At ZESIUM, we focus on the development of tailor-made products, including native mobile app development (Android, iOS), backend/web app development, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
We are Agile and able to adjust our development process per your requirements. Our mission is to build the best products and develop solutions for the global problems while challenging ourselves to create innovative products.
We are thrilled to announce that Clutch has recognized ZESIUM as one of Serbia’s leading developers in the app development space. For context, Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. Clutch has become the go-to resource for buyers looking for the best company to hire and businesses seeking qualified leads and new projects.
Companies must exhibit an unusually high ability to deliver top-tier work to their clients to be eligible for a Clutch Leader Award. Receiving this award is no small feat, and we’re extremely appreciative of this recognition.
We’re proud to receive this outstanding award and look forward to helping even more partners expand their businesses. We believe that customer satisfaction is one of our most significant benchmarks for success.
To our partners that trusted us, we genuinely appreciate it.
Here’s what they have to say about working with us:
Head Of Software Services Department, ADMS Software Company
“They’ve helped us a lot on the mobile front. We didn’t have any resources that actually had the knowledge on making mobile apps. We now have four mobile teams, two on our side and two on theirs. We’ve been with ZESIUM for the last seven years, and we’re really satisfied.”
If you’d like to know more about us and our projects, check out our profile on Clutch.
We are your ‘set-and-forget’ technical partner – we Bring Your Ideas to Life with software products tailor-made for YOU.
Send us a message now, and we can start talking about how we can help your business grow.
Still, obtaining useful feedback from users is more difficult than you think thus it has to be performed in a proper manner.
When talking about collecting feedback, one of the best ways to do it is via in-app surveys. These surveys provide valuable user insights, increase engagement and take the predictions out of the way for your app to grow.
In this article, we will provide you with the best practices to create a mobile app feedback form and tips on how to act upon the collected feedback.
Why Are In-App Surveys Excellent for User Feedback
Mobile web surveys have very low response rate (1-3%) while in-app surveys record an average 13% response rate. If you enable your users to leave feedback without having to leave the app will add value by increasing time spent in your app.
In-app surveys enable targeting specific users – the more you narrow your audience, the better. You should target based on app version, completing certain in-app actions or subscription level and more.
Since you ask specific questions within the context, user feedback is more concrete and actionable.
Feedback will help you to prioritize certain tasks in your product roadmap and also reach smarter decisions on how to invest your resources.
Not only that, but with options to target specific audiences and user pain points, you will be able to improve user experience significantly and boost retention rates.
With in-app surveys, you will be able to identify both happy and unhappy users – it will give you an opportunity to respond to unhappy ones directly without having them complaining within the App Store and improve your Store ranking.
The most important benefit of all is that users’ feedback will give you more insights and deeper understanding on how and why people use your mobile app.
With these details, you will be able to meet their expectations and build more meaningful relationships with your users.
If you plan to implement in-app surveys, follow some of these essential practices for the best results.
Get the Timing Right
If you wish to implement app surveys, be careful with the timing – you do not want to annoy your users with pop-ups. Be patient, do not interrupt your users in the middle of any task and do not ask for a survey too soon, for example immediately when they open the app. It will definitely be a negative point for you and it can potentially trigger a lost user.
Avoid asking for the feedback when the user has just launched your app for the first time, or if they are in the middle of any process like making a purchase, sharing content or similar.
Once the users completed their desired action, then it is the right time to ask for feedback. For example, if the user has just received a shipment, beat a new game level or finished streaming a movie then it is the right time to discreetly ask them to rate or comment on your app.
If you do not bother or interrupt your users, they will be more prone to provide their feedback.
Keep it Short
Mobile is different from laptops, desktops or tablets. Mobile screen is smaller thus not ideal for a comprehensive survey or many questions.
You should keep it as short as possible – ask 1-2 questions to boost response rates and choose the questions which can be answered with a single tap. If you see the room to replace text answers with visuals or emojis, make sure to do it.
