A web application is a digital product built to cover your business needs. Your company may already use several ready-made solutions for maintaining customer relationships, marketing activities, and business management operations. However, the rapid pace of digital transformation, overall business maturity, or market challenges may provoke a need to build a custom web application as the most optimal solution.
No matter if you’ll manage your in-house development team or decide to go with a third-party vendor to complete this task, you should know what to expect in all web app development stages.
This article covers the key seven web app development steps, challenges you may face on each of them, and get tips on how to organize the development in a way that guarantees that the outcome will meet and exceed your expectations.
All it starts with your idea. Also, you need a group of professionals who will bring it to life. Whether you want to build an MVP for a startup or enrich your enterprise software ecosystem with a new disruptive solution, you should assemble a development team for this project.
It’s crucial to conduct some initial meetings with your development team members. They help translate your business needs into a feasible application turning your requirements into clear technical specifications.
According to PwC (Germany) study, digital product development is expected to increase efficiency up to 19%, reduce time to market by 17%, and production costs by 13% over the next five years.
The co-creation trend becomes more popular each year. No wonder since collaboration with technology vendors gives industrial companies broader access to diverse resources. For instance, IT talent pool or vendor’s expertise speeding up product development and cutting time to market.
According to Deloitte Insights, most responding companies launched at least one project relying on co-creation partnerships. 57% of respondents stated that this experience changed their overall approach to digital innovations.
If you decide to get help with your web app development process from an IT company like DataXdev, think of these points beforehand:
The other advantage of co-creation is that you shouldn’t think about all of this alone. Your technological partner can offer optimal solutions as they are more experienced in the web application development process by definition.
The first of all web application development steps you should take is naming the business problems you want to solve with this technological solution. It’s your key responsibility as the business or product owner. That’s how it works: you define what problems your web application should solve, and your development team will discover how it will happen.
Let your development team dedicate sufficient time to in-depth business and project analysis during the discovery and planning of web application development phases. At this stage, you need to define business objectives, prioritize app features and visualize user flows. It needs to be done before the scope of works and resource planning.
Here’re some questions your developers may ask you during the planning stage:
If you’re creating a web application for your employees, developers can also request some interviews to dive deeper into your business specifics.
Using this information, your team will conduct additional rounds of research to understand the user flows. If your target audience is consumers, they also want to conduct market and competitors’ research to gather the best available solutions and figure out how to make your web app drive even more value for end-users.
The results of the discovery and planning phases of web application development will reflect in a clear digital roadmap with selected technologies and tools, project architecture, estimated project costs, and duration time of the development phase. With all of this on the table, you can negotiate and establish a project budget, deadlines, and alternatives that you have before you both commit to a certain scope of work.
Based on the overall vision of the application and detailed user flows, designers will build interactive prototypes. This phase is crucial as it lets you understand whether you’re on the same page with the development team regarding project vision and the ability to test your solution feasibility with a focus group of real users.
You should choose and approve the UI design concept in the design stage and check how smooth and intuitive app navigation is for the end-user.
Pay extra attention to data visualization on admin panels or user dashboards. Make sure that complex and complicated stories given there are easy to interpret with appropriate design.
After testing your digital product feasibility with prototypes and coming to terms with your design team on a visual concept, you’re ready to set up the actual development phase.
Front-end development is dedicated to the client-side perception of your web application and makes your designs truly ‘responsive’ during user interactions. The front-end has a massive impact not only on user experience but also on SEO indicators. Design adaptiveness, load speed, and URL organization matter a lot when Google algorithms decide how your web application will be ranged in search.
Back-end development, in turn, ensures communication between your web application, servers, and databases it uses. Back-end works aimed to ensure that your application actually ‘works’ as it should.
During both of these stages, one may integrate third-party APIs if they are needed to extend your web app functionality.
The development approach means a lot and may influence final cost, project duration, and overall efficiency across web application development stages. Agile development is now considered one of the most beneficial approaches. It’s the most transparent one. Each iteration delivers actual value and enables making quick changes when needed.
Discuss the development approach on a planning stage to ensure that the whole web application development process flow will be smooth and efficient.
Once your web application is ready for use, it goes through the testing stage before its integration to your enterprise software ecosystem or public release for end customers. Many IT vendors apply a continuous delivery and integration approach where they test each feature and application component right after it was developed. It can be packed into an automation testing tool that significantly simplifies the development and testing process during further updates, as it contains information on all previous versions.
Your QA team will eliminate all bugs and other issues through performance, security, and compatibility tests, whatever testing approach you choose. After this, your fully functional web application is ready for release.
The next step will be choosing a hosting provider and introducing your web application to users.
After the implementation phase, it will be useful to ask your development team to prepare knowledge transfer documentation if you change your tech partner in the future or you’d like your in-house team to maintain this application on their own.
You should also discuss user training activities if you built your application for employees.
In constant digital transformation and ever-changing business and software environments, the web application development life cycle never really ends. Classical support and maintenance activities include:
In reality, the web application development process is equal to business growth. Business needs and changes are responded to by developing new features, implementing new integrations, and constant updates.
Now, when you become more familiar with the key stages of web application development, we hope you have more clarity and confidence in questions of cooperation with your development team, the input they need from you at the beginning, and checkpoints during development phases.
From your experience, you probably know that the best result is achieved when each team member plays their role for 100%. Being a business leader, all you should do is identify your business pain points and communicate them correctly. DataXDev is ready to serve you with our programming magic packed into a transparent, well-structured web app development process. Share with us your business pain and we’ll deliver the perfect technical cure.
You have an idea. We make it happen. Web and mobile app development for your business.