Today, around 90% time of the consumers is spent in accessing mobile applications. The speed at which mobile app market is exploding its wings pushed Indian app developers to implement a more iterative approach to mobile app development. As mobile app development process differs from that of a website, developers need to call in mind screen size, OS, device type during designing and testing stage. Traditional website development lifecycle aiming to create a single version of the website will not work with mobile app development as it calls for more agility.
This gives a call to adopt rapid and iterative development process. This is where prototypes step in the picture, allowing app developers to build, iterate, test and reiterate at minimum cost. The prototype is quite an essential step in your mobile app design. The post breaks down mobile app development process into 12 steps and explains the role of iterative prototype throughout.
1. Define App Goal
Before entering into app development, there are some questions that need to be answered. Some of them are:
• Which is the targeted niche?
• What will be the core function of the application?
• Who will be the targeted users?
While answering such questions, you may come across a unique point that you need to develop a successful app. If you have strong analysis and quality audience, finding uniqueness in an app is not hard. What you need to do is, pick a set of audience and analyze their likes and dislikes. Once you are done with all the questions and answers, you will be able to develop an MVP. It will serve as a base for mobile app development company to develop effective mobile apps.
2. Design App Blueprint
After the initial step, you might be excited to kickstart with app development but, it would be wise if you go with paper wireframing. This will help you to make necessary changes in app design, making development process easy and smooth. Design prototype in a paper to identify the app flow and key app functionalities. A prototype helps to define navigation flow of visitors in an app. Nowadays, there are many online tools available to develop wireframe in a presentable way. One such tool is UI stencil, that helps to carve perfect wireframe of an app. After wireframing app design, you can digitize it using prototyping tool.
3. Analyze Competitors And Learn From Their Mistakes
As app store is loaded with millions of apps, possibilities are high that apps similar like of yours are existing in the market. So, before working hard in app development process, it would be a wise decision to analyze app store and pen down similar apps like yours. Once you have a list of your competitor's app, perform below activities:
• Pen down apps USP
• Identify features, functionality and technical requirements
• Comprehend users reviews and feedback
• Identify users pain point
• Note down features requested by users
This exercise will help you to include plus points that are not currently available in the market. This will help you to develop best app strategy with minimum risk.
4. Story Mapping And Finding Resources
There are two ways to conduct these operations. Either you stick with paper or go digital. If you are planning to go digital, FeatureMap and StoriesOnBoard are best tools to avail browser-based solutions that can connect you with various teams. It is one of the best approaches especially if you have adopted an agile approach. It will help you to predict the solution for solving problems that came at the initial level.
5. User Scenario
Using wireframes, you can start with determining whether the app is functioning in a way client wants or not. A prototype helps you to define navigation flows by creating and testing various user scenarios. You can link different components with each other and can map navigation flow. These can be converted into the functional flow in later parts once you develop high fidelity prototype.
6. Update Requirements
If you fail to recognize some loopholes like a screen that fails navigation flow, failed to address a certain set of requirement, it's time to fix that requirement. You can customize your prototype and add new fields to make things work properly.
7. Test User Prototype On Multiple Platforms
Testing is a quite significant process. Altering entire code feature can increase the expenditure by 100% as the code needs to be done from scratch. Early phase testing in most important especially when the motive is to reduce cost. This is the phase where you can interrupt the prototype and ask developers to start working on app ideas.
8. Confirm Requirements
Here, you can check the final requirements of the iterative prototype before starting with app development. For projects that still depends on static requirements, document review will be done. With the interactive prototype, you can share proposed solutions to stakeholders and can work ahead based on their comments.
9. Build UI And Cycle Feedback
Considering comments from user testing and stakeholders, developers can now transfer prototype screens into high fidelity skins. The main aim behind this is to incorporate all user feedbacks and come up with an app that meets users requirements.
10. User Testing
This is the phase where your apps need to be ready with all UI elements and original content. Here, final user testing is conducted and necessary changes are made to start with app development.
Iterative prototyping is a most potent weapon in mobile app development process. So follow these steps and develop the best app.