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App Design Process Workflow

App Design Process: 9 Necessary Phases

Taru M. Taru M.
Published: 13 Aug, 2022

As a business owner, you’re always investigating how to stay ahead of the competition and make your business more successful. One way to do this is to create a mobile app for your business. According to Serpwatch, mobile apps could generate over $935 billion in revenue by 2023. Isn’t that impressive? It can help you reach a wider audience since many people use their smartphones and tablets to access the internet. A study by App Annie found that an average person spent 4.8 hours a day on their mobile phone last year, which is a 30% increase in screen time from 2019. Social, photo, and video apps like TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube were the most popular mobile apps.

Developing a mobile app can help you boost sales and improve user experience. You can use your app to promote special deals and offers and make it easy for customers to purchase your products or services.

There are several phases and steps within the app design process. In this blog, you’ll learn about the types of mobile applications, developing app design strategies, and tips to design spectacular apps.

What is a Mobile Application?

A mobile application or a mobile app is a software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablet, or watch. We have mobile apps practically for almost everything – social networking, dating, note making, news aggregation, movies. The technology is so mature that there are commendable diabetes monitoring apps, autism apps, meditation apps, etc.

The app design process starts with an idea and moves to detailed planning, design, and development of the app. The app design process is key to creating a successful mobile app.

Types Of Mobile Apps

There are three main types of mobile applications: native apps, hybrid apps, and PWA apps. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your project is essential.

Native Apps

Native apps are developed specifically for one platform, either iOS or Android. They are usually written in the platform’s native language, such as Swift for iOS or Java for Android. Native apps have access to all the platform’s features to take advantage of the latest technologies. Native apps offer more excellent performance and provide a more immersive experience than web-based apps.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are developed using web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They are usually written in a language that can be compiled to the native language of the platform, such as TypeScript for iOS or Kotlin for Android. Hybrid apps have access to native hardware and software features, but it is not simple to implement them compared to native app development.

Complement with our blog – Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform to better understand the pros and cons.

PWA Apps

PWA apps are web applications designed to work offline and be responsive on any device. They are written in web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. PWA apps are not installed on the device but can be added to the home screen and work offline. Web-based apps can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, but they lack the performance native apps offer. This is due to various factors, including the underlying software packages.

When choosing a type of app for your project, it’s essential to consider your goals and the capabilities of each platform. Native apps offer the best performance and access to platform features, but they are more expensive to develop. Hybrid apps are a good compromise between price and performance, but they may not have all the features of a native app. PWA apps are the least expensive to develop, but they may not have all the features of a native app.

Complement with our blog – Progressive Web Apps: Top Examples

Mobile App Design Strategy

In this section, we will discuss how to go about the process of developing a mobile app.

Create A Concept

When it comes to mobile app design, there are endless possibilities. You can use technologies like facial recognition for look-alike apps or build EV charging apps with the open source OCPP protocol. But to create a truly successful and impactful app, you need to start with a strong concept. The concept is the foundation of your app, so it’s essential to take the time to develop a well-thought-out and original idea. To do this, you need to understand your users and what they want and need from an app. Once you understand your target audience, you can begin brainstorming ideas for your app.

Remember that a great concept isn’t just about coming up with a new idea; it’s also about execution. Even the most original and innovative visions can fail if they’re not executed well. So once you have your concept, make sure to spend the time and resources necessary to make it a reality.

Market Research and User Research

We can’t stress enough the importance of conducting market and user research before starting the design and development process. All too often, companies mistake skipping this critical step, resulting in apps that are useless to users or don’t meet their needs.

The market research gives you an understanding of your target market, their needs and wants, and what type of app would be most helpful to them. On the other hand, user research helps you understand how users interact with mobile apps and what type of design and functionality would be most user-friendly.

Investing the time and resources into market research and user research at the beginning of the design process will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. It will also help ensure that your end product is a mobile app that your users will love.

Determine Monetization

There are several ways to monetize apps, and the best strategy depends on the app and the target market. Here are a few of the most common monetization strategies for mobile apps:

  • In-app purchases
  • In-app advertising
  • Subscriptions
  • Pay-per-download
  • Freemium
  • Paymentwall

In-app purchases are one of the most common ways to monetize apps. This can be done through various means, such as offering premium content, features, or functionality; or selling physical or digital goods within the app.

In-app advertising is another common monetization strategy and can be implemented in several ways. Interstitial ads are full-screen advertisements that appear between content, while banner ads are smaller ads that appear on the top or bottom of the screen. Native ads are designed to blend in with the app’s content and are less intrusive than other types of ads.

