Mobile development is considered the “building” stage of your overall mobile plan. This is the stage of creating mobile apps and mobile software. The first conversation to have in the building stage should regard user engagement and workflow. Discussions over colors, logos, buttons, etc. should wait until later stages of development.
Consider these questions first:
- What do you want the user to do in the app?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What is the end goal?
- How do you make the process simple and straightforward for the end user?
A mobile app must be easy to use from the start to be successful. The user should not have to spend any time being oriented on how to use it. If the app is not straightforward and easy to use, its chances of success are slim. Before programming begins, it is critical to work out simplicity and workflow.
Core decisions—such as deciding what base technology to use—can be made once the workflow has been established. It is important to weigh the options of three different types of apps: native apps, mobile web apps, and hybrid apps.
Native apps – This is an application coded for a specific operating system, such as Google Android or Apple iOS. They must be written specifically for each operating system and tend to be more expensive for this reason. The main advantage to a native app is that it will be faster than other types of apps. Although they must be written separately, they can take advantage of certain core properties of smartphones, such as the camera.
Mobile web apps – These are typically written in HTML 5. The advantage of a web application is that you only have to write it once—it will then work across all mobile operating systems. A disadvantage of a mobile web app is that it cannot access as many features nor is it as fast or smooth as a native app. To work, it must be connected to the Internet at all times.
Hybrid apps – In hybrid apps, some of the code is written to work with multiple platforms and some is written in native. It is not as smooth or effective as a native app, but this option is less expensive and offers many of the advantages of a native app.
Express to your developer what you want your app to achieve, and they will guide you through the development process. Even after the first version of your mobile site/app is finished, the development process does not stop. It is a continuous process.
Engage Mobile Solutions is the creator of this site. We are a mobile app strategy, development, and marketing company that is fully committed to helping our Tulsa clients achieve their goals. Check us out at EngageMobile.com.