The realm of mobile app development is expanding massively and is bound to have a signifcant impact on the way customers interact with brands and the way organiations manage their operations. Applications may be used to improve productivity, improve user experience, automate manual processes or disrupt existing business models.
With the expansion of web and mobile app development technology, several individuals and companies are investing significantly in app development. But to reap the rich benefits of the technology, you need to have more than just an ‘idea’. Below are some of the things you should consider if you are looking to go down the path of developing a web based or mobile application.
Clearly define the requirements and scope
It is extremely important to spend time upfornt defining the objectives of your applications, the most important features, the target audience, target geographies and specific use cases. A clearl scope goes a long way in shortening the development time and saves on the development costs. While you have put together a rough scope document to get quotes for your proposed application, it is strongly recommended that you put together a much more detailed version of the document in conjunction with the chosen application developer. Given their experience the app developer will be able to think of ideas or features that you may have missed. If you have any branding documents or brand guidelines, it is a good idea to share them with your developer so that they can maintain your brand identity within the user interface of the application as well.
The first step in identifying the app functionalities includes listing down the specific features and how each of these features relate to each other. Information architecture is the process of describing the user flow of actions and how each of these actions interrelates.To develop proper information architecture, experienced developers use wireframes. Wireframing involves creating a general structure of the proposed mobile application. The main purpose of a wireframe is to present an orderly structure of the mobile app layout, transitions, and interactions based on the set user requirements. The wireframe comprises the skeleton of the proposed mobile application. An important aspect of any application is the underlying information ans data flow. This is particularly important for applications developed for use internally by clients, employees or vendors.
A prototype is the sample of the proposed mobile app. A prototype helps to test the app and determine if the set requirements and functionalities are efficient. Prototypes should not be interpreted as the final product. Rather, it is a sample model to help developers, users, and clients to ascertain the effectiveness of proposed design solutions.
User experience testing
After developing the prototype, the next step involves creating a focus group comprising of the client and users. Users are required to use the system systematically and give feedback at each step.
Maintenance and after-sale
Any web or mobile application requires periodic maintenance and upgrades for bug fixes. It is important to clearly understand the effort and resources required for maintenance and upkeep of the mobile application. Also, you will most likely want to add new features and capabilities over a period of time depending on the evolving needs of the business. It is also a good practice to encourage your developer to maintain good documentation. This greatly simplifies maintenance and upgrades.