Mobile applications are becoming more and more popular in today’s world. Gone are the days where we would only use our phones for phone calls or texting. Nowadays, most people rely on their mobile devices for shopping, entertainment, socializing with friends and family, paying bills – basically everything!
As a result of this trend, many companies have recognized the importance of developing a mobile application and since you are reading this, you may be thinking of developing one yourself.
In this post, we will look at the essential skills needed to develop a mobile application. These skills include programming languages, team dynamics and project management. Knowing these skills will help you in your future endeavors in developing a mobile app or any other type of software for that matter. Let’s get started!
What is a mobile application?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the skills you’ll need to develop an app, let me first share with you what mobile apps are and why they’re such a popular topic right now.
A mobile app is a piece of software that acts like any other computer program and can be used to do anything from social networking to playing games. Today, most companies offer a mobile application because it is a more efficient way for customers to interact with the business rather than using their website on a mobile device, which can be inconvenient and difficult to use or navigate.
The reason mobile apps are so widely utilized today is the increasing focus on user experience. As we mentioned earlier, accessing web pages on mobile devices can be problematic because the website is generally not optimized for that type of device.
Mobile apps, on the other hand, can perform actions like sending push notifications, perform actions much faster than a mobile website, offer more customization and make better use of mobile device functions.
Necessary skills to develop a mobile app
Now that you have a better understanding of what mobile apps are and why they are necessary, let’s take a look at the essential skills needed to develop one.
As with any software project, programming is necessary for developing an app. There are many different types of mobile applications and each type uses its own language or set of languages depending on which operating system it is designed for.
Generally, there are three different types of mobile apps:
- Native apps – These are apps that run on a specific operating system and can only be downloaded from the app store associated with said OS. For example, iOS native apps can only be installed using the Apple App Store while Android Native Apps must be downloaded via Google Play.
- Web apps – Web applications can be accessed on any mobile device with a browser and do not require installation. For example, Facebook is an app that is accessed through a mobile browser.
- Hybrid apps – Hybrid applications are a combination of native and web apps that can be accessed using a mobile browser, but also have the ability to run like an app. For example, you may find some restaurants now offer their menu as hybrid apps on their website or in both Apple App Store and Google Play.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single language that can be used to develop an app but rather several languages you need to have in your arsenal when embarking on this journey.
Top mobile app development languages are the following:
- Java – Java was developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems in 1995, but it wasn’t until 1995 when it became an official programming language after being acquired by Oracle Corp. It is a general-purpose computer programming language that can be used to develop native as well as web and hybrid apps.
- Swift – Swift is an open-source language created by Apple for developing both iOS and Mac OS applications. It can be used to develop apps for both iOS and Mac OS operating systems.
- Kotlin – Kotlin is a new programming language that was developed by JetBrains and is now being adopted by Google for Android app development. It can be used to develop both web apps or native mobile applications on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
- Python – Python has been around since 1991. It can be used to develop both web and native mobile apps using the Kivy framework or libraries such as Pyjnius, which allows you to access low-level features of the phone or tablet.
- Ruby – Ruby can be used to develop both web and native mobile apps on Rails framework, but there are some examples of creating Android applications directly.
- Objective-C – This is the standard programming language used to develop native iOS apps. It was originally developed by Brad Cox and Tom Love in the early 1980s.
- HTML 5 – HTML is a markup language that provides the structure of web pages. HTML code can be used to create both web and hybrid apps using frameworks such as jQuery Mobile, Apache Cordova/PhoneGap or Sencha Touch.
- SQL – SQL stands for Structured Query Language and it is one of the most common programming languages in use today. It’s often used to create databases and you can use it to develop both web or native mobile apps.
- C/C++ – Since its initial release, the language has undergone various updates but remains popular in many areas of software development. C++ is a more enhanced version of the language which adds object-oriented features and it’s generally considered to be one of the most popular programming languages in use today.
Mobile UX design
User experience design is the practice of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and app.
It is very important that you invest some time and funds in the UX design process at some point during your application development. This is due to the fact that users who are satisfied with your app and find it intuitive and simple will be more likely to come back and use it again, which translates to increased revenue for you.
