Mobile technologies are evolving constantly and drastically…
This makes designing for mobile platforms a constant challenge. To tap the opportunities of this dynamic area, and to stay ahead of your competition, here are some aspects to keep in mind:
1. One approach does not fit all
An approach that may work for a desktop website or a desktop app may not be ideal for the mobile as they have different screen size, resolution, orientations, display densities etc. This makes content management and creative control becomes tough to handle. Various platforms and their small differences are important in the way they affect customer expectation & interaction.
For example, Google Android and Apple iOS use linear model which is different from Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system that uses a ‘hub and spoke’ interaction model. When comparing the three popular ecosystems, there are many differences – and this is why you may hear a friend or family member complaining about how painful it is to switch between systems. It’s also a reason to specifically consider the design patterns and customer expectations of each ecosystem when designing products to be used across platforms.
2. Choose what works for smart devices
It is important to pick and work on unique smart device features that can be exploited to meet real needs for a real person. Applications like Evernote, Dragon dictation have built in features for their mobile apps which convert voice to text but this feature is not on desktop or web – taking advantage of the mobile opportunity. Similarly one can see it in devices like SIRI for iOS and Google Voice for Android is built in seamlessly with the operating system. This allows people to do more, in a simple and intuitive way.
3. Stop building just for “Ferrari Phones”
In fast growth markets, lower end phones are much more popular among the users than they are in saturated markets like U.S. or Europe. Therefore, understanding the target market is important. Just because your developer builds and tests the app on a top-of-the-line phone or tablet like an iPhone 5S or a Galaxy S5, is not a representative of how most of your end users would experience it on their handsets. The pointer here is that you should refrain from creating an app that just works well for a small percentage of potential customers unless you are targeting a certain niche market segment.
4. Think small when it comes to design
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. It’s true for phone’s screen size also. According to a report by Google, in the U.S, 85% of the smartphone users have large display phones. Compare that to Brazil, where only 61% of smartphones have a large screen, or Indonesia, where only half the smartphones do.
Although it may be tempting for designers to utilize all the extra screen space for giving a better look to the app, this shouldn’t be done at the cost of user experience. Therefore, accounting for a small screen size is the key to improving the overall customer experience.
To learn more about Mobile Architecture best Practices, you can download the whitepaper here :