|Today, there are many opportunities to create a mobile application. With a sufficient budget, it can be entrusted to professionals, with a minimum, it can be developed independently or with the help of constructors. |
Regardless of the path chosen, development itself is just one of the stages of creating an application. The whole process can be divided into 6 main steps, which will describe what to do at the start, how to estimate costs, what development methods are optimal for your business, and what nuances you need to take into account in order to create an effective application.
Step 1. Define the business problemIt makes sense to create an application only when it will help solve your business problem. Mobile app development leads to increased profits, audience coverage, or other business metrics that matter to you. If a mobile app is not geared towards this, the high development costs may not pay off.
Step 2. Analyze your target audience and competitorsAt this stage, it is important to understand whether your target audience uses mobile devices and what their needs are. A successful mobile application not only solves business problems, but also satisfies the needs of your customers or employees:
– If your site has a high proportion of mobile traffic – it might be time to move to mobile.
– Customers in a store often forget a loyalty card – it would be convenient to have it in electronic form right on their mobile.
– Customers do not always know about current promotions – inform them about it in the application.
– Your employees spend a lot of time on certain processes – optimize them. Create a knowledge base, CRM, in-house messengers, etc.
These and many other needs can be met using mobile applications.
Step 3. Choose a development method and tool
Let’s stop on the most popular method: professional development. There are several approaches to professional mobile app development, depending on the tasks of the application, the desired implementation timeline and the technologies used.
1. DEVELOPMENT OF A SEPARATE APPLICATION FOR EACH PLATFORM
This approach involves writing code separately for Android and iOS. It is advisable in cases where a unique design for each platform is required in compliance with all guidelines, maximum application performance and full access to functionality.The disadvantages are obvious: this is the most expensive method in terms of time and resources.
2. CROSS-PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT
In this case, mobile applications for Android and iOS are developed using common business logic and with a single design description, which reduces costs. The most popular cross-platform development tools are React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter. The output is an application that looks and works the same on both platforms.
3. COMBINATION OF NATIVE AND CROSS-PLATFORM
For more complex applications, we use this approach. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that we have a common business logic, but the design is created separately for the requirements of Android and iOS. In this case, the developer actually works with the native code of each platform, but using a single C # programming language. This makes it possible to reuse code on both platforms.
Step 4. Test
Testing is an important step that should accompany the entire development process. It is easier and cheaper to fix bugs at the very beginning than to constantly refine them after release.What needs to be tested:Functionality: We assess whether the application meets the TOR and business needs, and we check the performance of all functions.Configurations: We test on different devices, configurations and versions of operating systems.High loads: We check how the application behaves when the number of active users increases, peak loads, unstable network connection, adding resource-intensive functionality, etc.Usability: We analyze the convenience of user interaction with the application under various scenarios of behavior.Security: We identify vulnerabilities to network attacks, viruses and hacks, ensure the safety of user data.
Step 5. Maintain the app regularly
If development and testing passed with errors, then the application will need to be constantly improved. On average, elimination of defects is required about once a month. In addition to minor improvements, occasionally there is a need for large-scale updates. This usually happens with the release of new devices on which the application does not work as expected.
A brief summary:
Creating a mobile app is a rather complex and thoughtful process. Even if you resort to one of the online services that guarantee the development of an application in a couple of minutes, do not be lazy to conduct a preliminary analysis of your needs, target audience and competitors, as well as schedule resources for further technical support.
A thoughtful approach and adherence to all stages will allow you to create a mobile application without the need for major improvements in the future, save on unforeseen expenses and increase the profitability of your business.