In-app survey questions should be simple and straightforward, letting users reply with a single tap on the answer or emoji. It also has to be discrete, not to take over the entire screen giving the opportunity for uninterested users to dismiss it easily.
You can also add follow-up question(s) to get more in-depth feedback, but it is not necessary.
You can also send a message to your users that you’re interested in their individual responses by asking to provide their contact details. Just make sure to reply or send a thank you note to each user who sent you their feedback this way.
Make Your Surveys Noticeable
You can also include pop-ups as constant additions to your mobile app. These pop-ups should be apparent without cluttering the UI – you can achieve this by adding them to your top menus, headers or footers and more.
You can choose polls or similarly featured surveys in your app – Twitter has done related polls in its newsfeed to gather feedback but it was done in such a way so it does not interrupt the user experience, which is the most essential thing to pay attention to when creating in-app surveys or polls.
For example, if any users requested a certain feature to be implemented, you can invite them to beta test it or notify them once it is launched. You can invite your satisfied users to join your loyalty programs, share content or recommend your app to their friends thus acting as your brand/app ambassadors.
Dissatisfied users can be followed up with a personal approach from your support or can be notified if the problem within the app was resolved.
Listen to Your Users for Real
Your users do not have to provide feedback and you should understand that THEY are doing you a FAVOR by providing it.
This applies to both positive and especially negative feedback.
Negative feedback must get special attention – your team should reply in detail to the user showing your dedication to resolve issues and ensure that your app satisfies your users’ needs.
You can also make announcements or write blog posts thanking your users for their feedback and assuring them that every comment was heard and taken seriously.
Be Simple but Do Not Limit Users
The common practice is to keep it as simple as possible but sometimes simple YES/NO questions will not provide the information you need.
Depending on the situation, open-ended questions may give better insights into your users’ thoughts and preferences.
Open-ended questions do not necessarily mean to expect users to submit long answers since typing on mobile is not ideal. Save that type of questions that require longer written responses for email or personal follow ups.
You can also add small incentives to longer surveys as rewards especially if the surveys contain more than 2-3 questions. Incentives can be for example, 10% off the subscription or free trial and similar.
You can send invitations to users to provide you more detailed feedback to a dedicated email address providing them with the opportunity to leave detailed feedback if they wish.
Do Not Rely on Pop-Ups
If you wish to collect user input, keep in mind that it does not have to be a formal poll or a survey. The best strategy would be to incorporate feedback into your app’s UI.
One of the great examples is Spotify – they’ve created a strong value that helps users to discover new music. Spotify included buttons in the shape of heart and cross for their suggested songs within the user’s daily music mix.
Such an approach ensured a quick way to get feedback from their users on how well their suggestions matched users’ preferences which directly improves their suggestions and also discover new favourite music pieces.
Mobile in-app surveys have become a common tool in the area of customer feedback and user research.
When designing a survey for your mobile app, keep in mind to provide a seamless experience as the last thing you want is to trigger users to abandon your app.
Besides myriad of benefits, mobile in-app surveys are one of the most effective ways to improve user experience but also your product development.
11 Ways to Secure Your Mobile App From Hackers in 2022
Mobile applications are crucial today for businesses and personal use. Each year, the number of mobile apps developed is increasing – with the increasing number of users, businesses are eager to seize the opportunity to meet their clients in a way that is familiar to them.
However, as mobile applications increase, it gives more chances to hackers to penetrate thousands of devices – mobile apps have become their gateway to steal consumer data.
Businesses also use mobile apps in the workplace, therefore, it is necessary to take careful consideration and implement policies for protection. Furthermore, if a business is in the process of developing their own app, they have to make sure that it is secured from hackers.
Why Mobile Application Security Matters?
Most consumers don’t think about mobile app security. They just download apps they find interesting, and it doesn’t seem to matter to them if it’s within any App Store or from a third-party source.
