Before creating your app development process, it’s essential to be organized and approach your process systematically, with each development phase bringing you closer to launching your app on the Shopify App Store.
This article is a quick guide for anyone who wants to follow a solid process when creating a new product.
Phase 1: Product Discovery and Product Strategy
If you have an idea for an app, it’s important to validate that idea before you start building. There are a few key things to consider:
- What need does your app address?
- Who is your target market?
- Why would someone use your app?
Answering these questions will help you determine whether your app idea is worth pursuing. If you can’t answer them satisfactorily, it’s likely that your app won’t be successful.
Product discovery is essential to building the right solution for your end-users. By understanding their needs, you can prioritize the features that matter most to them. Creating a product strategy helps keep your business goals top of mind as you transform your app idea into a final product.
Identify Your Target Audience
User research is essential in designing a product that will appeal to your target users. By understanding the demographics, motivations, behavior patterns, and goals of your target users, you can create a product that they will love. User research can be conducted in a number of ways, including interviews, surveys, focus groups, and user testing. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
Conduct Market Research
Market research will tell you the actual demand or interest of the market. It answers the question ‘What kind of problems do your potential users have?’ and ‘How can you help them?’
Define Success Criteria
When it comes to developing new products or features for your app, it’s important to have a clear business goal in mind. This will help you focus your development efforts and make it easier to evaluate the success of your finished product.
One way to identify and define these goals is to track key performance indicators (KPIs). This data can be gathered by interviewing stakeholders and tracking app metrics after launch. By doing this, you can get a better sense of which areas need improvement and where your app is succeeding.
Tracking the right KPIs will give you valuable insights into how your app is performing and whether it is meeting your business goals. By monitoring these metrics, you can make necessary changes to ensure that your app is successful.
Phase 2: Planning your Design and Build Process
It’s common to want to include every possible feature in your product or app. But it’s important to stay focused on the things you need to include vs. the things you want to have. Good planning ahead of time will make it easier to shape your idea before you start the build phase of your app development process.
Phase 3: Exploring Ideation to Address Project Goals
The ideation phase is a time when a product team explores creative ideas that address the project goals. During this phase, it’s critical to find a design direction that a team will follow in the later stages of the development process.
User Journey Mapping
The first step of your app design process is to determine how the content and features will be provided to the user. A user journey map is a tool that will help you by visualizing the user flow through your app. Typically, it’s presented as a series of steps in which a person interacts with a product. By understanding the user journey, you can identify areas where users may have difficulty or get lost, and make changes to improve the overall experience. Creating a user journey map is quick and easy, and it can be a valuable addition to your design toolkit.
A user story is a simple description of something that the user wants to accomplish using a product. When designing a product, avoid adding any feature without a user story that explains why that particular feature matters.
Phase 4: Design and Development
Design is a key step in the app development process because the design isn’t just about how your app looks, but it’s about how it works for end-users. The app that offers a great user experience is more likely to succeed.
Sketching and Wireframing
When it comes to creating actual screens, in most cases designers begin to create sketches with a pen that satisfies a product vision, and the product team moves to the next phase: wireframing – a digital form of sketches or mockups that demonstrate individual pages’ visual structure.
The product’s first impression is based on its visual elements: typography, colors, shapes, textures, and animated effects. It’s essential to apply this language consistently across your product.
A team should invest time in creating a style guide—a document that becomes a single source of truth for both designers and developers. This document contains design standards such as colors, typography, and icons that you plan to use in your product.
Prototypes are used for simulating user interactions with a product. You start with low-fidelity prototypes created from wireframes (so-called “clickable” wireframes) and move towards high-fidelity prototypes that look and work almost like a finished product.
During this phase, a product team should define the technical architecture and select a technology stack. If you’re developing an app on Shopify, you can use any language or framework you prefer to work with because the platform is language agnostic. Most app development projects require back-end and front-end development.
Phase 5: Testing
The testing phase helps to ensure that your product is functional, reliable, usable, and enjoyable. You’ll need to focus on functional and non-functional testing.
Phase 6: Post-Launch Activities
Once your app goes live, you need to collect feedback from your users and invest time and effort in creating a better UX for them. Not only will this help you improve your user experience, but it will also help you to gauge whether your app will ultimately be successful.
Build an App Development Process That Works For You
Successful products have one thing in common: they offer the right features and the right user experience for the right people.
If you are planning to Shopify apps for custom products, you can visit vtlabs and contact our experts that will not only help you to create an app , but also ensure a successful launch of your app.