8 Steps to Understanding The Mobile App Development Lifecycle

TopDevs Inc.
6 min readJun 1, 2021


There are a huge number of mobile applications tailored for different purposes. Even if you do not plan to create an application yourself, as a customer, you need to understand what processes are involved in the app development process in order to control what is happening and understand the significance of all the details not only from the business side, but also from the user experience with your custom app.

The mobile app development process is a multi-component process, each stage of which has its own nuances and costs. In this article, we will look at all the stages of creating an application and the possible mobile app cost.

8 Phases of Mobile App Development Lifecycle

Step 1. Starting point: define your desires

It all starts with describing your app idea and business concept to the developers. This can be direct communication or through a project manager or business analyst, or direct communication with the developer who is leading your project.

For a substantive conversation, you will need to provide:

  • Business idea and app strategy
  • Description of the project (in the form of a detailed description of the functional content)
  • Reference app mockups.

Based on this information, all technical solutions for implementation and the total scope of work will be selected and the full cycle product development will be planned.

At this stage, it is necessary to solve such questions as:

  • clear requirements for the project (scope, business goals, target audience);
  • understanding the technical feasibility of the project;
  • a vision of the basic functions for implementing an MVP application.

After that, you should proceed to the next stage.

Step 2. Creation of technical documentation for the application

This documentation provides a guide to your product outlining the requirements and business logic. We wrote in more detail about writing technical documentation earlier.

You must clearly indicate the technical stack to be used, any required tests, deadlines and major potential problem areas.

Writing technical documentation will require several iterations with the client, resulting in a clear understanding of the roles in the application, the vision of the interface and the architecture of the application.

Step 3. Prototyping the application

Prototyping brings together all of your recommendations and overall project vision, making it possible to understand if the application prototype meets your expectations.

You must sketch how your application will look, down to the number of screens and interface logic, to find inconsistencies and vulnerabilities. You can also think of unexpected uses for the application.

Only if you have all this information can you correctly assess the project and proceed to the distribution of tasks by creating an application development plan.

It is important to distinguish a prototype from an MVP, since in the first case it is a formalized idea of ​​the application, and the second is an already created application with basic functions for initial testing on the target audience and further refinement.

Step 4. Development of application design

Designers must develop the UX / UI of all screens in the application on the chosen app development platform. In addition, must be prepared: icons, buttons, text boxes, and other visual elements. This stage can take up to three months, depending on the complexity and requirements.

At the end of this phase, you should have a UX wireframe, a complete design for the iOS and Android platforms, and a working prototype of an interactive mobile app design.

Step 5. Development of the application

Here the responsibility lies with the Front-end and back-end specialists. At this stage, a technical development stack should be selected and all the functionality from the backend side should be spelled out, with further implementation from the frontend side.

The cost of the building of the mobile app will differ depending on its type and complexity.

Step 6. Testing the application

Testing the application will allow you to release it without financial and reputation losses. Testing can be of many different types: compatibility, interface, devices, resources, security, beta testing.

It is important to pay special attention to this stage without shortening the list of tests, as in the future this may negatively affect the results of your efforts.

Step 7. Placing the application in stores

Play Market and App Store put forward a number of requirements for applications that are planning to be included in their lists. If you don’t match at least one of them, you won’t get there. It relates to the native apps, what is native app development, you can read in our blog.

The requirements are quite extensive, and relate to data security, content quality, operational reliability and a number of other parameters.

Do not forget that you must pay a fee for placing an application in the store: App Store — $ 99 / year, Google Play — a one-time fee of $ 25.

Step 8. Monitoring results

The app development lifecycle doesn’t end with launching mobile apps. Tracking feedback, analytics and failures will allow you to find and fix all the flaws, increasing audience loyalty and the effectiveness of the application. Especially if you promote an app and spend some money on the ad.

By understanding who, how and why is using your application, you can improve and refine precisely those aspects that are in greatest demand.

Read also: 6 Ways to Generate New App Ideas for Your Startup

What Makes a Successful Mobile App

Today, a mobile application is one of the most effective ways to attract customers. Due to the popularity of this tool, great attention must be paid to detail when creating it. The app development budget can differ a lot.

While the most successful apps are all kinds of unicorns that offer unique solutions and features, they all share some similarities.

Thoughtful user interface

The user will judge the application by the cover, so try to make it really attractive. All basic functions should be in a couple of seconds. If your application is convenient and understandable, they will not only want to use it, but also recommend it to others. The application should help solve user problems and do it as quickly and efficiently as possibl

Fast loading and performance

The ideal application loading speed is considered to be under 5 seconds. Exceptions can be large applications with a lot of data, such as Facebook. But then it is necessary to inform the user about the download process. Nobody will use layouts with poor loading and constant bugs, and resilient app strategy will fail.


Bringing innovative ideas with an intuitive interface it’s the part of the deal; you will always have a percentage of users who will not be able to understand the basic principles of using the application. All successful applications offer enhanced support that is ready to quickly and efficiently solve any problem. In addition to instant answers, you can analyze all the questions and compose an FAQ, making life easier for both parties. You can also use outsourced support services.

Attention to the problems and wishes of users

Analyze requests and feedback from users, this will allow you to introduce new functions and refine existing ones to improve the quality of service. The release of updates is a guarantee of inexhaustible interest in you and your product.

Compatibility and adaptability

Your user can use a huge number of devices, especially Android devices. Make sure your app launches great and displays correctly on all devices.

Explore the requirements and specifications of the platform to its full potential. Don’t forget about the requirements of the stores, there you can find some tips.


So, how to start app development and how much does app development cost? The app building cycle is a complex process. which requires high professionalism and responsibility. You need to have confidence in the development team by examining their portfolios and talking to them. But the responsibility lies with the customer, who, possessing the expertise in his business, must clearly understand the purpose of the application and its main purpose and target audience.

Only the interaction of both parties and the attention to detail and user experience can give the world an innovative and popular mobile app that will conquer millions.



TopDevs Inc.

Web & mobile app development company that creates digital solutions for startups & businesses (native iOS, Android apps, outstaffing, outsourcing) @ topdevs.org