The Midland's Business Journal recently tapped our expertise for an article on mobile application development and I figured I'd share the original excerpt that was sent for their general use. Enjoy!
What have you noticed with regard to interest from your clients/prospect clients in mobile apps?
Mobile applications are becoming a frequent research request with our current clients and in the last year we've seen a significant increase in inquiries from business and entrepreneurs alike. Their needs have ranged from practical apps individuals can use regularly, gaming, online shopping with direct client contact to apps that are integrated into a web based content management system. In particular, most companies that have contacted us for development are interested in creating functional applications that their employees or members can benefit directly from or allow their people to streamline processes; saving time and money.
What are some examples of projects you have worked on, particularly unique clients or undertakings, in this space?
We've been fortunate in our development and integration and have created apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Tablet. In particular, one of the apps that we are most proud of was our efforts with the IBEW Local 22 Union application. This app was cross platformed and optimized for iOS and Android devices and is integrated into a web based content management system which can upload data to phones for use later when there is not an internet connection available. The purpose of the app was to assist members and potential union members to see job calls, business development and to join if you are a non-member. Furthermore, Union members can login, pay union dues, easily resign and track various forms and now can sign-up / pay for educational classes provided by the Union. As the app has been released, there has been a steady adoption of the app and a very positive response from union members. Truly, a fine example of how cooperation and a detailed understanding of goals results in success.
What are the biggest misconceptions you encounter from your clients about the app development process or just in apps in general and their biz benefit?
The largest issue we've found is the misconception that an app is simply a website that is available on a phone; rather than an application that can offer much more. A mobile app has the ability to leverage it's direct connection to the owner of the phone and provide services / information such as geolocation, camera and voice integration, calendar integration and a link to business contacts at their fingertips. All of this without having the need to type an address or reference a bookmark.
What are some ways our readers/your existing clients or prospects can make the process a little easier for you and assure the best outcome?
Businesses and individuals can benefit greatly by contacting a professional to get an initial list of needs established and then working from that starting point to plan and document the functions / processes that will be needed for the end user to operate the app and also provide the best user experience. Like most projects, the better the planning the faster and less costly the process.
What else would you like to add, with regard to suggestions for our readers who are considering apps for their ventures? Or just with regard to apps in general? When considering the creation of an app I would recommend looking into the existing products that are out, and if there is something similar, look into the pros and cons behind the interface, graphics and process. Improvements are everywhere and creating a great user experience encourages continued use and also makes it easy to expand your base. Another consideration is what market you'll be targeting and if your user base is more likely to use an iPhone, iPad, Tablet or Android device. Each requires programming specific to the platform and can increase costs significantly.