To most people, the world of developing apps and websites is quite a mysterious; yet, exciting world. But, if you want to develop your own web app, you need to know the common practices that go into the process of developing. This is why after some extensive research, we’ve boiled those practices down to five essential points to help you get a better understanding of the process.
1. Research and Data Gathering
One of the most important steps before starting any actual work, is determining your website’s purpose. This means doing extensive research on your target audience, what you want your website to achieve and communicate. The clearer you are on these concepts, the better your application will be. Why is that?
The answer is simple; once you know your endgame, you can plan more efficiently. Having a clear purpose simply allows you and your web application development team to put in every single element of design into achieving this one goal. If you are designing a web application for kids, you have to know what they are into, these days. On the other hand, if your application is more for adults then, you obviously won’t use the same techniques that would attract kids.
2. Outlining Your Web Application
The second practice used in developing web apps is creating a wireframe, as well as, a sitemap. Like when writing an essay, having an outline for your app only helps you to see what it would look like in the end. Not to mention, a sitemap can be quite useful when it comes to tracking the function of each tab and button.
Sitemaps are basically a sketch of what each clickable item sends you to; it aims to plot out all the pages anyone could get to on your app. It usually starts with the home page then, branches out to include everything else. As for the wireframe, just imagine sketching the look of your web app on paper but in a more professional-looking way; that is what development companies do when dealing with clients to prevent any misunderstandings.
3. Actual Designing
So far we have just been planning. Now, comes the time for designing the visual elements in your app. However, it is important that you set clear boundaries between the essential material that you need, and the things that would be nice if you could have them on your app. In fact, Neoteric calls this third step of the process “prioritizing”. That way, you’ll be able to know which visual elements of your app you need to work on first. During that stage, the designers work on the skeleton provided by the wireframe.
That is when a color scheme, a logo/icon, needed images, and button functions are added. While it isn’t the final version, it should be close to the final thing you have in mind; if it isn’t, you need to do some more work. This is also the time to develop your web app’s written content; after you’ve familiarized yourself with the way your app will be functioning.
If your web page was a film, this stage would be the editing process. After all the data had been gathered, and after everything had been put into place, all the work and the manuscripts are handed in to professional coders. These people are responsible for turning your creative process into something understandable by a machine. Of course, how well they’ll be able to replicate your vision depends on how clear your vision is to you. It also depends on how well have you carried out the previous steps.
5. Product Testing and Feedback
Needless to say, after all the work had been done, you need to view your product. You need to test thoroughly and see if it is fully functional; does every button lead to its assigned page on the sitemap? Do they all work? Is the overall look what I had imagined in mind?
These are all questions you should be asking before you upload the application for a trial run for people to use it. Then after your designated feedback period, you only need to go back to your developing company one last time, to streamline everything and tweak the content according to the info you got from the trial runs.
Now, while all the stages mentioned above are essential, the initial stage remains the most important. Like with everything, having a strong base is what makes or breaks a project of any kind. When it comes to dealing with an audience, you need to understand their thoughts, likes, and dislikes. It helps a great deal in appealing to them. As we have said before, once you fully understand what you want to communicate and who you want to communicate it to, it becomes easy to choose a suitable method.