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What are the applications? Although it may not seem like it, applications take time between us. Before we start designing them, we want you to know them: What are their types and characteristics? What are the differences between them and with a mobile web? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
The applications -also called apps- have been present on telephones for some time; in fact, they were already included in Nokia or Blackberry operating systems years ago. The mobiles of that time, had small screens and often not touch, and are what we call feature phones, as opposed to smartphones, more current. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
In essence, an application does not stop being software. To understand the concept a little better, we can say that the applications are for the mobile what the programs are for the desktop computers.
Currently we find applications of all types, shapes and colors, but in the first telephones, they were focused on improving personal productivity: these were alarms, calendars, calculators and mail clients. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
There was a big change with the entrance of iPhone to the market, since with it new business models were generated that made the applications something profitable, both for developers and for the application markets, such as App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store.
At the same time, they also improved the tools available to designers and programmers to develop apps, making it easier to produce an application and launch it to the market, even on its own. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Differences between applications and mobile web
The applications share the screen of the phone with the mobile webs, but while the first ones have to be downloaded and installed before using, a web can be accessed simply using the Internet and a browser; however, not all can be viewed correctly from a screen that is generally smaller than that of a desktop computer. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Those that are specially adapted to a mobile device are called “responsive webs” and are an example of liquid design, since you can think of them as a content that takes the shape of the container, showing the information as necessary. Thus, entire columns, blocks of text and graphics of a web, can be accommodated in the space in a different way – or even disappear – according to whether it is entered from a telephone, a tablet or a computer.
Those who already have a “responsive web” can consider the need to design an application, but the answer to whether or not this is necessary depends on understanding both the business objectives and the characteristics that differentiate the applications from the webs. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
For example, applications can be viewed even when they are without an Internet connection, they can also access certain phone hardware features -such as sensors-, which are currently out of reach of the websites. Therefore, it can be said that an application offers a better user experience, avoiding excessive waiting times and achieving a more fluid navigation between the contents.
You do not always have to choose between one and the other. Webs and applications are not competitors, rather, they can complement each other; For example, a website can be useful as an information channel to motivate the download of the application. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Native applications are those that have been developed with the software offered by each operating system to programmers, generically called Software Development Kit or SDK. Thus, Android, iOS and Windows Phone have a different one and the native applications are designed and programmed specifically for each platform, in the language used by the SDK.
This type of apps is downloaded and installed from the app stores – with certain exceptions in the case of Android, which we will see in the chapter “Launching the app” – taking advantage of the different promotion and marketing tools of each of them. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Native applications are updated frequently and in those cases, the user must download them again to obtain the latest version, which sometimes corrects errors or adds improvements.
A generally underrated feature of native apps is that they can make use of operating system notifications to display important notifications to the user, even when the application is not being used, such as WhatsApp messages, for example. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
In addition, they do not require the Internet to work, so they offer a more fluid user experience and are really integrated into the phone, which allows them to use all the hardware features of the terminal, such as the camera and sensors (GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope). , among others).
At the design level, this class of applications has an interface based on the guides of each operating system, achieving greater consistency and consistency with the rest of applications and with the OS itself. This favors usability and directly benefits the user who finds familiar interfaces. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
In this case, an SDK is not used, which allows programming independently of the operating system in which the application will be used. Therefore, these applications can be easily used in different platforms without major problems and without the need to develop a different code for each particular case. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Web applications do not need to be installed, as they are displayed using the phone’s browser as a normal website. For this same reason, they are not distributed in an app store, but are marketed and promoted independently.
When dealing with applications that work on the web, it is not necessary for the user to receive updates, since he will always be watching the latest version. But, unlike native apps, they require an Internet connection to work properly. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Additionally, they have some restrictions and inconveniences in important factors such as memory management and do not allow maximizing the power of the different hardware components of the phone.
Web applications usually have a more generic interface and independent of the appearance of the operating system, so the experience of user identification with the elements of navigation and interaction, is usually less than in the case of the native ones. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
This allows almost the same code to obtain different applications, for example, for Android and iOS, and distribute them in each of its stores.
Unlike web applications, these allow access, using libraries, to the capabilities of the phone, just as a native app would.2 Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Hybrid applications also have a visual design that does not identify much with the operating system. However, there are ways to use controls and buttons native to each platform to be more attached to the aesthetics of each.
There are some tools to develop this type of applications. Apache Cordova3 is one of the most popular, but there are others, like Icenium4, that have the same purpose. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Tips for the Design of Mobile Applications
The mobile has quickly become one of the most popular communication devices in the digital age and, as such, can provide a powerful channel for dialogue and interaction with our public or customers. The purpose of this post is to offer some simple tips to help you get started in the design of mobile applications.
