Stages of Mobile App Development: How to Plan Your Project

Developing a mobile application has become one of the most effective ways for businesses to attract and retain customers. With over 3.5 and 2.2 million apps available in Google Play and App stores respectively, this is a highly competitive industry. Consequently, companies looking to enter this market need a solid understanding of the software life cycle to build high-quality solutions in a reasonable time frame.

From an idea to a production deployment and ongoing maintenance, this article outlines the main steps of the mobile app development process.

Mobile app development requires flexible decision making

Although mobile application development tends to follow the same general order, each project has unique prerequisites that can make something easier or more challenging. As such, the following description is meant to be a baseline to customize and build upon, rather than an exact plan.

Discovery starts with considering the software’s purpose and target audience, looking at relevant offerings from the competition, etc. The stage also involves the analysis of business needs to form non-/functional requirements and choose a feasible technology stack to develop a mobile app.

Planning is prioritizing tasks, creating a mobile application development roadmap, estimating time frames, and evaluating potential risks.

The design stage is all about deciding on the visual style, layout, and architecture. Based on the expected load, companies also lay the foundation for scalability, high availability, and robust performance.

Prototyping helps organizations to develop a mobile app to experiment with different interface mockups and see if the navigation/controls are intuitive for users.

Building a minimal viable product provides a more in-depth understanding of the market demand. Based on the feedback from early users, you can prioritize features that bring the most business value.

Development. After building and validating basic functionality, engineers move on to a fully fledged version of the app. To speed up the process, teams can adhere to the Agile methodology, working in frequent iterations. Doing so makes it easier to keep track of the progress, meet deadlines, and enables developers to change the course of the project if necessary. If you hire dedicated engineers to build your product, having regular meetings is crucial to ensure that everything matches your expectations.

Testing starts early on and continues throughout the mobile app development process to verify that each component is working as intended (unit testing). Next, the quality assurance experts conduct integration, performance, functional, and other tests to check various aspects of the system’s operation.

Release. Once all the bugs have been ironed out, the company can publish the app on Google Play and App Store to reach a global audience.

Support and maintenance begin after the launch, as mobile application developers deliver regular updates to ensure security and fix any arising issues. If there is sufficient demand, organizations may also add more features as time goes on. This way, it is possible to reach the market quickly and then continuously introduce improvements without sacrificing quality for the sake of speed.

The steps of mobile app development are not set in stone, but understanding what to expect at each stage helps enterprises to plan with confidence and allocate resources more efficiently. If you need additional expertise or an entire team to take over your project, consider hiring mobile application developers from an established provider.