Mobile app development lifecycle

The six steps you should know to develop an app successfully

Dominik Schmidt


by Dominik Schmidt

Mobile app development lifecycle

Custom mobile apps are gaining momentum, attributed to technological advances and the over-reliance on mobile phones by people worldwide. While mobile phones are making people’s lives easier through the use of utility mobile apps such as online banking, taxi-hailing, ticket booking, online shopping at the touch of a button, mobile apps have also helped businesses earn additional revenues.

Developing a successful app is not a walk in the park. Thousands of applications are created every year, but only a few gain recognition. It requires adequate expertise, and it is a six steps process. Let’s look at each individually.

Concept Ideation

Just like a business, the motivation to develop a mobile app is bridging an already existing gap. However, before you develop any app, you need to ask yourself some key fundamental questions:

  • What’s the target audience?
  • What value or purpose is the app fulfilling?
  • Do your competitors have an app? If yes, how are the users responding to it? What will be the differentiating features?
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • What is the timeline for development?

Although the question might appear design-related, they are also applicable for development. At Fintory, we’re here for that purpose. We’ll help you brainstorm and come up with an executable strategy backed with in-depth research to fulfil your customer needs. Besides, we’ll help you develop an app that has unique features that solve a problem for the target users.

Developing a mobile app is costly and takes at least a couple of months to complete. If you don’t give this first phase the devotion it deserves, it might make the process longer, cost more, or, even worse, come up with an unsuccessful app.

In this phase, your research revolves around identifying;

  • The targeted users
  • The already existing competition
  • What you aim at achieving with the app
  • The platform that the app will belong
  • Development timeframe
  • Marketing strategies
  • Maintenance needs

App design

There are two significant considerations to make in this phase: the app’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). The success or failure of a mobile app greatly depends on these two. The user interface is what the user sees immediately when they open the app. It is the first impression of the app. Therefore, making it appealing to the user is critical. On the other hand, user experience is the feature that makes the interaction of the user and the app more flawless and effortless. The app should be as precise, engaging, and interactive as possible.

Considerations to make in this phase includes:

  • Designing functional and detailed information architecture and workflows.
  • Navigation tools.
  • Style guide
  • Mockups
  • prototypes

Before we start any development, we start with a diligent exploration by creating intuitive mockups that can engage and help the users achieve their goals.

App development

Here, you bring the entire app concept into actual realization. There are several activities involved in this phase. There is coding, preliminary testing, defining the development environment, and developing an installable app. App development activities revolve around coding and establishing an environment with these three integral parts;

  • Back-end/ server technology while coming up with server-side objectives, ensure the app remains compatible with the network and works with other components of the app
  • Application Programming Interface (API): This acts as a link between the app and the back-end server, OS, and other mobile software.
  • Mobile app Front-End
  • This consists of features and layout that the user interacts with and what makes the user experience attractive.

While looking for a mobile app developer, ensure that they’re able to use clean and maintainable code since this is key when you want to upgrade and add other features in the future.

Testing and Quality Assurance

This is an integral phase of app development. It allows the app owner to identify defects and rectify them before launching the app. The process of testing varies according to the technique of development. Some apps will require testing each component of the app independently, while others can be done wholesomely.

There are two types of app testing; functionality testing to ascertain every bit of the app’s functional requirements and performance testing that involves checking capabilities like network usage and touch response. App testing could take a few days or several months until all issues are corrected, and the app is ready for launch.

An application that is not well tested is a recipe for failure. Therefore, this step should never be ignored.


This involves introducing the app to the market. While some people will take the app directly to the app stores, some prefer exposing the app to limited individuals for feedback collection purposes. Depending on the feedback given, the app could undergo some more improvements or get published to the app stores to make it available to the world.

App marketing and maintenance

Put the marketing strategies you designed in the first stage to action. Hire a marketing service agency to reduce the marketing costs. Listen to feedback and make the necessary improvements to the app. Have a maintenance team to help you make modifications in the app to suit the users’ needs.

While developing a successful app is tedious and consumes many resources, the outcome is rewarding when done right. Additionally, the digital world is ever-changing, therefore, building a successful app should not be the end. Continuous optimization and analysis of user behaviour should be done periodically. In any case, this can lead to the development of new features to better improve the app.

If you are looking for a reliable partner to develop a mobile application, do not hesitate to contact us. Together we can have a look at how we can support you best.

Dominik Schmidt

Written by

Dominik Schmidt

Share Article:

You may also like

by Dominik Schmidt - 8 minute read

Native mobile vs. React Native development

Are you planning on building a mobile application, but not sure, which development framework to use? Then read this article, where we cover the pros and cons of both routes.

by Dominik Schmidt - 6 minute read

A brief discussion over MVC as a software design pattern

Software design patterns are important concepts; reusable solutions that will make the building of applications a lot easier. Let’s take a closer look at the MVC-pattern and understand, what makes it so useful.

by Laura Schellen - 6 minute read

How to write good user stories to support app development

Bring your app development process to a new level by implementing excellent user stories