COVID-19 UPDATE - All our teams are safely working from home. Get 24/7 Support. Contact Us.

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Redefining Mobile Application Development in 2020

If we talk about mobile app development in 2008, a definition would be a generic one. However, a decade later, inventions, integrations, and new technologies have changed the meaning of this term in great sense. Back then, mobile applications had minimal functionality, they were hard to code, and it took months to get to the final product.

Today, we have artificial intelligence, machine learning, on-demand applications, integrations with wearables, mobile wallets, enhancement in application security, bots with natural voice chats, IoT application, augmented reality, and blockchain.

Investors are betting big on mobile applications integrated with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning because it can comprehend user behavior from previous data. Mobile apps automatically personalize themselves to the needs and requirements of the user, instead of them looking at the same screen, which can become boring and less useful after a point of time. Artificial intelligence has already proven itself in eCommerce applications.

With the help of Ai and Ml, on-demand applications are taking user experience to a new level. Almost every type of business has shifted to an on-demand mobile service business model, including those selling groceries, offering taxi hiring services, and no doubt, food delivery apps.

Wearable technologies have taken up the job of keeping users fit and healthy. Doctors receive instant notification about the state of an individual’s health, and hospitals are pre equipped with offering timely services to patients. Constant monitoring of activity tracking, including sleep patterns, heart rate, and more are making it easier to predict various state of mind and stress levels of individuals.

Automation has become a big part of mobile app development. IoT application, with the help of a user’s location, helps in adjusting the home equipment, environment, temperature, and through matching it with user preference, enables services that were simply not possible previously. With IoT applications, users today monitor their homes, automate equipment, and even heat food in the microwave, by the time they get home. Users today manage devices remotely.

However, the most recent technology, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, are promising a very different future from what we are living today.

This guide is about building mobile applications for the future. From discovering your idea, to choosing the right technology, to generating revenue, we have everything you will need to know about building modern mobile applications for the next generation. Let’s get started.

Mobile Application Development Lifecycle

a) Discovery & Planning

Having a mobile application idea is a great start. You already know what you want to build. But before you can directly jump into designing to the application, you have a few steps to go. You will need to conduct in-depth research about your market depth, customer requirements, target audience, and lastly, competitors.

Here is a list of questions you might need to answer for a start.

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. How will your customers use the application?
  3. Are there any better alternatives already available?
  4. What will your application do that other application won’t?
  5. What business model are your customers following?
  6. What language, frameworks, and technologies will you use?
  7. How many uses are paying for your type of mobile application?
  8. What is your budget?
  9. How long will it take to build your application?

However, there is more to mobile appli development in the discovery stage itself. If you can put together a team of developers, with experts from marketing, sales, product development, It and more, you will be able to gather the information that will help you build achievable app development goals and objectives.

Guide to Competitive Analysis for Mobile App Development

The competitive analysis gives businesses a distinct advantage over competitors in traditional and non-traditional ways. While analyzing the competition, you can exploit weakness and convert into an opportunity to be ahead in the market by assisting users with unique features. Read More..

You can also use the Lean Startup Strategy for Mobile App Development.

Download Free Resource – How to Build Your Mobile Application Business

Sales forecasting methodologies Guide

The mobile app development process requires a lot of planning and forecasting for a successful mobile application. It will recast objectives and better insights for any business as a valuable factor in the form of the forecast. Here are the effective sales forecasting methodologies for better business application. Read More..

 

b) Designing your mobile application

An average user spends about 5 hours everyday looking at their smartphones. This means, how your mobile app looks, how it behaves, and the way it makes it easier for the user to interact with the world is more important than ever. This is where design comes in.

Once you are past the stage of discovery and planning, you will have to start building the interface that users will be looking at as much as they use your mobile app. The difference between a good and bad mobile experience depends on how you define the user experience.

The right question to ask here is, what do mobile app users expect from a great mobile application? The comprehensive answer clearly includes faster loading time, ease of use, and delightful user experience. When designing a mobile application in 2020, the design will play an important role in your success. Here are some tips you can start with:

1. Minimize cognitive load

Human brain has limited attention span, and limited processing power, which means every time the user loads a mobile app, they are trying to solve a problem they couldn’t solve without it, at least for the time being. If you provide too much information simultaneously, it will decrease your user’s attention span, and trigger a negative experience response in the brain. Keeping the information flow streamlined, using the theory of cognitive load, can greatly improve your mobile application design.

2. Decluttering

Nick Babich talks about the importance of decluttering in his blog at the XD ideas blog. He says that a cluttered user experience overloaded your user with too much information, every unnecessary detail adds to the complication of your mobile app, which becomes worse on mobile devices because of limited screen space. He suggests two fundamental concepts for decluttering mobile applications: Strive for minimalism and prioritize one primary action per screen.

3. Offload repetitive tasks

Eliminating anything that requires user effort, especially what it is repeated, is a no brainer. For example, asking users to input information that has already been submitted by them previously is a red flag. Make sure you find alternatives, decrease their decisions, make sure you take their decisions for them to provide incremental ease of use.

