Has the app industry enticed you into submitting to its popularity? Are you now at a phase where you know you want to join the crowd but are unsure where to start? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Many have been where you are now. Your worries related to which platform to choose, whom to trust to not rip you off financially in the promises of an amazing app, how would you make money off your app, how will you see that people actually use your app, etc. are shared by thousands of first timers around the world.
While, it is still easy for those halves who have years of experience in the mobile market, who are well-versed with different aspects of mobile app development as mentioned in this mobile app development guide, and have launched their own app; for your half, who is new in the game, you have to lot to gear up for.
But it’s okay. You have stumbled over the right place.
We have something that no one will let you on this easily and in one place.
Keep reading to fast-track your glorious app development journey:
We have created a checklist, which covers the complete mobile app development process from its ideation stage to the stage it’s uploaded on the store. Here, we have itemized various elements that one must consider before initiating their mobile app development effort. Irrespective of whether it is done in-house, or with the help of a mobile app development company, the checklist will help in preparing you successfully developing a mobile app.
Here’s how to use it:
First select what stage you are at in the App Development process and then cross off or answer the points that are mentioned against each stage. This will give you an idea of how prepared you are for every stage.
Without further ado, let me take you down the ultimate Mobile App Development Checklist.
But before that, a quick prologue.
When you partner with a third party mobile app development company, they share a scope which entails all the parts of the checklist, superficially, which you are going to read right now. So, when dealing with a mobile app consultant, use this checklist as a means to finalize one company out of the lot you mean to interact with for developing your app.
This is the stage which preludes the app development process. This is where the app idea is checked for its viability. At this stage you analyze your target market, look at the similar apps and see what features are being offered to your target group.
If you have associated with a company, this is the part where they will sharing a scope with you that will be developed on the basis of competition analysis.
Here, you will be looking out for the :
1. Do you know who your target group is?
2. Do you know the problem your target group is facing?
3. Is there any other company offering solutions to their problems through mobile app?
4. Do you know who are the app’s competitors?
5. Have you listed down the features the competitors are offering?
6. Have you read the reviews on their app?
7. Do you know the monetization model the competitors use?
8. What app monetization would you use in the app? [Here’s a guide on this]
Once you have the understanding of the features that you need to add in your app and the behavior of your target market, the next part is to look at the basics of what your app would be. This stage will set the foundation of what you plan to offer.
9. Will your app work on Android?*
10. Is your App for iOS?
11. Will you make an app for both, now or will you wait to see its performance?
12. Is the app native or hybrid?
13. Will your app be integrated with device’s features?
14. Will it need cloud based infrastructure?
*the reason I have mentioned Android and iOS separately is because both of them come with their set of advantages and shortcomings. And even though, majority of the businesses are moving to Android, it would be completely your choice of which platform you wish to hit first.
User Interface Details
After finalizing the details related to the platform your app would be based on and the type it would be, the next step is to think about the look and feel of the app. If there is one crucial element that can affect how your app is received by the world, it is the User Interface. When you reach this stage, this is the checklist for designing an app.
15. Do you have the wireframe ready?
16. Have you decided on the App orientation? Landscape or Portrait?
17. Does the app easily transitions from one orientation to another?
18. Have you finalized your benchmarks?
19. Have you worked on the transition between screens?
20. Are the call to action button standing out from other elements?
21. Are the design elements in line with the culture of the region the app is in?
Until now you must have got a clear idea of what your app would look like and where. Beyond this point, we will now see who and how would convert this concept into a functioning app that would be used by the world. And what all would follow your app after it has been developed.
This is where your app transforms from an idea into an app that would soon be available on millions of devices. Every concept that you had envisioned up until now will start taking shape here. Here is your checklist for a successful mobile app development
22. Are you making the app in house?
23. Are you hiring a sound mobile app development company?
24. If hiring, is the company in your region or based internationally?
25. If making in-house, do you have a team and expertise?
26. Do you have a cost range set for your app development process?
27. Do you know how much time would it take to develop the app?
28. Have you settled on the development process? Iterative, Agile or Waterfall
29. Have you paid attention to your app’s backend development?
Once you have settled on the decision whether to develop an app in house or employ an external agency, the next step is to make a checklist to measure its performance. This is what you need the answers to
30. Do you know how the app behaves in case of special events like low battery, less network coverage, Airplane mode, less storage?
