Planning the design of mobile applications

mobile applications design

An important thing to remember when building mobile applications is that you won’t always have an end user with a powerful smartphone. As smartphones get more powerful each year, you will still have users with legacy hardware. Most designers turn to skeuomorphism, with the “less is more” attitude. Intricate designs and intriguing animations put a lot more strain on smartphone hardware and can completely ruin the user experience. Additionally, developing and opening layout defect opportunities takes longer when QA is testing the application. Another common trend among designers is to use standardized elements like hamburger menus and icon packs (like those included in Awesome Font). This especially makes sense with mobile apps, as these types of components / controls are built into frameworks natively. I think it’s also best to involve a developer or senior architect in the early stages of planning, as they can provide insight into the impact of some of these decisions on performance or the feasibility of application functionality.

Choice of software development methodology to use

Many software development stores follow the traditional Waterfall model, which is perfectly acceptable for many different scenarios. However, I think Maven Digital mobile app development Solutions is a little different, and these apps should be seen more as a product rather than a project. Considering the constant evolution of smartphones and their operating systems, it is important to be adaptable after your application goes into production. That’s why I highly recommend using the Agile Methodology for Mobile Applications Development. By dividing the schedule into sprints, it is much easier to track and test the implemented features. Especially if there is a complex mobile applications with a wide range of supported devices, testing using the Waterfall methodology will guarantee to become unmanageable. On the flip side, I’m not particularly picky about project and fault tracking tools – as long as you have something that works for you and your team, great! However, I will say that I had a pleasant experience using Jira for fault tracking and it works quite well in an agile environment. Only a little food for thought!

Planning your quality assurance testing strategy

QA testing for mobile applications is generally much more comprehensive than any other type of application. Especially if you support Android operating systems, your app can run on thousands of different device types, with many OS versions. Some of these methods really apply at any point in the initiative, but whatever the strategy is, it should be planned in advance and not added later when you think you have the time. If you plan your project haphazardly, more often than not you will find that later on you will not have any spare time because your team is rushing to solve other issues.

Unit testing of mobile applications

I start with the first test pass, whatever methodology you decide. Unit testing is a common practice that I think many companies don’t apply often. Of course, a developer here or there who wants to write test scripts to check if their code breaks before that happens to QA can take the initiative, but that’s not always the case. To make it easier, there are different unit testing frameworks to help you with the process – don’t think about it, just do it .Unfortunately; mobile apps have to be tested on real devices, which can mean a lot of different devices. There are certainly options for using emulators, but they’ve always been incredibly slow and don’t behave like real devices. Taking into account the different operating systems, device proportions and resolutions, and operating system versions, you will likely have a lot of work to do. It may be worth considering paying for cloud testing, which is often much more cost effective than buying or leasing actual devices to use. Just make sure you go to a reputable company and get a chance to demo the services first – a slow VPN connection can be maddening when connecting to remove devices. Some examples of testing services in the cloud would Xamarin Test Cloud or test cloud Opium, which combine well with automated test solutions. Which brings us to…?

Define your testing strategy

The combination of all of these can still result in a messy and complicated testing process. Passing the tests of your mobile applications will require a strict set of requirements, a full breakdown of your task / story requirements, and detailed test cases. Whatever testing strategy you decide on, keep in mind that there will always be some degree of manual testing on real devices to make sure your mobile app is working properly.

How will your mobile app receive updates?

First of all, I’m not talking about push notifications or refreshing content – that’s a completely separate topic. I am referring to updating your mobile app to a new version. Traditionally, you manage updates submitting the compiled application to application stores with some additional information about the update and wait for approval. Users will then receive a notification of a newer version and have the option to update. But what if your app is used internally and isn’t in the App Store? What if users decide not to update their mobile app? Let’s start with the first question – it’s quite common, especially with enterprise mobile apps, not to bring your app into an app store. The available solutions are more likely to apply to native mobile apps, rather than hybrid apps (more on this in a bit).

Updating native mobile apps

Don’t worry Apple and Google offer solutions for their respective operating systems. The iOS method of pushing updates is more complicated to configure and requires the use of their Mobile Device Management Solution. Android mobile apps that are not on the Google Play app store are usually released in beta, and then developers create mechanisms for the app to check the server for updates, like the solution here. If you are feeling really daring, you can try the Evolve Framework (which I haven’t tried), which touts the ability to silently update Android apps that aren’t in the Play Store without prompting them to update. There is obviously a huge risk involved with this method, as the project has not been updated for more than 2 years, which could lead to many complications with the release of new versions of Android. I really can’t recommend that you try this framework, but if you have a good experience with it, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

Update of hybrid mobile applications

Updates to hybrid mobile apps, whether or not they’re in an app store, have much more leniency with silent updates than native apps. That’s thanks to Android, Windows 10, and iOS all having rough definitions of content updates – and since hybrid mobile apps are mostly JavaScript / HTML / CSS, pushing that new “content” doesn’t break the rules. Originally created by Idea Press, this feature is widely available on popular frameworks such as Phone Gap for Ionic.

Mobile application analysis

Once your mobile app is available, you’ll need to track how users interact with it, so you can use that data to fine tune the user experience and add SEO Sydney or remove new features. There are plenty of free mobile analytics platforms available, and it would definitely be worth checking out which features suit your needs. I’ve always been comfortable with the Google Analytics Platform, so this has been my natural ‘go-to’ for mobile analytics – it also supports use on iOS and Android, although I have it. Vu implemented on Windows Universal and Linux Ubuntu Desktop applications as well. It should be noted that implementing analytics on mobile apps requires more setup time than on a traditional website. Since there are no implicit natural pages like on a website, integrations with the analytics platform of your choice should take place at every user event (like tapping a menu item).That being said, I recommend that you choose your analytics platform before starting development, as you won’t have to waste time upgrading it to your mobile app at a later stage. It is generally easier to add event tracking when creating events.

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