in making unnecessary amendments and prevent revision requests from the clients. Also, it gives the developer the assurance that the developed app meets the set user and market needs.
A good UX wireframe is centered on comprehensive user research, competition research and concrete analysis of gathered data. A well-designed wireframe helps to reduce mobile app complexity by outlining the app functionality and set element transitions and interactions. The wireframe further sets each element on a particular screen depending on the intended user flow.
Normally, a wireframe can be developed by sketching diagrams on paper. However, our team uses various special wireframe tools to enhance the design process. Some of the special wireframe tools include :
5. Prototyping and creating an MVP
A prototype is the sample model of the proposed mobile app. A prototype helps to test the app and determine if the set requirements and functionalities are efficient. Prototypes should not be interpreted as the final product. Rather, it is a sample model to help developers, users, and clients to ascertain the effectiveness of proposed design solutions.
Developing a prototype or minimum viable product is very crucial in the development of mobile applications. Prototypes and MVPs help to elicit debate and feedback among the designers, customers, and clients regarding the proposed functions in a better way compared to the wireframes.
A prototype accommodates and allows user interactions. As a result, the product designer and tester can get instant feedback from the user. Wireframes are effective in helping designers, users and clients visualize the product while a prototype gives the look and feel enabling testers to determine if there are any missed components or functionalities.
However, based on our experience, prototype sometimes is not effective because many customers perceive the prototype as a near version of the final product. According to the users, the prototype’s UI is similar to the final product. At a glance, users are focused more on what they see than what they experience when using the app.
Therefore, at Intuz, we use a prototype as a bridge between UX and UI. According to our experience, UX should come before UI.
Therefore, a prototype should mainly be used to present the app’s general look and feel rather than testing the app features. This is because it is time and resource consuming to incorporate all functional features in the prototype.
In our years of experience, many mobile app developers err at the prototype stage. Many developers focus on achieving a perfect UI at the expense of crucial functionalities. As a result, they end up developing inefficient solutions at the expense of crucial functionalities.
Therefore, we suggest that developers should instead develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP is a product demo that has the necessary features to help customers determine that their requirements have been met. Feedback given after presenting an MVP helps designers in developing the final product.
6. Taking user feedback and focus group testing
After developing the prototype and MVP, the next step involves creating a focus group comprising of the client and users. A focus group helps to gather user insights regarding the developed prototype. The focus group members are allowed to experience the developed prototype and MVP and give their feedback.
During the focus group sessions, a moderator guides the users about the system and its usage. Users are required to use the system systematically and give feedback at each step. The feedback given is then aggregated to be incorporated in the final product. It is crucial to select users from diverse backgrounds in order to gather comprehensive data. The moderator should observe how users are executing some functionalities and the time taken to execute a specific task.
User interface (UI) Design
User Interface is the final interactive element that users use to interact with the mobile app. The majority of developers and users might make a mistake as they assume that UI comprises only the screen. However, UI is a composition of various tools that help to enhance usability and satisfy the user’s needs. UI designers should analyze features that enhance the user’s visual perception, sound, and tactile feelings. These features should be analyzed and optimized to conform to the app requirements.
Designers should analyse the color palette, types and fonts, shapes and forms, images and illustrations to ensure they do not affect the app's performance in a negative way.
Basically, UX and wireframing focus on how the app functions while the UI focuses on how the mobile app looks like. UX further deals with the app’s logic, the connection of elements and user behavior. On the other hand, UI deals with the visual representation of the app elements.
Therefore, designers should first focus on UX to ensure the app layout functions well without bugs. The layout should be well crafted, clear and has high usability. A good UX translates to an effective UI.
After designing the UX, a prototype is developed to test the layout, element transitions and the proposed features. Once the stakeholders agree on the UX, the designer proceeds to develop the UI. The designer gives the app its actual color scheme, the appropriate features and layout, styles and animated concepts.
One important point to note is that the successful implementation of the UI contributes to a positive user experience. Therefore, the UX and UI design process should be intertwined and complement each other to enhance efficiency.
Planning your software architecture
Software architecture involves defining a software solution to meet the appropriate technical and operational requirements. Software architecture helps developers to optimize the security, performance, and organization of software.