Subscriptions are yet another way to monetize apps and can be either one-time or recurring. One-time subscriptions are typically for premium content or features, while recurring subscriptions are usually for ongoing access to a service or piece of content.

Pay-per-download is a monetization strategy for apps that offer digital content, such as ebooks, music, or videos. This content is typically behind a paywall, and users can pay to download individual pieces of content or unlock all content at once.

Freemium is a popular monetization strategy that offers a basic version of the app for free, with optional paid upgrades for premium content or features. This allows users to try out the app before deciding whether to upgrade.

Paymentwall is a monetization medium that allows app developers to charge for content and features within their apps. Paymentwall can be used to monetize any app, including games, social networks, and utilities.

Determine the Features you Need

When it comes to mobile app design, there are a few key features that you need to consider. Foremost, you must ensure that your app is responsive and user-friendly. Secondly, you must ensure that it has all the necessary features and functions that users will find useful. Lastly, you must ensure that your app is compatible with all the major platforms.

For example, if you’re creating an app for a restaurant, you’ll need features like a menu, an ordering system, and GPS directions. On the other hand, if you’re creating a game, you’ll need features like graphics, levels, and high scores.

Once you know your app’s purpose, you can start to figure out which features are essential. From there, you can start to design your app and build out its functionality.

Sketch the WireFrame and User Journey

Mobile app design is all about creating the best user experience. The design process starts with a wireframe, which is a basic outline of the app’s screens and features. From there, the user journey is created. This is a map of how the user will interact with the app. The user journey helps to identify what screens need to be designed and what features need to be included. The mobile app design process is about creating an intuitive and user-friendly experience.

There are a few essential things to keep in mind when creating your wireframe:

Keep it simple: The wireframe should be an essential representation of your app’s layout and functionality. There’s no need to add too much detail or get too caught up in the design at this stage.

Focus on the user journey: When wireframing your app, think about how users will interact with it and their overall experience. This will help you map out the most essential elements of your app.

Make it easy to edit: Your wireframe should be easy to change as you continue working on your app’s design. It’s essential to be able to make changes and iterations to your wireframe as your app design evolves.

Design the User Interface

A well-designed UI can distinguish between a successful app and one that fails to find its audience. A few key strategies can help you create a successful UI for your mobile app. First, think about the overall design of your app. What colors, fonts, and layout do you want to use? How can you make your app visually appealing and easy to navigate?

Once you have a general idea of the look and feel of your app, it’s time to focus on the details. What icons and buttons will you use? How will users interact with your app? Make sure to consider the user experience when designing your UI. Finally, the app should be prepared to meet the target audience’s specific needs. It should have the features and functionality that they are looking for. The app should also be designed to work well on the devices that they are using.

A good UX design doesn’t trick and avoids dark patterns to not exploit the user’s attention. It is well documented how social media apps’ design trigger dopamine, thus interfering with our attention and motivation levels.

Test/QA Every Feature and Function Within the App

Testing your app is a vital step in the development process. It ensures that your app is ready for release and that it will function well on different platforms. In this article, we will talk about two types of testing: beta testing and alpha testing.

  • Beta Testing: Beta testing your app means sending it to a small group of users to get feedback before publicly launching it. This type of testing helps you find bugs and errors in the code and problems with design or usability that may not be obvious until they are tested by people unfamiliar with the product. The main advantage of beta testing is that you can make changes to the product before releasing it to a large audience which might lead to more negative reviews or complaints.
  • Alpha Testing: Alpha testing also refers to alpha testing is a technique in software engineering to test a product before the Beta phase. It is typically the first stage in a testing process and consists of testing individual features of the product. These tests aim to identify bugs or software errors as soon as possible to reduce the time and cost of bug fixing. Alpha testing is also called “developer’s testing” because it stresses the application’s ability to handle real-world interactions. Alpha testing is often performed as a last step in the software development process.

Make Your App Available For Download

Deploy your mobile app on the stores that support your app and spend considerable time on app store optimization. This ensures your app follows specific store guidelines and is visible to your target audience.

