App development refers to a number of procedures and processes that a developer has to undertake in order to create software programs for small, wireless gadgets like tablets and smartphones. Developing applications is similar to web development. In fact, it app development has its roots in software development.
The main difference between software development and app development is the fact that app development is designed with the intention of making the most of the unique features that small computing devices like tablets and smartphones have. A good example of this is writing a game app that uses iPhone’s unique feature accelerometer.
During the initial stages of planning app development, businesses are encouraged to have:
- A clear understanding of the end user of the app that needs to be built
- A clear understanding of the tasks the end user would want to be able to carry out using the app
- Enough time set aside to take part in the app development process
- A budget
The following are some common app development processes/stages:
Stage One: A sit-down with developers
At this stage, you explain everything you want the app to do, and take questions from the developers. When everything is clear, all the parties involved sign the necessary papers to get the project started.
Stage Two: Wireframing & Design
This involves creating a visual architectural framework that will guide the designers into a deeper understanding of the project, including how complex the end product will be and how all the details will link to each other.
The developer will also create high resolution PSD files that will show how the app should look when ready for use by the public. You agree on the colors, fonts, style, logos and even the overall feel of the app.
Stage Three: Development
At this stage, the developer embarks on creating the application. Usually, the developer will use a project management platform like Asana or Basecamp to keep the client in the know all through this development stage. Doing so is important to ensure that no mistakes are carried forward into the beta testing stage.
Stage Four: Beta Testing
At this stage, the app is released to a limited user base for testing. The app’s functionality is tested in different app environments and the errors experienced are noted. The developer works to eliminate these bugs to make the app function as intended in real world use.
Stage Five: Launch
The app is published and made available to users. At this stage, you can download the app on app stores like Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Stage Six: Post Launch
This is the performance tracking stage where more feedback is collected from the users to find out the challenges they may be facing while using the app as well as the things they would want to see the app do that it cannot do at the present. Additionally, you learn the things the app does well and how your developers could in future make these functions work better for your users.