Mobile Apps: The Basics Behind the Download

by Jeremy Lord on June 2, 2016

Since the invention of the iPhone (and its constituents), mobile applications have been a craze that demolish entire companies if they refused to join the sensation. These days, many people have their own brilliant app ideas, but aren’t exactly sure where to start. I’m here to help with that! By the end of this blog, you’ll know the procedure, best practices, and special considerations that will ensure your product’s success. Buckle up because like any great thing, it is a process that takes a lot of time and collaboration.

Step 1: Planning and Research

First things first, the problem you want to solve. If you have already seen the hole that your future application would fill, then this part is easy. Plan out what your product will solve, and how it might do that. Find your product’s identity and where you want to see it expand to. Scope the market or industry, and see who has already done what to solve which problems. The research step is crucial and needs to be done before any development work. Having this understanding and plan ahead of time is necessary to make sure that your development team can build the proper platform for your application. Build out the wireframes and website first to help you illustrate what your application is and who it will help.

Step 2: Developer Shopping

Finding development talent is a daunting task. It can get frustrating combing through all of the technical mumbo jumbo, but it is all completely necessary. Every coding language was created to solve a different problem whether that problem is speed, capacity, or functionality, doing research on what languages do what is a big help when it comes to finding the right developers. The general rule of thumb is the more complex and integrative your application, the more challenging it will be to find the right talent to develop it. The right company may already know how to fundamentally piece your concept together, it’s just up to you to find them. If you’re curious about more hiring techniques, check out this blog.

Step 3: Back-end Development

This is where the bulk of your capital should be designated. Back-end development is the part of the process where your team builds the engine that is the foundation of your application. This is called the API (Application Program Interface). The API is where the developers implement the rules and data structures that make up your application. In software development, we start with the engine to ensure that the performance of your app matches the looks. Nobody wants to drive a Ferrari with a 4-cylinder engine. As the foundation, the back-end is where system upgrades are implemented as well as scaling when your product becomes a raging success. Application maintenance is why the back-end is crucially important. As a startup, it’s tough to swallow the costs of a poorly built application and then have to rebuild it months to years down the road. Try to learn as much as you can about what’s happening on the back-end of your application to help prevent any wasted time, money, or resources.

Step 4: Front-end Development

Enter the designers and mobile developers. Now that you have your beautiful new engine, your mobile developers and designers construct the visually pleasing UI (user interface) for your potential clients to interact with. This would involve designers collaborating with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS developers to build out the front-end of the application. Having all of your wireframes and ideas planned out ahead of this step definitely speeds up the process, but don’t be surprised if you have to collaborate with another company to get this portion done.

Step 5: Integrating and Testing

After the integration of your development teams, you are now the owner of your very first mobile application! Sometimes the technology has problems meshing, so testing, testing, and more testing is really the best and only way to polish your product. There is also an argument that testing should be done throughout the process, this is not wrong by any means; the more testing done, the more confident you will be in your product. In fact, your development team might even consider creating tests before they develop the application in order to adequately make sure every part functions properly.

I wish developing an application was as easy as throwing a pizza in the oven, but that more research that is done on the market, technology, and on development teams with proven track-records, the better an application will be. Now that the basic steps have been laid out, it’s time to get your dream application built! If you have any lingering questions, feel free to shoot me an email at jeremy.lord@ldstudios.co.

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