Design a Marketing Strategy

marketing icon
Designing a marketing strategy for your mobile app can be a daunting task. There are a lot of factors to consider, and the process can be time-consuming. However, if you take the time to plan and execute your strategy carefully, the rewards can be significant.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Define your marketing goals: Before designing your strategy, you must know what you want to achieve. What do you want to achieve? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can start planning your strategy.
  • Research your audience: Who is your target audience? What are their needs and wants? What are their pain points? Knowing your audience is essential to designing an effective marketing strategy.
  • Choose the proper channels: There are a lot of different marketing channels available, so it’s essential to choose the ones that are most effective for your app and your audience. Some tracks include social media, paid advertising, email marketing, and PR.
  • Create compelling content: Your app marketing strategy will only be successful if you have compelling content to share. This means creating high-quality, engaging, and informative blog posts, infographics, videos, etc., that will capture the attention of your target audience.
  • Track your progress: Finally, don’t forget to track your progress and results. This will help you determine what’s working and not, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Take Feedback and Improve

No matter how good your app is, there’s always room for improvement. The best way to find out what users think of your app is to take their feedback and use it to improve the design. The mobile app design process is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to keep up with the latest trends. By and then, new technologies come and disrupt industries. In particular – the impact of augmented reality on fashion.

Our mobile app design process and team’s mindset have been refined over the years to embrace agile methodology. Being in the industry for 18+ years, we know what works! Which is the right technology or just another fad? Contact our mobile app development company and get a free consultation for your amazing app idea.

iOS App Development vs. Android App Development: What’s The Difference?

There’s no denying that iOS and Android are the two most popular mobile operating systems on the market. But what’s the difference between them for app development?

Development environment: iOS apps are developed in Xcode, while Android apps are developed in Android Studio.

Cost: Android app development is typically cheaper than iOS app development. Anyways, estimating app development costs is a complex undertaking. It depends on features, kind of design, development frameworks, etc.

Platform: Android is a more open platform than iOS, meaning there are more devices and form factors to develop for.

Ecosystem: The iOS ecosystem is more tightly controlled, leading to a more consistent user experience.

Fragmentation: Android devices are more fragmented than iOS devices, meaning there are more variations in hardware and software to account for.

Mobile Web App Development Tools

When it comes to mobile app development, there are a few different tools that you can use to get the job done. Here are a few of the most popular options:

  • Android Studio
  • XCode
  • React Native
  • Flutter
  • Ionic
  • Xamarin

For a better understanding of the role of the above frameworks, read our blog: Hybrid Mobile App Development: Top 5 Frameworks in 2022

Development Practices To Ensure High-Performance

Here are a few things to keep in mind for developing high-performance mobile web apps:

Optimize your code for speed: Keep your code clean and well-organized and avoid unnecessary code bloat.

Use a responsive design: To ensure that your app looks great and works well on all devices, regardless of screen size.

Be mindful of image sizes: Large images can slow down your app, so only use necessary pictures and ensure they’re optimized for the web.

Minimize HTTP requests: Each HTTP request your app makes will add to its overall loading time, so only make requests when necessary.

Use caching: Caching can help to speed up your app by storing data locally on the device so that it doesn’t have to be retrieved from the server each time it’s needed.

Content delivery networks: To ensure that your mobile web app is fast and responsive, you must use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN can help reduce latency and improve performance by caching your app’s content and delivering it to users from a closer location. There are many CDNs to choose from, so selecting one that offers good support for mobile devices is essential. For example, some CDNs can compress content to improve loading times on mobile devices.

Tips For Making Mobile Apps Fun and Usable For Humans

Are you looking to make your mobile app more fun and functional for humans? If so, here are a few tips to help you out.

Use Gamification

One way to make your app more fun and usable for humans is to use gamification. This means incorporating gameplay elements into your app to make it more engaging. For example, you could add achievements, leaderboards, and rewards to encourage users to keep using your app.

Make It Visually Appealing

Another way to make your app more fun and usable for humans is to make it visually appealing. This means using eye-catching visuals and graphics to help users interact with your app. Make sure your app is easy on the eyes and uses colors and fonts that are easy to read.

Make It Easy To Use

You also want to make sure your app is easy to use. This means using intuitive design and straightforward navigation. Users should be able to easily find what they’re looking for and get where they need to go. Use simple language and keep instructions short and to the point.

Add Value

Finally, you want to make sure your app adds value for users. This means offering features and content that are truly useful and helpful. Consider what your users need and want, and ensure your app delivers.

By following these tips, companies can make their mobile app more fun and usable for humans.


Mobile apps have become a necessity for most businesses. They provide an opportunity to reach more customers, increase revenue, and make the company more competitive in its industry. Creating a good mobile app can be daunting and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be with the right team of developers and designers. They will advise on the proper technologies – the foremost challenge when starting out the development and features that will solve your user’s needs.

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Taru M. Author :
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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