Wednesday, February 12, 2020

What You Should Look for in a Mobile App Development Platform

So you want to build a mobile app…well you’re not alone! There are more than 2.5 million apps in the Google Play app store and approximately 2 million in the Apple app store. This leaves room for some great mobile experiences…and inevitably some bad ones. In order to make your investment in mobile worth it, you need to deliver a great user experience on mobile – 89 percent of consumers would recommend a brand after a positive mobile experience. Yet, when mobile experiences aren’t as well thought out, consumers are 62 percent less likely to buy from your brand.

Who are the lucky recipients of taking on this responsibility? Marketers! 92 percent of marketing leaders say marketers should be held accountable for all touchpoints of the customer experience (both digitally and offline). But you don’t have to do it alone! Partnering with the right mobile app developer can elevate your customers’ mobile experiences. Let’s take a closer look at what you should look for in a mobile app development platform that will exceed your customers’ expectations on mobile.

What Are We Working With?

One size does not fit all when developing a mobile app. There are a couple of choices marketers have when it comes to designing their brand’s mobile experience, so it’s important to choose the one that aligns with your customers’ needs.

  • Native Mobile Apps: These are what come to mind when most consumers think of mobile apps. Users download them from the app store and update them as needed. Native mobile apps can also integrate with device hardware – such as the camera, push notifications, geolocation, etc. However, they often require separate development for Android and iOS and take up a large amount of storage on your device.
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): PWAs are web apps capable of native functionalities (like offline caching, integration to geolocation, camera, push notifications, etc). They can be written in any language, and only need to be developed once for any browser or operating system. PWAs are fast, work offline, take up little storage on devices… and the best part? Users don’t have to go through the app store to download them. On the other hand, they’re relatively new which means users might not be totally familiar with them, but in my opinion, they are the ideal platform for any brand looking to improve their customer experience.

Prepare for the Challenge

Now that you have a better idea of who your mobile champion is, it’s time to start thinking about the actual development process. When it comes to working with a mobile app developer, you’ll likely come across the terms “low code” and “no-code” app builders. While these two phrases might sound similar, they vary based on how custom you want your app to be. Just like the name suggests, you don’t have to be a developer to use a no-code platform….but you also can’t use code if you want to either.

Low-code platforms offer more control of what you can build since you’re not limited to the pre-built out components with no-code platforms. And some low-code platforms enable app developers to bring in their own code if needed which leaves room for additional custom features!

Made From Scratch

Building an app from ground zero might make you want to run for the hills…but it might actually be a (dare I say) addicting experience if you work with the right developer! Starter Kits, templates, and drag and drop app-building elements are examples of features that mobile app development platforms should have available, so you can see your app come to life in minutes. You’ll also want to look for an app developer that has a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) platform..this will eliminate the guessing game of what your app will look like across any device.

There you have it…a quick guide to use when looking for a mobile app development platform! Need a little more guidance on designing a mobile app? Be sure to check out our Mobile Design Swipe File guide to discover new trends with mobile experiences.