The App Development Process Explained

If you’ve got an idea for an app and are wondering how the design process works, the following outline will give you a better understanding. While all app development projects are unique, the steps below are fairly generic to all types of apps.

Those steps are:

  • Information gathering
  • Technical and budget feasibility assessment
  • UX and UI design followed by wireframe creation
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Upload to the relevant app store

Let’s look at each of the steps in more detail.

Information Gathering

This is where the app development project leader meets with you to get an understanding of the type of app you want to build. The lead designer might also be involved in this conversation.

They will want to find out about the functionality you want in the app as well as how you want the app to look, but they will also be interested in finding out who your target audience is, what your objectives are for the app, and what your future plans are.

Technical and Budget Feasibility Assessment

This stage involves checking if it is possible to deliver the functionality you require from a technical and budgetary point of view. Things like operating system version and mobile phone type will be investigated at this stage also. For example, you may need functionality on your app that is only available on phones with the latest version of the iOS or Android operating system.

UX Design, UI Design, and Wireframe Creation

This stage involves designing the visual appearance of the app as well as the user experience and user interface. The user experience element ensures the flow of the app is correct, so the app is intuitive and easy to use. For example, deciding on the navigational structure of the app.

The user interface design involves creating and designing buttons, content on the page, and navigational tools, among other things. Wireframe creation involves sketching the various screens of the app to give you an understanding of the how the app will look and feel.

Development

Once you approve the wireframes, the development stage can begin. This involves writing the code of the app to build the functionality you need and to create the design. A high-quality app developer will follow the latest industry best practices during this stage. This includes, crucially, documenting the code as it is written.

The app may go through several iterations during this stage of the process to ensure the functionality created matches your expectations.

Testing

Once the main development phase is complete, full-scale testing of the app will begin. This involves testing on as many different phones and operating system versions as possible.

You can’t make an app that is guaranteed to work on all devices, though, so the objective is ensuring it appeals to as many of your potential users as possible.

Upload to the Relevant App Store

After the testing phase, and after you have given your approval, the app can be uploaded to the relevant app store. If it is an iOS app for Apple devices, this means uploading to the App Store. If it is an Android app for Android devices, it means uploading to the Google Play Store.

Once the app is approved by the app store, it will be available for users to download.

Now you understand the process better, it is time to get started with your app development project.

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