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This category features articles on best and emerging practices for responsive website design, Web apps and native apps. While the mobile Web is still in it’s infancy, we can learn from the experiences of professionals who are working on mobile every day. Curated by Derek Allard. Subscribe to the RSS-Feed.
The bar is set high for today’s mobile apps. First, apps must meet the standard of quality that app markets expect. Secondly, mobile app users are very demanding. Plenty of alternatives are available to download, so users will not tolerate a buggy app.
Because mobile apps have become such a crucial part of people’s lives, users won’t be shy about sharing their love or hate for an app — and that feedback gets in front of millions of users in seconds.
I recently sat down with Rock Zhang, a Chinese mobile entrepreneur. Rock is my classmate from business school, and we have both worked in the mobile industry for a while. In an age when the best marketing is good product management, Rock knows how to make millions of Chinese users fall in love with an app. I asked him to share his thoughts on app localization.
For me, China has always been a hard market to crack. I’ve marketed several mobile apps in European and US markets, and my apps have been featured many times in the App Stores in Russia, Israel, Spain, Germany and the US. But in China, our growth was stalling, and I don’t think we ever got a request for promotional artwork to be featured in the App Store. Truth be told, my “Asian expansion strategy” usually boiled down to hiring freelance translators through Elance to help me localize App Store pages in Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
Progressive web apps could be the next big thing for the mobile web. Originally proposed by Google in 2015, they have already attracted a lot of attention because of the relative ease of development and the almost instant wins for the application’s user experience.
A progressive web application takes advantage of the latest technologies to combine the best of web and mobile apps. Think of it as a website built using web technologies but that acts and feels like an app. Recent advancements in the browser and in the availability of service workers and in the Cache and Push APIs have enabled web developers to allow users to install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications and even work offline.
One of the hardest decisions to make when starting a new app is which platforms to target. A mobile app gives you more control and better performance but isn’t as universal as the web. If you’re making a mobile app, can you afford to support both iOS and Android?
What about trying to build a mobile app and a responsive web app? Ultimately, the best experience for your customers is for your app to work everywhere, but the development and maintenance costs of that can be prohibitive.
Mobile applications are now a critical part of most enterprises, and there are many ways to create them, but what are the differences between these options and how do you choose between them? Do you choose to create native applications as Google and Apple intend? Do you choose to develop a mobile web hybrid application? Or do you find a middle ground?
Behind every great invention lie dozens of sacrificed prototypes. It took Michele Ferrero almost five years to perfect the spherical wafer within the famous chocolates that bear his name. No great product or invention emerges fully formed, and this applies to great websites and software as well. Whether you're working on digital products or chocolates, prototyping plays an important role in any successful project.
If you work in user experience or software development, chances are you will have encountered Axure RP at some point. Launched in 2003, Axure has gained a loyal following within the UX community. It allows for the creation of rich, functional prototypes without writing a single line of code.
Any time a user’s experience is interrupted, the chance of them leaving increases. Changing from one page to another will often cause this interruption by showing a white flash of no content, by taking too long to load or by otherwise taking the user out of the context they were in before the new page opened.
Transitions between pages can enhance the experience by retaining (or even improving) the user’s context, maintaining their attention, and providing visual continuity and positive feedback. At the same time, page transitions can also be aesthetically pleasing and fun and can reinforce branding when done well.
In the tech industry, many of us came of age during hip-hop's rise as a dominant art form. Its spirit of individualism, bravado, and constant reinvention makes it impossible for us not to admire. Our thought leaders craft mixtapes and pour millions of dollars into apps that decode rap lyrics.
The founders of my former company rapped to celebrate every corporate milestone. We’re compelled to quantify what we love about it, and to somehow technologize it the same way Instagram did photography. Many have tried, myself included, but capturing hip-hop’s alluring qualities in an app is no simple task.
Task runners are the heroes (or villains, depending on your point of view) that quietly toil behind most web and mobile applications. Task runners provide value through the automation of numerous development tasks such as concatenating files, spinning up development servers and compiling code.
In this article, we’ll cover Grunt, Gulp, Webpack and npm scripts. We’ll also provide some examples of each one to get you started. Near the end, I’ll throw out some easy wins and tips for integrating ideas from this post into your application.
When launching an app, you need to spend a lot of time and resources to attract users. You can pull people into your app using a variety of means, including advertising, referral programs, public relations and content marketing. But when people finally download an app, they sometimes feel abandoned. You must clearly show users why they need your app.
Studies reveal that 90% of all downloaded apps are used only once and then eventually deleted by users. People often abandon apps because of a poorly designed interface or an overall negative experience. Instead of having their problem solved by the app, people get confused trying to wade through a jungle of screens, menus and buttons.
When designing a graphical user interface, there is always an open question: How do we automate testing for it? And how do we make sure the website layout stays responsive and displays correctly on all kinds of devices with various resolutions? Add to this the complications arising from dynamic content, requirements for internationalization and localization, and it becomes a real challenge.
In this article, I will guide you through an interesting new layout testing technique. Using Galen Framework, I will provide a detailed tutorial for writing meaningful generalized layout tests, which can be executed in any browser and on any device and at the same time used as a single source of truth in your design documentation.
We have a lot of passwords to remember, and it’s becoming a problem. Authentication is clearly important, but there are many ways to reliably authenticate users – not just passwords. Passwords are written off as inconvenient and unavoidable, but even if true a few years ago, that’s not true today. Due to a combination of sensors, encryption and seasoned technology users, authentication is taking on new (and exciting) forms.
Most other interaction patterns have been updated over time, but no one wants to mess with password authentication. It’s too serious. Or there’s too much liability. You know, like if you don’t clear the password input after someone types the wrong password, their credit card information is at risk.