Almost every business focuses on developing its mobile apps to attract potential customers and increase income. Based on the Statista Digital Market Outlook, revenue from mobile apps will reach about $613 billion by 2025.
However, the app development process is complicated, and the timelines are often unclear. It requires a lot of planning and research, as well as efforts and resources. Plus, the process involves the time needed for a team of developers, designers, and engineers.
So how long does it take to make an app? Let’s find out below.
Which Stages of App Development Take the Most Amount of Time?
App development is a time-consuming process. Many stages need to be completed before the app is ready for release. These stages can vary depending on the type of app, but they usually include the following:
Stage 1. Discovery: understanding the user’s needs and identifying competitors.
Stage 2. Prototyping: creating a rough idea of what the app will look like and how it will work before it goes further into development.
Stage 3. Coding: building the final product in code.
Stage 4. Designing: creating graphics for the app and ensuring it looks aesthetically pleasing to users.
Stage 5. Testing: checking if everything works as intended and fixing bugs.
Stage 6. Maintenance: updating the app for new features and fixing bugs.
On average, the app development timeline can extend to 9 months.
The discovery phase is the first step in the app development process when you visualize the idea, figure out what your app needs to do, and how it should look. Usually, this step takes up to five weeks.
To create a functional and aesthetic solution, the analysis can be broken into three subcategories:
– User discovery. The first interaction with an app, is where users learn about it and decide whether they want to download or use it.
– Engagement. Users start using the app, but there is still more work to be done by the developer to make sure that they stay engaged with the product.
– Retention. Users have started using an app daily, and they are more likely to continue using it in the future.
How Long Does it Take to Research the App Idea?
Once you have a good idea, it’s time to start planning the next steps. It includes researching what apps already exist in your niche and what they are doing right or wrong.
The process of app idea research can take four or five weeks. To determine which idea will work for you, you should answer the questions:
- What are your goals?
- What do you want your app to do?
To understand what people are searching for and what apps are trendy now, you can use tools like App Annie or Google Trends.
How Much Time Do You Need to Validate the Idea?
Validation is the process of checking that an idea or plan will work. This involves brainstorming, research, and other preliminary steps.
The idea validation process is always a tricky one. The time to validate an idea can vary. Usually, it is about three to six weeks long. Some ideas are more complicated and require more time to test.
There are some common mistakes that most people make when they think about validating their ideas. One of them is not understanding the difference between “validation” and “testing”.
To test something means that you put it in front of an audience to see if it works or not.
In case of validation, it means that you have already got your idea ready for the market and just looking for feedback from potential customers.
How Long Does it Take to Create a Product Strategy?
Product strategy is a process that involves planning and designing the product. Also, it includes analyzing market trends and competitors, developing a product roadmap, and creating a marketing strategy.
It takes about three to six weeks to create a product strategy. The process starts with initial market research and ends when the product is launched or when it is no longer relevant.
Time to Prototype the App
The prototypes serve as the foundation for the development of the app. They are developed to test usability and learn how users interact with the app, this information can further be used during the marketing phase of your application.
Also, prototypes are used to test design ideas and determine which features to include in the final product. The time to prototype the app is up to six weeks.
Time for Validating the App Prototype
Every company creates an app prototype, but not all of them validate it. However, gathering data from the app usage to understand the user experience and behavior is important.
The prototype validation process allows identifying whether the app is compatible with other devices and platforms, as well as the operating systems.
It also helps explore the app more efficiently, so developers can make changes and updates promptly.
How Long does it Take to Design and Develop Your App
As of now, companies prefer to build cross-platform apps that are compatible with Android and iOS. In this case, the development time takes six to twelve weeks.
Clear, the time for app building depends on the level of complexity. Also, developers need to determine how many features to include and consider how long it will take to implement these new features.
Time Needed for Product Launch and Deploying to App Stores
Launching a product in the app stores takes a lot of time and effort. This is because it requires extensive testing, building, and deploying.
In addition, the app store requirements and rules are rather strict and you need to optimize your app to the rules.
A lot of companies spend months planning and executing their product launch strategy. However, it would help if you create an effective marketing strategy to inform your target audience about the launch.
3 Tips to Speed Up The App Development Process
The process of app development can be tedious and frustrating. But, there are ways to speed up the development and make it less stressful. Here are some tips to help you.
Keep in Touch with Decision-Makers
The decision-makers are important people who are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a company. So it’s crucial to stay connected with them.
It’s not hard to find decision-makers today as they are always on social media and have their own blogs.
Here are some ways how you can get in touch with them:
– Attend conferences and events that decision-makers usually visit.
– Reach out to them via email.
– Contact their friends and colleagues.
– Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
– Use email marketing tools like MailChimp or AWeber to create automated messages that reach out to decision-makers regularly.
Involve Stakeholders in the Discussion at an Early Stage
To make an app successful, managers must involve stakeholders from the beginning. They need to be on board to provide their answers to the questions:
- What do they think of the idea?
- What would they like to see at the end?
- How would they use the app?
Their feedback will help shape the idea into something more likely to succeed.
Start with an MVP: Focus on Core Moments
The key to success lies in the first moments of a product’s life. To create a successful app and avoid headaches, you should start with an MVP.
The term “MVP” stands for Minimum Viable Product. It is a framework that helps companies create something quickly and test it with customers before investing more time and resources.
It is a great way to validate your idea and learn how your users react to it before investing in the full product.
A common mistake businesses make when starting their development process is the desire to have every possible feature available right away. But this doesn’t seem right at all.
The first version of your app should focus on what matters most – the core features and functions users need to accomplish their tasks.
Sum It Up
The global revenue from mobile app sales increased to more than $318 billion. It is hard to find a person that doesn’t use apps for taxi services, entertainment, delivery, etc.
More and more startups plan to develop their app and want to know how long it takes to make an app.
As highlighted above, the app development timeline is about 6 months. It starts from the discovery phase and ends with product launch and deploying to App Stores.
So to sum it up, building apps for both small and large businesses are well worth the effort with a good development team.