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Getting app happy is old news

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The digital age is now no longer ‘upon us’; it has passed us and is developing at a rate many find hard to keep pace with. The snap happy, trial and error, toe in the water approach that has worked for the last few years no longer cuts the mustard. App development is becoming more of a science, and greater consideration is taken before flinging another corporate message into the marketplace with the latest digital offering.

Start from the user-perspective

The biggest challenge with mobile development is understanding a technology that changes (almost) overnight and leveraging it in a way that’s relevant to your business goals. So, how do you do that? Well, we believe that in the first place you need to understand your audience: is there real potential for your app? How are users going to interact with it? What are the gains they’ll benefit from by using it? Most importantly, how will this benefit your business? Chaotic Moon’s CEO, Ben Lamm, says: “We take the focus off of the app. We emphasize overall user experience. The technology is important, but the content and user experience are paramount.”

Technicalities: native vs hybrid

Once you nail down your strategy and your goals, involve your front-end developers, your geeky colleagues and then plan the UI (user interface) with them. At Farpoint Labs, we have been following the buzz around hybrids apps (where the framework is built around core web technologies including HTML5, CSS, JavaScript) to take advantage of existing APIs. However, this approach isn’t perfect – just think about the usability shortcomings of Zuckerberg’s Facebook mobile app! We still believe that, at the moment, native apps are the way to go, as they offer higher levels of performance and a slicker user experience.

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