You might have a brilliantly running business and now wanting to go online, but unsure whether to check the app development checklist fields by yourself or acquire assistance from a professional development agency. Here’s your guide to help you with your first app development project.
Your complete app development checklist
If you’re running a business and have reached a peak you no longer able to cross, it is time to consider top digital solutions for a sound online presence.
Opting for a mobile app for your business can pay off big time in terms of diversifying customer engagement channels, increased revenue streams, and a better user experience.
You might’ve created a top B2B content marketing strategy and a convincing app concept, but there are a number of considerations that you need to answer before ticking all the check boxes.
The discovery phase
Also termed as the ideation phase, in this stage the app concept is produced through a series of steps to ensure its demand and viability in the market.
The company conducts a detailed market and competitor analysis to see if they have the target audience, and associated problem solving input to survive in the industry.
So how do you validate your mobile app idea?
If you have hired a professional development agency, it is their job to validate your app concept through the following items in the checklist.
- Who is your target audience (demographics, online habits, channels they use, competitor preferences, etc.)
- What is your problem solving statement? What solution does your app intends to provide to your users?
- How will you accomplish your business objectives through your app?
- What direct competitors you have in the market?
- How did you examine your competitors’ performance?
- How do you plan to monetize your mobile app?
The above questions give you a holistic idea on your market standpoint, business objective, and the roadmap you have set from the development phase to the post launch.
Related content: CMOLDS Guide on How to Create an App Concept for Your Startup
After the client is done understanding the preliminary considerations of his/her project, it’s time to examine the technical aspects, or features, of their app.
In this phase you get to know what features will be incorporated in the tool. Here are the questions to determine the basic structure of your tool.
- Which platform will your app run on (iOS, Android, or both)?
- What are the core (must have), optional (could have), and value-added (future value) features of your app (based on customer needs and preferences, business value, and future potential in the market)?
- Do you need a cloud infrastructure for your tool?
Do note that both iOS and Android development comes with their own requirements, technical expertise, development hours, costing, and other relevant minutiae.
Hence, choosing your development platform and associated features is important. Neither you want to overcommit or understate your business tool and end up composing your users’ core needs and eventual user experience.
After penning down the features and preferred platform of your app, we’ll now acknowledge the user interface details. An exercise that requires a keen aesthetic sense on how users visually perceive and associate your tool with.
During the design stage, you get to play creative and experiment how best to design the screens and overall feel of the app.
- How will your app’s orientation, or welcome screen, look like?
- How adaptive, or ease in navigation, is your app from screen to screen?
- What are the placement and designs of your CTA buttons?
- How well are the UI elements, color themes, visuals, etc. aligned with the overall culture and environment of your business?
Finally, the phase to do the actual execution and transform your app idea into reality. However, prior to the development, you decide whether you need to create the app yourself or outsource the project to an external service provider.
- Do you plan to build your app by an in-house team, hire a freelance developer, or a professional agency? (depending on your project scope, timelines, and budget)
- If you’re hiring an app development company, have you shortlisted the names?
- If you’re developing in-house, do you have a dedicated team of a project manager, designers, developers, QA testers, and marketing personnel?
- What is your budget? (have you estimated your app development cost)
- What is your timeline distribution throughout the development? When do you plan to launch?
- What will be the development process? (waterfall, iterative, or agile)
It doesn’t matter if you create an app in-house, or hire a freelance developer or a professional development agency, there are certain performance metrics that you’ll study to gauge your app’s capability and workability in the market.
- How does your app behave during the phone’s low battery, airplane mode, less network zones, and less storage capacity?
- Will your app provide any kind of web-based service?
- Will your app employ a server-based component?
- Is your app horizontally or vertically scalable?
- Do you get real-time notifications when the app crashes?
Easily, one of the most important items in your app development checklist, not only for development, but also for your app’s success in the long run.
Given the data breach and security lags cases reported in massive numbers worldwide each year, the rise of technology and digital media has made it equally important to adopt strict measures to protect everyone’s personal data.
The case with mobile app development is no different! Your app’s design, development and performance can be further enhanced through powerful security protocols.
- Is your application’s socket layer protected?
- Have you installed the two-point user authentication?
- How much control you have over the users who could access your app?
- How many sub-admins (if any) are there?
- Does your tool comply with all the industry’s security standards and guidelines (HIPAA, PCI DSS)?
- Is the mobile payment gateway feature secure?
QA testing and documentation
Now that your app is designed and developed, you need to pass it through rigorous QA testing and documentation rounds before the launch.
Quality assurance and testing is done to see if there are any usability, functionality, and performance glitches in the tool. All the bug fixes and pending issues are catered in this stage before declaring it a pass.
Once you’re done with a detailed testing, the tool will be now 100% optimized and up and running for the end users.
- Is the app working seamlessly and efficiently across all major mobile phones and operating systems?
- Will the app be tested on actual, non-technical users from your target audience, or internally within your organization?
- Does your app have a localization strategy in place (adapting to a particular market and its culture)?
- How do you plan to conduct QC testing, UA testing, and unit testing?
- What is the scalability of your app, in case it requires running through the next OS update?
Marketing your app
Lastly, the launch and marketing part of your product. Apparently, branding is an exciting, yet challenging prospect where everything you did from the start shall now come to a make or break point.
Reaching your target audience in the App Store or Google Play, or both, is just one of the many things you need to be concerned for.
- Is your app adhering to all the publishing and advertising guidelines laid in the app stores?
- Are the in-app images and animations clear and contextually correct?
- Is your app name unique, catchy, and easy to remember?
- Has your app been optimized according to the ASO rulebook?
- Are you providing a usage video tutorial to your audience?
- Have you added the multilingual feature in the app to cater different regions?
- Are you entering the market at the right time, with the right strategy?
This marks the completion of your mobile app development checklist for your business.
Yes, having an app idea or concept is great, but all the above questions in your checklist should be well-thought and checked before you proceed onto the next stage.
If confused, you can always consult Mr. Hady Shaikh, our own Product Strategist at CMOLDS and get all your resources, concepts, challenges, and deliverables in place before signing off for your project.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.