In mobile application development, software architecture planning can be executed concurrently with the app design. Mobile application software architecture is complex and vigorous. It is implemented using iterative loops, gathering and implementing constant feedback from stakeholders, especially the design and development team.
Read about our Agile App Development Methodology
Scalability is very crucial in mobile application development. That’s why it is crucial to have a software architecture plan that accommodates both front-end and back-end.
It is the responsibility of app developers and designers to come up with the appropriate technological solutions in order to ensure the mobile app is implemented successfully.
The technology selected largely depends on the data processed by the app, app complexity and resources available.
Selecting a framework
Selecting a Mobile Application Development Framework: What You Should Consider
Creating your app can be a difficult task especially when not using the right tools. Every Mobile app has specific features that make them stand out from the rest. These traits make the process of choosing a mobile app framework the most difficult step in developing a mobile app. Frameworks make the process easier by allowing developers to use specially designed features.
Every framework has its own features, leading to the question: Which framework works best for mobile app development? Discussed below are the steps you can follow in selecting a framework that works best for your mobile app.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Framework
Asking yourself questions will help you come up with better-structured solutions to a problem. Therefore, discussed below are some of the questions you ought to ask yourself when selecting a framework for your mobile app.
What is the reason you are building your app?
This will enable you to know the purpose of your app and the kind of features it should have.
What storage will your app need?
If your app does not need large storage, you can opt for local storage. If it requires large storage, it is recommended that you go for cloud storage.
How will communication be channeled between the mobile and cloud API?
Deciding how communication will take place between the cloud API and the device is very essential. Some of the methods available are through Bluetooth, WiFi or cellular networks.
What are some of the device features the app will be using?
These features might include a GPS or a camera.
What OS features does the app need?
OS platform gives a wide variety of features based on the specifications of your app, this provides an avenue for a framework to be selected.
How to Choose the Best App Development Framework
There are various criteria on which you can base your assessment of whether the mobile app framework is good or bad. Discussed below are some aspects you should consider while building your app.
The Programming Languages
Selecting the best-suited programming language for your app is one of the most essential things you should do. More often, established programmers usually have a preferred language. It is therefore advisable to choose a programming language that your programmers or designers are already familiar with.
Themes and User Interface
These are vital areas that will need your concentration and inputs during the entire designing process.
A theme can refer to a kind of design element carried through every screen of the app. The themes are attached together and focus on the smoothness and effectiveness of the experience, this is as far as the user experience and interface are considered. UI outlines a structural blueprint while the UX helps shape the exterior of it. The theme, however, is only produced when the final product has been achieved.
If you have noticed, speed is a very essential factor and its importance is increasing day by day. Even when it comes to users and customers, they won't take your app seriously when its loading speed is low. Expect diminished market performance from an app that does not have a responsive design, that helps in scrolling swiftly as well as producing answers efficiently.
It is recommended that you research on the modification and upgrade possibilities for the app in the future. How easily your app can be upgraded and the usage of the mobile framework can be a daunting task for your team, especially when the documentation doesn't outline what one can do with it.
The Community Development
A popular framework will have a bigger potential compared to frameworks that are not popular. Engaging in frameworks with big community developments gives you access to vital tools that can make your app more extensible and secure.
The Cost of Development
When considering any kind of product to buy, the cost always matters. Similarly, it is important to consider the cost of development when selecting a framework for your mobile app development.
What are the Different Types of Mobile App Development Framework?
There are different types of mobile app frameworks. Discussed below are some of the best frameworks in the market today.
Ionic - Open Source HTML5 Development Framework
Ionic is an open-source platform that supports cross-platform mobile application development. This framework is a darling among mobile application developers. The Ionic framework supports UI feature elements such as forms, filters, action sheets, list views, tab bars, and navigation menu when designing a User Interface.
This framework supports Android 4.1, iOS 7 and the latest Android and iOS versions.
Benefits of ionic framework
- Ionic framework is easy to adopt. It doesn't have a complex installation procedure.
- It is a cross-platform app development framework. This means it can be used across different platforms and on different types of app.
- It has a user interface framework.
- It is built on AngularJS.
- Ionic framework has a higher benchmark for performance.
- It is affordable. Ionic frameworks come at a low cost irrespective of its sophisticated technology.
- Iconic frameworks have Cordova plug-ins that enable them to have access to features like Flashlights, cameras, and GPS.
