Becoming an Appreneur – Things to Know Before You Start
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Every day the Sourcebits team internally shares links to our favorite mobile industry news and stories. Many are related to mobile app design and development — others are just plain fun. Here’s a roundup of interesting stories we uncovered this week from around the mobile metaverse.
There was a time, not too long ago, when Nokia was the dominant brand in mobile phones. That ended in 2013 when the Finnish company sold its mobile division to Microsoft. Nokia recently announced they intends to return to mobile devices. And this time around, instead of manufacturing their own hardware, Nokia will license their brand name to third-party producers. They already have a few new products under their belt, the Nokia N1 tablet, Z launcher, and a VR camera. In anticipation of their return to the market, Nokia is hiring mobile app designers and Android engineers – providing a hint as to the operating system the future products will run.
He was the CEO of Google, now he is the CEO of their new parent company called Alphabet. In place of Larry Page, Sundar Pichai will assume the role of Google CEO, with Page and Sergey Brin (President of Alphabet) providing support. The new set-up is meant to improve the focus of the numerous independent companies under the Alphabet umbrella. Each company, including Google itself, will be headed by an independent CEO and operate as its own brand. According to Page, all of the familiar brands we know and love, including YouTube and Google’s mobile app development platform Android, will continue to thrive, while lesser known Google ventures like Calico and Life Science will receive more attention.
Take a visual tour through the history of the Apple user interface from the Macintosh in 1984 to he Apple Watch in 2015. In between, Punchkick’s colorful and inviting chronology makes pit stops to explain Apple’s biggest innovations including Aqua and iPhone iOS. Not surprisingly, Steve Jobs’ influence is all over the history. He had a hand in the development of Platinum in the early 90’s and he literally put his fingerprint on history when he revolutionized portable hard-drive devices like the original iPod. Throughout this interactive article, a few things become clear: Apple did a lot of things first and they do a lot of things best in terms of UX design.
The only thing more difficult than convincing a customer to return is convincing a customer to buy for the first time. Shayla Price shares strategies to increase the bottom line of your business by taking advantage of data. Data is a broad term, but in this context she means the trends that are numerically represented by a business’s customer base. For example, she cites furniture companies as having clientele who are more likely to have Pinterest accounts and surf the web on their smartphones. If furniture brands aren’t reacting to this data and focusing on social media and mobile then they are missing out.
This article disposes the myth of the of the crosswalk “walk” button. Then Mesibov goes on to apply the idea of the placebo button to user experience in mobile app design. She lists several examples of buttons that mobile app designers created specifically to give users the illusion of control. For example, when Instagram is offline a user can “like” a photo, but the “like” is merely a formality until a connection is established. A question of the ethics surrounding pointless buttons arises; should mobile app designers knowingly deceive their users? In the end, she lays out three questions that apply to mobile app development. The answer: if deception helps the user in some way, maybe it is okay.
The next frontier of mobile app development is on the wrists of humans. Apple Watch launched the smartwatch frenzy and here Justin Peddycoart observes and in some cases hypothesizes, what the future of retail will look like. He offers some interesting ideas such as employee-to-employee communication, instant security access, and the ability to unlock display cases from a distance. Mobile app design for watches will be changed by the miniature screens and the immediacy of watch communication. Customers will request subtotals of their purchases, read reviews in store, and ask for real-time feedback from friends. At least, that’s the idea, and with so much profit to be made, mobile app designers will be highly-motivated to capitalize on Peddycoart’s suggestions.
In the last couple years, the hamburger menu has become increasingly popular with web and mobile app designers alike. It dominates major news websites and WordPress templates. According to James Archer, the hamburger menu craze is an extreme misstep in UX design because the information that people need to navigate is hidden by default. Basically, the theory of the hamburger menu is that space can be saved by condensing tabs into a menu icon located in the top right corner. Although especially tempting for use in mobile app development, the lack of clarity hinders user experience.
Businesses have been quick to adopt user-friendly mobile app design and mobile websites, but for some reason are less apt to send mobile-friendly emails to subscribers. White points out that currently, 50% of all emails are read on mobile devices, clearly signaling the need for mobile-friendly email design. Worse yet, if subscribers are dissatisfied with an email on their smartphone, they will more than likely immediately unsubscribe from the list. The author then lists the five different approaches to mobile-friendly email design, although, only three of the approaches actually work for mobile users. It is time for B2C marketers to drop out of desktop-centric emails and pursue a degree in mobile-centric email design.
Is Facebook a mobile news agency? Evidently the social media giant is in the initial stages of a new product associated with the “Facebook for Business Initiative.” The mobile app will allow users to choose from a set of publishers and receive breaking news alerts. The alerts will be 100 characters long and include a link to the publisher’s article.
Breaking up with a significant other is difficult, but losing a smartphone is just (if not more) as traumatizing. In Episode 13 of The Future of Wearables podcast, Forrester Analyst Fatemah Khatibloo shares her opinions on the future of wearable devices. After listening to the podcast, check out the related case study that summarizes Sourcebits’ mobile app development of dating apps Twine and Twin Canvas. Spoonjuice wanted to stand out from superficial dating apps and sought mobile app design and development of dating apps that put personality first. Sourcebits learned a lot about the relationship between users, their gadgets, their apps, and their love lives.
From mobile analytics, app pricing models to the S.M.A.C. future or finding the right mobile app development team – Sourcebits has a plethora of free mobile app design and development resources for you. Check out our resource page today, and download them any time.