Mobile App Timeline and Process
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Did you know that there are 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world today? It’s no wonder that many are considering developing their own mobile apps. Before jumping in with the first idea you come up with, it is important to understand the development process for mobile apps.
Read on to learn about the mobile app development timeline and what the process entails.
Choosing a Design Company
The first step in the mobile app development timeline is to choose a partner that will design and develop your app to your needs. This step does not apply if you are opting for in-house app development. However, it is always recommended to outsource a company for app development to get a fresh perspective on your ideas.
With a variety of mobile app development companies out there, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Online platforms that specialize in B2B buying are great tools to use during this step of the process.
Before hiring any company, you should check their reviews and/or portfolios, the same goes when hiring a partnering company. Important questions to ask include:
- What experience do they have similar to your needs?
- Have they worked with different industries and different countries?
- What kind of companies do they generally work with?
- What technology solutions do they use?
- What to expect during mobile app development?
- How long does it take to build a mobile app?
Cost is always a factor that needs to get considered. It is important to find something you can afford without choosing the cheapest option out there. You tend to get what you pay for in this industry.
The app-building process can be tedious and cost a good amount of money. Before hiring a company, ask for estimations. Generally, you should get price estimates from at least three companies to compare.
A company that has a scrum team is helpful for complex software development projects. Scrum is a leading Agile framework that can keep you up to date with your process, deliver a product increment, and support a feedback loop. The scrum is also flexible enough to implement your requirements during the process.
The scrum team is made up of three roles that work to watch over and adapt the product and the process. The team includes the product owner, the development team, and the scrum master. The product owner is responsible for what, the development team is responsible for how, and the scrum master inspects the entire process.
Another important factor to consider when hiring a development company is an independent contract agreement. A contract should get verified by you and a lawyer. Along with personal data and software, there is more that should get included in this contract.
What Should I Look for in a Contract?
A contract must include a confidentiality contract. This states that the company will not disclose any information about a project that is not yet public. Some companies may use an NDA to avoid miscommunication or misunderstanding.
Another important part of the contract is the rights you have to everything the software company produces. If anything is to go wrong during the process, there should be a resolution place. This should also get indicated in the contract.
An advance payment clause will get included in the contract as well. The rule of thumb is that advances should not exceed the cost of one month of work. Along with this clause, there should be a payment deadline and the listed consequences if payments are not made on time.
The last thing you should look for in a contract is a clause about contract termination. This will state the conditions for termination.
Define Your Idea
The second stage of the mobile app development timeline is the clarification of your vision. This is key to the success of your app because it focuses on solutions, adaptation, and the needs of the end-user. These are important factors to know because the development team can use this to deliver your ideas.
During product discovery, you must create a strategy, target a problem and the users who have that problem, solutions to the problem, and prototyping. Product discovery doesn’t end there. You also need to review your ideas, decide which ideas to actually implement, and prioritize crucial app features.
If you have these ideas in mind already, you are one step ahead. However, it is important to write them down and share them with the team.
After you have a solid idea, you have to identify the competition. What apps are already out there that offer a similar solution? Understanding your competition can help your team identify how they can compete and create an app that offers something others do not.
Designing the App
During the design phase, you must consider UX (user experience) and UI (user interface). The two factors affect the are of retention, so it is important to do them right.
The first part of this step includes creating a user journey map that shows how users will flow through your app. It is a story that explains the user experience.
Next, the designers should create visual concepts of the app, called wireframes. These visuals include structure, element relationship, and hierarchy.
After wireframes get checked, designers create videos showing the motion through your app. These are mockups of how the app will actually look in real-time.
High-Level Technical Design (Tech Stack)
The worst thing you can do when designing your app is building an unreliable or dying technology stack. Making this mistake by using a cheaper programming language may lead to a less permanent outcome. On the other hand, a longer programming language can be overkill.
When you don’t have a reliable tech stack, you may have to restart the building process. A trusted development partner will help you avoid this issue.
Before the app development actually starts, you have a chance to go over the final preparations. This stage includes each team member familiarizing themselves with the agreements, setting agendas, setting up communication tools, etc.
Developers will then begin to set up your project by creating a space for your platform. This is where the codes for your app will be kept.
Different companies use different applications to run automated tests on new pieces of code. However, codes also get checked manually before getting added to the project.
Next, developers will set up tools that show crash reports, app user feedback, and more. Then, developers will choose the code your app is going to use. This is referred to as code architecture.