With this in mind, it is crucial that businesses should think of mobile app security for themselves and their consumers. For this to be achieved, they need to hire a mobile app developer that is knowledgeable in cybersecurity.
Not all developers are equal in knowledge and skills, therefore, it is vital to find someone who can create an application that is functional, convenient, and secure. Furthermore, company security practices also strengthen data protection from a mobile app.
How to Secure Your Mobile App in 2022
The presence of malware on a mobile device can be a threat to mobile apps with weak coding. Vulnerability as such can be exploited by hackers. Once an attacker has a copy of the application’s code, they can reverse engineer it, repack, and post it for consumers to install on their devices.
Therefore, it is vital for developers to write secure codes, detect any vulnerabilities on the app, and strengthen it to avoid reverse engineering.
Enforce Strong Password and Authentication
When your company’s mobile application requires consumers to create an account, don’t hesitate to enforce a strict password creation and implementation of authentication.
Developers can create apps that will require consumers to create a password with a combination of upper and lower cases, numbers, and symbols. Insisting that your consumers create strong passwords for their accounts will keep them secure, especially since consumers don’t think about the susceptibility of weak passwords.
Another way to secure your mobile app from hackers is to implement multi-factor authentication. You can give your users the option to activate the multi-factor feature after they have created their accounts.
Educate them on how they can use this feature and explain they can receive a code via email or text, or use biometric features.
It is also vital to implement a policy that your employees must use a strong password and activate authentication for better security.
Design According to Platform
Mobile apps created are specific to a certain operating system.
It is best that the developer is knowledgeable on multiple mobile OS to create applications that can work for them.
In addition, apps on different platforms must have secure codes that depend on the limitations and possibilities of the OS.
Several people use a variety of applications across devices and operating systems. As a result, you must guarantee that the data shared through your application is not exposed as a result of a vulnerability in any OS or device.
Secure the data in both ways, in-transit or stored.
You can also give your users the option to clear the cache on your app, so they don’t have to store information that can be a source of vulnerability.
Make Reverse Engineering Difficult
Reverse engineering is a way hackers get to know an app and alter the coding for hacking purposes. Hackers will detect bugs and then insert their code and affect the normal function of your app. They can use bugs that can redirect the data to their server and more.
Developers can use coding languages that are more resistant to reverse engineering such as C++. Decompiling Java code is much easier than decompiling C/C++ code. As a result, some developers use the NDK to write critical pieces of their code. They also include those files in a built library.
Although C++ code can be broken into assembly language code, reverse engineering in such a large library can be time-consuming.
Secure API and the Backend
APIs are necessary for the integration of third-party services as well as the improvement of functionality. It allows systems to communicate with one another and exchange data.
Using a secure API is a must for better app security.
In addition, to protect against malicious assaults, backend servers should have security measures in place. As a result, make sure all APIs are verified for the mobile platform you’re planning to code for, as transport protocols and API authentication can vary.
Permit Less Storage of Sensitive Data
If at all feasible, make sure that confidential user data is never stored on the device or on your servers. This is because holding user data unnecessarily raises your risk levels.
Finally, reduce your reliance on logs by ensuring that they are automatically removed after a predetermined period.
Use the Most Up-to-Date Encryption Technology
It’s critical that you stay up to date on the latest security algorithm technology, and that you use modern encryption methods like AES with 256-bit encryption and SHA-256 for hashing wherever possible.
There are companies that even hire a hacker to see how their application functions and test its security. In this way, you will be able to find security issues immediately and fix them before sending them out to consumers.
Activate Alert System
You can use a specific alert system to notify if there are changes in the application source code.
Also, you can add a feature on your mobile app that allows the users to get notifications when someone tries to sign into their account. It can include details like location, the device used, and more.
Vanessa Venugopal is an experienced content writer. With four years of experience, she mastered the art of writing in various styles and topics. She is currently writing for Softvire Australia – the leading software eCommerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand.
Top 10 Tips for Better eCommerce Mobile App UX Design
Mobile eCommerce is changing the way customers experience online shopping – the design of mobile store apps now bring more convenience than ever before.
