No matter how experienced you are or whether you intend to hire one of the top app development companies in Orlando, there’s no question that developing an app is a complicated process. There are plenty of things to take care of from the initial spark of an idea to the actual launch of your finished application.
It goes without saying that developing apps involves more than enough tasks to try and keep track of. So what can you do? The best thing to do when you’re in the process of creating an app is starting with a mobile app development checklist.
We’re going to go over the most crucial items you should include in your mobile app development checklist. If you use this checklist, your entire app mobile development process will be smoother, and have much fewer bumps in the road than if you simply try to ‘wing’ it.
Mobile App Development Checklist
First, create your concept
One of the biggest challenges facing mobile app developers is the conceptual part of the mobile app development process. Even when there’s a great idea, it can be hard to develop the solid concept behind it. Don’t be afraid to slim down your idea. If the app goes in a direction you like, you can always expand on it later. Otherwise, you risk spending a lot of time and money on a huge project that could be more successful if it were simplified.
Think about the core reason a user would choose to download your app. Is it for entertainment? Does it help users increase their productivity? How does it benefit the end user?
With so many apps on the market, chances are that there’s an application with similar benefits or end goals. Focus on the features that make your app stand out from competitors and capitalize on that. Make these outstanding features the core of your concept. Then, write down a clear plan for your app, the solutions it seeks to provide, and the main features you want to include.
This is crucial to the next part of your checklist, wherein you’ll create a streamlined plan to guide your process.
Define your plan
This part of your mobile app development checklist is all about the details. Creating an app is certainly a detailed process. Unfortunately, because there are many details to reckon with, some of them often get lost in the process. You need to consider everything from the small design details to the bigger picture of marketing viability.
Before we get into each of these things, here’s a quick list of details you need to include in your plan:
- Native or hybrid OS
- Issues and updates
- Marketing overview
If you don’t already have a budget in mind, you need to make one. Decide exactly how much you or your company can afford to spend on the entire mobile app development process.
If you plan on outsourcing the mobile app development, or any part of the app creation process, make sure you figure this into your budget. Take your total budget and decide what you’re willing to pay for each outsourced item in the process. For example: how much are you willing to spend on design or testing? Keep in mind that if you’re able to do some of the work yourself, this can reduce your spending in some areas.
Is the success of the app reliant on a certain rollout date? Does the app pair with another piece of equipment that will be on market soon? If that’s the case, you might be working with a shorter timeline than an app that you create for the sheer enjoyment of it. Have a set deadline for your app’s rollout. Then, get estimates on how long each part of the process should take. Hint: always give yourself more time, rather than less.
If something holds up one part of the mobile app development, you’ll have some built in wiggle room.
For some mobile app development projects, branding is clear and simple. However, if the app is for a startup company, it might not be so easy.
Make sure you have a very distinct idea of what the branding should be, and make sure it’s transferable to other products (if you plan on offering them). Have a recognizable logo, color scheme, brand name, along with other identifiable features.
Choosing your operating system
Here’s one of the most important things you need to consider when it comes to app development. You can certainly choose to create an android or iOS only app. In fact, many companies do this. However, you also need to remember that by creating a native app (meaning that it works with only one operating system), you could be limiting your audience.
Either way, decide whether you’ll create a native app, or a hybrid app that works with multiple operating systems.
In this day and age, cyber security threats are nothing new. Just about any device, technology, application, or operating system is subject to security threats. Make sure you include plans to incorporate security in your app development plan.
There should be plans to include enough encryption and security to keep from risking your customer’s personal information. Remember, although it may seem tedious, a security breach can ruin any company’s reputation in virtually no time at all.
Plan to update and fix issues
Have a contingency plan for dealing with any bugs, errors, or even just regular updates. Any software company has to deal with updates and patches from time to time. However, knowing exactly who will fix it and how can save you both time and money. Naturally, you can’t anticipate every issue before it happens. Having the plan is what makes the difference.
Marketing your app properly can make or break your app. Or, at the very least, it can determine whether or not you have any real success in getting customers to download and use your app. Naturally there are plenty of different options for marketing. You don’t have to implement them yet.
The important thing here is deciding the impression you want to give your target audience and how you plan to convey it. If you’re outsourcing marketing to an agency, they should be able to assist with this part of the planning process, or take it over entirely.
Put it all together
Now you have a detailed, concrete plan. The next step on your app development checklist is getting the wheels turning and putting it all together. This is where the mobile app is constructed from the ground up.
Whether you hire a mobile app developer or build the software yourself, it’s really the foundation of the entire app development process. You develop the mobile app in its entirety, and get it to the stage where it’s just about ready to release to your customers. All of the functionality, branding, security, and everything else should be in place before you move onto the next step on your checklist.
Test, test, and test again
The testing process can arguably be considered one of the most arduous parts of the app development process. Some would even say the testing process rivals the process of developing the app itself. However, it’s equally important to the success of your app before you release it to your customers.
Every facet of the app needs to undergo testing. This means overall functionality, login or registration, user interface, effectiveness, security, and much more. In short, if there’s a function that your customer uses (whether consciously or not – consider built in security features) it needs to be tested.
Some companies outsource testing, while others choose to test in-house. If you want exceptionally thorough testing (and your timeline and budget allow for it) opt to go both routes.
If you create a hybrid application for multiple operating systems, you need to take your app through thorough testing on each operating system. Not only that, you also need to do testing on different devices your customers might use to access your app. For instance, if your app is also compatible with PCs and tablets, make sure you test your app on those devices. Some glitches that appear on different devices might surprise you, and it’s better that you find them first than have a disappointed customer.
Some apps cost money right off the bat. Others have paid features. Some apps rely on advertising or selling products to bring in revenue.
In some cases, independent app developers simply request donations to keep their software running. No matter what you choose, there are plenty of pros and cons to each.
You need to consider your target audience when you think about your business objectives and how you’ll make money from your app.
Is this a game that people will pay for extra features for? Is your app an essential workplace or productivity tool that people are willing to pay a one time fee for? The purpose and end user of your app should help you determine how you’ll make money from your app.
Remember, you can test different price points, as well as different methods to monetize your app. You can even combine different methods and business strategy ideas, such as in app advertising and paid features.
Roll it out and market it!
This is the big light at the end of the tunnel for mobile app developers. Now that your app is fully developed, tested, and ready to make you some money, it’s time to let the world see it. Naturally, where you make your app available will rely on which operating system you make it for. If you create it for multiple operating systems, make it available for download on each app store.
Once your app is available, it’s time to get into marketing. There are several different tactics you can use, whether you choose paid advertising or free options. If you’re unfamiliar with marketing software, a digital marketing agency can help you find the right strategy. Offering free trials of your app in return for an honest review is one tactic. Some app developers prefer to speed up the process however, and choose to use paid options like targeted paid per click search ads or affiliate advertising with entities in similar markets.
The good thing about marketing is that in the digital age, it’s as versatile as the market consuming it. If you find that a certain tactic isn’t working, it takes only moments to test another.