For many organisations, the desire to create a mobile app is compelling.
But, with experience, you quickly learn there are a lot of lessons to be learned.
It all sounds easy so we wanted to share our insights to help you take the right path.
Mobile App skills are in high demand and specialised due to the need to fully understand the operating environment and device capabilities that are involved.
Plus, these skills differ for Android and iOS.
It is important to ensure you can be inclusive and allow any eligible person to deploy and use your app on their personal devices.
And these devices change frequently. The average life of an Operating System release is 8 months. Therefore, you need resources to continually monitor and update your App.
App design is critical to ensure a great User Experience and User Interface (UI).
Apps are very different from using browsers so storage, memory utilisation, battery use, feature activation (wifi, Bluetooth, GPS etc.) all need to be considered, understood and part of the design.
App development can also be time consuming and expensive. QA testing is critical and often fixing bugs is hard as you need to replicate the problem experienced. Often mobile users don’t capture the problem or communicate it well. This leaves the developers scratching their heads about how to re-create what went wrong.
There are specialist App development companies to consider – ensure any quote includes ongoing support, upgrades and revisions.
You also need to consider how you will distribute your App. An App Store? Often, there are many rules around security and certification.
One challenge we have also heard from our customers is that App developers move on and are in high demand. Consider how you will support your users if you lose key resources.
Apps vary a lot in the level of integration they can perform. This is another critical factor as you need to ensure data integrity and accuracy.
Together with integration is security, identity standards and cyber risks. These elements are constantly evolving in sophistication.
All of these factors are part of the ‘architecture’ that comes first when thinking about any IT project.
With experience, you can define the characteristics, dependencies and work flow for your app as part of the high level architectural design and specification.
This may sound complex but it pays to fully understand and appreciate what is involved.
You do not want to play with your user’s experience and satisfaction. People depend on mobile and have high expectations of reliability, speed, recovery, performance and ease of use.
Please consider using experienced resources when planning your mobile project.