During this step, developers also set up your project in a program where the code will get written. Lastly, the app gets registered on any supplier services that get used.
This is the stage of the process where the app actually begins to get developed. Developers will write the code to bring your ideas to life. During this stage, development work gets split up into a series of cycles.
The first part of the series is a mobile app development timelinerefinement which keeps the backlog clean, ordered, and updated. Everything needed for the product will get listed in the backlog. This cycle is an ongoing process that requires continual support throughout the development stage.
The next cycle is planning which should include the team coming together for meetings every so often. The team discusses what they need to do and what tasks get accepted by everyone. As the product owner, you will join the meeting to actively be part of the planning process.
Coding is the cycle where the developers begin to actually write the code. Any features that were planned in the previous steps will get implemented during this part of the process.
If you find developers who practice code review, you can benefit from having a written code that is transparent and clear. This makes it easier for different developers to improve the app down the line.
After coding gets completed, the app goes through the testing stage. The project is securely sent to clients, testers, and other developers. As everyone tests the latest version, you will have access to crash reports.
Once testing is done, teams will review the build of the app demo and everything that has been completed thus far. Teams will also go over additional work and the hours spend on the project. The product owner can attend a review meeting or get the information through another channel.
After the review meeting, a retrospective meeting will take place. This is when the team plans how they can increase the quality of the project by inspecting how the testing phase went. They then will come up with a plan to actually implement the improvements they discussed.
Engineers who follow through with quality assurance (QA) can find mistakes and better avoid problems before the app is delivered to users. If the company you decide to partner with has quality assurance engineers, you will have peace of mind that your product will get delivered at the highest quality.
If your app is watched by one QA specialist, the overall project can run a lot smoother. Certain development stages can cause chaos, but a QA engineer can keep everything in check. This means, along with you, there will be an extra set of eyes to check basic errors and if requirements are being met.
Be wary of developers who say they can test the app because they don’t have a QA specialist. You don’t want someone checking their own work because it’s harder to catch errors.
Quality should be considered throughout the process. Don’t wait until the development stage to begin checking for quality. The tiniest errors at the beginning of the process can lead to more complex issues down the line.
A QA specialist can also test your app on different devices. Although it was made for mobile, there are different types of smartphones out there.
App Preparation and Publishing
The first version of your mobile app gets published when it is ready. The company you chose to partner with can help upload the app onto the corresponding mobile app store.
This part of the process is not as simple as uploading your app to the stores. You must come up with a proper description and have information on legacy issues.
Marketing materials are also something you need to take into consideration during this step. Before uploading your app, create some buzz surrounding it that will make users want to download it as soon as it drops. You can do this by asking journalists or influential bloggers to write an article or by using the social media platforms you already own.
Releasing your app into the app store requires data like the app name, category, keywords, icon, and app store screenshots.
The last step in the mobile app development timeline is knowing what to do after the app has been published. With app monitoring tools, your team should be able to provide proper maintenance when it is necessary. The team will also know when to add further developments to the app to keep it attractive within the market.
EB Pearls App Development Process
The development process for mobile apps is generally the same no matter which company you choose to partner with. However, some companies do things slightly differently to benefit their customers more than their competitors.
EB Pearl’s website and mobile app development process include the following:
You can ensure your idea will be protected when you work with EB Pearls. By signing an airtight non-disclosure agreement (NDA), your intellectual property will be protected.
Through a free consultation, you can enjoy a detailed discussion about your project. EB Pearls can help you outline your concept by highlighting the challenges and opportunities you will experience through the development process. We also offer a free proposal that breaks down the specific timeline and cost of the project phases.
You won’t need to come up with a strategy on your own because EB Pearls performs an analysis of the target market, market size, competitor, and any areas for growth. This analysis will lead to an impactful strategy.
UX and UI Design
Through a brainstorming workshop, the key features of the project will get discussed and turned into a wireframe of all the application screens. With the wireframe, the UI team can define the design direction. When this is signed off on, an interactive prototype will get created.
After the design aspects are created, EB Pearls will follow through with the rest of the steps of the process. This includes the development of the app, quality assurance, launch, and post-launch updates.
Mobile App Development Timeline Explained
There is a lot that goes into the development of mobile apps. With this guide on the mobile app development timeline, product owners can understand how the full process works from start to finish. When you have a great idea for a mobile app, start by looking for the right partnering company and continue through the process until your app is developed and published.
If you are ready to get started with a company that can bring your idea to life, schedule your free consultation with EB Pearls now.