Harry Tudor, Negosentro | Once the remit of only technology companies and mega-corporations, mobile application development has grown exponentially over the past several years to reach every possible business sector and size of corporate enterprise. Now more than ever, open source communities, shared APIs, and streamlined coding techniques are coming together to form theoretical frameworks and expedited to-market deployment of custom mobile application development projects.
Even if you don’t learn mobile application development from a coding perspective, all business owners should have a sound understanding of the principles of custom development and builds, as well as white label products. As reported by CNBC, by 2020 smartphone devices will overtake all other communication devices with an estimated 6 billion users. For businesses, this means clients, employees, stakeholders, and prospects will increasingly depend upon and even expect much of their entertainment, service, business, and even governmental interactions to be instantly accessible through mobile platforms. For forward thinking businesses, now is the time to consider custom mobile application development.
To make the most of mobile application development, the business should first gain a firm basis of knowledge in agile development. Much about the agile methodology can be learned online at agilemethodology.org. The most important thing to learn about mobile application development methodologies such as agile development is that they are designed to promote excellent product design while meeting specific requirements in a constant release paradigm. By continually testing the mobile application development against its requirements in a systematic and introspective manner throughout the development lifecycle, agile development can create effective custom mobile application development projects that meet consumer expectations within time and cost parameters.
For businesses just envisioning a mobile application build for the first time, the agile concepts can apply to setting project requirements that guide development that is needed, desired, and effective. For each proposed function of the application concept, a user story should be written. These should be concise, specific, and discrete from each other. As each potential user, write user stories in the following format to guide development: “As a [user type], I want to [perform function] so that [desired result].” For instance, a user story may read, “As a client, I want to view my bill in the application so that I do not need to wait for its mail delivery.” User stories should always be functions rather than methods; agile methodology lets developers achieve the requirements without specific programmatic restrictions.
For those interested in learning mobile application development basics in order to better understand the principles of how mobile applications function, there are plenty of table-to-application development tools available for free that allow individuals with the even most rudimentary knowledge of tabular data and scripting to create simple custom mobile applications. These simple applications can include tools such as catalogs, mobile forms and data collection, and checklists. Trying your own hand at some simplified development can greatly enhance your ability to guide successful application development and production in your business.
Finally, although it should seem self-evident, mobile application development should always be guided by a specific need or improvement that is customer-driven and quantifiable. All too often, businesses invest tens of thousands of dollars in development of applications that were not desired and are never adopted by clients. To really make the most of development projects, it is critical to hold focus groups, collect surveys, and do appropriate market research to determine the marketability or even desirability of the proposed development project.