As in any creative process, making a mobile app out of nothing is a sophisticated process that has its individual features in every particular case. Professional IT companies have extensive experience in creating diverse applications, it is possible to define several typical creative steps for this process, which are the following steps:
Although you see the sequence of stages, it doesn’t mean that every phase starts only when the previous one is completed. It’s
impossible to imagine this kind of linear dependence as many processes and stages are interconnected in the presented list.
Step1: Setting the Task & Scope of Works
the point of setting the task is the foundation of all the design and then the development process. At this point, the team of designers and developers should obtain maximum information from the client to mark the right way to the goal.
In product design it works the same way: to get the result, you should clearly set the goals from the very start of the path. It doesn’t mean that the goals should stay totally the same at the end of the mobile app.
you should get not only the client’s wishes but also try to get the ideas and reasons behind these wishes.
The more information you get from the client, the better it is for setting the right direction. Design briefs, calls and Skype-conferences chat in Slack, brainstorming sessions, mood-boards can all form a good starting line for productive work.
The data collected at the previous stage enables business analysts and sales managers to provide the client with the first-level estimation of the time needed for the project and therefore the planned costs.
The business analysts can involve designers and developers in the assessment process from the earliest steps of analysis and estimation which are able to provide more real and exact planning of time and costs.
Step3: User & Market Research
This is the stage when being based on the established task and aims, UI/UX designer starts the path with getting deeper into the environment in which the future application will function. The research stage usually moves on in two directions simultaneously: user research and market research.
User & Market Research: means getting deeper into details of core target audience to understand their preferences and psychological peculiarities, the influence of different factors like colors, stylistic decisions, and logic of interaction on emotions and experience of the defined group
Step4: UX Wireframing
It is the process of creating a general structure of the designed mobile app. The aim of this stage is setting the clear and orderly structure of all the layout, transitions and interactions on the basis of user’s problems and pains which the product is going to solve.
UX wireframing stage should be heavily based on user research, competition research and analysis of all the data obtained in the previous step.
The original concept behind the term ‘prototype’ is the sample model of the product that gives the ability to test it and see if the solutions and decisions made about the product are efficient.
The main aim is to enable a designer, a customer, and a user to check the correctness and appropriateness of the design solutions.
Step6: UI Design
User Interface is actually a finalized interactive field in which the user interacts with the product. It includes all the tools of increasing usability and satisfying target users’ needs and wishes.
After the UX part is tested by a prototype, agreed upon and the concept of layout, transitions, and features are accepted, the designer starts the UI design part.
The best time to apply it in practice is when UI design is basically accomplished and a general stylistic concept is agreed upon.
Like everything that is put into the interface and process of interaction with it, animation must be a functional element, not just a decor. Considering motion elements while planning user journeys around the digital product, the designer should deeply analyze its potential for increased usability.
Step8: Software Architecture Planning
Planning of software architecture can take place as a stage parallel to design. This is a complex process: it usually includes a lot of iterations, with a constant feedback loop between the design team and the development team.
The main goal of architecture planning is to create a constructive and integral plan for the software architecture of the app (front-end and back-end). At this stage, developers decide on the most efficient technical and technological solutions for the actual realization of the app and maintaining its operability.
The actual process of coding the app is here. Depending on the previous step which is software architecture planning. the developers will have a clear idea of what programming platform they will use and the managers know how to allocate developers wherever it is native Android, native iOS, or cross-platform technology.
The developers write the code, integrate functionality to created UI, edit source code, debug and finally export the app to the app store. here I’m talking about alpha or beta releases which the quality testers will use to test the app in the next step.
A good testing process will not be valid if there is not unit testing of the developers in the first place. Or it will go in a time-consuming process, or even endless process. As the testers use the app as any potential user ad if the app has functional bugs it will stop the process of testing. So, I want to emphasize on unit testing by the developers.
Finally, there comes the day when the app is alive and ready to be introduced to its users. the way, which a mobile application goes through, is quite complex and includes a variety of steps ensuring its functionality, beauty, and quality of performance.
Mobile apps are not a one-time task it is a continuing process. in fact, all software needs updates. There is the term “versioning” which means that a mobile app will never be in its final stage. From fixing user-based bugs that the testers did not catch to adding new features and services as every business is growing by time ad will provide more services by time that is for sure or even canceling a specific feature or service based on management or users’ decisions and wishes.