App Design and Development: The Creation Process
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There is a process in creating a mobile application. So how does the app design and development happen? It really starts with knowing the audience.
With millions of apps in the market, how do you make one that people will purchase and devote to? Now that’s the question many are asking. The process of creating a mobile app doesn’t start at the development stage. It’s like a movie: there is a pre-production and the filming process. When the director says cut, the movie isn’t done. There is still a post-production process to complete the film.
The app design and development is certainly not a 1-2-3 kind of thing. There are so many things involved. So let’s get on with it! Pre-development
Since we already used moviemaking as a similar process, let’s start with the pre-development process. In order for a movie to be made, there should be a story. Similarly, creating a mobile follows a story.
Let’s take a look at the most popular apps this year. The top three most popular mobile apps are WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger. So what’s the story there? It’s pretty consistent across all three: connectivity.
The story there is that people want to connect with friends and families. WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger all foster connectivity. WhatsApp and Messenger are pretty straightforward digital products that allow people to communicate. Facebook does more by allowing people to share their own stories and connecting with people through those stories.
With app design and development, we can also start with a story. What story do you want to share through an app? Better yet, what stories do people want to know?
Sometimes, in movies, producers take a change with creating a film that has no guarantee people will actually watch. They call it the independent route. That’s the path that people take when they just want to share their creativity to the world, no matter what the cost and the risk.
Let’s not do an independent mobile application though. When we create, there should be a perfect balance between creativity and caving to what people actually want.
If that’s clear to you, then you start creating the story—let’s now call it the concept. Now, this concept needs to go to the drawing board. Since this is about technology, the drawing board is more than just an art presentation.
You know what you should do? Create a mockup of the concept for easier app design and development. So the mockup is a design showcase where you use technology to showcase your mobile app concept. This way, the concept becomes realistic.
With a mockup demonstrating the mobile application as if it’s already the real deal, it would be easier for those tasked at developing the digital product.
By the way, you can use the same process when trying to create a website application design. Actual app design and development
Just because you already have a prototype of the digital product, it doesn’t mean that it would be exactly what you should create. Presentation is just a way to put it out there. When in actual development, this is when you discuss what part of the mockup design makes the cut and what should be evolved.
A mockup is like a rough draft—it is rough. You have to make a way to make things better and more user-friendly. You have to adapt to what people would actually want and need. During the development stage, the details would have to be hashed out. One such detail is the target market.
Let’s talk about Facebook. Did you know that the original target market were college students—specifically Harvard students? That’s how specific your target market should be. Eventually, it becomes an app for everybody.
This doesn’t mean that you should alienate the other audience segments. What you have to do is zero in on the target audience when you create the mobile app and make sure that other societal sectors will not be alienated from the mobile app. Let’s be more specific: Let’s say you create a mobile app that will target women. But during the process, you have to make sure that just because it is a women-centered app, it doesn’t mean that men, gays, lesbians and all the other genders won’t be able to use it.
That’s what you do during app development. You make sure you target your audience while also exuding an aura of inclusivity.
The process of creation also involves a lot of hits and misses. You should be ready for that. When you create a concept, everything flows easily. But technology is different. There are so many aspects of it that you have to understand and adapt to.
Two important design principles that should be included in the development process are the UI and UX. These are two essential aspects that would really drive the audience to the mobile app. The UI tackles the neatness of the layout. People should not be confused when they see your mobile app for the first time. They should know what to do and where to go. And if transitions are smooth and easy, then you know that the UX design is tops. UX refers to user experience so that would affect maneuverability of the digital product.
There is also this thing: satisfaction. Are users of your app going to be satisfied when they purchase your digital product? This is crucial so you have to think of some payoff. With WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, the payoff is quite obvious: connectivity and communication. They bring people closer together. Post-app design and development
So the mobile app has been developed, what now? Are you done? Absolutely not! You have to make sure that the mobile app works real well when in actual use. You have to allow a number of people to test the mobile app. More importantly, you need these people to tell you the truth about the mobile app—what’s good about it and what’s bad about it?
You don’t launch a product without tests. Even movies go through that. They allow some experts from the production company to critique the film and change what doesn’t work with it. There was this movie, “Sonic the Hedgehog,” released early this year. In late 2018, a teaser of the movie was released and people were horrified by Sonic’s teeth. The studio listened and changed Sonic’s teeth, which led to the delayed release of the film. But you know what? The film was a success!
The lesson here is that you have to let people tell you when the app is bad.