Did you know?
There are 8.01 billion people worldwide, of which 5.44 billion are smartphone users, and 5.16 billion who are internet users, spend 90% of media time on mobile apps through their devices. Interestingly, an average mobile device owner uses ten apps daily and 30 apps each month. While mobile apps have become prominent, it is also worth noting that 4.76 billion people use social media apps, and 99% use communication, productivity, and business apps in their daily activities.
As mobile apps continue to serve as mediums for customers to interact with businesses, startups must adopt a sound, comprehensive, and glitch-free mobile app development process. To achieve this, a mobile app development checklist is essential to achieve efficient project delivery. This article speaks to mobile app development and tips for drafting a checklist.
What is mobile app development?
Mobile app development entails designing, creating, and deploying applications for platforms such as Android and iOS. It also involves multiple stages, such as designing the user interface, coding, testing, and deploying the app to stores.
Over the years, we have found that most startups are new to mobile app development and need help understanding where and how to begin. We found this checklist to be a great starting point for every startup aiming to develop a solution.
Let’s check out what a mobile app development checklist entails
A mobile app development checklist is a comprehensive list of all the tasks that must be completed before a mobile app is ready to launch. Tasks may be categorised into the following phases; ideation, development, deployment, marketing to maintenance. The mobile app development checklist is tailored to each project, highlighting specific tasks in the aforementioned categories, and deadlines for completion. It also includes any additional duties or steps that need to be taken, such as legal and compliance considerations.
Why use a mobile app development checklist?
A mobile app development checklist must be drafted before starting a project. Listed below are the benefits of creating a checklist for your app:
- Helps to ensure that an app development process runs smoothly without glitches.
- Let startups prioritise tasks and focus on the most important steps first.
- Helps ensure all the necessary steps are taken before launching the app.
- Reduces the risk of errors and mistakes.
- By having a detailed list of tasks, startups can quickly identify and fix any issues before they become a problem.
Finally, a mobile app development checklist can help startups stay organised and motivated throughout the development process. It can also be used to track progress and measure success.
How to create a mobile app development checklist?
So what should you consider when creating your checklist?:
1. Define your goals: The first step in the development process is to clearly set out your goals. This includes identifying the target market, explaining the key features, and setting a timeline for completion. Making sure the goals are realistic and achievable.
Related article: How to Develop a Business Growth Strategy
2. Research & Review: Ask questions about your target audience, their wants, and needs. Start by questioning potential customers, people facing a problem you intend to solve. Gather much-needed information about the issue, challenges faced by people, and the people’s interests. Once this is done, map out and review your solution based on the target audience and determine an approach to solving the problem. This will help you understand what they are looking for and the features to implement in your mobile app.
3. Decide the delivery system to use: A startup must decide on the technological system needed to drive the delivery of the solution. A quick tip: Ask if the solution can be achieved using a website or a mobile app in determining the system. A good example is WorldKite. WordKite is a mobile-first solution for residency tracking, designed to simplify tax and residency day count, moving away from countless hours spent reading the stamps in your passport, Excel tables, and collecting boarding passes.
4. Choose a mobile app development tech stack: This involves selecting a platform & an approach to building an app. Once you’ve decided to use a mobile app to deliver the solution your target users need, choose a platform. Determining the platform for your mobile app as a startup manager is crucial, as it will determine the type of device your app will be compatible with. There are two dominant platforms in mobile app development – Android & iOS. For most startups, it is advisable to use these platforms to ensure accessibility to users of all kinds.
Related article: How to choose the right tech stack for your MVP
While choosing a platform, deciding on the approach needed in building your mobile startup app is essential. During the selection process, ensure it aligns with the needs of the potential users, your startup goals, and your operating model. Remember, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and a solution is determined by the strategy and implementation platform. Startup managers can use either Native or Cross-platform approaches.
Using the Native system, startups can implement Android-oriented frameworks such as Kotlin & Java and Apple-recommended frameworks like Swift and SwiftUI to develop two different source codes – one for Android and one for iOS. This approach offers the best mobile app performance but requires more cost.
A cross-platform approach involves developing one source code that enables a mobile app to run on multiple platforms. This approach makes it cheaper to build a mobile app with fewer efforts needed, as a mobile app can run on both Android and iOS using a single code. However, this approach makes a mobile app prone to performance issues. Examples of cross-platform frameworks to implement while building a mobile app are flutter, react native, native scripts, and Xamarine.
5. Estimated budget & timeline: The cost of app development differs based on the complexity of the features. Therefore, create an estimated budget for the app based on the necessary features needed in the first version. Fixing a timeline to complete a project is also essential. Keep in mind that the timeline must align with the planned budget.
6. Set up a development & product team: The next step includes setting up a tech team. A tech team is made up of developers, designers, and managers. The team’s responsibility is to dissect the mobile app features, UI/UX designs, and information architecture. The duties assigned to this team determine the end result of the mobile app being built. The development team must have the following:
- Backend engineers for data manipulation.
- Frontend engineers for visualisation and user experience.
- Quality assurance for testing.
While the product team must include the following:
- Product designers for layouts and prototyping.
- Product managers for the management of timeliness, roles, and implementation of features.
- Product marketers for launch, market positioning, and user-engagement.
7. Design wireframes & create prototypes: Design your app. This includes a clear overview of the structure, layout, information architecture, user flow, the mobile app’s functionality, and users’ intended behaviours. In sketching and designing your mobile app, keep the product concept, styling, and colour minimal, as the focus needs to be on the features required by the target audience. Once this is done, create draft versions of your mobile app that demonstrate the UI/UX flow when the app is in use. This helps validate your startup mobile app idea and also helps attract seed funding. Finally, we recommend using these tools to prototype your app: Figma, InVision, and Adobe XD.
Related article: Importance of UI/UX Design in Building a Great Product
8. Build a MVP first: As a startup, building a minimum viable version of your mobile app is essential. A minimum viable product (MVP) is a low-risk, core functionality version of a product with just enough features to be used, reviewed, and assessed effectively by early users. While an MVP serves as a foundational exploration of your product, building a basic version also enables you to test product assumptions and discover how users react to your product. In creating your MVP, prioritise features based on the ‘must-haves’ versus the ‘should-haves’ with a focus on user stories.
9. Select guidelines in testing and launching your mobile app: After development, then the testing phase comes in. The quality assurance team takes over the developed mobile app and thoroughly tests it using different test cases to ensure the app functions as expected and is ready to be launched for users. When the mobile app is well tested, gather a small number of users to test either using beta-testing/Alpha testing approaches. This is to understand the user’s perspective on your startup mobile app. Once your mobile app passes this stage, optimise it for the app store and play store so it can be discovered by potential users. To do this, use the right keywords, optimising the app description and screenshots, and use social media to promote the mobile app.
Once the product is live, encourage feedback from users to form a solid idea of what the second version of the app will look like. For instance, it could involve changing the user interface based on challenges faced by first batch users. Then the entire development process is refined to focus on the targeted problem area rather than tackling it from the top.
Developing a successful mobile app is a complex process, but it can be made easier with the help of an exhaustive mobile app development checklist. A checklist can help startups stay organised and motivated throughout the development process and ensure all the necessary steps are taken before launching the app. To learn more about what’s meant to be on your checklist, contact us at email@example.com to chat with our mobile engineers.