Your Mobile App Development Project Explained: What To Expect
Launching into a mobile app development project is daunting; we get it. No matter whether you run a fresh start-up or a well-established international brand, apps are new territory for many businesses.
In this article, we run through exactly what to expect from your mobile app development project.
We support all our clients in their journey to learn more about mobile app development. Not only does this make our discovery sessions and subsequent progress meetings more valuable on both sides, it means our clients know what to expect from an early stage and helps us achieve the best possible outcome.
The Steps for Mobile App Development
Understanding what to expect going in is vital to choosing the right mobile app development agency. It gives you a bit of insight into how the agency works, if they know what they’re talking about, and whether you will gel with them on a working relationship level.
Read our articles for what to expect from mobile app development outsourcing and some important questions to ask mobile app developers to help get the most out of your project. We also cover the basics of mobile app development so you can find out what we need to consider when approaching your project.
So, what are the mobile app development stages in a project? Let’s break them down here.
- Project Briefing
- Exploration Phase
- Project Workshop
- Discovery Session
- Designing Wireframes and Prototypes
- Review and Feedback Phase
- Building your App
- Testing and Feedback
- Deployment to App Stores
- Setting up Ongoing Support
1. Project Briefing
It all starts here. A project briefing session is our first meeting with the potential client and the beginning of the mobile app development process. During this meeting, we gather information on you and your brand, what you want from an app and the value you’re looking for in working with a mobile app development agency.
We can visit you at your office or host the meeting in our studio. We hold video calls for our clients further afoot in Northern Ireland, mainland UK, and the US.
2. Exploration Phase
Our project briefing session is followed by a period of exploration, research, and brainstorming. This is when we gather extra information about your brand, market positioning, and objectives. We think deeply about exactly how to meet your needs and produce an app that satisfies everything you’re looking for.
It’s also at this stage we consider limitations like budget and timescales to determine ways we can fulfil your expectations. For example, suppose you’ve got a tight budget, and we can’t produce what you’re after in good faith. In that case, we might suggest an agile mobile app development process where we tackle the most important aspects of your app first and look to develop it further later down the line when your budget permits.
3. Project Proposal
With our mobile app development workflow clear before us, we draft a proposal which clearly defines our objectives and KPIs. Once this mobile app development roadmap is agreed on, we’ll send you a statement of work and schedule project kickoff agreements. Our clients will receive a Gantt chart for mobile app development, so project timelines are understood and anticipated.
4. Discovery Workshop
After the project agreement, we hold our initial project discovery workshop. Depending on the project we may split these into module workshops which allow us to go deep into the project requirements and draft technical specifications and requirements for sign-off. Our discovery workshops are typically 3-4 hour sessions which include user stories, dependencies, and project management alongside timelines and other key project information.
5. Designing wireframes and prototypes
Our design team get to work on mobile app development prototyping. This is where the look and feel of your app are actualised. Layouts, themes, colours, fonts, images, animations, and visual journeys begin to take shape.
6. Review and feedback phase
We want our clients to be completely happy with their app UX and UI design before we move to the build stage. This ensures we don’t have to double back and run up more costs and time if anything needs to be changed. We give our clients access to Figma to view the wireframes of their design. Otherwise, we can provide PDFs.
7. Building your app
The app development tools and software we use to build your app will have been decided on during early stages when we learned about your desired functionality and objectives. We use our preferred tech stack to build your app during this stage of the mobile app development plan. This is usually NET. Core for back-end development and React Native or Flutter for the front-end, but we’re flexible and simply opt for the best tools for the job.
8. Testing and feedback
Thorough testing is vital to make sure your app is robust and works perfectly. We put each app through our own QA testing processes to review usability, compatibility, security, and performance. We also use unit testing and automated testing procedures when appropriate to ensure nothing is missed. We request our clients to perform their own testing too, which is part of customer acceptance testing, and in some projects, we may also bring in an external sample testing group.
9. Deployment to app stores
The final stage in our mobile app development project plan is getting it out into the world in front of your audience. We manage all aspects of submission to Android and Apple app stores including verification and compliance.
10. Setting up ongoing support
The mobile app development lifecycle is just that: a cycle. If we sent you off with a finished app without any follow-up, we wouldn’t be doing our job properly (unless that’s what we’ve agreed with you). No matter how well built your app is, software needs updating, bugs appear, and the overall look and feel of your app will eventually need to be updated. Service offerings and products will evolve, and your app needs to reflect this.
At Myth Digital, we offer our clients different kinds of support packages, so you only pay for what you need and these can be changed month by month. We built our support hub ourselves to make it straightforward for clients to raise their own tickets if they need to.
How long does it take to develop a mobile app?
There really isn’t a straight answer because no two apps are the same. Any agency that offers a set price for developing a mobile app should be avoided.
Your mobile app tech stack will play a big role in your project's lead time. Elements like the mobile app language and framework will determine if the build is faster or slower. Generally, we estimate at least eight weeks for a hybrid mobile app made with Ionic, whereas one made with React Native will take at least 12 weeks. For totally native mobile apps for iOS or Android alone, we look at a minimum of 16 weeks.
One of the reasons we promote cross-platform mobile app development is because of how significantly it decreases the length and cost of a project. In one build, we can deploy your app to both Android and iOS operating systems.
What’s the value in having a mobile app for your business?
Since 2016, annual mobile app downloads have increased by 63%. As apps become faster, smoother, more fun, and more intuitive, people prefer them over websites. The future of app development is set to dominate the world in terms of information consumption.
Keeping up with competitors for a share of the market space is just one reason brands are keen to develop their own apps. But there are many other benefits to mobile apps which add value to your offering. Here are a few of them.
Assist people in communicating with you.
Excite people with innovatively designed experiences and build your brand reputation.
Allow customers to access your products and services on faster platforms and even offline.
Make potentially mundane or tedious actions more pleasurable through saved data and personalised content.
Strengthen relationships with your audience by offering more satisfactory and higher-value experiences.
When done right, the power of mobile app development on brand awareness and revenue can help to catapult you far above your competition and even help you corner the market completely. Just look at Uber, WhatsApp, or Tinder; these apps virtually changed the way we behave as a society.
Find out what we think about the benefits of mobile apps for start-ups and transforming businesses, and get a sneak peek at our predictions for app development trends in 2023.
Are apps more important for some brands than others?
We might be shooting ourselves in the foot when we say that not all brands need mobile apps, but it’s true. It really depends on the desired outcome and the business objectives you’re trying to achieve.
Not all businesses will experience the same return on investment with a mobile app, and if you’re working on a tight budget, it’s important to know before investing. Your audience demographic will play a big role in the number of downloads you have, as older generations are still less likely to download apps than younger generations.
On the other hand, you might have a customer base like home automation marketplace Indigo, who are more familiar with tech and digital processes. Or a younger demographic who are more open to establishing new ways of working like SeeMe Hired.
Let’s look at some elements of creating a mobile app and how they can impact businesses.
Better streams of communication.
More resources are required to support increased communication.
A new channel for marketing.
Experience required to leverage marketing opportunities successfully.
Costs associated with building the app.
Pressure to achieve a return on investment.
Ongoing bug fixes and improvements.
Budget required to meet these needs.
With proper planning from the get-go, these challenges can be easily met and absorbed as part of a successful business plan. This is another reason we like to be transparent about our projects and help clients understand everything involved in the app creation process.
If this article has taken you a step closer to starting your mobile app project, send us a message, and we’ll get started.