With eCommerce mobile app UX design, you will create enriched experiences with users in mind. This part of the eCommerce business is critical, as it provides profitable solutions and delivers the opportunity for shoppers to find your app useful.
We provide you with 10 eCommerce app design tips to help you increase your conversion rates and drive customer-centered UX.
1. Curate Thumb-Friendly Screen Zones
Proper placement of elements encourages users to take specific actions. If it’s not developed correctly, this can complicate the customer’s journey from the start.
Thumb-friendly zones give users space on the screen to easily reach with their thumb while holding their smartphone in the same hand. This makes clicking much easier and guarantees a better user experience.
Thumb-friendly zones include the lower corners and center of the screen. You can put elements on the screen in other places, but it’s best to think about how the user’s hand naturally grips a typical smartphone device.
For example, add-to-cart or payment processing buttons are specific elements to consider placing within comfortable reach zone.
The reason behind this is typically poor UX design. With that in mind, a small screen size on mobile devices creates a major barrier to mobile eCommerce.
Users need to read product descriptions and shipping details, so providing a seamless shopping experience is important.
To achieve an enhanced user experience, check all possible spacing issues and maximize content readability on screens.
3. Use the Three-Tap Rule
When designing a mobile eCommerce app, the UX structure should take no more than three taps to get to a product.
Follow this requirement by arranging your products in the order below:
Furthermore, you can use tags to arrange products into categories such as “Valentine’s Sale” or “Christmas Gifts,” for example. Consider the search bar as an essential element of UX design for your mobile app. It helps customers get directly to a product they’re interested in buying.
In general, you can think of the three-tap rule as a way to easily transform the mobile app UX design into fewer clicks.
4. Simple Registration and Checkout
Try to avoid a lengthy checkout process by asking for personal information only when you truly need it. It’s best to keep UX as simple as possible, and it should fit within the mobile device’s screen without scrolling.
Most people find that a multi-page signup and checkout process is frustrating. So, you’re essentially testing their patience — which is the typical reason for abandoned carts and profit loss.
To ensure you create a flawless checkout experience, use autofill fields and allow users to modify their orders easily. For example, it would help the user if they could change the number and size of a product before they finalize their purchase.
5. Stick With a Minimalistic Aesthetic
Simplifying your interface makes it more likely customers will find their products. So, avoid making the UI (user interface) complex.
When it comes to great UX design, think of first-time users. The mobile app should be seamless to use and embrace a minimalist mindset. The best solutions to achieving a minimalist design involve:
Simple color schemes. You can achieve a monochromatic color scheme by modifying the brightness and saturation of one hue.
Using a single typeface. Consider experimenting with the size and style of your chosen typeface rather than using multiple fonts.
Paying attention to spacing. Lines and dividers are known for bordering different sections of the screen. However, they can make your eCommerce mobile app design look cluttered. Try to use shadows, colors, and spacing instead for defining areas in a non-obtrusive manner.
6. Keep It Consistent
Consistency is one of the most common mobile app UX design tips. To maintain this key design principle, consider three elements that come into play:
Visuals: Buttons, color schemes, and typefaces should look the same.
Functionality: Interactive features should work the same on different screens.
External: Your website, mobile app, and products should have similar design schemes.
When you apply these principles correctly, you provide benefits for your e-commerce business as well as your customers.
Using VR integration with UX can help users view products more effectively within a life-like setting.
This feature can boost shopping experience by allowing users to skip a trip to the store. Users can wear clothes virtually or look at how a piece of furniture would fit in their home.
Wrap up on UX Design for Your eCommerce Mobile App
Alongside the top 10 tips for UX design listed here, there are plenty more ways to enhance the overall user experience. Experimenting with new UX features and testing for efficiency can have several benefits. However, it’s important to have a clear understanding of UX design for eCommerce mobile platforms.
