Mobile applications have become an integral part of people’s lives, providing different services: paying bills, finding a convenient restaurant, calling for a taxi, or making social contacts. Due to the rapid evolution of technology and people’s need to have rapid access to different applications they need, the app planning and development for mobile devices has gained momentum.
Making a good application requires a serious dose of planning as well as identifying the target audience and defining a simple and effective workflow, according to the client’s business model.
When developing a mobile application, the first step is to determine the application typology. The software solution may be a local one that runs on a mobile device or a server running solution that provides services through the browser or through a client-server architecture that does not use Web protocols. By nature, mobile applications are small, portable and personal. Issues such as the interface, display size, data entry mode, wireless connection loss, or security are important aspects that need to be considered during the development of the mobile app. Developers who are aware of the differences between personal computers and mobile devices in terms of resources, interface, or computing power typically develop more efficient mobile applications.
When you are in the app planning process, remember to address a set of universal tasks:
- Ensure an acceptable product quality
- Keep a high pace of development
- Ensure application interoperability on most mobile devices
- Analyze and record user actions
The client and the developer must stay in touch during this stage. The client is the one who comes with a list of requirements for the mobile application to be developed. The developer asks for additional information to understand exactly the client’s needs, and then provides solutions and estimates from which the client can choose the one that seems to be the most suitable. The developer must specifically determine the purpose of the project, plan the project resources on phases, determine the total time and budget, as well as the implementation strategy. All this is possible only if the developer gets a good understanding of the client’s business, which will allow them to create user-friendly interfaces, develop certain specifications and create a plan to ensure quality.
Design can also be considered a phase of app planning, because it includes:
- Evaluating the necessary functionalities and determining the features to be created
- Evaluation of alternative approaches to enhance flexibility and scalability
- Selecting the best approach to minimize costs and reduce time
The design phase also includes a series of documents:
- Functionality specifications of what the application will do and how the user interacts with it
- The user interface, which describes how the application looks and the way users will interact with it
- Project specifications that determine the internal structure of the application
- The Quality Assurance Testing Plan, which describes the resource requirements and approaches to be taken to ensure quality
- The project’s chart, which details the duration of the tasks that are part of the project, the order in which they are performed and the completion date.