Week 2 Lecture Notes

Design and Development

Designing application for mobile devices necessitates more than an understanding of how to code a website. It also requires a prerequisite knowledge and familiarity with the system itself. As a device with portability at its crux, its software provides an experience distinct to the programs found on a traditional computer. Therefore, when creating applications for these devices, the designer must first be fully aware of what is required for the end-user specific to the device being designed for, such as giving great consideration to an interface that accommodates touch input, or button prompts relevant to a particular model of phone.

Much in the way that, during their inception, websites closely followed the layouts found in print media, mobile applications have followed the designs of websites. While this presents an entry point to developers, it doesn’t provide an ideal user experience on a touch device. In response to this, methods of development such as “mobile-first”, that tasks web designers with subverting the traditional thinking of mobile apps as an afterthought, and instead encourages the mobile experience to be treated as a starting point to be then transferred to other platforms.

Mobile applications, as an ever evolving and highly demanded commodity, require their creators to think with versatility throughout development. Apps are released at a rate that does not award a developer with the luxury of time when creating their ideas. Priority needs to be put into generating a functional experience and overcoming any potential issues that may arise. Developers cannot afford to waste time on the superfluous elements of a design, as this can be improved upon later. Development is never finished and a frequentative update structure is expected to maintain functionality and compatibility in the mobile app marketplace.

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The Lean UX Cycle approach to app development.

Designer and Developer

The success of any application relies heavily on the interaction of both designer, who narrates the direction of the interactive, and developer who creates it. Because of the aforementioned requirement of a quick development cycle, a team can benefit from an approach that has both parties running parallel to each other to quickly produce prototypes and target any potential issues iteratively – in turn responding with design changes as necessary. Due to the vast variety of mobile types at any one time, app developers must aim to test their product on as many devices as possible to provide an experience suitable to the widest audience.

Final Thoughts

Mobile applications are still being realised by developers and their increased importance to the public has given rise to a need and desire to deliver on their full potential now more than ever. While developers can opt for easier paths and avoid the extra work that goes into ensuring compatibility or taking advantage of the unique features of multiple platforms, doing so can only benefit the experience of the end user.

References
Lean UX Cycle [Screenshot]. (2011). Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/seriouslynow/lean-ux-product-stewardship-integrated-teams/8-Lean_UX_Cycles_Generative_Research
Skitterphoto. (2016). Pens Post-It Notes [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/en/workshop-pens-post-it-note-1746275/
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