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An Exploration into 5 Mobile App Development Challenges and Best Practices
By: Admin Posted on: July 17, 2019 Category: App Development

The mobile devices are no longer limited for communication purpose only. With the expansion of the mobile market over time, even the least tech-savvy customers are now using their smart cellular devices to performance almost everything similar to the traditional systems. From online shopping to writing down notes to making a restaurant reservation, tasks are being done instantly with the help of relevant mobile applications.

The significant shift in the industrial development of both mobile devices and potential apps is practically besting various methodologies and software processes that were once customized to mobile application development sphere. At present, the app development landscape has fragmented into various subspecialties, including native app development, cross-app development, web app development, etc. Nevertheless, there are evident deficits and unenviable tasks that can produce potential risks and challenges around the application, derailing the quality, functionality, and marketability of your entire project. Below outlined are some hostile deficiencies and factors that are required to be analyzed carefully for successful development of mobile applications.

This post also aims to provide you with the best industrial practices and solutions that you can implement for conquering the critical challenges faced in the development landscape currently.

Challenge #1: Deciding What App to Develop

With a great deal of competition in the mobile app development market, it has become essential to plan and develop an app that is distinctive and easily gets noticed by people. Thus, there’s a constant pressure to design a revolutionary mobile app and not an evolutionary one. A revolutionary app is the only one of its kind and involves no competition, results in becoming an instant hit among people. The problem with an evolutionary app is that it is usually built based on the conception, objective, and functionality of a pre-built app with some changes like fonts, images, animations, etc. To create an innovative app that makes itself an industry leader and captures users’ attention, you need a unique idea that can change the public perception of what is possible.

Best Practice

Thoroughly analyze your competition to discover a successful break in the mobile application development market. Come with up an exceptional, original concept for your app project that not only streamlines consumers’ day-to-day activities but also gives them the ability to perform tasks they were not able to do before. Here are some questions that you must ask yourself when validating your app idea:

  • What purpose will the app serve?
  • What is the purpose and value proposition of the app?
  • Who are your target market and audience?
  • What platform and technology are appropriate for the app?
  • What is its functionality?

As stated above, competition is stiff and fierce, and you have to think outside the box and win the target audience to beat the competition and survive the battle of millions of apps.

Challenge #2: Poor User-Interface and User Experience

Businesses need to understand that the interface of a mobile app is not similar to computers as a smart device implicates different advanced motion sensors, gesture signals, and real-time location capability. That’s why you should not treat the mobile device as other system screen and cram the app with the latest, rad looking GUI elements used on websites. Chances are elements, like Hamburger menu and ghost buttons, might look and feel amazing when put on a website, but the same components on an app might make users clench their teeth in collective frustration and confusion. On top of that, designing multi-layer, complex navigation for a mobile app with limited screen real estate will make the user’s life difficult.

Best Practice:

When designing a mobile interface, keep the navigation simple and straightforward, so it feels familiar to people. Use navigation patterns and elements that don’t require any explanation and waste your users’ time. Since users tend to skim through the app, design and organize the information in such a way that allows them to go back and forth through the content easily with the minimum number of steps. Additionally, implement the navigation geared exclusively to make your design finger-friendly so that your targets or icons are big enough to hit and explore easily. You should see your app or website as a means to primarily provide a better experience through customer journey.

Challenge #3: Compatibility with various platforms

With various mobile operating systems and app development technologies out there, it becomes imperative to plan and build glitch-free, responsive apps that are compatible with different OS and mobile platforms. Putting emphasis only on one specific platform not only increases the development cost and time but also limits your outreach and declines the scope of your app to patrons using another technology. On the other hand, if you develop an app compatible with multiple platforms and devices, you can conduct productive customer segmentation, target a wider audience, reuse the code components, and reduce the time and cost of development. Nevertheless, sustaining the performance of your app and providing consistent user experiences across various platforms and screens of all sizes is moderately challenging.

Best Practice:

The most appropriate solution is to make sure that your code is reliable, maintainable, and efficient, and also that there’s a familiarity across development platforms. Have a steady look at devices and develop a responsive design that facilitates the necessary liquidity to boost higher adoption and match different platforms, formats, and screen sizes. Performance and efficiency issues can be solved by validating that the main logic, functionality, and code of your app is unchanged across all the platforms. Meanwhile, the interaction between native and non-native UI components of devices should be consistent.

Challenge #4: Improper Estimation of Requirements:

Inaccuracy in the estimation of essential requirements, such as technology stack, operating systems, and development technology, is another significant challenge encountered by many app creators. Your ongoing website or app development project can deviate if you are not sure about what programming languages, tools & technologies, and frameworks you want to use. That’s why it’s crucial that the tech stack, OS, and runtime environment you decide on should efficiently support your app.

Best Practice:

To select the appropriate technologies for developing your software product, your business plan and logic should be foolproof and well-organized. One critical aspect that you must remember is that the choice of technology directly influences the app performance and vice versa. Apart from the functionality and performance of the app, architectural factors, like maintainability, security, and scalability, need to be finalized as per your requirements. The front-end and the backend are two main software components you should keep in mind when choosing the corresponding tools for each one.

The Top Three Technologies in Front-end or Client-side Are:

CSS – the stylesheet language

HTML – the standard markup language

JavaScript – the high-level, interpreted programming language

The Backend Technology Stack Includes:

Some of the most popular backend tech stacks are:

  • LAMP: Linux (Operating System) + Apache (Server) + MySQL (Database) + PHP (Programming Language)
  • Python-Django: A combination of Apache (Web Server), Django (Framework), MySQL (Database), and Python (Programming Language)
  • MEAN: It stands for MongoDB (Database), Express.js (App Framework), AngularJS (Front-end Framework), and Node.js (production environment)
  • MERN: Same as MEAN, it uses MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js, but rather than operating AngularJS as a front-end framework, it uses ReactJS library to develop powerful user interfaces.

Challenge #5: Incompatibility of hardware utilities

Compared to the traditional computers, hardware ecosystem and configurations of mobile devices, such as processors, memory availability, and computing energy, vary significantly and are restricted. The hardware functions of a mobile device help in understanding which interface is appropriate for the OS environment and how the mobile app will respond and communicate with components. The only concerned point is that some of the functionalities offered by the app are required to be disabled because effective prefetching and delivery consume a large volume of data as well as computational resources and also demand high processor power.

Best Practice:

To deal with this dynamic situation, developers need to observe the current activities and practices in mobile app development niche. To improve the overall performance of the app, make sure that all the code components are communicating harmoniously with the device and the mobile app project is running impeccably on different OS platforms. Development tools, like Xamarin and Flutter, offer various specific APIs and plugins that enable developers to not only achieve native-level app functionality but also successfully eliminate different hardware compatibility and functionality issues.

Additionally, implement revisioning and mobile app testing strategies to liberalize your device’s capabilities and allow users to access essential functions like microphone, camera, etc.