This is a cross-platform mobile development framework which is also known as Apache Cordova. It allows mobile app programmers to build a mobile app that has been installed as a basic app across various devices. PhoneGap is one of the most used frameworks as a single code base can be applied in building various mobile app versions.
One of the vital advantages of this framework is that it can support inbuilt features like the phonebook, storage, camera among others.
This is a clever way of creating mobile apps because it allows developers to use C# for iOS and Android or utilize Universal for Windows mobile applications. Developers have recommended it for being a reliable tool providing flexibility and performance when developing native apps.
Xamarin has approximately one million community developers. This framework is also supported by Microsoft technology further enhancing its credibility. The Xamarin framework is equipped with an excellent user interface that allows developers to create an app with so much ease and enhanced UX.
Advantages of the Xamarin Framework
- It has a good native user interface and features that facilitate the creation of native mobile apps.
- It supports the development of apps across multiple platforms.
- Xamarin has been integrated with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Community at no extra cost, making it cost-effective.
- Xamarin framework allows you to develop mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows apps as well as share the codes across several platforms.
- It facilitates easy API integration.
- Supports easy code compilation.
- It also helps programmers to develop high-performing and productive code that can get access to every native API.
- Programmers get extensive support from official support forums and third party forums.
- It supports shared Code Base.
As of today, React Native is one of the most popular frameworks among Android and iOS mobile app developers. This framework enables developers to create high-performance applications within shorter development cycles as well as faster deployment times. React Native supports JSX, making it a one-stop-shop for Android and iOS developers.
Additionally, it allows the development of smooth animations as the code changes to native views before rendering.
Advantages of React Native Framework
- Is highly reusable.
- Facilitates faster and efficient mobile app development.
This a mobile app framework that helps developers to build solitary code bases that perform well with iOS, Nook, and Android. Some of the amazing features Corona SDK includes high-resolution graphics and increased interactivity. With Corona SDK, you can easily integrate your gaming APIs into your app as well as quickly monetize it.
This framework plays an essential role in making web pages interactive, simpler as well as user-friendly. JQuery is supported by all search engines and is SEO optimized.
Native App Development vs Cross-platform App Development vs Hybrid App Development
Given the increasing rivalry or competition between Android and iOS, you might find it difficult to determine the platform that works best for your app. Discussed below are the comparisons between some of the leading platforms.
The Native Mobile Apps
Native mobile apps are created in a language that is native to the operating system as well as the device. It only needs a single specific app to be implemented for a particular platform.
Native iOS apps are developed using Objective-c or Swift, Android native apps using Java and Windows apps using C#/Visual Basic & XAML.
- One of the major advantages of using this platform is that it gives access to every feature offered by the operating system.
- It also allows the developer to use advanced features like complex networking and USB input access.
- It supports high speed and hence, improves app performance. This plays a critical role, especially when building a graphics-based app, like a game.
- Supports the latest technologies recommended by device manufacturers.
- It supports advanced UI customization
Cross-platform mobile apps
- It supports code sharing between different mobile app versions.
- Supports the development of fast UI since rendering is conducted using native controls.
- Not all code can be shared and developers might be forced to rewrite some code.
- Interpreting code ‘on the fly’ effects app speed.
- Customization of the UI relies on the framework support.
HTML5 Hybrid Mobile Apps
Hybrid apps are cross-platform compatible but leverage HTML, CSS and JS to render the UI through embedded web browsers. These apps are developed with Cordova, Trigger.IO, Ionic Framework, and Telerik Platform.
- The most significant advantage of this platform is that it can be shared between various versions of an app across devices.
- It gives a faster development time through the use of web technologies to implement the core parts of the app.
- It supports the use of Ember, AngularJS, React, PaperJS to develop web applications.
- Hot Code Push can be used to update the app without going through the Appstore or Google Playstore.
- Not all the available codes can be evenly shared. This means that some native codes might have to be written afresh.
- Additionally, its speed can be altered now that the interaction is through embedded web browser controls.
7. Popular development languages and frameworks
App development with Swift
Swift was introduced by Apple in 2014 to compensate for the shortcomings in Objective-C. It was a darling among iOS developers and it became the 11th most loved programming language in 2017.
