The human race has been presented with a wide range of entertaining and purposeful apps that have made life more interesting and easier than it ever was. Hardly a decade ago, most people would not have imagined how mobile app development would influence our lives today.
It's commonly said that there is an app for everything. Although that's not entirely true, there are millions of apps available for almost everything we do. Some apps have got us captivated and even mesmerized, with our day-to-day activities hinging on them. A slight glitch in their operation, and people get all jittery. And when any of these apps have more than a proverbial hiccup, the system seems to break down.
How Much Do We Depend on Apps?
The recent global outage of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram sent shockwaves across the digital spectrum, as millions of users rely on these platforms for entertainment, business, and other important communication. This was not the first time that any of these apps suffered a major or minor glitch, but chaos broke loose when all three collapsed for a lengthy duration.
Such has become our reliance on some commonly used applications; we have become accustomed to using these apps on the go, day in and day out, and they are quite interlaced with our day-to-day activities.
From booking a ride and buying food to making financial transactions, apps have become an intrinsic part of our daily lives. However, with how we often discuss apps, it's as though we just buy them or consume them like fruit. Instead, a lot of effort, planning, and thinking goes into building each app.
Developing some of them may take many weeks or months. And other complex apps can take years to develop. We all know that some apps evolve from an MVP (minimum viable product) into a full-blown digital product that serves millions of people. Facebook is a good example; when it was first launched, it was rather bland. It has evolved into something quite different thanks to several hundred or thousands of tweaks and overhauls. Even its UI has undergone drastic changes.
Apps May Deviate from their Original Focus Depending on Performance and Market Feedback
It might be true to assert that some apps operating today may have deviated from their initial purpose. They may have been built for a generalized purpose, but the focus may have been gradually shifted depending on market response and how people use it. This is often the reason why software development companies recommend building an MVP first; you get to see how your product fairs in the market.
Some of the more complex apps may take years to develop since they are originally conceptualized as expansive ideas. Others may be born out of a simple idea and maybe built upon across weeks and months, and perhaps even years in some cases.
A Bird's Eye View of the Mobile App Development Process
Prior to programming an app, whatever the idea maybe, it's the design that holds sway. Design is critical to the user experience, and that must be drawn up first so that there's a logical flow through the app and people can use it easily and enjoy it. That can keep them coming back.
Ideating the User Experience Based on Your Concept
Creating a positive user experience may take time because it has to be carefully thought through. There may be a few different forms of app flow created to determine the best user experience. Each one is tested, and the most optimal one is finalized. This is the foundation for creating wireframes, which govern the user interface you eventually end up with.
Once you complete the design phase, the app goes into development. There's possibly a range of technologies in the shape of programming frameworks and technologies that may be used to develop the app and bring it to fruition. With more and more tools available today, the choice may require some careful thought. However, technicians with experience can guide you when selecting the best ones.
Entering the Mobile App Development Phase
And so, your app goes into the development phase, which may take months. However, you will have a defined SoW (scope of work) that defines and determines the length, breadth, and depth of the work that will go into building your app, as well as how long it will take.
Intertwining a lot of the work done at the development stage is a multitude of testing cycles run to make sure every bit of code works properly. Once all the testing is done, the application is ready to be launched. Your app, at this stage, is ready for the market. But, there's more. You need to have it approved to be placed on the App Store and Play Store. Your developers are the best people to get this done, and it's something you discuss before you award anyone the project.
Can Just About Anyone Build a Mobile App?
So, all this sounds like something you can easily manage if you have the time and money, right?
Hold on. There's more. You need to make sure whatever you want to build has a market. You need to be sure of the potential, and what types of apps are successful. You may choose to build an app that you find purposeful, but maybe there's already an app out there that can cater to your need. That simply means that you need to conduct sufficient research once you have an app idea. And if you are convinced with data backing you up, you should run it by several people to get as much in out as possible concerning the viability of your app.
Tread Carefully Even if You Have a Unique Concept
While you may have carried out extensive research into your market, there's always the element of risk. Some say opportunities are disguised as risks, and that's why it's no surprise that there are thousands of apps launched daily. However, some turn out to be roaring successes, but the greater majority performs with mediocrity for several reasons possibly.
The more research you conduct, the better your chances will be of enjoying success with your app. And don't put all your eggs in one basket; start with an MVP and move along following market feedback if you want to have the next app that captures the hearts and minds of millions.