Put aside the idea of some objective experience with your application that you’re going to deliver across all platforms. Instead, you should be looking to implement your application on different devices in ways that complement rather than mirror each other.
It’s best to think about a superset of features describing everything your application can do, front to back. Some of those features will be implemented on the web, some on desktop, some tablet, some mobile. But it’s neither practical nor desirable to try to implement all of them everywhere.
People expect to interact with applications easily and intuitively, regardless of which device they happen to be using.
SRT Solutions has created software for iPhone / iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, Windows Phone, and RIM/BlackBerry. Depending on shared analysis of how the app will be used, we may recommend only certain platforms. In some cases, we’ve recommended not creating a mobile app at all.
Here are a few actions we’ve found useful before starting to create a mobile app.
- Talk to people who use your applications and services now. Surveys are great. Google Analytics can tell you a lot. You’ll learn a lot by asking people how and when they use your stuff. And, most importantly, ask why. Incessantly.
- It’s about content. Most businesses we talk to are interested in providing access to subsets of data on a mobile device. That’s content. That’s value.
- Consider the multi-device landscape. Many people now work and play on two, three or four devices including cell phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles, kiosks, and desktops. How your app performs across those devices is critical to your success.
It can be easy to get caught up in the momentum of a new device without stopping to think about what people are actually doing with it. If the things your customers will do with your software on a tablet or smartphone are not central to the future of your business, it’s time to rethink your project. When new device capabilities are a central element in moving your company forward, your project becomes much easier to navigate–and much more likely to deliver results.
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