Benefits of using Swift
- Swift employs static typing making it very safe to use.
- Swift accommodates namespaces, a clear mutability syntax, functional patterns
- It employs Playgrounds, thus, supporting interactive development.
- It is easier to learn to make it appropriate for new developers.
- It can be used on server-side development since it is high performing and consumes a low memory footprint.
- It uses ABI to enhance stability.
- Inbuilt features like dark-mode suitable for developing multiple UI platforms.
- It is the only declarative framework and is highly compatible with UIKit and SwiftUI.
- It gives instant feedback by availing a SwiftUI preview with Xcode without running the code.
Disadvantages of using Swift
- It takes a long time to compile.
- It doesn’t support the direct use of C++ libraries.
- It does not allow code sharing among developers due to the lack of a format stability module.
Python app development
Initially, Python was not strongly focused on mobile app development, especially on GUI apps. Actually, Python could not be explicitly used to develop any iOS or Android app.
However, there are two frameworks that have been developed that support Python mobile app development.
Kivy – Cross-platform Python GUIs
Kivy is an open-source Python library that supports the development of cross-platform GUI apps. The Kivy framework enables mobile app development companies to develop pure-Python GUI supported by both desktops, iOS and Android.
Kivy has a custom-built UI toolkit that has its in-built buttons, text labels, and forms among other UI features.
The use of the Kivy UI toolkit allows consistency and portability of the developed app. However, the developed Android app’s UX is different from an app developed using Android. Kivy is mainly applicable when developing a non-native UI toolkit.
The BeeWare Project
The BeeWare framework is mainly applicable to native-looking mobile and desktop apps.
The main difference between these Python frameworks is that BeeWare programs utilize the native UI toolkit while Kivy apps rely on custom UI toolkit.
This means that BeeWare uses UI controls availed by the underlying OS. As a result, apps developed through BeeWare have a UX similar to apps developed using native Android or iOS or Desktop platforms.
However, one main issue with this framework is that BeeWare is a new framework and thus, developers are forced to constantly change their code due to frequent changes in APIs.
JAVA app development
The Java platform edition used to develop mobile apps, that are referred to as Java ME. The Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) is based on Java SE and can be used to create apps for smartphones and tablets.
Java ME is mainly suitable for developing embedded and mobile apps. If you are a developer and you want to make an app, the main benefit of Java ME is, its stability and thus, it offers high flexibility and guarantees app security. Java ME further accommodates the execution of apps operating under low memory and power.
The Android SDK Manager helps to develop Android apps. Java ME also uses the Dalvik Virtual machine (Dalvik VM) for efficient memory and process management.
The Java SDK manager provides the internal Android elements and software development tools required to develop Android apps.
Flutter app development
Flutter is a Google mobile app SDK for developing Android and iOS applications. The Flutter SDK has its inbuilt framework, widgets, and tools that enable mobile developers with an easy way of developing attractive and fast mobile apps.
Top benefits of using Flutter to develop your mobile app
Fast code writing
Flutter supports Hot reload where changes made on the app are instantly reflected on the app. As a result, it facilitates quick and dynamic mobile app development. Hot reload further facilitates collaboration between the UI designer and UI for urgent projects.
One codebase for 2 types of apps
Flutter is an amazing programming language for developing mobile apps because developers only develop only one code for both iOS and Android. This is made possible by the fact that Flutter has its widgets and does not rely on any platforms.
Faster app testing
Since Flutter allows developers to create apps for Android and iOS platforms, the Quality Assurance process becomes faster and easier. App testing is only done once translating to less work for QA.
Supports custom designs
As a developer, Flutter gives you the freedom to develop custom widgets making it possible to develop app designs specific to the user’s preference.
Disadvantages of using Flutter
Few libraries and support
Flutter is a new language and thus, has few libraries to support the many functionalities. As a result, developers have extra work of developing libraries to achieve extra functionalities.
8. Mobile app development FAQs
How to build an app for free?
One way to build an app for free is first learning how to code. You can learn various mobile programming languages like Python, Java, React and Flutter among others. Secondly, you can use free online android app makers like Appypie to get the job done.
What programming language is used for Mobile App Development?
What skills are needed for a Mobile App Developer?
How much does app development cost?
