Taking an App from Concept to Launch
In this blog, we will look at the in’s and out’s and the methods used in mobile app development.
This blog will explain our processes, how we work with our customers and the methods we use to turn an idea into an app that is functional.
How we Work?
Our aim is to follow a collaborative process for the development of the app. In software development terms this is termed as the “Waterfall Model”. We use this model because we it helps us to provide a regular set of deliverables that our customers can keep track of, and also accommodate minor changes to the app as it is being built to save on time and costs. This model also assures the customer that the development is progressing to the agreed specifications and timelines.
Where do we Start?
Our app development process, begins with the definition of the needs and requirements of the customer, their objectives for app development, benefits they would like to realize from the app. It is out objective to be creative in this step of the process to ensure that we come up with a comprehensive list of features that covers features for right now and the future.
Once we have listed out everything, we will begin structuring the app to make sure that the app is both feasible and possible within the constraints of timelines and cost. Our belief is that the first version of the app should be the minimum viable product or MVP so that we can get the app out to its users at the earliest possible time and within acceptable costs. This will also provide us with real user feedback that can be used to develop the app further.
Once we have finalized the feature list for the MVP, we begin the design of the app. The design of the app involves 2 essential aspects UX (User eXperience) and UI (User Interface). The UX design will focus on the user, on how the user will interact with the app, whether we will swipe, tap, key in, speak etc. The UX design will closely follow the feature list and provide information to the customer as well as the developers on what is expected out of the app.
The next activity will be the UI (User Interface) design. This is where the app will start coming to life by making use of branding, colour schemes, graphics and other visual elements. The UI design activity is a collaborative process which will include close co-ordination with the customer to ensure that the app looks close to how it was imagined.
Implementation, Verification & Release
Once the designs are complete and approved by the customer, the next and most important stage of the development process can begin.
The first stage of the development process is to covert the visual design into a functional prototype. The prototype will enable the customer to move between the screens, use menus, buttons, swipes etc. with out the functionality and data used within the app.
The next stage of Implementation will focus on the functionality of the app, registration, searching, and the various user interactions. In this stage we will also introduce valid and invalid data into the app to ensure that the app behaves consistently.
It is our firm belief that we should identify and fix unexpected results at each stage of the implementation rather than testing everything at the end stage. This method ensures that the problems do not escalate at the last minute and each problem is identified and fixed at the earliest possible instance.
Once we are fairly satisfied with the implementation and testing, we are ready to release an “alpha” version of the app to customers that can they can test within their real-world scenario. We closely monitor this activity to pick up bugs, issues and problems faced by the users and work on correcting them before the next release.
All of the issues seen in the first run are consolidated for implementation and testing in the next stage. We follow a much more rigorous testing and QA process to test the full flow of the mobile app, test all user journeys, perform stress testing and load testing and also look for bugs, unexpected behaviour and crashes on a range of different devices. At this stage we are fairly condident that the app is ready to be shown to the user base and we release the “beta” version of the app.
The next stages of implementation will involve taking the app from the first beta build to get it ready for listing in the app store. Often an app will go through multiple beta releases that progressively get the app ready for launch. Once all the bugs have been resolved and all the features of the app are as imagined, the app will be “launch-ready”
A major part of attracting users to the app is by creating an informational app listing and app landing page. App listing pages have to also adhere to norms published by the app stores. A good landing page should list out features of the app and the benefits of using the app make use of screenshots and explainer videos showing the app and its features.
Once the app is launched, it does not mean that the work is done. With a maintenance contract, we will develop a plan to monitor the downloads and usage of the app, collect analytics and stats to better understand usage, upgrade the app to support newer versions of mobile operating systems and be on call if something is wrong with the app, the hosting or the listing.
At BizBooster, we can be with you every step of the way in developing a mobile app, monetizing the mobile app and promoting the mobile app.