What does it mean for business? Simply put, a gold mine. Mobile applications are a perfect medium that helps to get closer to consumers, spark engagement, and forge long-lasting and loyal relationships. What’s more, this type of interaction is not perceived as pushy or imposing because people do seek to connect with brands for more personalized offerings and experiences. For instance, 91% of buyers claim that they prefer shopping with brands that provide personal recommendations based on their interests. That is why a mobile app is a perfect tool for providing your customers with a smooth and uninterrupted experience, while at the same time collecting their digital touchpoints for enhancing a product/service and elevating marketing efforts.
Mobile application development solutions are no longer extensions of the web presence but a must in a world where customers come first. However, the skyrocketing demand for app development and the market growth, which is projected to reach $497 billion during 2020-2024, put extra pressure on the capacity and capability of IT departments to deliver applications. This brings us to the challenges that companies face while developing mobile applications to scale their businesses.
Let’s take a closer look at those pain points and solutions to resolve them.
Challenge #1: No Unified Mobile Development Strategy
It’s hard to blame companies chasing after the brilliant success of mobile development technologies, with such mind-blowing numbers: consumers downloaded 204 billion apps in 2019, spending $120 billion on apps and subscriptions, and sacrificing 3.7 hours daily on using them. The urge to get an app out there as soon as possible often leaves businesses with a clear goal of reaching and engaging more potential customers but with no clear mobile development strategy of how to do this.
The solution is as straightforward as the challenge itself. A great product starts with a clear strategy. To translate consumers’ needs into an app that offers an effective solution, it is imperative to devise an overarching 360-vision of the mobile application, including an idea, design, market research, add technical elements of development architecture to the app, and write clean code.
If we are talking about a complex hypothesis that needs to be tested, it is best to validate the idea with an MVP (minimum viable product). This approach aids in delivering projects through the pipeline faster and getting a better final product overall. An MVP of the eID solution developed by Infopulse for access control and credentials verification that was built in just a week is a great example of this approach in action.
Challenge #2: Platform Compatibility
The abundance of applications is booming and thriving on a variety ranging from complex enterprise and banking apps to food delivery apps and all possible types of media and entertainment solutions. Yet, in addition to an obvious challenge of marketing and promoting your app in this hyper-saturated market, there is a pressing matter of finding a suitable development framework.
Even though the mobile operating systems market is dominated by Android and iOS, there are some others as well, such as the emerging Harmony OS from Huawei. Besides, each platform has its nuances as well. For example, the most popular programming languages for Android are Java, PHP, or Ruby on Rails, while Objective-C and Swift are the options for iOS. And yet, aside from operating system difference, let’s not forget endless device configurations: varying screen sizes, different processors, amounts of RAM and disk space available, and even device vendor-specific OS optimizations. Therefore, mobile applications need to be not just cross-platform compatible but fit the device as well.
The right platform choice grants at least half of the mobile app success, the other half depends on the development approach. But to avoid the burden of writing code for each platform separately, it is wise to exploit modern cross-platform mobile application development frameworks (MADP) that help developers with code libraries and snippets, APIs, and models for an easier and efficient development process.
For example, as a part of Dynamics 365 implementation for RAGT Semences, Infopulse designed and delivered a mobile CRM app for RAGT sales specialists and field consultants. We saved the development budget by ensuring cross-platform and cross-OS availability, optimizing data representation, and ensuring its equal display in web- and mobile apps via custom visual components.
Though there are situations when there is no opportunity to build a new app from scratch but there is a need to incorporate some essential changes. The best way to approach this matter is to thoroughly evaluate your existing application for efficient update and redesign of the targeted parts.
Challenge #3: UX/UI and Customer Preferences
It is hard to overestimate the importance of a cohesive customer journey realized through a seamless user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). Especially, when nowadays people are more likely to spend time online with a smartphone than with any other device.
Modern consumer preferences are rarely rational and change along with a constantly transforming digital landscape. This raises the bar for UX/UI designers who are no longer responsible for just some visual storytelling but for the wholesome user’s interaction with an app and, consequently, with a brand.
Creating a perfect medium for communication with customers requires various inputs from different departments to put together business objectives, marketing research insights, programmatic rigor for the interaction of application components, and flawless design. Usually, the inability to orchestrate this process creates holes in UX/UI.
Providing a seamless customer journey requires solid technical expertise and talent coupled with a close building a proper communication and collaboration between specialists involved in the project and the customer. As with many problems, the solution to the challenge of a complex UX/UI development process lies in technical competence, collaboration, and knowing your future app users.
The best stage to incorporate UX/UI in your app is during planning. To create a successful application from scratch with a comprehensive vision, you will need to stick to a holistic approach to cater to the end-users needs and seamlessly integrate all design elements into one product. One of the mobile applications developed by Infopulse is used by more than 10 Nordic Large Banks. Since the app would be used by private customers of different banks for different purposes on versatile handheld devices, we utilized the native development approach to ensure smooth user experience along with native app behavior and animations on iOS and Android devices. The digital banking application supports customizations on numerous levels and went through an extra expert evaluation of GUI to ensure optimal customer experience.
To Sum Up
With so many trends, apps, and companies emerging every day, there are certain aspects to mobile app development that never change – the old-new challenges and new mobile application development solutions to resolve them. Apart from the major obstacles of no strategy, no right platform, and the lack of UX/UI design, the mobile app development process is no easy task. However, a mobile application has already become a must for any brand that wants to build loyal and engaging relationships with its customers.
To deliver a product that will please demanding users and bring substantial ROI to the company, it is imperative to exploit a holistic approach with a clear strategy and firm commitment to detail.