There is no fixed price for developing a mobile app. The cost depends on what you want to accomplish, who builds your app, and how your app gets built. You can get a free estimation for your mobile app development from Intuz.
9. Other Frequently Asked Questions
Should I go for custom app development?
Adopting Custom app development or bespoke software is crucial for the success of your mobile app. Developing a custom app allows you to integrate the right security details, incorporate customer-specific requirements, allows you the flexibility to add extra features when needed and enables you to develop your apps quickly.
Should I create an app for my business?
Creating a mobile app is very important at this time and age. First, it will enhance customer experience, boost your sales, increase business competitiveness, enhance visibility to target clients and enhance brand recognition.
How to design an app from scratch?
Designing a mobile app from scratch requires you to learn how to code using at least one programming language such as Python. The next step is to start developing your mobile app.
How to create an app that’s lightning-fast?
One way to create a mobile app quickly is to ensure that you have clearly defined goals. Having clear requirements reduces the time used by developers conducting market and user research. After that, hire an efficient mobile app development company with a good track record. Finally, have a good budget to ensure your app developers are well motivated.
How to make an app that’s user-friendly?
An app’s mobile user interface (UX) determines how the users interact with your mobile app. A good UX design should have features that enhance the user’s visual perception, sound, and tactile sensations. You should consider the colors, layout, navigation, content, animations, and icons, among other features that improve the user experience.
How to develop an app that’s bug-free?
Bugs commonly occur during the development process. Continuous testing at every phase helps detect bugs and they are rectified on time.
How to build an app that makes money?
For your app to make money, first, you have to ensure that it offers a good user experience, is convenient, fast, and easy to checkout. There are several ways of making money such as in-app advertising, in-app purchasing, user subscription, sponsorships, and affiliate programs, among others.
10. Testing and Debugging
Testing and debugging ensures that you develop a mobile app that meets the required quality. This is an important phase, as it helps in finding bugs that may be present in the app and ensures that all the features are functioning properly before the app is made available to the public. Bugs might be expensive and even dangerous when an app is released. After testing, the app won’t have any drawbacks and bugs.
Mobile app users will abandon an app which has functionality issues even if it is very promising and engaging. No one likes an app that crashes every time they try to use a certain feature. Users may prefer the simplest of the apps as long as they function correctly and efficiently, meets their expectations and solves their problems.
For your app to be hosted on online app stores such as Google’s Play Store, your app must be free from compiling errors and bugs. Testing eliminates those issues and prepares your app to be acceptable in these stores.
Testing aims not only at finding errors but also at checking the quality of the app. Developers can develop an app that has no mistakes but upon testing, some areas that need improvement can be found. This means that all aspects of the app should be tested. The app should be tested across all mobile devices, it is intended for such as IPad, iPhone, and iPod. This ensures that the app can function well with different features such as different screen resolutions and sizes, processors, memory sizes and battery life. Additionally, the app should be tested for all the platforms it will run on such as IOS, Windows and Linux, among others.
Some tools can be used for testing purposes, commonly referred to as automated testing. Such tools include IOS Simulator, Frank, Appium and Calabash. The tools help in running the app and pointing out areas that need corrections. These apps are very popular as they are inexpensive, effective and reliable. The apps allow continuous testing during the development process which helps to catch bugs at early stages before they become major problems.
There are different types of testing carried out for mobile apps
This is the most basic test and it ensures that the app is working according to the defined requirements. It checks whether the app does all the functions as expected.
This test checks the overall performance of the app such as the performance of the client app, the servers, and the network. For instance, it checks the performance of the app under particular conditions such as poor network coverage, low battery, and low memory.
These tests seek to check whether the application utilizes the allocated memory optimally while in use.
There are various interruptions on a mobile device such as low network coverage or outage, low battery, incoming and outgoing SMS, cable insertion and removal, clock alarms, and incoming calls among others. Interruption testing aims to check how the mobile app will behave when faced with such interruptions.
This aims to ensure that the app does not have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious parties. It also checks data security, authentication and authorization policies, and session management, among other security standards.
The test checks the ease of use of the app. The tests are done from the early stages of developing to ensure that the users get a good experience. Usability testing also checks whether the app does what it is expected to do. Actual users are involved in this type of setting and their feedback is used to improve the app.
