6 Steps to Developing Your First Mobile Application

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One of the most interesting business trends of the past decade is the explosive growth in mobile applications. Companies of all sizes have decided that mobile apps can help them reach new consumers and secure future growth.

creating-application-photo

Source: avi.com

Businesses who are interested in building their first mobile application should work with either a trusted project manager or QA & testing service to ensure that their software meets end-user needs, is free of bugs and major errors, and that it protects valuable consumer data like social security numbers, banking information, and more.

First-time project managers can improve their odds of success for their first development project by hiring the right team, choosing a trusted security methodology, and soliciting important end-user feedback from the outset. They should also emphasize user design, thoroughly test their app, and ensure that data privacy is a priority throughout the project.

Choose the Right Methodology

The first step in developing a mobile app is selecting an appropriate, trusted security methodology. The two major classes of software development methodologies are linear and flexible. Each approach comes with its own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Linear

Linear approaches to software development have been around since the advent of the first computer. This approach requires software engineers to sequentially move from one step in the process to the next.

By structuring the development project so rigidly, executives who use linear development methodologies ensure that their app will be developed on-time, under-budget, and without major problems.

However, the rigidly-structured nature of this approach means that it is often unsuited for projects that have no clear structure in-mind or that seek to disrupt the market with a novel approach to a common problem. These types of projects require a high degree of flexibility in order to identify a need and create a novel solution.

Flexible

Flexible approaches to software development, best represented by the Agile methodology, focus on giving development teams the freedom necessary to come up with a brand-new solution or to create a product without precedent.

This development methodology is particularly useful for mobile apps since many companies want to build an application but lack end-user input necessary to meet their needs.

However, first-time project managers should avoid this approach. That’s because Agile development can easily cause teams to lose sight of their goals–resulting in cost overruns and missed deadlines.

Build a Strong Development Team

The single-most important step that executives can take to make sure that their first mobile development project is a success is to put together a strong and competent software development team.

This is even more important given the current hiring market. Software engineers in the United States and Global West now have a historically low unemployment rate of just 1.9%. This means that developers have their choice of employers and companies are struggling to attract the quality and amount of tech talent that they need to succeed.

Furthermore, this tech talent crisis is expected to get even worse over the next decade. That’s because the number of tech-related job openings is increasing by 200,000 each year while the number of software engineering graduates is far below that number.

Managers at large tech and Fortune 500 companies with regular development needs should focus on building a solid in-house development team. On the other hand, first-time project managers and small business owners will likely benefit from working with a software outsourcing & QA testing service to hire specialists only as-needed.

Solicit End User Feedback

The only way to make a mobile application that meets end-user needs and is beloved by customers is to solicit end-user feedback early in the process.

The best software development teams will look for this feedback during the design & requirements gathering phases of the project since this input will help determine what the app itself looks like and accomplishes.

Managers should also gather end-user feedback during the development and QA phases as well. This will ensure that the project remains on track and that developers are working on features that consumers actually want and need.

Integrate User Design

User experience and interface design is another important consideration during any software development project, especially in a time when people are valuing the experience they get out of an app on the same level as its features.

Project managers can improve their software’ user experience and design through multidisciplinary development teams. These holistic teams include specialists, like user design experts, in every step of the process. This will ensure that user design and needs are more than an afterthought–they’ll be built into the foundation of the app itself.

Ultimately, using a mobile application should be effortless. Users should be able to open an app for the first time and intuitively navigate the program to accomplish their goals.

Lastly, the app itself should look and feel good. The layout should be clear, use ample blank spaces, and be free of clutter.

Ensure Quality Assurance

It’s crucial to conduct thorough QA testing until the team can be sure that the app meets performance and design specifications, as well as end-user needs.

First-time project managers can increase the quality of their software and their project’s odds of success by testing their mobile applications in a variety of different ways.

Business owners have two options for building their testing team. Those with regular software development needs should consider building out a full-time QA testing team. Alternatively, small business owners who lack a need for a permanent QA group can outsource aspects of the quality assurance process to a trusted partner.

When testing a mobile application, it is important to perform a full suite of QA testing on the product. Managers should include the following QA testing methods in their first mobile app development project:

●       Functional – Used to determine whether the software meets its functional requirements. Does it solve the problem it set out to address?

●       Performance – Makes sure that software is capable of functioning properly under a high workload. Engineers will test for performance bottlenecks that consumers are likely to encounter.

●       Usability – Focuses on testing for user experience and interface design. It ensures that the app is easy for customers to use and that looks appealing.

●       Security – Helps engineers identify cybersecurity flaws in their applications. Ultimately helps to protect valuable consumer data and avoid an embarrassing data breach.

Focus on Data Privacy

Data privacy remains one of the top concerns for executives in all industries. Recent research has found that cybersecurity is the number one “external concern” for American CEOs in 2019 and looking ahead to 2020.

This topic is so important to corporate executives because the number of data breaches is rising every year–with independent experts estimating the total costs of these breaches expected to reach more than $6 trillion per year by 2020.

Businesses who are developing their first mobile applications should first pay special attention to relevant local and national regulations. The newly-drafted General Data Protection Regulations, which govern the European Union, will have a dramatic impact on companies with European customers.

On the other hand, the California Consumer Privacy Act is incredibly important for American businesses.

In order to follow regulations and ensure consumer privacy, companies should adhere to a trusted security methodology, conduct thorough QA testing, and work with experienced cybersecurity consultants.

In Summary

Organizing and supervising a mobile app development process can be an overwhelming experience. It is made even more difficult for first-time project managers, who often struggle to keep their teams focused and their project on-time.

Business owners and first-time project managers can improve their mobile app quality and better meet customer needs by selecting the right software development methodology, hiring an experienced engineering team, and soliciting end-user feedback early on.

Once the project is underway, managers can help their teams succeed by integrating user design considerations into the app, focusing on QA testing, and ensuring data privacy.

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Summary
Title
6 Steps to Developing Your First Mobile Application
Description
One of the most interesting business trends of the past decade is the explosive growth in mobile applications.

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