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Mobile apps have become a crucial part of modern business strategies. As consumers increasingly rely on their mobile devices to shop, communicate, and perform various tasks, companies have recognized the need to develop apps to meet their customers’ needs. However, building a mobile app can be a complex process that requires a considerable amount of time and resources. In this article, I will outline the timeline to build an average mobile app and discuss the various phases involved.
Before any development work begins, it is essential to lay the groundwork for the project’s success. During this phase, the development team will typically undertake several activities, including market research, ideation, wireframing, and prototyping.
Market research is the first step in the pre-development phase. This activity is crucial as it helps the development team understand the target market and the specific needs of the app’s potential users. Market research involves analyzing user behavior, understanding the competition, and identifying potential opportunities and threats in the market.
At Twin Sun, we value building excellent software that meets our clients’ needs and exceeds expectations. We seek to understand your goals and propose solutions to achieve those goals. The duration of market research can vary depending on the scope of the project.
The ideation phase involves brainstorming and generating ideas for the app’s design and functionality. During this phase, the team will often collaborate with the project stakeholders to gather their ideas and insights. This will help create a solid foundation for the app’s design and features. Ideation typically takes 1-2 weeks depending on the number of stakeholders involved and the complexity of the project.
Wireframing is a critical activity that helps the development team create the app’s basic layout and design. This activity involves creating a visual representation of the app’s interface without including any design elements or graphics. Wireframing helps the team understand how the different components of the app will fit together and how the users will interact with the app. We design user flows that map the path users will take through your app. The guided path drives engagement and attains your goals.
This process can vary depending on the app’s complexity and the number of screens that need to be designed. However, a complete wireframe with mapped user flows can typically be built within 2 weeks.
Prototyping is the final activity in the pre-development phase. This activity involves creating a working model of the app to test its usability and functionality, complete with high design. Prototyping helps the development team identify any design flaws or technical issues before the app enters the development phase.
Like wireframing, the duration of prototyping can vary depending on the app’s complexity and the number of features that need to be tested. Typically this phase of design takes 3-4 weeks. We recommend completing design on a few initial screens and moving into an iterative design process alongside development. This reduces the overall calendar time of your mobile app development effort and makes the design process more collaborative as you test out developed features in your app.
Once the pre-development phase is complete, the development phase of the app development timeline can begin. This phase involves coding and testing.
Coding is the most time-consuming activity in the development phase. This activity involves writing the code that makes up the app’s functionality. The coding process can vary depending on the app’s complexity and the development methodology used. For example, using Agile methodology can significantly reduce the coding time as it involves breaking the project into smaller sprints, making it easier to manage.
The duration of the coding phase can vary depending on the app’s complexity, the number of features, and the development methodology used. A typical project takes 3-4 months on average to go from design to public release.
Testing is an essential activity in the development phase. This activity involves identifying and resolving any bugs or technical issues in the app’s functionality. Testing helps ensure that the app is user-friendly, reliable, and meets the project requirements.
The duration of testing can vary depending on the app’s complexity and the number of features that need to be tested. At Twin Sun, we take advantage of several types of testing, including automated testing, throughout the development of the app. This ensures the code works properly even after changes are made.
We also do beta testing where we work with clients to try out the app with a test group. This gives us actionable feedback on how users interact with the app and allows us to make improvements based on the feedback. This process generally takes 2-4 weeks to complete.
Once the development phase is complete, the production phase can begin. This phase involves deploying the app, maintaining it, and updating it.
Deployment is the first activity in the production phase. This activity involves releasing the app to the app store or distributing it to the target audience. Deployment ensures that the app is available to the users and can be downloaded and installed. Deployment typically takes 1-2 weeks, most of which is dedicated to seeking app store review and approval.
Maintenance and Updates
Maintenance is an ongoing activity that involves ensuring the app’s functionality and resolving any technical issues that arise. Maintenance helps ensure that the app remains reliable, secure, and user-friendly.
Updates are essential to keep the app relevant and up-to-date with the latest technology and user trends. Updates involve adding new features, improving the existing functionality, and resolving any technical issues.
Average Mobile App Development Timeline
Based on the activities and timelines discussed above, the estimated timeline can vary depending on the app’s complexity, the number of features, and the development methodology used.
Factors Affecting the Timeline
Several factors can affect the timeline to build an average mobile app, including:
- Complexity: The more complex the app, the longer it will take to develop and test.
- Number of features: The more features the app has, the longer it will take to develop and test.
- Development methodology: Agile methodology can significantly reduce the development time as it involves breaking the project into smaller sprints, making it easier to manage.
- Team experience: The more experienced the development team, the more efficiently they can complete the project.
- Code base: If there’s an existing code base left over from a previous developer, we can determine the best course of action for the app with a code review.
Meeting Your Mobile App Development Timeline
Building an average mobile app can be a complex and time-consuming process. The timeline to build a polished mobile app can range from six to twelve months, depending on the app’s complexity, the number of features, and the development methodology used. Knowing what goes into an app development timeline can give you an idea of how to perfect your mobile app budget.
However, understanding the timeline and the various phases involved can help companies plan and execute their mobile app development projects efficiently. If you want information specific to your app idea, feel free to contact us and we can create a timeline and approach tailored to your needs.