HOW MUCH TIME IS REQUIRED TO DEVELOP A MOBILE APP?
In recent years we are witnessing a sort of “gold rush” in the development of new mobile application. But are we really sure to know what are all the steps to take before, during and after the development?
The media are full of articles about kids who have developed their own App an incredible success, and this is the reason that leads many to develop their own application.
Sometimes it’s really a success. Other times it is not. Unfortunately, the second option is the most frequent. We realize how successful can have an application when our grandmother asks us how to install WhatsApp on their smartphone (which we gave at Christmas) or our son who still can not read asks us to play Pokemon Go.
It is equally easy to see how long it takes to develop an application similar or simpler. It is even more difficult to give a value to an object that we usually buy on the store a few euro.
A recent analysis by Kinvey (creator of a platform “Backend as a Service”), the average growth cycle of a mobile app is 18 weeks. We are talking about just developing thus excluding any market research and analysis performed prior to the development and publication on the stores with related marketing / advertising campaigns.
Of course, the time employed may vary depending on the type of application. Below is a brief guide on the steps to follow. Take the ones that suit your project or follow it step by step. Once you get started …
Step 1: Market research
Before you leave you need to do careful market research on your competitors (if there are other similar apps) and possibly what are the features that set you apart from them and which give greater importance in the analysis phase. Analyze the reviews and user feedback, and go on the hunt for new ideas or missing features.
Step 2: Choosing the Platform
There are two operating systems that dominate the smartphone market: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. From a variety of market analysis (Garder, IDC, …) show that in 2016 these two platforms have reached a market share of 99.3%! Android leader with 86.8% compared to 12.5% of Apple. Windows, Blackberry and others join together just the 0.7 %% of the market share.
So the question is obvious: Android or iOS? It all depends on your marketing strategy. With the development of the Android platform, you will certainly be able to reach a wider market range. But with the iOS development on the other side, you can reach users on average pay four times more than Android users – in other words, iOS users are more likely to buy.
Or if the application does not require any special features related to the hardware, you may decide to develop a solution on hybrid multi-platform like Ionic.
Step 3: Envisioning, detailed analysis of the project
Define a clear vision of the client’s goals for the solution to be developed is one of the most critical stages of the life cycle of each project.
Through a series of discovery sessions with the client, the project team provides a comprehensive understanding of the client’s vision, requirements, and design needed for a successful solution.
During the Envisioning, the requirements are created in collaboration with the client, and are defined use cases for each requirement.
Step 4: User Experience
This phase is part of the analysis of the project is perhaps the most important and the key to the success of your project.
Develop a well designed with attractive graphics does not mean giving a good user experience, and more importantly, does not mean providing a simple and understandable use of the App.
This is why it is important to rely on qualified experts able to define correctly: the user interface structure, the color palette, fonts and distribution of information, etc …
At this stage we define, by using wireframe , the look and the interaction between the various functions.
Step 5: Start the development
Finally it develops! Actually no …
Programming is one of the crucial parts for the development of a new application, which is why many people think they need to start immediately with the development. Mistaken.
Maybe you will be surprised, but there are a few tools that can help you test your application with end customers, even before starting development by creating prototypes that simulate the interaction between the various views. We are talking about tools like Invision or Proto.io.
Once this phase of prototyping, began the real development. Usually it is an iterative process in which they develop and are tested by dropping them in test code blocks to the end user and aging them from time to time.
Depending on the application, there may also be the server components to be developed (backend) to provide the data necessary for the application for its operation. Much of the process requires the user profiling, in fact, involves the development of a true “ecosystem”, consisting of web application backend and frontend – aspects definitely not to be underestimated, as they will be the means by which You will manage the “daily life” of your app!
Step 5: Stabilization
The final development and testing is focused on the stabilization of the mobile app, to make minor final changes based on customer feedback (fine-tuning) and to ensure compatibility with the various mobile devices on the market. At this stage it is important to keep in mind the main objectives of our idea, not to risk putting too many irons in the fire at a time that should instead be reserved exclusively to the refining process (fine-tuning) of the app.
Step 6: Release
After the stages of development and testing the project is complete, and usually team assists the client to release the mobile application for the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or other app stores. The Apple App Store can take up to two weeks before approving the application for public download.
Step 7: Analytics
The analytical tools represent a fundamental support in determining the behavior of the users of your app. For this phase of design and development is important to define what are the steps or events that we want to track and that have more value for our application.
Take for example the app registration process. With the analysis, you can find out if the registration process is clear and easy to use for the end user or not. With just a small mistake in the registration process to dissuade the client from proceeding with registration and uninstall the app!
Step 8: Managing updates of the operating systems
Last point to consider in developing an App Mobile, is the managing updates to operating systems go. Fortunately it is not always necessary but it can happen that after a new release of the operating system, some features are no longer available and therefore the application must be reviewed. Make sure you have a maintenance contract with your supplier, to deal also with this eventuality.