App development process
The process of development of mobile application is very time consuming and difficult, representing a full software development. For you to understand easier how we create a mobile application, we will briefly tell you about each stage of our work.
We conduct an interview either personally or by Skype, and can last for several hours. This stage of the app development process is very important for understanding details. The end result of the product depends on how accurate and completely the customer will answer the questions.
The principal questions that we ask involve the following: the project tasks, the existing business process, the target audience, the competitors. The future functional capacities are also discussed at this stage.
We create a MindMap – an intellectual map which allows us to structure all the information provided by the customer. This is a pictorial diagram of the project which puts all the app data set in one place.
We carefully study the apps of our competitors, to understand with which aspects the users feel less happy or are inconvenient. We also try to understand where the apps are under performing in their tasks. We do this in order to understand in what way a new app is going to be different from the existing analogue. These are the essential steps to creating an app.
We draw sketches by hand. A sketch is a draft of a future application, and the next stage of the visualization. It has more details than the MindMap, but it’s still as far from being accurate as the ultimate product should be. Sketches help to check our understanding of the project against the customer’s.
Using sketches as a basis, we create wire frames – a block skeleton diagram of the app pages. It’s a skeleton of the design where each detail of the future product is depicted.
A UX designer develops the wire frames. The development process of creation of wire frames is discussed with the artistic director.
After approving it, we design a clickable prototype which is sent for agreement to the Technical Department.
Interview with users
A ready prototype is tested by the users - our office employees and several groups of volunteers. We show them the prototype and ask the following questions: ‘What do you think the button is for?’, “How would you add the item to the basket?’ etc.
It helps to find out the points which are not clear for the users, as well as correct the errors at this stage of the mobile app development.
Presenting a prototype to the customer
We hold a presentation showing the prototype to the customer, explaining what aspects and in what way these will be functioning. We make modifications and adapt the prototype if necessary. We agree upon all the details and approve it.
Developing design concept
At this stage of the mobile app development we create several variants of the design concept. The concept which the customer chooses is going to be the basis of the design of the whole app.
Design of all the screens and statuses
At this stage, all the screens and element statuses are drawn. On average 120-150 screens are created. It helps to take into account all the scripts without prolonging the terms for programming.
Design specification and client-server architecture
After we have prepared the design, we start working on the design specification. It includes all the scripts, navigation between the screens and screen statuses. At this stage the specialist develops hi-level architecture of the project and a model for storing the data.
It’s a significant stage of the application development life cycle. It affects the way the software component is going to be built, the operating speed of the app, the ‘client-server’ request configuration, the source of our data, the place where we put them down, how we perform etc. All the systems that should be synchronized with are included into the design specification.
Programming and testing
The work passes into the hands of the programmers. The development process is built according to the methodology of agile development Scrum. A complete list of the tasks is formed (so-called ‘back-log’) and divided into small segments (called ‘sprints’).
Stage-by-stage we program and demonstrate the result after every sprint. When a programming component is made, we send the app for testing. Testing specialists check the product for errors. If necessary, an app is taken back to the programmers for further development.
After the main stages of the mobile app development are passed, the app is prepared for publishing. For this purpose we make a product description and graphic which meet the requirements of the stores Google Play and App Store. If these requirements are not observed, the app won’t be moderated.
The app icon is the first thing which a customer sees on the stores. That’s why it’s highly important to make it attractive.
After creating a graphic for the app description, we verify whether there is the authors’ permit to use certain images, whether there are faces of celebrities in the photo, as well as meeting other demands of the stores.
Technical support of the product
After being submitted, the projects go to the stage of technical support.