While there are literally tens of thousands of different mobile apps, each designed for a specific purpose or goal, the actual process of developing any mobile app is largely the same.

You can think of this process to create a mobile app as the journey from initial concept to final launch.

Step 1: Ideation

Sometimes, a concept for a great app happens serendipitously – you spot a problem or opportunity, and immediately realize that an app could help. However, for many small businesses and brands, there needs to be an ideation stage, in which ideas are brainstormed and then researched. The very best of those ideas are then analyzed to check for market validation. Find out if you going through the trouble and expense of building the app is actually worth it.

Step 2: Defining Scope

You can think of this step as separating all of the “need-to-have” features from the “nice-to-have features” for the app. This will help in deciding on a general roadmap and timeline for building the app, as well as deciding which mobile platforms (e.g. Android or iOS) are most compatible for the app.

Step 3: Design

At this stage, serious consideration is given to the User Experience (UX) as well as the User Interface (UI). UX and UI designers create wireframes for the app, and map out, step by step, what actually happens for different buttons and features. At the same time, these designers decide on the types of graphics and branding that will be required for the app. The best apps are completely intuitive to use – you don’t need a complex set of instructions to figure out how to achieve certain goals or outcomes.

Step 4: Development

This is the part of the process where all the coding takes place. App developers create a database of information, establish the core logic of the app, and work to turn all the features into reality. At the same time as they are adding new code, they are testing it to avoid any flaws (“bugs”) in the app. Throughout the development process, special QA (quality assurance) testers are brought in to help find and fix bugs.

Step 5: Launch

This is the exciting step when the app actually enters the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. You’ll want to promote this app on your website or social media platform, so you will also receive all the marketing assets and branding materials needed to share this app with others.

Step 6: Maintenance/Growth

One hallmark of the process to develop a mobile app involves a final phase that is dedicated to long-term growth. Focus shifts to tweaking and updating the app, usually based on feedback from the first large group of users. At the same time, you can start to think about adding in features that might have been skipped at the outset, or extending a popular app to other mobile platforms. The goal is to grow the app and create the best possible user experience.

Building an app is part of an orderly process that includes plenty of time for ideation, design, development, and testing. The goal is to develop a mobile app that helps to drive forward the business goals of your organization. Every step is taken to create a mobile app that is integrated with your brand and overall business model, making it very seamless to launch into the broader marketplace.