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    Mobile App Development Mobile App Development

    The App Development Process for Building Awesome Apps

    Tuhin Bhatt's image.
    Co-founder of LAD

      Published on August 16, 2023

      9 min read

    An in-depth understanding of the mobile app development process is key to building mobile apps that meet your business needs.

    The truth is, you can’t just jump into the mobile app development process without a concrete, executable plan. Your plan must encompass every state of the app development process, starting from ideation to coding to testing to hosting.

    Failure to do this can result in the efficient use of time and resources. It can also cause you and your team to deliver apps marred with bugs, making them unusable.

    Thankfully, figuring out the right process for developing an app isn’t hard or complicated, and in this guide, we will put you through it.

    So, in this guide, you will get a better understanding of what an app development process is about and why drafting one is vital for your business.

    Most importantly, we will discuss in detail how apps are made and the development stages involved.

    Let’s get started already!

    What is an App Development Process?

    In the simplest sense, an app development process is basically a plan – or in this context, a blueprint for developing a mobile app.

    This holds true regardless if you are looking to build apps for Android or for iPhone.

    It encapsulates all the steps that go into developing mobile apps.

    The app development process usually starts with the ideation stage.

    This is the stage where the app development team bounce ideas off each other to determine what features to add to the app.

    It’s also at this stage that the team picks the right app development methodology for the project.

    There are a couple of tried-and-true methodologies a team can try. The most popular ones are Agile and Scrum.

    For Agile, teams build and develop apps in several short cycles, with a cycle spanning about two to three weeks.

    At the end of each cycle, the team reviews with the client for errors, and re-alignments are made.

    Scrum methodology involves developing mobile apps by drawing on the experience and expertise of the team involved. One major upside of Scrum is that it speeds up the app development process.

    Why Is a Well-Thought-Out App Development Process Important?

    Here are some reasons why a well-thought-out process is important for every app development project:

    • Faster app development: A carefully crafted app development process can shorten the app development cycle, leading to faster development
    • Improves efficiency: Planning the entire steps to developing an app can lead to better use of limited resources, including time, man-hours, and finances.
    • Lesser chances of errors: Correcting an error after an app is fully developed can be expensive.

      Hence, it’s best to avoid it by planning the process properly.

    App Development Stages

    What are the stages of app development? Let’s find out!

    Stage #1: Brainstorming and Ideation

    More often than not, every app development process starts with the brainstorming and ideation stage.

    This is the stage where the goal of building the app and the intended purpose is discussed in great detail.

    In addition, it’s at this stage that you discuss the desired features you need in the app with the development team. There are a couple of ways to go about this.

    One is by putting together a workshop session where you get to share your rudimentary ideas for the app with the development team and then refine it with time.

    This might require having several workshop sessions until your ideas crystalize and you sync with your developers.

    Another common method is referencing an existing app that closely matches the one you have in mind and then building off it.

    For example, if you are looking to build a ride-hailing app, you might want to use Uber or Bolt as a reference app.

    The brainstorming and ideation stage is where you develop the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) concept that captures the basic features of your envisioned app.

    Stage #2: Research and Analysis Stage

    It can be tempting to jump right into coding up your app immediately after the idea stage. But doing so can be a costly mistake.

    After developing a viable concept for the app you have in mind, the next logical thing to do is to do some background research to further validate your idea.

    It’s at this point that you research your target users to understand their needs and preferences. After all, they are the ones you are building the app for.

    And if they can’t use it, your efforts might well be wasted. Creating a buyer persona at this stage will help you get better insights into your target audience.

    Once you’ve figured out who your target users are, the next step is to spy on your competitors to see what they are doing and then pick up a lesson or two.

    It’s also at this point that you review their app for its strength and weaknesses, and then use this input to build yours.

    The research and analysis stage is also where you carefully analyze the cost implication of the app development project.

    You wouldn’t want to start an app project and abandon it halfway because funds dried up.

    And lastly, you have to sort out the right technology to use for the project. Using Flutter would be ideal, as it lets you build apps for both Android and iOS.

    Stage #3: Sketching and Wireframing

    At this point, you have a fair idea of what your app will look like and who will use it. The next step now is to put your ideas to paper by curating some rough sketches of how the app will look like.

    Even though it’s somewhat archaic, sketching your ideas on paper before transferring them to the screen gives you better clarity and can speed things up.

    If sketching on paper won’t cut it, consider using sketching and wireframing software like AdobeXD, Miro, or Figma.

    These tools let you create wireframes, or mockups, of your apps quickly while iterating your designs as fast as possible.

    Creating wireframes for your app designs also helps give your developers deeper insights, allowing them to gain a better understanding of the task at hand.

    On top of that, they give you a chance to get feedback from users and make all needed alterations before the actual building commences.

    Stage #4: UI Design

    Wireframes are just the skeletal structure of your app design. Once you have them ready, the next step is to flesh them out.

    By fleshing them out, we mean creating detailed screen designs based on the wireframes.

    Creating UI designs for your app lets you see exactly how it will look when it’s finished. You could even take a step further by prototyping your screen designs to see how they will work.

    Prototyping enables you to identify potential pitfalls and take corrective measures before writing a single line of code.

    UI design tools like Figma and AdobeXD will come in handy here.

    Stage #5: Coding

    At this point, your wireframes and high-fi screen mockups are ready. Now, it’s time to breathe life into your design by coding it up.

    The development stage has two facets: the front-end and the back-end development.

    Front-end development concerns itself with the look and feel of the app.

    The job of the front-end developer is to ensure that the mockup designs the UI designers handed in are reproduced with high precision using codes.

    And then there’s the back-end development. For your app to work properly, it will need to receive, process, and consume data.

    This is where a backend engineer is needed. No mobile application development process is ever complete without a backend engineer, especially if you are building an enterprise app.

    If you are looking to build a cross-platform app (that is an app that works on both iOS and Android), consider using frameworks like React Native or Flutter.

    But if cross-platform functionality is less of a concern and you just want to develop an app exclusively for iPhone, consider Apple’s dedicated IDE, Xcode during the app making process. Android Studio would be a better option if you are building for Android.

    Stage #6: Testing

    It’s nigh-impossible to build a perfectly working app right out of the gate. More often than not, it will be plagued by bugs, making it glitchy.

    This is where testing comes in useful. Testing your app vigorously lets you catch these bugs and fix them right away.

    Besides checking for bugs, it’s also important to test the app to see if it can perform its intended purpose.

    Additionally, it should be stress-tested to ensure it can handle a traffic surge.

    You will need to hire an experienced QA engineer for this purpose. But if you outsourced the project to a mobile app development service provider, this will be taken care of for you.

    Stage #7: Launching

    Launching is the last step of the mobile app development process. This is the stage where the app is pushed to a web server and also across app Android and Apple stores.

    This will require you to create developer accounts on these stores.

    If you have the budget, consider running marketing campaigns to let users know about your newly launched app.


    So there you have it; 7 stages to developing a mobile app from ideation to final launching.

    We hope you found this guide helpful.

    If you did, be kind enough to share with your network – you might be helping someone.

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    Co - Founder

    Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of London App Development (LAD), a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company. He helps passionate entrepreneurs build amazing tech products. Tuhin being a peoples man who has a passion to share his technical expertise with clients and other enthusiasts.

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