Personalization is the new name of the game. Ironic as it is, digitization is dividing people in the name of global unification. Personal interactions are fading out and being replaced by online platforms that offer the same.
Questions to Ask Before Diving into Developing a Mobile App
Companies launch mobile applications to create a personalized platform to connect the customer and the company. Before diving into creating an app, these are the four important questions that must be answered, as suggested by mobile app development pundits.
1. The purpose of the app
Before releasing any app into the market, its purpose must be well-defined. The answer to this basic question will reveal the structure and function of the app. The app design will depend on its purpose: is it sales oriented or to increase customer interaction?
Regardless of the reason, the crux of development must be streamlining the needs of the consumer to the product design. Before considering the purpose, question the relevance of the app. Companies can redirect the amount invested in the development of a mobile app into other avenues if there is no necessity for the same. The app must be created only if customer demands for the same or as a solution to a problem faced.
2. The supporting platforms
In general, there are three variations to an app- web-based, native and hybrid.
Native apps are exclusive to a certain platform. There are iOS apps which are limited to Apple devices. Similarly, there is Google Play store for Android devices. The advantage of releasing native apps is that updates are fairly easy to integrate but it comes at a higher cost of design.
Web based apps run on multiple platforms. Here, app development and deployment is easier as compared to native apps. The only disadvantage is the lack of a common host environment like enabling automatic updates, accessing features of the phone etc. User experience as a result is passable not exceptional.
Hybrid, as the name suggests is the amalgamation of the two. These apps can be bought at the designated app stores. The exclusivity offered by native apps is retained while compatibility is extended to multiple platforms. Hybrid apps are non-functional without an active internet plan as most of the apps are web based. Another disadvantage is the obvious display difference of the apps between android and apple devices.
Choosing one of the above three apps must be based on the needs of the customer. Another important consideration is the app outreach: is the app aimed at rural or urban areas? If rural, the app must preferably be native. The target audience must first be identified before app development process begins.
3. Future upgrades
Technology is continuously evolving. To be in the race the app must also possess scope for improvement. Creating an app demands commitment. Assess the time that can be devoted towards maintenance and sustenance of the app. If the app is native, maintenance is restricted to the chosen platform. On the other hand for web based apps, maintenance of one application is sufficient. Complications arise when the nature of the app is cross-platform native when maintenance extends to Android, Windows, iOS and Blackberry. Adding tablets to the equation only makes it worse.
An easy maintenance solution is to create apps based on n-tier architecture. The design enables creating an app that feels native on all devices. Maintenance is now zeroed down to a single application.
4. App security
With financial information shared online, data security becomes crucial. As a rule, mobile software exists in an environment outside the regular local software. If security measures are not imposed, hacking is inevitable.
Before designing the security measures, interaction with the internal servers must be identified. Hiring the right staff to manage security is also important. There must be an option of hiring skilled taskforce for security when internal resources are exhausted. Periodically the strength of the enforced security measures must be assessed and tailored according to threat intensity.
Those companies who wish to save up by holding out on implementation of security parameters will end up spending more on problem rectification.
Other important questions include data integration strategies, the right task force and market conditions.