Before even starting to develop your application, we recommend that you do all the research you need to make sure that the time, money and energy you are about to spend will pay off and lead to something fruitful and profitable. Figuring out who you are building this app for, what problems their customers are experiencing, and how your product will help get rid of it is probably the most important research you will need to do in the early stages of a mobile app development process.
Stages of development of a mobile application
- Target Market Determination Process
- Analytics fundamentals
- Drawing up a detailed technical task (TOR)
- Project design
- Web Application Design
Target Market Determination Process
At the stage of determining the target market, it is necessary to decide on the purpose of developing a mobile application, the role that is assigned to the platform for establishing communication with the target audience. Key points to know before designing and developing a mobile app:
- features of the target audience
- goals to be achieved by creating your own application;
- whether the sale of goods and services will be carried out within the framework of the mobile application;
- market competitiveness in this area of business;
Market segmentation will help in audience analysis - dividing the market into niches that your application can occupy. This is one of the ways to convey the value of the product.
You will have to analyze the audience according to the following criteria:
- Demographic data: income, gender, age, education, marital status, profession. This information makes it easy to formulate your marketing message. Any application must consider one of the components listed above.
- Lifestyle: hobbies, entertainment, vacations. Some apps are for fun, but others are just for a healthy active lifestyle.
- Life stage: children, adolescents, young, mature people, pensioners. To each something his own.
Work on designing and creating a new mobile application begins with an idea. Start by identifying what tasks the application is intended to accomplish. Then start analytics: analysis of the market, competitors, existing solutions, behavioral models of buyers. This allows you to understand how the software will be used by people and how to make it as useful and convenient as possible. Only such a service can be useful for business. The result of analytical work before design is that you will get an idea of what the design and functionality of the future product should be.
The analytic stage should not be neglected. The mistake of many is to start the design work directly with the preparation of the technical task. The analysis helps to obtain information about market players: which practices are worthy of attention and which are not, to work out solutions that are most likely to work in favor of your application.
Drawing up a detailed technical task (TOR)
The terms of reference is a description of the desired functionality and design of the application. At this stage, it is determined how the user will work with the service (User Story, Customer Journey Map), and a set of technical requirements is formed.
Thus, TOR includes the following information.
- General information: the purpose of creating a mobile application, compatibility with the OS, scalability (the ability to adapt to changing conditions), the ability to perform functions in the event of failure of one component or several.
- Opportunities for unauthorized and registered users, data exchange, support for working with other applications (payment, postal services), software administration.
- List of non-functional requirements: security, ability to save error reports, performance.
- Designing functionality: loading screen, registration (authorization) procedure, menus, ways to find the necessary information, notifications for users.
Design, or UX design, involves interaction between the constituent parts of an application. At this point, you can see how the mobile service will perform under different custom scenarios.
Design phase - checking the logic of the mobile service. The Screen Map will help you with this. It’s an image that reflects all screens of the application and all possible transitions between them.
For each of the transitions, it is desirable to designate the action that initiates it (for example, pressing a button or a certain user gesture). Each of the screens must be identified in a certain way (for example, a number or a name).
Prototypes - mockups of the trial version of the program. It is recommended to do interactive prototyping using the Figma online tool. Also, prototypes can be tested in the Sizze editor, in which you can see how transitions from one page to another work, use control buttons, etc.
Mobile app design
UI design is how an application will look like. At this stage, you select the color scheme, work on the creation of the interface, and choose the style in which the app will be designed. In this case, recommendations from Material design guidelines and iOS Human Interface Guidelines are used: dimensions, indents, the use of animation elements.
The final stage in the development of a mobile service is to add it to a special application store: App Store or Google Play.
2 ways to develop mobile apps
There are 2 options for designing and creating services for gadgets:
- Using the services of a specialized company such as Sizze service.
The second option, of course, is more expensive, but it allows you to get a high-quality functional product that goes beyond the framework of publicly available templates. The specific cost of designing and creating an application for iOS or Android depends on the type and functions of the software. But such investments pay off in the long term.