Keep in mind that UX design development will remain a continuous process. Watch for the latest UX trends and provide the best possible solutions for users. By establishing this best practice, you can look forward to more profitability and higher user satisfaction rates.
How to Effectively Position a Banking Mobile App in the Market
Mobile banking app market was projected to generate $693 billion from downloads as per some statistical reports – in 2020, the total payment value generated by using mobile devices reached $503 billion.
Increasing numbers of mobile users has also incited the growth of mobile payment services worldwide.
With such increasing numbers, financial institutions have moved beyond traditional marketing channels and try to leverage mobile technology as an important sales channel.
Banks are going digital to take advantage of technological innovations, becoming better, stronger, and more trusted by their customers. By now, the most competitive banks offer their clients mobile banking – the ability to complete the financial transactions via their smartphones or tablets. In order to keep up with growing demands of clients, both digital and legacy banks must continue to adapt to mobile market trends.
Clients tend to handle more transactions via mobile phone, thus the result may be an increase of your bank revenue generated by mobile.
Paperless benefits to mobile banking not only help to protect the environment, but also reduce postage costs for banks.
Banking apps reduce human errors and let your clients manage their own finances in a smarter way while you will have better visibility of bank processes and address service issues instantly.
Mobile provides push and in-app notifications which significantly improves the communication. Those notifications are personalized alerts notifying users about certain actions (paying the bill, etc.) and should be used as a way of passing on key information. Notifications can improve customer relations with the brand if used properly.
Mobile is the best way to leverage technologies for improving user experience since you can offer personalized and tailored insights for users based on their preferences resulting in smoother customer experience.
If banks want to learn more about their customers’ habits and preferences, the mobile is the right way to go. Mobile banking apps enable banks to collect feedback thus improving the overall customer experience.
How to promote your mobile banking
If you want to drive adoption you need to raise awareness of the benefits, educate and onboard your clients and give them a reason to change now.
Motivating mobile adoption requires you to explore the barriers standing in customers’ way. Is it difficult to sign up, are they unsure how to use the app and similar will help you to perceive your product from their standview.
If you want your mobile app adoption to be effective, you should implement both online and in-branch tactics.
What’s in it for the consumer?
Think about why would anyone pay attention to your app?
People usually need a slight push, so think about the perks of giving a mobile app a try.
You should try to figure out what to offer in order to meet the requirements of your audience – such a strategy can result in success when promoting your banking mobile app.
Pay Attention to Your Audience
Some research showed that certain banks and financial institutions are more prone to younger, more tech educated people who already have a good knowledge of mobile technology.
But do not forget about older people – many older people are actively engaged or interested in mobile apps and technology. Carefully choose a plan that includes this demographic group and you may be surprised.
If you want to attract both younger and older generations, make sure that your offers are valuable to your targeted audience. It will be difficult to attract or retain people if the app is slow or complicated – the whole point is convenience and ease of use, so make sure your app delivers exactly those features.
Empower Your Frontline
A great chance to promote your mobile banking app is when the clients visit your banking branch. Once they finalize their service, you can walk them through how to complete their transactions via mobile.
That means that your frontline staff must be confident using your mobile app while recommending it to your clients.
Your staff that interacts with your customers regularly must be familiar with your app and able to use it and help customers with any issues that customers may reveal.
If you want to cover all angles, you can offer help to people to download your app or set it up physically in your bank, while online you could provide a tutorial on your website.
Onboarding users and showing them the simplicity of your mobile banking app is the best way to drive them to use your app.
Create a resource centre on your website
One of the major obstacles to adopting your banking mobile app is the confidence and know-how level when using your mobile app. If clients do not believe they can complete their transactions correctly and securely, they will not use it.
You can overcome this issue by providing product simulations on your website. Such an approach will properly onboard your users and give them a chance to educate themselves on how to use your apps without any difficulties.
Any mobile app needs an onboarding section, so providing various forms like tutorials, step-by-step guidelines or FAQ section or chat will surely help in educating people and supporting the adoption.
