Our App Development Process

Looking for info about what you can expect if you hire Big Fish to develop your app? Read on to learn about our unique 6-Step App Development process. You’ll discover:


– How we get wireframe designs in your hands within the first week (even on large-scale projects)

– How our lean approach reduces risks, and cost

– How we get Version One in users’ hands, faster

Step 1: Strategic Planning Workshop

We’re ready to get started! Rather than spend weeks or months planning a year’s worth of features, our team will offer a leaner, faster approach.


This reduces risks and costs. Our clients always change their minds about features as they see their app come to life. So, we plan just enough to know where we are headed, and what we are building, but not so much that we lose the freedom to be flexible.


You’ll appreciate this!


This is a collaborative process between our team, your team and ideally, some real users. Or, at the very least, someone at your company who represents and understands the users.


We start by spending time in the minds and hearts of those who will be using the app. What are their needs, wants and current pain points? What are the benefits of using your app? What features will it have? What should people think and feel when they see and interact with your app?


We have a variety of interactive exercises to get everyone’s creative juices flowing and pull out these answers.


Once we’re clear on the Who, Why and What, our designer can start creating your wireframes!


Step 2: Rapid Wireframes

Wireframes are low fidelity mock-ups (black and white sketches) of each screen view in your app. They demonstrate the basic layout and structure. Seeing these for the first time is a huge WOW moment for our clients as the app comes to life.


When the wireframes are complete, our team and yours, has a very good idea of what we are building. You’ll truly understand what we meant before you hired us if we told you that the bullet point list of features you sent us is not enough information to base a custom software build around!


Next we plan out the release cycles…what features will be developed when. Again, taking a lean approach, we’re not trying to be rigid here and lock down every future version. But, we do want a long term idea of where we’re going so your app is prepared to grow over time.


Approximate Timeframe for Steps 1 and 2: 1 week


Step 3: Visual Design

The visual design phase takes those black and white wireframes and adds color, detail and graphics. We will create a high-resolution design for each unique view in your app.


But not just any app design! You’ve probably noticed that apps have a different look and feel than websites (even mobile-friendly websites). And if you’ve used apps on both Apple and Android devices, you probably noticed the two have their own unique style.


Our designer understands the nuances of app design on each platform (iOS and Android, iPads and tablets). There are certain design standards that must be adhered to in order to ensure the experience is intuitive for your users.


Staying on top of this ever-changing landscape is no small feat, but it’s what we specialize in.


If your company already has an established brand color scheme we will use this in our designs. If you do not, our designer will create one for the app.


Once the visual design is approved we are ready to move to development!


Approximate Timeframe: 1 – 2 weeks


Step 4: App Development

During this phase, our app developers write the code behind your app. Depending on the complexity of your app, a version one development could take anywhere from one to three months.


We don’t recommend trying to pack more than that into your first version as it’s important to get a working product into the hands of your beta user group. We don’t want is to spend months and months developing before we have feedback from real users. It’s risky for you and could create unnecessary costs.


Approximate Timeframe: 4 – 10 weeks


Step 5: Final QA & Prepare to Launch

We’re almost done version one of your app! Our team has been testing our code throughout the development process, but before launch we run through a final round of quality assurance (QA) testing.


When we’re done, your team gets to see and use the app on real smartphones or tablets. This is exciting! Test it out, play with the features and ensure it does what it’s supposed to do.


Preparing to launch will almost always involve setting up the live server environment. The extent of this will vary from project to project.


Approximate Timeframe: 2 – 3 weeks


Step 6: Go-Live and Launch

We’re ready to go live in the app stores. Our team will take care of making this happen. There are a lot of small details that can’t be overlooked; we won’t leave you hanging. Everything from helping you create the necessary corporate App Store accounts to designing beautiful app screen shots.


Approximate Timeframe: less than 1 week


Post-Launch: Review & Iterate

With your app in the hands of real users, now is the time to get feedback and review the plan for version two.


As soon as you’re ready we’ll loop back to the Visual Design phase and get started on your next version.

Ready to Get Started?

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