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Creating a mobile app? Follow these steps to ensure your app doesn’t fail.

Discovery 

First, decide if it makes sense to create a mobile app. Consider the following:

  • Your app should solve a problem.
  • Your app should be original.
  • Your app should appeal to your demographic, concerning age, gender, location, interests, and the devices they use.
  • How much with the app cost to make, sell, or offer? Is the ROI worth it? 

UX Design 

UX addresses branding, design, usability, and function. It allows you to continuously improve the user experience. UX design requires:  

  1. Information Architecture (IA)

This is the content structure. It should maximize accessibility and ease of use. It includes:  

  • App features
  • Overall functionality
  • Presentation and organization of information
  1. Wireframing 

The wireframe shows the skeletal framework for your development team. 

  1. Clickable Prototype

The dev team will provide you with your first view of the app to spot flaws. 

User Interface (UI) Design

UI defines the look of your app with some crucial design steps.

  1. Style Guides

The style guide defines the look of every button, font, color, gradient, and more. They also help the dev team code and implement the app’s interface. 

  1. Rendered Design

Your dev team will apply your style guide to your existing prototype. 

  1. Rendered Click-Through Design

Here, you see everything combined so that you can go back to your clickable prototype and start testing. Testing is more important here, as it costs more to make changes.

  1. Beta Testing

Recruit some users to get a feel for major changes that should be made.

  1. Development Hand-off

Follow these steps to keep developers and designers in step: 

  • Get Organized: Make sure everything is handled logically with screens, layers, and artboards named to match their functions. Use color coding to make it easier to spot interactive elements.
  • Explain User Goals: This makes it easier for developers to do their jobs. 
  • Use the Prototype and Design Specs: Share the prototype with developers so that they know what they are building. They will also find your style guide useful to create the proper design elements.

High-level Technical Design

High-level technical design determines:

  • Programming language 
  • Development approach 
  • Suitable technologies 

Back-end Development of Your Mobile App

The back-end is where your data lives. To create an effective server, consider the following factors before writing the code:

  1. Programming Language

The commonly used languages are: 

  • C#
  • Java
  • Python
  • .NET
  • PHP
  1. Database and Data Structures

It’s probably easiest to go with MySQL Database. 

  1. Hosting

You will need somewhere to host your API and handle things such as backups, server uptime, and updates. Look for a cloud-based solution that can handle changes to scale as your user base grows.

Mobile App Development

  1. Planning 

Make a list of tasks that can be managed in chunks. Tasks are broken down further before being assigned to developers.

  1. Development

Work is complete and put through a QA test as it is ready. 

  1. Testing

Real-world testing begins looking for common issues created by users as well as technical flaws. Test early and often as the earlier bugs are found, the easier they are to fix. 

Testing should include: 

  • Function
  • Performance 
  • Edge-Case (extreme operating conditions)
  • Device-Specific 
  • Usability Testing (UT) 
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  1. Review

Review all challenges and address existing issues. 

Deployment

Deployment requires careful planning using the following steps: 

  1. Best Practices

You should use best practices to avoid delays:

  • Use a well-defined release cycle plan. 
  • Use continuous deployment.
  • Update developer certifications for use at commercial app stores.
  • Automate elements, such as configuration and provision to reduce costs.
  • Make sure the hosting environment has clearly defined development, production, and testing.
  • Update all app features before deployment.
  1. Web API (Server)

A server back-end is required to transfer data in the app. Make sure you choose a properly configured server that won’t interfere with your app’s performance if there is server overload or it stops working. 

  1. App Release

You can release your mobile app in two ways:

  1. Apple App Store: Configure your app properly before submission. Complete all the forms and if required, provide marketing materials, screenshots, and app descriptions. There is a manual process that Apple also requires for verification. In some cases, they might ask you to make modifications to comply with their system. 
  2. Google Play Store: Provide the same information as the Apple App Store. Google uses an automated algorithm to screen apps and manual testing before they allow an app to launch. 
  1. Ongoing Review

Your app will be under review by users. The feedback provided will be used to update your app to ensure success. 

Mobile App Monitoring and Improvements

Look for opportunities to make app updates and add new features by monitoring the following: 

  • Start time and resume time
  • Crashes
  • UI response time
  • Analytics of how and who is using the app
  • Technical performance
  • App store management
  • Battery consumption
  • Cellular data consumption

The Advantage of Outsourcing App Design

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all the possible missteps of app design, The Rebel Unicorn is an award-winning mobile app designer. We can provide you with the expertise needed to avoid app failure.

Our mobile app design and development team can assist at any stage of the game, whether it is conceptual, design, or complete development.

Contact us today!