Apps accompany millions of users on a daily basis. Both those available to the public and those operating within a specific organization should be easy to use and created to meet user needs and system requirements. That is why it is so important to adapt the right technology. Already at the requirements analysis stage, we should know the answer to the question of whether it will be better to design applications natively or cross-platform. What to pay attention to in order to choose well? We explain.
Web and mobile applications
Web applications – unlike mobile ones – run on a server. A stable Internet connection is required for them to work properly. This is why web applications are so readily ordered by companies operating in industries where most teams work remotely. Web applications can be used to schedule work, communicate between departments or upload finished projects.
Mobile apps can run on a single platform (iOS or android, in which case we are talking about native apps) or hybrid apps that run on both of the aforementioned platforms. In the second case, 70% of the code is shared, while 30% is in native form.
Native application design is generally done in Kotlin and Java languages for Android. iOS devices, on the other hand, usually implement code in Swift with Objective-C. If you choose to design mobile applications cross-platform, then frameworks such as React Native and Flutter are introduced.
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Before you start designing mobile apps
According to research posted on the Statista platform, as many as 218 billion mobile apps will be downloaded in 2020. Today, it could be close to 258 billion. The market is still not saturated, and the ever-increasing needs of users – not only business users – intensify the creativity of programmers and motivate many people to explore the secrets of the IT industry, especially the programming languages mentioned earlier.
Designing a mobile application that will be popular requires analyzing the idea and considering the extent to which the planned scope of work and functionality suits the target audience. It is on the basis of this type of data that you can plan your strategy, within which you should include:
– Potential customer expectations;
– How would your project address the needs of the target group?
– What could the potential costs be, and can the technology proposal answer them in a reasonably short time?
– What might be the cost of estimating the application?
The next step could be an Event Storming workshop – during which you can check how the application you have created works, visualize its capabilities and weaknesses. In addition, you will verify your previous assumptions about each stage of the application design.
Once you have collected the necessary data, it is a good idea to hold a kick-off meeting, where you can get to know the entire project team, set the rules of work and communication, and schedule preliminary dates for delivering and discussing the next parts of the project.
It’s important that you and your team think carefully about the visual and functional layout, or UX design, which is just as important in web applications as it is in mobile ones. The intuitiveness we mentioned earlier should not remain an empty platitude. You can bet on dedicated design and custom design of mobile or web applications in terms of visuals, or try to adapt an already available, ready-made design.
Moving on to the penultimate stage of mobile and web application design, it is important to note the utility of the Agile method, which can accompany you and the entire team from the very beginning. It allows you to divide application development into cycles, made up of smaller parts. Usually the so-called. The sprints take the team approx. 2 weeks.
At almost every stage, testing of the application should be carried out before it is deployed. It is then possible to eliminate the maximum number of potential errors.
In the case of web applications, equal importance is given to the elimination of potential errors, as well as the realization of the concept of “usability”, which must be adequate to the created service.
Does native application design provide a competitive advantage?
Applications developed for a specific operating system are characterized by high performance and exceptional user experience, as the interface is tailored to the functionality and type of application.
Besides, various APIs greatly speed up potential development work, integrating many features that extend the capabilities of a mobile application. This, in turn, makes it more attractive to a potential user.
Despite the relatively high cost of developing these types of applications, they are among the more popular – they are more popular than the previously mentioned hybrid or web applications.
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Why is cross-platform mobile app design a step into the future?
Multiplatform applications do not require a very complex development process. Besides, thanks to the common code, the updating process is very smooth. In addition, developers can use multiple APIs, confident that they will work on any platform. This allows you to reduce the time to get the finished product. With just one code created, the app will work on the device regardless of the platform.
Designing mobile apps cross-platform will also not limit the reach of the audience – as is the case with native apps. Importantly, cross-platform projects also provide an advantage in terms of performance.
When is it a good idea to opt for cross-platform application design?
When you choose to design applications cross-platform, you get products that are easy to maintain and won’t fail even in the event of a sudden increase in the number of their users. Using Flutter or React Native, they can be implemented relatively quickly – a good solution for news sites, for example.
Flutter is Google’s technology for programming applications not only for Android and iOS, but also websites and Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux operating systems. A single source code base is enough to create a fully functional multi-platform application. The code is written in this case in the Dart language.
We hope that through our article it will be a little easier to plan the process of developing a mobile application and possible modifications or proposing certain solutions to customers. We invite you to read our other articles.