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    Mobile App Development Process: Part One

    Launching a mobile application is becoming easier with the development of online tools. This is an overview of things to consider when launching a mobile app.

    Goals and Research:

    Before you start designing and coding, you need to understand the purpose and mission of your new mobile app.  What is the problem your app is going to solve?  Undefined goals will lead to missing deadlines, increased budgets and abandonment of the project. This goal should consider timing and appropriate budget and should be agreed upon by all key stakeholders.  In addition, have an understanding of the resources required.  Do you have the right design and development team? Who will be responsible for project management?

    There may be an app that is similar to the one that you are interested in developing. Statista indicates that there are over 1.3 Million Google Apps and 1.2 Million Apple Apps. This is not to say that you should throw in the towel—you can develop an app that improves on existing ideas.

    Sketching through Storyboarding:
    A great place to start is by laying down ideas and how they might look on the screen. This is the start of what your interface might look like, including the approximate size and location of buttons and text. Sketching also allows us to visualize our thoughts and let new ideas emerge.

    Taking what you learned from your sketches and research, you can now start to create a visual representation of the app. This is the point that you can start to get internal review from all of the key stakeholders. Consider a visual roadmap that will help you understand how a user will navigate between the screens on your app.

    Consider the following wireframe tools to help you storyboard:

    Prototype Testing:
    Put together a prototype team to review wireframes and storyboards. You want honest feedback, so this team should include people outside of your company. Review how they use the prototype. This will help you make adjustments to the design of the application. This phase is helping to test the functionality of the design.

    Back End of Your App:
    This is where white boarding becomes your best friend. Sketch out a diagram of items such as servers and API’s. This will help display technical limitations and bring them to light early in the process. Your developer will take this information to set up API’s, servers and databases.

    Now you need to sign up for developer accounts. This can take several days to get approval, so plan this into your schedule.

    In the next post, we will discuss the final stages of mobile application development.

    About The Author

    Elton Mayfield

    Elton's career spans media, production, digital and building industry expertise. His diverse experience makes him nimble, innovative, and curious – always pushing the envelope to create extraordinary work that delivers real results for our clients.

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