31. Does the app has a web service?
32. Does the app have a server side component?
33. Does the app have scope to be scalable vertically or horizontally?
34. Do you get notification of app crashes in real time?
If there is one part of your app that can make users look beyond the performance and design and everything material, it is concrete security. Our industry is full of examples of data breach and security lags. It goes without saying that your app should not be the next example of an app that could have been made secure.
While any experienced app development company would know of the concrete ways to make an app secure, Here’s what to check from your behalf –
35. Do you have secure sockets layer incorporated in the project?
36. Does your app has two point user authentication in place?
37. Do you have control on who would have an access to your app?
38. Will there be sub-admins?
39. Does your app comply to industry security standards, like HIPAA or PCI DSS
40. Is your payment gateway integration done right?
Nearing the end stages of the app development process, testing comes into the picture. At this stage, you measure the outcome of your app development process with what you had envisioned before it all started.
Are your target users interacting with the app as you meant them to? Is it behaving like you want it? Are there any bugs and misses? You will get an answer to all these questions at this stage. Let’s see the points that you will be checking off at this stage –
41. Is your app performing same on different device and OS versions?
42. Are you testing your app on your tech team?
43. Are you testing your app on real, non-technical users?
44. Have you checked your mobile app Localization strategy?
45. Is your app ready for the next device update?
46. Is your app ready to be scaled to the next OS Update?
47. Do you have a test plan in place with tests like QC testing, Unit testing, and User Acceptance Testing?
In continuation to this, here are the things that you need to consider when testing your mobile app.
With this, you have the complete checklist for developing a mobile app. But there is one element that is still left to be worked on and that is your app brand. All these elements will fail to deliver if your app is not able to entice your target segment into using your app.
Here is the branding checklist of a successful app –
These are the elements that would define your brand impression and attract people to install your app among the sea of thousand other apps. Here’s what should be perfect in your app, before you publish it in the Apple or Google Play Store
48. Does your App icon follows the app store guidelines?
49. Are your App images are clear and contextually right?
50. Is your App Store Optimization done right? (More on this, here)
51. Are you sure your App name is not taken, unique, not unheard?
52. Have you added real screenshots in the app description?
53. Have you added tutorial videos on how to use the app?
54. Have you crossed over the various multilingual app challenges?
A quick recap:
Till now, we have seen all the elements that you will have to check pertaining to the different stages of App development process. Now, we will see how to shortlist a company out of the thousands of app development agencies in the world.
While, the internet is full of articles and guides related to this, here is a quick digestible checklist for you to finalize a brand, sooner.
Finalizing a company
If after reading through it all, you’re unsure of how you would finalize a company that can be given the responsibility to handle not just these but many other related tasks in the long run, don’t be unsure any more.
Here is a checklist to help you with the selection and finalization process.
55. Are they present on the app development companies’ review and rating sites like Clutch, Appfutura, Extract etc?
56. Are they in your time zone?
57. Are they based out of some other location?
58. Have they worked with Start-ups before?
59. Do they have experience in platform your app is based on?
60. Have they worked with the features that are to be included in your app?
61. Do they offer designing services or just the development?
62. Do you know of the team size?
63. Will they communicate with you on your mode? Skype, phone, email etc.?
64. Will there be a common report to track performance?
65. Do they follow your style of the development process?
66. Do they submit apps in the store? [If not, here’s how to submit app to Google Play Store]
67. Do they outsource any part of app development?
68. Do they take full payment upfront?
69. Do they take payment stage wise?
Mobile App Metrics
Even after it’s all done and your app has been made live on the app store, the crucial part of analyzing how the app is performing remains. There are number of standards that your app will have to fulfill before being validated as the top ranking app in the charts.
Here are the questions that you have to prepare your app to answer –
70. What is the number of your app downloads?
71. How many new visitors are on your app?
72. How many active users are there on your app any given point of time?
73. What is the average session interval of your app? The time gap between when user opens an app and when he starts using it?
74. Do you know of the time users are spending on your app?
75. Do you know at what stage are they leaving your app?
76. Are you able to calculate the Lifetime Value of a user?
77. Do you know how many people are your app able to convert in buyers?
78. Are you tracking the app store ratings and reviews daily?
79. Have you fixed a time for support response?