The whole enterprise of building, mobile device testing, and launching a mobile application to the market is a much-required endeavor in today’s scenario. According to statistical data, there have been more than 105.3 billion unique app downloads in 2018 alone. And with the increase in the number of connected devices, the need for app development also increases:- testing a mobile application
Developing these apps isn’t the hurdle-filled path that many take, as once you create an understanding of the primary tasks to be done and the time which should be required to do them, it becomes a cakewalk. To address ‘how long does it take to make an app?’ The short and frankly unhelpful answer will be longer than your expectations, but not so long that you might have to abandon the project. The usual answer people get is 3-6 months, but this is an average estimation that cannot be constant for all different projects.
Another way of thinking about it is through the lens of type and detail- the bigger and more complex the app, the more will be the time required. In contrast, a simple app has less than ten screens and straightforward coding logic. Complex apps usually include more than ten screens, complex coding requirements, notifications, attached gestures, big data processing, in-app purchases, in-app advertising, multiple device sync, and online or offline data support.
Phases of app development and the time required for each
Despite these differences in complexity and design, the basic steps of app development remain the same. Planning specifications beforehand, doing research, and using mobile testing devices rigorously are standard best practices for all app development procedures. The primary phases of a typical project would include research, specifications and design, app architecture and design, and testing and finalizing.
Idea formulation and research stage
The first 2-3 weeks of the project are entirely taken up by the ideation phase, where the idea perfect for you is decided upon. At this stage, app stores are scoured, research into audience demands is done, and competitor analyses are conducted. Plug-in keywords and see what your play store shows you. This will help you figure out what your brand’s unique features should be so that you can stand out.
At the time of completion of this stage, you should have:
1.Minimum Viable Product (MVP): This has the basic stuff your app needs to do. It covers all the things which the initial users are looking for. It doesn’t consider the additional features which aren’t essential for a launch.
2.User stories: This shows how your app will be used by the user and to what end. It must also outline the user journey through navigation paths and describe the end goal.
Design specifications stage- testing a mobile application
The design stage is the most critical one. For applications, the look and feel of it are of utmost importance. It takes a longer time, of about 2-4 weeks, to get the more minor details refined. Of course, this time can be much less than four weeks if the application is not complex. Some aspects to consider at this stage are as follows:
- What the application seems to accomplish, and what are its requirements?
- How will the app work with existing websites?
- Will the app integrate with the platform on which it exists, or is it functional as a stand-alone?
- How will the app overcome potential operational and navigational issues?
- How to go about documenting the details of each feature so that revisions become possible at later stages?
- Are there feature updates planned for the future?
Architecture and development stage
To break it down, the architecture includes the User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), Frontend, and Backend development. This is indeed one of the most technical parts of the process and can take up to 6 months.
Usually, this is what the average app development time is for the mentioned percentage of apps, yet one cannot say with definitive conviction that this reflects the particular reality of every company.
- UI and UX– With the help of Graphic designers, a visually appealing user interface is created. It pertains to the development of what the users will face when they are using the app, and thus, making it stand out among hundreds of its kind is a concern they keep in mind. If the designers have information from your user research and your particular preferences, it becomes easier for them to design a satisfactory user experience. Creating user personas, using case stories, and keeping user journeys in mind can be very helpful for developing an excellent user experience.
- Backend – this is the code that makes the app function and requires programming, taking the longest time. Writing codes while also using mobile testing tools to check them for bugs along the way is a complex and time-consuming process. More people need to be hired sometimes to assist the developer(s). It is non-negotiable that the code structure is sound- if the codebase has flaws, then the whole infrastructure could collapse, like a building or a piece of furniture, hastily put together.
Testing and finalizing stage
Before launching any application, checking them with the help of mobile testing tools is of the utmost importance. It is only after a series of usability, functionality tests, and debugging efforts that the app can go for beta testing. The release still happens later. A window of 3-6 weeks is allotted to the mobile device testing and finalizing phase, depending on the nature and size of the app.
Every element of the backend, frontend, UI, and UX is tested separately. Then all the components are tested together as a unit to see if everything works harmoniously. This further shows if the app can handle multiple users simultaneously or not.
Loading and performance testing is carried out because there is no room for error or time lag when facing the end-users. The users generally uninstall applications when they seem slow and don’t perform as expected. It is crucial to test on the correct devices or emulators to ensure that it reflects your users’ experience exactly.
The stages mentioned above discuss the time required to ideate, create, design, and launch an app, but it doesn’t detail that the work is not done even after all of this is achieved. Post-launch, a mobile testing company, should continue improving and providing post-launch support for an undetermined time.
To be precise, there can be no fit-all time window given to the whole process of app development. Customizing the look, feel, and functionality of each element of an app makes the process detail-oriented and is thus not uniform. The coding needs vary when the application size, amount of predicted end users, the purpose it serves, and consequently, the time.