Guest Post by Jason Adams
“Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business.” – Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
There won’t be a single human walking on Earth who might not have a mobile phone.
Fine…I will not speak for everyone, but the majority of people own a mobile phone. And the majority of those who own a mobile phone have smartphones.
The smartphone is a device full of apps. It can store the whole business in it, which is why people are always panic-stricken when they drop, break, or lose their phones.
Having said that, the apps have made the lives of people easier and reduced work by half. And because it can be utilized offline, the accessibility of technology everywhere has doubled the profits.
So, how does one create an app? What knowledge one must have to create the app? Who can make an app for the company?
Answers to these questions are pretty simple…it is the mobile app development experts who can create the app. They must possess knowledge of various languages that are used to develop the app.
However, extra knowledge comes in handy, like that of backend development. But what is backend development? And why does having an understanding of the backend come in handy?
Everything there is to know about a Backend Developer!
Every website is divided into 2 parts – Frontend and Backend. The front end consists of everything you see, and the back end consists of everything you don’t. Creating frontend and backend is a challenge in itself, but one cannot exist without another.
The backend developer is supposed to develop and maintain the backend of the website as well as the mobile app.
It consists of typical components that the developer works with, and they are databases, servers, application logic, as well as APIs. They ensure that these components work correctly.
Image Source: https://www.interviewbit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Backend-Developer-Roles-and-Responsibilities-1024×640.jpg
Backend developer does a lot of things, but it can be divided into many smaller tasks:
- Maintaining the database, including retrieving the data, storing it, taking backups, and keeping it secure
- Fixing backend bugs
- Creating library codes that can be used by developers next in line
- Prevent cyber attacks and solve it comes down to that
- Managing internal and external APIs
- Optimize the app’s performance from the backend and improve the user experience.
- Developing the process to meet the needs of an app
They also collaborate with front-end developers, architects, web designers, and content writers to bring web applications to life. And same goes for mobile app development. Experience and knowledge can help create a functional, optimized, and popular mobile app.
Gone are the days when one needed a developer to create a website or a mobile app. Now people do it by themselves. However, there is a difference between making an app and making an app that is functional and smooth.
Thus, here are the steps to create an app that people will actually download:
Steps to create a mobile app and how backend knowledge can come in handy at every stage:
- Defining the goals
The first step to starting any project is to define the goals. You need to understand what you want from the mobile app you created. Otherwise, as Joey in FRIENDS says, “It’s a moot point!” meaning it just doesn’t matter.
A team invests its time, energy, and money in creating something, but without a proper definition of goals, the results obtained will not be desirable. An artist loves his art, which is why they make sure that they create it with a goal in mind.
Whether your goal is lead generation, conversion, sales, or engagement – make sure to express your vision regarding this to your team so they know what they are working for and whether they are going in the correct direction.
When the developer knows what you expect from this app and how it can benefit users, they’ll know what features to add to make it more convenient.
- Conduct the market research
Before creating an app, you need to see if the app you make will be in demand. Or else it will be a flop show wasting too much money and time of people who could have dedicated themselves to doing more important tasks.
For example, if you want to create a travel app, click travel app ideas. Here are a few ways you can conduct market research:
- Take the surveys
- Check out the competition
- Conduct interviews
These are a few methods to conduct market research. The developer with the backend can help with his part of the research and see what the competitors are doing. They can check out the backend of popular mobile apps and see what they have done that has made the apps functional, faster, and famous.
- Deciding the app features
Once the blueprint of the map is drawn, it is necessary to decide on the features of the apps, like how many pages the app will have, what kind of scrolling it will have, whether it is heavy or light when it comes to storage, etc.
Below mentioned are a few examples of app features:
- Push notifications
- Calendar integrations
- Booking options
- Community page
- GPS capabilities
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Video, image, and audio hubs
- User page
- Checkout page
The usability of the app needs to be discussed with the developer, and he will make suggestions as to what should be included in the app. It is the features of the app which enable people to stick to it rather than uninstall it as soon as they have installed it.
One of the most famous examples of it is Amazon. Even people who do not shop frequently will have this app on their phones because of its features.
- Wireframe creation
Basically, a wireframe is the rough layout of the app. It can be created on paper, napkins, or you can use the wireframe tool. But it doesn’t have to be the final draft, just something to go by at an initial stage.
It can also be used to map out the user journey, such as what will happen when the user clicks a particular button. It should be the rough draft of where he will be taken and which window will open, etc.
Creating the wireframe will help the team get on the same page as everyone else. And the developer with backend knowledge will be able to figure out what code he will need to type in to create a smooth navigational journey for the user.
- The Development Method
The development stage is the stage where one decides to do it all on their own or take help. One has plenty of options to consider while creating an app.
Choosing the suitable method is based on factors like market demand, budget, technical skill level, app type, features, and time to market. Well, one can create the app independently, but they won’t be able to match the expert level.
Whether you go for the mobile app developer or decide to fly solo, backend development knowledge will be helpful in creating the app because that is where the most exciting and creative things happen.
- Check the existing apps
Market research is an activity done to see whether people would prefer the kind of app you are creating or not. But it is also to see if such type of app already exists in the market and you are unaware of it.
Sometimes an app is available in bits and pieces, and one just has to merge it.
For example, if a person wishes to create an app that delivers meals as well as other eCommerce items, then he just needs to take the Amazon app and Uber Eats and combine the two.
Similarly, see that the app you wish to create might be available in bits and pieces in the market, and you just have to assort it and bring it to the table. Move a few features and buttons here and there, and you are ready to launch.
- The technical part
When the technical specifications are involved, you have to bring in the mobile app developer. And it would be beneficial to you if they have the knowledge of the backend because these are the inner workings behind the scenes of your app that nobody sees.
You need to explain to them your goal and see what they suggest. They will help you achieve your goal in a more competent and faster way. Also, when they will add their two cents, your app will become better.
It is better to bring in the expert than behave like a stupid boyfriend who regrets 6 months down the lane saying, “I wish I could turn the wheels of time and go back to repair the immense amount of damage I have done.”
- Quality Assurance
Just creating an app is not the work done. It needs to be tested repeatedly, and all the bugs need to be fixed. Here are a few elements of a well created high functional app:
- Well-designed user interface (UI)
- Fast loading time
- Strong data protection
- Excellent user support
- Built-in integrations
Again, without the help of mobile app developers, you, as a non-technical person, will only go so far. But with a developer who has backend knowledge, you will succeed as a company because of the amount of skills and experience they will bring.
Thus, invest correctly rather than being a miser.
Since you have made it here, I am sure you’d be able to acquire backend knowledge. If such might not be the case, then you always have experts who can assist you with mobile app development tasks.
But make sure to find a developer with complete frontend and backend development knowledge. Who knows what works out when and those skills are required at the earliest…right!