Mobile UX Design Skills that are required to create a good app:
- User research – Researching your target audience is key to creating a successful app that can be used by anyone. It’s important that you take the time to identify who will use your application and what their needs are, as well as how they would like it to function in order for them to get the most value out of using it every day.
- Visual communication – Visual communication is the use of images, infographics and icons to convey information that can be used by both designers and developers. It’s important because it will make your app more appealing to users which in turn helps you gain new customers for future projects.
- Wireframing – Wireframes are the blueprints or foundations on which all other app elements are built upon. This means that they need to be designed with the most attention to detail, in order for your project to have a high chance of success.
- Prototyping – Prototypes allow you to test out different ideas before moving into the development stage of your application and it also allows users to see what kind of experience they can expect from using your app.
- Testing – Testing is the final step in which you check your app to see if it meets all of its criteria and goals, as well as ensuring that there are no bugs or errors present within it before launching it on the market for everyone to use.
Effective project management is important for app development. It will help you stay organized and on track with your project timeline.
It’s also important to make sure that everyone involved in the app development process is kept up-to-date about their particular role, as well as what needs to be done next so there are no delays or setbacks at any point during the mobile application development life cycle.
Project management skills that are required to develop an app:
- Team-building – Team building is a process in which members of your team work together in order to establish effective working relationships, as well as gain an understanding of the different strengths and weaknesses you bring to the table. This will make it easier for you to delegate tasks effectively because everyone knows what they are capable of doing without any assistance from others.
- Task delegation – Task delegation is the process by which each member of your team is assigned a particular task in order for it to be completed successfully. It’s important because if tasks aren’t delegated correctly, then work will pile up and cause unnecessary stress on everyone involved with the development project.
- Scheduling – Schedules ensure that tasks are completed on time and within budget. If your project is behind schedule, it may be difficult for you to meet deadlines or milestones which can affect the final outcome of your app development process.
- Risk management – Risk management is a very important part of the project management process. It allows you to identify possible problems before they occur and take steps in order to prevent them from getting out of hand as well as minimize their impacts on your final product.
- Time tracking – Time tracking will allow you to see how much time has been spent on each task which can help you schedule accordingly and allocate resources where they are needed the most.
- Communication – Communication is the foundation of effective project management and teamwork, which means that it’s important to have regular meetings with all team members in order for you to stay on top of your schedule while also making sure everyone knows what their role is within the process. It can be done via email or face-to-face communication.
- KPIs & reporting – Key Performance Indicators are metrics that are used to measure the progress of your app development project which is important because it allows you identify where problems may lie so they can be fixed before moving forward.
Testing and QA
Testing and QA is the final step in which you check your app to see if it meets all of its criteria and goals, as well as ensuring that there are no bugs or errors present within it before launching it on the market for everyone to use.
It is important to not skip this step because it will help you identify any potential problems before they occur, as well make sure that your app is up to par with what the market expects.
Here are some of the top mobile app testing strategies that can help you launch a quality app:
- Compatibility testing – Compatibility testing ensures that your mobile application works with all the major devices and operating systems out there. It’s important because if it doesn’t work properly, then users will get frustrated and leave bad reviews which can affect sales drastically in the future after launching on the market.
- Usability testing – Usability testing ensures that your app is easy to use and navigate for users. If it’s not user-friendly, then you’ll have a hard time getting downloads because people will uninstall the application after using it just once or twice due to frustration.
- Performance testing – Performance testing ensures that your app runs at optimal speed and performance under pressure. If it doesn’t, then users will get frustrated which can lead to them uninstalling the application because of constant crashes or error messages popping up when they attempt to use it.
- Localization – Localization is important when launching an app in different countries around the world so that it can be understood by native speakers.
- Security testing – Security is the most important part of your app because users are worried about their information being taken advantage of, so you need to ensure that all personal and financial data is encrypted in order for them not to have any issues after using your product multiple times over an extended period of time.
In a world where mobile devices and apps are becoming more and more popular, customers are more demanding and looking for quality products that meet their needs and provide the best user experience possible.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that the app you are developing is up-to-date with the trends in order for you to be able to compete when launching on the market.
Hopefully, our blog post has provided you with some useful insights that will give you a great headstart start when developing your own app.
Looking for a company that can help you develop your app, schedule a free consultation with us today! We have a wide range of experience and expertise within the app development industry and would love to help you ensure a smooth rollout of your product.