Run an Interactive Marketing Campaign
Interactive campaigns are a great way to promote your mobile banking app. You can raise awareness, educate your clients and incentivize mobile app adoption all within a single experience.
Interactive campaigns create engaging experiences that encourage people to stick around – you can also combine experiences (e.g. games) with awards that customers will care about.
Engaging techniques will give your customers a reason to engage with your app in a long run building their usage habits and getting insights into their preferences.
A Single-Feature Emphasis
The biggest mistake of many sales reps and marketers is to try to explain ALL benefits at once. Highlighting specific features at a time will allow customers to focus only on one feature and more easily process the information.
If you send marketing emails promoting your banking mobile app, always highlight only the most important details to engage users to keep reading.
Step-by-step guidelines and checklists will help with this approach but remember to stay clear of heavy text in your emails or newsletter.
Social Media for Promotion
Today’s consumers want to be able to manage their own accounts, spendings or savings and that is the reason why financial institutions focus a lot on mobile technology. They tend to make their brand stand out in their social media ads with value propositions.
A new approach would be to promote mobile banking as a lifestyle itself – such an approach will create a better sense of integration between the bank’s products and their mobile apps.
Social media can be used for SEO purposes as well – you can target your physical stores and use keyword phrases like ‘bank near me’ or rely on product specific keywords like bank accounts.
However, be careful with social media and ads so as not to trigger a counterffect. Step into their shoes and give them a good reason to download your new app – once you perceive things this way, consider adding it to your strategy.
If you want to differentiate your mobile app from your competitors’, your marketing team should translate/convey the value proposition of the mobile app into the messaging that will support the lifestyle of their customers and end users.
Mobile banking trends
Some of the most in-demand features of mobile banking apps as per industry analysts are as follows:
Such tools enable users to perform basic banking tasks in-app while helping banks to establish a single-channel experience. A hassle-free digital experience demands flawless mobile management capabilities.
Security and control
Security functionalities enable customers to overview their personal information – such a need was accentuated in the pandemic.
Security is the utmost factor when talking about consumers’ confidence in banks’ digital means.
Security features today are becoming more and more advanced with technologies like biometric authentication, facial recognition and voice recognition.
Alerts or notifications are one of the most important ways for banks to reach their customers – they are the best approach if being in easy-to-use and interactive format.
Banks can gain a competitive edge by investing in less common alerts like password changes or purchases above the previously set amount.
Finally, what do customers expect?
Mobile banking is definitely the future of the banking industry.
If you wish to increase adoption, try to figure out the reasons why your clients hesitate and help them with the onboarding – only if you offer them unique value, will they try your mobile app.
Customers today are bound to their smartphones and they expect their banks to be at their pocket’s reach. If you combine useful features with high security standards, it will enable you to retain both, new and existing customers.
Guest blog author and Co-founder of Inspire Visual
There’s money to be made if you own an app, but the competition is fierce and it’s important to deploy the optimal strategy for your app, otherwise your time and money will be poorly spent.
If you are interested in building an app and making sure it stands out from the competition, you must have an outstanding app design and utilize senior app development techniques that will leave your competitors in the dust.
The best apps all have a modern and simple user interface, an easy way to navigate the app and absolutely no, zilch, zero show-stopper bugs. A skilled app development agency can help you get the most out of each of these important attributes.
Before you contact an app development agency or a freelance developer, it’s wise to understand the app development process so you’re not jumping in blind-folded. Our guide will walk you through the process so you know exactly what it takes to be a winner.
Phase 1: The beginnings
1. Brainstorm your app
Having a carefully considered plan is going to build the foundation for everything that is coming later, so you need to do your homework before calling the designers and developers.
Keep these points in mind when you brainstorm:
What are the core features your app should help solve?
What are your competitors currently offering?
Why would users switch to your app? What features will you include to make it stand out?
These 3 points are the fundamental questions you should be answering in the early phase.
Once you have these written down, you can always refer to them later as your milestones for the following phases.
