App development process
From first message to project release and beyond —
here is how we work and what we do at each step.
Before we start
Steps of our UX audit process
Step 1: Estimate
For general app development requests, we send you a brief with questions about the required functionality.
If you contact us with a high-level description of the app you need, or when the information from the filled-out brief isn’t enough, we will provide you with an initial rough estimate and ask you additional questions. We may also have an initial discovery call to help you with any questions you may have.
When the technical requirements are clear, the estimate process takes up to three working days.
If you have a vision of the future app but don’t have the technical requirements, we can do it for you. Our team conducts business analysis and creates all the necessary technical specifications. In this case, the cost of creating a specification is included in the total cost of the project, and we start working after signing a contract.
What we need from your side:
The more information you’ll provide, the more accurate estimate of the project we’ll be able to prepare. Some of the key details we need to know about the future app are:
- The preferred type of the app (Public, Custom, Private)
- A full step-by-step user workflow
- A full step-by-step admin workflow
- The required integrations with the third-party systems
- Design specifications and references, if any
In many cases, building an app to perform the task you need is not necessary. To save your time and money, we research whether it’s possible to get the same results with a custom development on your theme level instead of building a whole new app.**Access to the Shopify store may be required.
What you get:
A detailed estimate of the scope of work required to build the app with the problem statement, the app’s concept, the main tech stack that will be best fitting for the needs of the project, the timeline, and the pricing.
After we start
When we sign a contract and start working, you get a personal account manager – a single point of contact who will run the whole project.
The account manager is both a skilled Shopify professional with years of experience and your partner who:
- Handles all management issues
- Provides you with regular updates and reports
- Works out new ways to develop the product
- And is always there to answer any questions
Step 2: Technology stack and architecture
At this step, we work through the technology stack in detail and refine the list of programming languages, frameworks, and the Shopify technologies that the app will interact with. This is a complex process that is performed individually for every project.
After that, we design the architecture of the future app – in particular, how the data will be stored and managed, first within the app itself, and then between the app and the Shopify store.
What we need from your side:
When the app’s architecture is ready, we send it to you to approve. If there are some changes you’d like to add, we will research and include all the relevant updates that contribute to the project’s success.
Step 3: Creation of development environment
At this stage, we set up the environment where the actual development process will take place. For that, we need a Shopify partner account, a repository, a server, and a Shopify store.
We suggest two options regarding the environment:
- When you create or already have accounts on these platforms, we do all the development work fully on your side from the very beginning.
- We develop and test in our own accounts, and transfer all the data to you after the project is finished – this way, you don’t need to create all the accounts and share the credentials with us.
However, in this case, additional testing is required to make sure that everything was transferred to your accounts correctly, which takes more time than working in your accounts right from the start.
To sum up, if you’d like us to work on your accounts…
What we need from your side:
- Access to your Shopify partner account
- A repository on GitLab, Github or Bitbucket
- A Shopify store It can be the same store on which the app will be installed later or a specific development store. The choice here depends on your preferences, the required app functionality, and whether your store is “live” at the moment.
- A server to host the app It is an account on the hosting provider platform where the app will be stored and operated from. In most cases, we use Amazon Web Services, but it depends on your choice and preferences, and it is very flexible.
Step 4: Development
Once the development environment is set up, we are fully prepared to start coding.
The team lead decomposes the project into smaller tasks that are distributed between the developers. Upon completion of a feature or a part of a feature, the team lead does a code review and deploys part of the code to a specific branch on the repository. By the time the app is ready, a code review is performed many times on many levels, which allows us to guarantee its high quality.
During the development process, we work according to the Agile methodology. So, if some additional requirements appear, we are flexible and know how to alter the development process to meet the deadline. This way, there is never a surprise to you, and you can rely on the estimated time of development.
Step 5: Delivery
We split the whole scope of work into sprints, which usually last two weeks each.
Every sprint is followed by a release where we demonstrate the work that has been done. The way of presenting the results depends on the functionality we have been developing.
Demonstration and report
If the feature we developed can be perceived visually, we do a screen-sharing session via Zoom or a similar platform where the account manager demonstrates how this functionality is used.
We also send you a report on the results of the sprint with a detailed breakdown of everything that has been done. It includes the list of completed tasks, the hours spent on each task, the created documentation, and a description of how to use and test the functionality.
When it makes no sense to show just the code, we send you a report and skip the visual demonstration.
If you’d like to review the code on your side after each sprint, we provide all the necessary documentation to allow the easy understanding of the code (such as its purpose and the location where it is stored).
Step 6: Testing
Testing is done at all stages of development every time after a particular feature has successfully passed a code review. This type of testing is performed by the developers themselves.
For the specialized QA testing, there is a dedicated department within the company, and we recommend not to avoid it to ensure the highest quality of development.
When the app is ready
When all stages of development and testing are completed, we present you with the app and demonstrate how it works. Once you approve the work that has been done, we deploy the app to production, and the project is considered to be completed.
What you get:
- The app with all the required technical documentation
- 30 days to check for bugs
- A detailed work-through guide
Step 7: Post-launch support
We can help you with the enhancement of the app with new features and its technical maintenance.