For many people, the smartphone has become the control center for their entire lives–searching for information, shopping, coordinating social and leisure activities, consuming media, and a whole range of other activities are primarily done via the mobile computer in our pocket. According to Statista research, mobile accounts for about 60% of web traffic worldwide, a percentage that has been steadily growing in recent years.
The increasing importance of smartphones has driven more businesses to prioritize mobile app development as part of their digital transformation strategy. The rise of mobile banking, on-demand apps, e-commerce apps, and other services means that customers expect this convenience and that industries cannot afford to neglect mobile software. Without a quality app that stands out from the crowd, you risk being completely overlooked in favor of a competitor that can offer a faster, slicker, or more fully-featured product. Mobile apps for business can boost customer retention and acquisition, but they can also be powerful productivity tools for your workforce.
So how do you develop a quality mobile app? Here’s a step-by-step guide with some tips to bear in mind when starting out.
Every great app starts with a good idea. Or even several ideas, but it’s important early on to clearly define the scope and requirements of your app. Who is it for? What problems will it solve for the users? How will its features do this better than already existing apps? The answer to this will be different depending on whether you want a customer-facing app for download on the App Store or Google Play, or an enterprise app intended to be used by your employees.
At this point, it would be useful to think about how emerging technology could be integrated to offer an appealing feature for your app–think about how augmented reality appeared in furniture e-commerce apps to help users visualize the way furniture would look in their apartments.
When listing desired features, it’s helpful to sort out the essential requirements from the “nice-to-haves.” This will help you shape the focus of your app and let the developers know what to prioritize.
Choosing A Development Team
Few companies have the IT personnel and resources to develop a new mobile app in-house. Instead, most businesses contract third-party mobile app development companies to create the app for them. Hiring a custom software development company saves you from having to recruit, train, and pay the relevant IT specialists yourself.
The mobile app development company can quickly assemble a team of experienced specialists–mobile developers, UI designers, QA engineers, and others–that are used to working together on similar projects and are familiar with the latest methodologies and technologies. You still end up with an app that is designed according to your specifications and can stand out from the competition with unique features.
Budgeting & Planning
Time and money are important to any business, and at this stage, you’re going to want to discuss the timeline and costs with the app development company and get an estimate. There are many factors to take into account here. For example, an app that targets both iOS and Android platforms will take some more time to create than one that only needs to be optimized for one. The more features an app has, the longer it will take to make, which is why it is important to decide which ones should be prioritized and which ones might need to be cut to save on costs.
After discussions with the developers, you should have a budget estimate and a timeline that includes important milestones, a reporting schedule, and a delineation of responsibilities. Once you have that, you are ready to proceed with development.
At this stage, the development team will proceed with building your application according to their methodology. For example, the popular Agile method involves short and frequent cycles of feature iterations, reporting, and testing. Broadly speaking, the software development life cycle looks something like this:
Throughout this process, you should monitor progress via a project dashboard and meetings with the project leader on your partner’s team. Pay attention to feedback from user testing and take action if it looks like the project needs a change in scope or direction.
While the app is in development, it’s important to consider how you will market it to your intended user base. You can create landing pages, send out email blasts, and promote your app on social media to build up hype and excitement. Beta testers can be recruited to provide useful feedback before the app is released to a wider audience, but also be a way to test out certain markets.
For customer-facing apps, you should also take into account app store optimization (ASO) to boost your app’s position on search results. Even if the app is meant to be used by your company’s employees, take care to onboard them and communicate how it will be used to improve their productivity and experience at work.
Support and Maintenance
The work doesn’t stop once the app is launched. Users will inevitably encounter some bugs or issues that were not discovered during tests, and their feedback can offer valuable insights into how to further improve your app. The app should be regularly updated to enhance the user experience, add features, or improve security.
Even without adding new features, the release of new OS versions from Apple or Google will necessitate updates, so it is important to partner with a development company that offers long-term support and maintenance for your app.
By following these steps, you can easily create a mobile app for your business in a way that lets you focus on your goals while collaborating with technical experts on the development side. All that is necessary is to partner with a competent and reliable mobile app development company.
At AccelOne, our experienced Onshore-Nearshore software development team has a proven track record of delivering successful mobile apps for a variety of industries. To learn more about how we can help you create the perfect app for your business, contact us online or call 800.863.6814.
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Chief Development Officer/Co-Founder