October 1, 2018 | Last updated on April 11, 2024

Understanding the Mobile App Design & Development Process

Written by Mark Coulstring

At the beginning of the 20th century, companies invested capital in buildings and machinery. Now, companies invest their capital in establishing a presence in the digital marketplace.

Often this means building mobile apps, yet many companies don’t understand the process it takes to build a high-quality mobile app.

“You get what you pay for” has been solid advice in the custom software development industry. It can be challenging to find the right software development company to help with your project, but truly understanding the mobile application design and development process will enable you to make a more informed decision.

Let’s take a deeper look at the mobile app design and development process.

Step 1: Idea

Mobile apps are taking over the digital world, it won’t be long before people expect all businesses to have their own app. Think about what an app can do for your business. What will users get out of your app and why should they be using it? Maybe you are showcasing your products, educating your users, or offering discounts? Figure out the purpose of your app and how it can benefit your customers.

You will need to have a deep understanding of your users if you want to create a successful app. Begin to answer questions about who your users are, what their age is, which operating system are they using, and if they are local or global. The more you understand your users’ needs the better app you can create for them.

Once you know what your application will accomplish and who it is for, it’s time to reach out to a custom software development company. They can assemble an experienced team to help guide you through the mobile app design and development process.

Step 2: The Team

Finding an experienced team is a critical component for creating a successful mobile app. Communication is key to a team’s success, so make sure the team can talk to one another, and that you can talk to them. The effectiveness and quality of work increases when designers and developers can work together. The best way to facilitate communication is to have the team all under one roof. The pros and cons of an onshore vs offshore mobile application design and development company should not be overlooked.

With an experienced team in place, the only thing that’s left is a kickoff meeting. An experienced mobile app design and development company will want to learn about your business and your users. Then you’ll work together to identify the scope that’s within timeline and budget.

Step 3: UX and UI

Before doing any design work, the key features and functionality should be carefully laid out. The team will first construct low-fidelity wireframes to showcase the user workflows. This will give you an idea of how your app will present itself to a user and its functionality. This a crucial step when it comes to detecting issues early on. It allows the team to fix problems with a couple clicks rather than making challenging and costly revisions later down the road.

Moving into the design phase, the team will create style guides to increase your app’s usability and establish a consistent design across all your screens. Have your team create different variations by moving around the navigation layout and buttons. The more options you explore the more likely you are going to create an app design that is original and speaks to your company.

Once wireframes have been approved and designs have been laid out, the team will gradually transition into making finalized, high-fidelity comps. These wireframes will now include themes, fonts, colors, and any other design elements that are critical in creating an immersive user experience.

The entire mobile app design process is fairly flexible and iterative as your feedback plays a large role in the direction the design team takes. User testing should be carried out with prototypes before the design phase is completed to ensure that the mobile app design is following a user-friendly approach.

Step 4: Development

A mobile app design and development company with an in-house team should have a seamless transition from design to development. Throughout the design phase, developers should be providing feedback to designers. As developers stay up to date on iOS and Android design guidelines and technical capabilities, they can steer design towards new features or better solutions for a specific operating system.

The development phase is the longest portion of the project. Programming is challenging, time-consuming, and it requires experienced developers. Hiring the best mobile application design and development company may seem expensive, but the level of quality and support you get will pay off in the long run. Hiring a less experienced company will save you money up front, but issues that arise will be more expensive to fix. An experienced developer can come up with better software architecture, which translates to a more robust, scalable and easily maintainable application.

The development phase is heavily influenced by the operating system you would like your app to run on. Developing a native iOS and Android app simultaneously requires a lot of work. If you want to launch on multiple operating systems, then you may want to consider a cross-platform application. At Seamgen, we’ve partnered with Xamarin, a leader in the space that provides cutting-edge tools for app development. A program like Xamarin allows you to reuse code across platforms and saves you time and money.

Step 5: QA

The mobile app design and development company you choose to work with should offer quality assurance to ensure that the application is bug-free and ready for your users. Software quality assurance and testing aren’t just about guarding against crashes.

The QA team should check for ease of use, proper workflow support, compliance with external industry requirements, end-user acceptance, and integration with external systems. Once everything has passed QA, your mobile app is ready for market!

The process from concept to market for a mobile app is complex, timely, and requires a lot of work. Cutting corners along the way may seem like a good idea to save time and money, but in the long run, improper planning, poor design and development, and skipping QA, can lead to expensive consequences. Find a qualified custom software development company that will dedicate their time and effort to produce a cutting-edge mobile app.

Seamgen is an industry-leading mobile application design and development company with 10 years of experience. Our capabilities include full stack design and development for web and mobile applications. We are industry experts in cross-platform development with Xamarin, user experience design, user interface design, and development of native mobile applications.

Our tried and true methods produce results that exceed user expectations and our applications produce value for your customers and your business. If you are interested in learning more about Seamgen or you’re ready to work together, please contact us! We’re excited to learn about your project.

Mark Coulstring
Written by
Mark Coulstring
VP, User Experience, Seamgen
Product Design & Strategy Leader, Worked with CVS, Aetna, Oakley, KIA, Intuit, ViaSat, AARP, Experian, and many more.
Top Application Development Company San Diego and web design company in San Diego

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