One of the consistent things that we’ve noticed with app development is that every project can be compared to a black box. This is especially true if you aren’t aware of how to code.
If you are looking to build a mobile application for your small or medium-sized business, you will want to be certain that you are aware of what it takes to do so. A recent study showed that around 1 to 5 small businesses have taken on the task of building a mobile app and the same number plans to launch one in the year 2016. Many will make use of app consultancy services.
Discovery, Market Research, and Development
While you may have come up with a few good ideas for your business, you want to dig a little deeper. While this can be a great way to start the process, you want to look further with your research to ensure that you are building one specifically for your target audience. You will need to answer some pertinent questions:
- What are you looking for your mobile application to do? Where does your app fit into your business’ marketing plans?
- Who exactly is your target audience?
- How do you want prospective customers to use your mobile application?
- What mobile platform do you want to leverage?
- What kind of language and framework are you intending on using?
- What is your competition doing in the space? Do they have mobile apps and what features do they offer?
- What is your budget for your mobile app development process?
- What kind of timeline do you have for the development of the app? When do you plan on launching?
- How are you planning on marketing the mobile app?
Goals and Objectives
This is one of the most important parts in the planning phase when you are developing a mobile app. As soon as you have determined that an app should be on the cards for your mobile marketing mix, you want to be certain that you are spending time mapping out how a mobile app will assist.
- What problem will your app be able to solve for your target market?
- What features will be included with your app?
- What is the unique selling proposition of your mobile app?
In a lot of instances, figuring out the features and the benefits of your app can be a balancing act with your budget and the capabilities of your in-house staff. That said, when you are looking to prioritise the functionality of your app, you want to focus more on the engagement with customers than on having exclusive services.
The Backend of Your App
Both the storyboard and the wireframe of your app will end up serving as the guide for the backend structures your app will need for support. This includes everything from the APIs to the servers and even the data integration with your app. In a lot of instances, you will find small businesses opting for a mobile backend as a service since it can help minimise the necessary resources and in-house staff.
Developing the Mobile App
The development of an application will involve a lot of different steps and processes that you must account for. If you don’t have an app development platform or provider, you will need to have a developer setting up the backend processes on their own.
You shouldn’t forget to set up developer accounts for the various stores you intend on distributing your app on. This process can take a couple of days to complete which means you should do it sooner rather than later. It’s also a good idea to look over the policies and guidelines of the stores to ensure your app falls within the guidelines to avoid rejection.
Test, Test, Test
This is perhaps one of the most important stages of the development process and it can be exciting. You need to be testing your app over and over in real-world scenarios to ensure it’s ready for prime-time.
Your app is ready to release. This is the climax of your development process. You need to begin creating buzz around your app. You should be getting press releases out and getting your app in the hands of influencers and journalists including tech bloggers. That way, you can generate interest in it before launch.