2. Write down the basics and form a strategy
After thinking about the answers to the questions above, expand and add more detail to each.
What do you want your app users to focus on, what’s less important and should be put on a sub-page?
Maybe you want the app to be free to the user and paid for by in-app advertising banners. There are several mobile advertising platforms and they each offer their own monetization structure. Check Google AdMob, AdColony, StartApp, UnityAds, and Epom to see which works for you.
You should also consider the type of in-app ad style you want to include. There are:
Banners (small rectangular ads embedded on the app screens)
Interstitial ads (appear when switching between screens)
Native ads (designed to look like part of the app and less intrusive)
Video ads (can offer rewards for clicking)
Require a one-time payment for unlimited use of your app. This used to be the only alternative to free apps, but their popularity has dwindled with the introduction of subscription and micro transaction payments.
This is the most popular revenue generating model for apps, especially on the Apple store. In 2020 annual spending on the top 100 subscription apps in the United States, was led by Apple’s App Store at 4.5 billion US dollars followed by Google’s Play Store at 1.4 billion US dollars.
Micro transactional payments
Another very popular payment method and only surpassed by subscription based payments. Micro transactions are small payments within the app that expand the features of the app, either for lifetime or for a limited time. This is an especially popular method used by gaming publishers.
3. Do in-depth analysis of your competition
Research of your competition is a critical step in the process of app development. It’s essential to understand the market niche of your app and to determine the competition. There is a lot of selection and competition in the app world, so you’re going to want to make sure you have a truly unique idea.
It doesn’t matter if there are many apps already available and similar to your app idea, because yours could be the one to beat them all.
By spending some time looking at your competitors’ apps, you’ll be able to find out their weaknesses and if you read the reviews, you’ll also find out what people want that is not already in the app.
Based on your research, add features that they don’t have, because that’s what you are going to emphasize when you promote your app.
No one is going to switch to your app if it’s just a carbon copy of an already existing app, but they’ll quickly be on-boarding if you are offering useful extras.
Phase 2: Now it’s time to Design and Develop
4. Visualize the App
Wireframes are simple drafts created to outline the look and feel of your app. They are similar to blueprint drawings for a building, except that they outline every screen, interactive object and the interactions between them.
While wireframes can be put down on paper initially, it’s recommended to use one of the many online tools. Digital wireframes will make it much easier to make changes, especially as your wireframes become more detailed and complex in structure.
Once your wireframes are completed, you can share them with your friends, colleagues and team members for feedback on the navigation and structure of your app. If there are any show stoppers this is the time to find out, before you move onto the design and development of the actual app. Making changes in a wireframe tool is much more costly and time effective than having to do it later.
If you have no idea what tools are available, don’t fret. We’ve got a list of the 3 best coming up.
All the wireframe tools listed are top contenders in their field. They are perfect for laying out an entire app structure and interaction.
These tools are great for beginners with intuitive interfaces and tutorials available for any additional guidance needed.
Axure is widely popular as a wireframe tool allowing designers and UX gurus to create flowcharts, wireframes and mockups. It can even go a step further by providing the option to build prototypes of apps, meaning functional wireframes that can be navigated by clicking around.
Additionally, it’s possible to add interactive design diagrams and functionality using sitemaps, UIs and HTML.
Another great feature for teams is the option to collaborate with team members and add comments throughout for feedback.
Axure offers templates for setting up wireframes for Android, iOS and web based apps. The blank canvas presented initially can be populated by simple screen layouts and later have animation effects, clickable elements and more added for an impressive visual presentation.
The wireframes can be exported to preview on mobile phones, further improving the app’s functionality and usefulness for testing out concepts.
You can get started with Axure for $300/annually for an individual user or $504/annually per user for a team license with additional features such as co-authoring, revision history and cloud hosting.
A streamlined visual tool combining diagrams and design in one online solution.
With Moqups it’s possible to wireframe any app you can think of. It also supports mockups, mind maps, diagrams, and prototypes in a small efficient package.
