Mobile App Development Lifecycle: A step by step guide

With billions of smartphone users across the globe, there is no wonder that the mobile application industry is thriving. App usage and smartphone intelligence are still growing at a steady rate, without any signs of slowing down soon. So, it is essential to keep a finger on the pulse of mobile technology to keep your business stay ahead of the competition.

Whether you are a startup or an established business owner, using mobile apps is a perfect way to stay ahead in the highly competitive market. But Why? This is because mobile applications not only help recognize, target, and efficiently interact with your users but also build a long-lasting relationship between your brand and its audience. In 2020, revenue of mobile apps was reached by $188.9 billion. Plus, enterprise mobility is expected to reach $510.39 billion by 2022.

While many companies are trying to take advantage of mobile app development trends, many don’t even know how to create an app successfully. No matter your mobile app goals, make sure it functions properly, adheres to industry and standards. Before you make any commitment to mobile app development, you need to understand the mobile app development lifecycle. There are various steps included in the application development process, so it is essential to understand each step before starting the process. Regardless of the project’s size and scope, following this right process will make your enterprise mobility development initiative a success.

Let’s talk about the mobile application development lifecycle:

5 proven steps of the mobile app development lifecycle

A complete mobile application development lifecycle includes 5 steps:

Discovery, Market Research, and Analysis




Quality Assurance

Let’s discuss each stage of the app development lifecycle in more detail.

Step # 1 – Discovery, Market Research, and Analysis

As an application developer, you need to collect more information about your clients’ business and their expectations from the app. This step is known as the brainstorming process. Here are some questions you need to ask before developing any application for your business.

What is the main purpose of your application?

Want to develop an application to increase brand connectivity? Want to improve your customer service? Or want to enhance real-time cooperation among your workforce? Well, it is essential to understand your app’s purpose clearly and know how your users will benefit from it.

Who is your target audience?

Understanding your target audience’s demographics is highly significant to develop a suitable app design, features, and functionalities. After knowing your target audience’s accurate requirements, you can build a robust app prototype that meets your clients’ vision.

Developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

After conducting extensive research, you and your clients come with a huge list of features that should be included in your application. But, it is essential to understand that all features can’t be integrated with your app’s main purpose and there should be specific features that you can save for your app updates.

Step # 2 – Wireframing

The next step included in the mobile application development lifecycle is wireframing. This stage helps you understand the future functionalities of your applications. During this stage, mobile app designers often develop app designs with sketches on paper. As the digital form of sketches, wireframes are conceptual layouts, also known as low-fidelity mockups. Wireframes give visual structure to the functional needs of your mobile applications. They allow you to focus on aesthetics and user experience instead of focusing on color schemes and styles. Designing wireframes is a quick and affordable approach to create app layouts and repeating them in the same design review process. Make sure you consider device-specific design while creating wireframes. But why? This is because you can get intuitive and device-specific user experiences whether your app is used on the Android or iPhone platform.

Step # 3 – Prototyping

In this stage of the mobile app development process, future app visual representation starts to emerge. If you are facing any misconceptions about your product or company, you can use this visualization for correction. The prototyping step includes app sketch, wireframes design, clickable prototype, and app skins’ development.

Step # 4 – UI/UX design

After completing the prototyping step, you can dive deeper into coding and this is known as UI/UX design. In this step, your UX designer architects the interaction between design elements while the UI designer develops the look and feel of your application. How much time the design phase will take depends on your project scope and app budget. The app design includes different processes and you will get clear visual results.

Step # 5 – Mobile app development

The App development step for the mobile app is separated into two parts including front end and back end development which involves API and business logic.

Mobile app front-end development

This stage includes the screen design for different mobile layouts as well app screens’ integration with the backend. During this step, the app’s layer is developed and individuals can interact with it directly.

Back-end API development

This part of development includes the API layer as well as business logic, data storage, and retrieval. During this mobile application development lifecycle step, the apps’ front-end gets connected to the server and data to provide and gather details.

Step # 6 – Quality Assurance

At this stage of the mobile application development lifecycle, you will have a fully-operational app with interactive graphics. Now, you need to follow rigorous testing in real-world scenarios to identify any technical issues. Testing your mobile application from the early stages can help you keep the final costs considerably low. And if you choose a development process, it becomes costlier to fix bugs. To make your app 100% secure and glitch-free, you should perform different types of testing including:

App Usability testing

Testing of compatibility with various devices

Interface testing

Performance testing

Low-level resource testing

Services testing

Security testing

You can use different online tools such as Testflight, Bugsee, and Appium to test your mobile applications.

Final Takeaways!

By following these 5 proven steps, you will get a successful mobile app for your business. However, it is important to understand the proper process of mobile app development as a simple mistake can ruin your brand images in the market. So, it will be better if you choose a reputed mobile app development company to get high performance and intuitive mobile apps.

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