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MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

Architecting, Engineering and Building Mobile Applications and Systems

Mobile applications can provide a unique business advantage as they enable direct communication between a company and a (potential) customer. Historically, the lines of communication between these two groups used many forms of advertising, which is often hard to measure. Traditional advertising made it even more difficult to figure out how to deliver a message to a potential customer at a critical moment when the customer is most likely to make a purchase. Radio and TV ads are literally blind to the locations and behaviors of consumers. Mobile applications, by comparison, can deliver critical messages about sale items or special deals as your potential customer is literally at your doorsteps or within your store. They can be used as powerful loyalty tools and keep your customers as your customers.

Mobile applications are being adopted at a phenomenal rate yet for most companies, it can be challenging to plan and execute the design and development of this class of programs. As experienced mobile developers, we have a proven workflow to help guide clients through the steps necessary to plan and successfully execute their mobile strategies. Many of the more difficult work with mobile application development involves understanding the business drivers for the app rather than the technical nuances.

Most successful mobile applications are not built in a void, rather, they require some form of services to facilitate the core functionality. Services are consumable units of processing that accomplish specific tasks, often described through a formal interface (definition from the OASIS Service Oriented Architecture Reference Model standard, co-authored by our founders). These can be coupled with sensors (like GPS or Bluetooth connectivity) to create powerful channels to deliver contextual content at precisely the best moment possible.

Where to Start?

When beginning to plan a mobile application, we typically like to ask the question "what does the application do and why can this not be done in a webpage?". This is not done to try and dissuade customers from building mobile applications, rather to ensure the proper care and consideration is being given to the overall strategy. Each mobile application we have created is unique in it's conception and development history.

After the initial phases, the discovery and planning stages start to yeild concrete blueprints for a development team to work on. Typically, the discovery phase is boiled down to 2-5 core user interaction patterns which allows architecture and engineering work to be done somewhat concurrently. For more details on these processes, please visit our software development page which explains it in more detail.

Common Success Factors

Mobile application stratgies depend on many facets. The most salient points to consider are:

  • Defining the value proposition
  • Determining the functionality from the end user perspective
  • Ensuring there are few, if any, barriers to adoption
  • Thwarting competition (not always applicable in cases of loyalty etc)
  • Does the application have a valid monetization strategy
  • Having a valid promotion strategy
  • And much more ...

Out of the foregoing, the promotion strategy is perhaps the most commonly overlooked. Many startups and established companies alike develop and bring mobile apps to market yet fail to comprehend the effort it takes to drive adoption. As a result, the projects flail due to lack of user adoption. This problem is further exaggerated when the application is dependent upon having a large user base. Take for example Instagram or WhatsApp. If there is no audience, adoption fails as peer to peer patterns are essential yet impossible without users. Problem? Who will adopt a mobile app for such a platform prior to an audience existing? As such, a solid strategy and tactical plans for adoption of users is of paramount importance to any mobile app project.

Our Services

We have worked on many mobile app platforms and applications and have strategies to draw upon. Some of our textbook strategies are simple while others are more complex, business-domain driven courses of action to drive massive user-adoption. We have also had great success with app-store search rankings, another often-overlooked critical success factor of mobile adoption. If your application cannot be found by users, they are unable to install or use it. Our experience in this area has proven itself many times over.

Embarking on a mobile application project may seem daunting (and it can be). Our experience can be useful as a standalone consulting engagement to help guide through the myriad of pitfalls or to help drive the overall mobile application project. Managing such projects, we build cross-discipline teams that intersect business and technical domains to drive a successful effort. Even if you are thinking of hiring another agency for developing or you want to build a mobile app using an in-house development team, spending a few hours to discuss it with us will be beneficial. Please use the contact form to reach out if you have any questions.

 
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