At the beginning of the 20th century, companies invested capital into buildings and machinery. Now, companies invest their capital into 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’s challenging to find the right software development company for your project, but truly understanding the process will enable you to make more informed decision and stay engaged throughout the process.
Let’s take a deeper look at the mobile app design and development process.
STEP #1: The Idea
At the speed that mobile search and mobile apps are taking over the digital world, it won’t be long before your users expect all businesses to have a mobile app. You can work with a mobile app design and development company, like Seamgen, to discover how best to engage your users through a mobile app. Your app should serve a unique purpose and provide value to your users.
Think about your users, who are they, where are they from, what is their age, and which operating system do you want the app to run on? Then take the time to think about their needs, and how a mobile app could fulfill those needs.
Once you know what your app will accomplish, it’s time to reach out to a custom software development company. To help you find the right one, take a look at The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Software Development Company. Then they can assemble a team of experienced designers and developers for your project.
STEP #2: TEAM
Finding an experienced team is a critical component for creating a successful mobile app. Additionally, there are many factors that influence success. 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.
Most teams consist of a couple UX/UI designers, several developers, a project manager, a quality assurance (QA) team member, a technical lead, and the creative director. The number of designers and developers needed for the job will rely heavily on the scope of the project.
With an experienced team in place, the only thing that’s left is a kickoff meeting. An experienced mobile application 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: DESIGN
Before doing any design work, every aspect of visual design and the key functionality should be carefully laid out and approved. Making revisions later will be challenging and costly.
The design team will first construct low-fidelity wireframes to showcase the user workflows. This will begin to give you an idea of how your app will present itself to a user and its functionality. Once wireframes have been approved, the team will gradually transition into creating finalized, high-fidelity comps that 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. Development should get started as soon as sufficient design has been completed. Waiting until all design elements are completed elongates the entire software development process. Agile development enables developers to begin working as the remainder of the design phase becomes finalized.
STEP #4: DEVELOPMENT
A mobile design 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 likely 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 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 follow these steps and dedicate their time and effort to produce a cutting-edge mobile app.
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.