The tool is entirely web based, so it requires an internet connection to build your app project, but most should be able to meet that requirement.
As with the other wireframe tools, it also supports team collaboration. Since it’s all done online there’s no issue working with a remote team placed in different locations in the world.
Moqups offer a Pro plan including 3 users for $192/annually or an Unlimited plan with no limit to the amount of users at $588/annually. They also have a free plan to try it out. It’s limited to 1 project and 200 objects with 5 MB of storage. Each button and graphical representation counts as 1 object, but at least you can try it out.
Introduced in 2018, Mockplus is a relatively new player in the market. It provides wireframing and prototyping on Android, iOS, PC, Mac and Web.
With more than 3000 icons and close to 200 components, there’s plenty of drag and drop elements available to build the interface you are envisioning.
By scanning a QR code, it’s possible to preview wireframes on a real device in real-time. Since it’s all built in HTML the compatibility is pretty much universal and if you are somewhere without an internet connection, wireframes can be downloaded for offline use.
It supports app team collaboration so multiple people can work on it simultaneously.
The price tag is $199/annually for an individual or $1999/annually for a team (10 members max).
5. Get started on the design
Once you have a sign off on the wireframes starts the fun part: Making your app pretty.
This is a vital step in the success of your app, because you have to make sure your coming app users will really enjoy using your app and not be turned off by an out of date design or just a plain poorly designed app with cut-off content or hard-to-navigate UX design.
Here’s where you decide what color palette you want to be applied to your app and what fonts and icons to use.
Unless you have designed apps before, it’s probably better to hire a professional app designer and work with them. You can suggest your vision and see them bring it to life.
The alternative and probably better option would be to hire an app development company and work with their designer. The advantage of hiring the entire team is that they’ll communicate and be on the same page throughout the project. Hiring people individually can be a recipe for disaster unless you are a pro project manager.
6. Let’s Put the Pieces Together with Development
You’re now at the phase where the design is ready to be handed over to the development team. They will review the technical requirements and choose the best technology stack for the app.
Each developer is assigned a specific module to complete if developing in sprints. Sprints usually are done in two week phases and at the end of each phase the app will be tested by the QA team to be sure no bugs are present for the final release.
During this phase your app is programmed natively for either Android or iOS or as a cross-platform solution for both devices in one source code. Any back-end integration with servers and APIs are also performed in this step.
In addition to the developers another team is also brought in through this phase. They are the Quality Assurance team. More about them in the next phase.
7. Testing, 1-2-3
The Quality Assurance team tests the app throughout development for any bugs, inconsistencies or anything not looking according to the requirements. All issues are logged in a bug tracking tool and sent back to the developer until the issues have been resolved.
Usually app development includes an alpha and beta test phase. The alpha test phase is the test phase described above and is all happening internally.
The beta phase is when your app is almost ready to be launched on the app store. At this point you do a soft launch in a live environment similar to the final environment. The app is hosted on the publisher’s app repository, but in an invite-only status.
A selected group of people are then asked to download the app and give feedback and report any bugs or issues they experience during use.
Once you have gotten feedback from everyone and adjusted the app accordingly, your app is ready for the official launch in the app stores.
You have to write descriptions, compile enticing screenshots and videos, figure out what geographic locations your app should be available in and of course the price of your app or payment model.
If you are launching on the Google Play store (for Android devices) there is no review phase before your app is pushed into the store. Apple’s App store does require the app to go through an Apple review first. Fortunately, it’s a quick 1 to 2-day process, so it won’t delay the app release significantly.
Once your app is live, don’t rest on your laurels.
An app has to be maintained regularly to stay up-to-date and bug-free. Sometimes new programming functions are introduced by Apple or Google and others are removed, so it’s necessary to keep an eye on crash reports coming in and fix any issues immediately.
Developing and maintaining an app is an exciting venture – enjoy your app ride and make it a long lasting one.