When the mobile app is fully tested and you are sure it functions well, the next phase is to release to actual users. There are many online platforms, such as App Store, where you can submit it for users to download it safely.
These app stores and marketplaces have different policies for accepting and verifying mobile apps. In the case of the App Store, the app has to go through the IOS developer program. The app is then reviewed and approved by Apple before it can go live, a process that takes about one week.
Mobile app development does not end after the release, instead, it’s a continuous process. The feedback from the users needs to be incorporated in future versions. The app will require new features and updates and therefore, you should ensure you have enough resources to maintain it.
11. Tips and tricks for app development
Creating a mobile app for your business is a crucial business strategy. Here are a few tricks to consider to ensure your app becomes a success.
Conduct proper user and market research
Market and user research helps you to determine what are the user’s likes and dislikes. Understanding users’ preferences help you to build a customer-centric app that triggers the user’s interests. Users are only interested in apps that meet their needs.
Select the appropriate platforms and features
After conducting user and market research, the next step is to identify the right platform for your app. Different platforms produce different app aesthetics, therefore, select a platform that suits your specific parameters. Also, you should determine the features to be included in your app. Excellent features enhance UX.
Ensure that you determine how your app behaves in an offline mode. A common strategy is to load app components that work without the internet. This strategy is crucial to the success of an app.
Ensure you app is simple
Simple mobile apps have high usability. Ensure your app is simple just like a smartphone to attract users.
Keep ads and banners minimal
It is true that businesses are making millions through the use of ads and banners. However, understand your target client first. Most importantly, avoid overuse of ads and banners. Excessive disruptions irritate the users that can lead to app uninstalls.
There are two major mobile platforms i.e Android and iOS. Ensure that your application can operate well on both platforms. Also, ensure that your app meets the right mobile app development standards.
Ensure your app is App Store Optimized
A good mobile development helps you keep your clients and attract more. However, to get at the top of the ladder, you need more than good features. Ensure that your app conforms to App Store Optimization (ASO) guidelines to enhance app visibility.
Use one app for one reason
Avoid using your app for multiple purposes. Rather, let your app solve a single problem. Mobile application users don’t like complexity and being fed with excess information. Avoid using an e-commerce app for medical purposes.
Choose the right developers
The above tricks are essential but the success of your mobile app purely depends on the development team. Ensure that you have selected expert iOS or Android developers. Avoid using developers who are ‘jacks of all trades’. Ensure you use experts in a particular field who guarantee quality.
12. How to choose a mobile app development company or mobile app development agency?
After generating a killer app idea, now it is time to select the appropriate mobile app development partner to make your dream a reality. Here is what you should consider while determining the right mobile app development company.
The first question that mobile app development companies ask is how much is your budget. To be honest, hiring expert developers is not cheap. Therefore, be honest with your development team about what you intend to spend at the initial stages to avoid conflicts. Remember cheap is expensive.
Identify a concrete End-To-End Process
The majority of the credible mobile app development companies have well defined mobile app design and development process. At Intuz, we have a concrete Mobile App Blueprint strategy that we use for each of our clients. This strategy helps our clients understand how we operate. It also stipulates how we gather our requirements, how we deliver from prototype to the end product and how they can communicate or provide feedback. This has created transparency and allowed thousands of clients to trust Intuz mobile application development services.
Review the company’s portfolio
Each mobile development companies have previous project portfolios. In essence, you don’t need to see similar projects but at least the company should have a history of successful mobile apps. The company should also be diverse to enhance flexibility. Ensure that the company has worked on a wide range of projects and it is not just a one-trick pony that customizes templates for quick money.
Apart from reading their reviews, go ahead and download the app. Use it and at least have the first-hand experience on their product.
Understand the company’s pricing structure
Before committing to your development partner, you need to understand how they charge for their services. Some mobile development companies charge hourly while others charge a fixed charge. After determining the pricing model, you need to ask further questions like how many revisions they offer, scope creep and support and maintenance charges.
Requirement gathering process
Successful mobile app development companies invest more in research. Understand what kind of data the companies use to gather UX/UI requirements and during their testing process.
Compare different agencies
At Intuz, we encourage our clients to compare our blueprint with other agencies. This is because, while we pride ourselves as the best in the industry, we cannot be the best fit for all. Our pride comes in working with customers that believe in our abilities.
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