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Mobile app design: What roadmap should your custom software developers follow?

19th Aug 2016
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Mobile App Design What road map should your custom software developers follow

Mobile application is a highly dynamic field where technologies come and go. But irrespective of which technology you choose to build your mobile app on –  attractive, intuitive and user-friendly design should not be missed out.  You can call 'design' as the principal parameter because this is what distinguishes one app from countless others in the sea.

A well-designed mobile application instantaneously appeals to consumers, communicates company's brand and vision, fulfills target audience expectations and is eloquent and self-explanatory for ease of use.

Most leading custom application development companies recognize the importance of mobile app design. They have a well-defined road map of designing mobile apps. In what lies below is a high-level idea of what this road map consists of:

1. Business analysis/requirement gathering

This is the preliminary stage where mobile application development service providers hold several discovery meetings and sessions with the client to understand their business, the target audience for the app and the intended purpose of the app. Usually, it is during these sessions itself that mobile platform is also determined considering the different markets it is aimed at and different tasks it is supposed to perform.

2. First-level designing

Once the vision regarding the mobile app is clear, things move ahead to the next stage. Designers are involved and are asked to create a few initial rough sketches. Collaborating with the client, revisions and changes are made. Initial sketch at this stage gives great insight to the developers who can determine and anticipate the technical aspects of the mobile application.

3. Building wireframe

Designers use different tools to create a set of wireframes for common areas of the mobile application. This serves as a great way of consolidating the ideation process as wireframes represent the skeletal structure of the mobile application. They make it easier to visualize the structure of the app along with the relationship between the different elements of the mobile application.

Both the parties look at these set of structured drawings to understand how different modules of the app will be interconnected and how will they interact with each other. In spite of lacking color and graphics, wireframes play a key role in defining the structural foundation of the mobile application, making it easier for the developers to evaluate how the app will look and work as a whole and improve the app in the long run.

4. Building prototype

One step ahead of Wireframes lies the task of building the prototype. This is the most crucial process in mobile application development because it  provides a demonstration of what the product will look like before the final version is created. It is amazing because it goes beyond sketching and puts the concept into tangible form, which allows the client and developers to touch the app, experience how it works and offer their inputs.

Tip: Too many cooks spoil the broth – following this proverb,  custom application development companies value and incorporate the feedbacks of only a few. Opinions and reviews of those who  have a clear understanding of the app and its intended objective is only taken into consideration.

5. App designing

Once the prototype is approved and finalized, designers start designing the app.
Both the User Experience (UX) Designer and  User Interface (UI) Designer  work in collaboration to create the interaction architecture and look and feel of the application. How the mobile app gets designed depends on the business concept, application objective and platform chosen. Several rounds of review and modification take place, until a final design is approved.

App development & testing

The designing is complete.  It is now time to build the app. Agile development methodology is used for mobile app development. Reason being the key benefits that it offers such as real-time collaboration, transparency, timely review and quick modification, cost control and speed to market. These benefits in total make it a sure shot success for mobile app development.

Once the app is developed, comes the final stage of testing. Both User Acceptance testing and  BETA testing is done to analyze how well is the app's look and feel appreciated, how easy is the app to work in and whether or not the app’s functions are operating smoothly in a real-world environment.

Mobile app designing – a continuous process

Interestingly, where in a regular scenario designing ends at the release of the application, most of the leading custom software development companies do not follow this practice.

In their opinion mobile application designing is a not a one-time task and just like development, the design cycle also begins anew when the app gets released.  They work as the ongoing software partner of the client and continually improve the design and user interface along with developing the features of the mobile app as per users preferences.

Conclusion

Many mobile apps get built, but only a handful of those achieve success. In order to minimize chances of failure and maximize chances of success, it’s important to choose a custom software development company that adheres to the above road map and do not see mobile application designing as a 'done and dusted' task.

How do you plan to select such a mobile app development service provider? Share your ways below...

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