4. Use familiar screens

Mobile applications can get creative sometimes. Other times, they are pretty much the same, with familiar layouts that can be easily navigated without any conscious resistance from the user. Screens like ‘get started’ and ‘search results’ already ingrained in the minds of users, for example.

There are 11 mobile app screens you will need to take care of to easily implement a familiarity, namely; getting started, newsfeed here’s what to do next, what’s new, user progress, templates, shortcuts, go premium, search, user profile, and single item.

5. Minimize User Input

Users are lazy. If they could wash and iron clothes at the tap of a button using their phones, they would. Mobile app development comes with a pretty standard challenge – a small screen that isn’t so comfortable to type on. However, the most common type of user input on a mobile application is typing out a form. You need to follow a few standard rules if you are to keep your user attended for a prolonged period of time.

  1. Keep forms short
  2. Provide masking for inputs
  3. Use autocomplete
  4. Validate field values immediately
  5. Customize keyboard for a field type

There is a very useful guide over at Smashing Magazine if you like.

Do’s and Don’ts of Mobile Application Development Design

Designing the perfect mobile application requires a lot of consistent effort and improvement. There are a number of do’s and don’ts that you need to take care of every single time you start designing a new interface. Here are some useful guidelines to take care of.

Read More

Customer Driven Design & Development

As per Gartner, 40% of all data analytics leads to customer experience in the end. Focusing on the customer is a priority for any type of software planning, design, and development.

Read More

List of UX/UI Design Tools For Mobile App Designing

UI/UX design plays an important role in the mobile app designing sector. There are many UI/UX tools available in the market that help the mobile app designers to deliver a seamless user interface. Here is a useful insight into some of the UI/UX tools.

Read More

Design Thinking for Mobile Application Development

Design thinking is a solution-based method that is essential for UI/UX designers who use it to integrate the requirements of the application. For a business app to be successful and survive in the competitive market, it requires a continuous and innovative approach to develop attractive products.

Read More…

c) Prototyping

You will have crossed two important milestones; discovered how your mobile application should be, and how it will look and feel to the user. The next step is prototyping your mobile application.

First, what is prototyping exactly? Let’s simply say that prototyping is an integral part of your mobile application design, which helps us test our ideas quickly, and improve them in time. Some design thinkers value building and testing the application over simply thinking and designing.

Imagine that you had a product idea in mind. You set up a team, built hundreds of iterations of designs, brainstormed, planned and crafted your design to perfection. You ensured everything was perfect to the minutest features. Your application was then launched, after a lot of development and testing, but the conversion rate was low. Your application gets deleted faster than they can be used for the first time. This adds to the frustration.

What went wrong? Well, simply speaking, the idea was executed out of obsession for making a hit on the market, changing the society, or trying to completely reinvent the market, only to realise that they had been focusing on the wrong things all the time.

Such stories are not rare. In fact, they are so usual, almost everyone makes this mistake. This is where prototyping comes in.

What are the benefits of prototyping?
  1. With a prototype, you are building the most essential part of your application. You can share these concepts with friends, co-founders and investors.
  2. Display a ready to code version of the app especially to remote teams after covid-19 in 2020.
  3. Save money on design iterations in early stages.
  4. Get customer feedback and add new features quickly.

But, what do I need to prototype, you ask? Early stage research isn’t everything. Design thinking at early stages simply can not tell you everything about the optimal solution. Design teams often get stuck up about the descriptions provided, and repel from going beyond what has been told them to do. By prototyping, and keeping it lean, you can reveal assumptions and biases you have towards ideas, and analyse it to uncover insights about users that were not observable previously.

Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) prototype

From your prototype to a complete app plan isn’t just a sketch — it’s a planned way to recall your ideas that become a successful application for investor capital and your users. Get assistance with our expert team to streamline your mobile app development process by right prototyping. Highlight your app with a new line feature by upgrading the development process. Read More..

How to prototype a mobile application to impress investors?

The process of building a mobile app involves different phases to reach the level where it can be pushed to production for the audience. To evaluate whether the app solves the users’ problems, one must prototype it. Mobile app prototyping can help you impress the investors and understand the users’ needs. To know more about it, you can see the process of how to prototype an app. Read more..

d) Development

There are two ways to go about developing your mobile application. Either you can use an app development platform, which can often limit the possibilities of your application (more on this later), or use a Baas (Backend as a Service) provider, which can set up actual storage, databases, APIs, and servers for your application.

You will also need to set up developer accounts for each platform; iOS and Android. It takes days to complete the process, so better to start early and get this out of the way asap.

Once your developer account is up and running, we get started with programming the actual application. In most cases, people hire mobile application development companies to do this job for them. The first thing you will need to address with any company you wish to hire is a non-disclosure agreement. You will also be establishing a timeline for delivery.

This stage is where an almost final version of your mobile application will come to life. You are no longer playing with ideas. Everything should go as it should, without any discrepancies. The final version should have all the elements you decided upon at the time of designing, including all the suggestions and feedback.

Now comes the technical aspect of programming. Start by defining the technical architecture of your mobile application, picking a technology stack, and developing development timelines.

Next Chapter
Chapter 2 - Programming Languages
Java