To begin, we have to take into account the fundamentals of mobile design. Something that may seem obvious, but we are still surprised at the number of sites and applications in the market that seem to ignore these basic factors. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Screen size and proportions: moving from the desktop to the mobile means much less screen space and much more variety in the proportions of the screen Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Direct interaction with the screen: unlike the desktop environment, users interact directly with the screen instead of using a mouse and a keyboard, which establishes an immediate conflict of the use of the screen Business app development, companies Miami Coral Gables.
Variable targeting: mobile devices allow quick orientation switching Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
A single screen: even with smartphones that allow users to run multiple applications or simultaneously maintain several browser windows, the results are displayed on a single screen set to interact, suggesting that we have to focus on creating the experiences in a single screen. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Limited interaction: there are no rollovers or tooltips, so the actions must be obvious and in turn the user correctly interprets the possible errors. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Use of established standards for devices: even if the market matures, it is advisable to use the consistent user interface patterns that exist (for example: the back button in the upper left), if we do not choose the standards we must ensure that we use it for concrete and correct reasons. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Limited resources: while smartphones are advancing by leaps and bounds, there is still a limitation in connection quality, battery life, processor power; an internal memory … Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Apart from knowing these fundamentals, it is also very important to know the device and what it can offer us to be able to make a creative design. For example, Smartphones today offer a set of highly sophisticated inputs that provide designers with multiple options. On the one hand, the discovery of new gestures can be a powerful experience for users. It adds a feeling of excitement, mystery and achievement. Thanks to this very complete guide by several authors we can know what gestures can be made on touch screens of the most common mobile devices.
These advanced devices also offer additional controls in the form of: physical buttons (home, menu, back, volume up / down, etc.), physical keyboards (shortcuts, text entry), accelerometers (movement and orientation track), GPS, microphone (voice commands, audio, music), camera (photos and visual codes). Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Before designing and programming, it is necessary to make a series of decisions and perform a preliminary analysis and documentation work that, if not done, will directly affect the quality and final result of the project, regardless of the size and scope of the project. The most common process you can consult in this post that you publish in your day Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
For the design of applications it is very important to also define a correct Information Architecture (AI) for this device that allows us to organize the contents, to be found and used by the users, in a simple and direct way. Some points to keep in mind are:
Keep it simple and focused. When designing our app we must define the tasks of the users and support them with clean and well-edited experiences.
Prioritize the content. Put the most important first. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Keep the context of the user in mind. Where are they? What is appropriate for that environment?
Provide visual feedback, always. Many times the user is left wondering if the action he has performed has worked. Always confirm the action performed immediately with some visual feedback.
And finally, for the visual design of the application we must take into account a series of recommendations that I have structured into seven sections. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
With a desktop application, we can be sure that it is being used in a particular environment. With the mobile, it is impossible, therefore:
- We must know the users. Who are they? What do we know? What kind of behavior can we assume or predict about users? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
- What is happening to them what are the circumstances in which the user will better absorb the content to be presented? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
- When will they interact? Are they home and have time? Are they at work where they have short periods of time? Waiting for a train? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
- Where are the users, are they in a public or private space? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
- Why are you going to use our application? What value do you get from the contents or services in your current situation? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
- How are you using your mobile, do you keep it in your hand or in your pocket? On or off? In vertical or horizontal format? Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
The message we want to convey is fundamental. Through visual design, we explicitly create the mental message that we want to generate to the user. How someone reacts to our design and what is their impression. Therefore we have to ask ourselves what we are trying to say visually in our application. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Look & feel
It is used to describe the appearance. It works both for “I want a clean look” or “I want a wearable look.” Users are deeply concerned about the appearance of their applications, because they are personal things. The sense of belonging is stronger than when it comes to desktop applications.
Sometimes it is difficult to decide the elements of an interface when we make the prototype of the app. One way to help decide a consistent design is to take advantage of contrasted design patterns. In this case there are a lot of interesting resources that can help us. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
The definition of the structures is fundamental in a mobile project to create a consistent and usable experience. One of the most important differences to take into account the design for a mobile app is that users have to see not only the screen, but also interact with it.
Thanks to the layout, the user will process the page visually. As the mobile landscape progresses, we have to be ready with the designs so that they adapt to the size of each new device as well as its orientations. Still, it can be very difficult to create the best possible experience in different screen sizes. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
It is one of the most common obstacles we encounter when we design on different screens. When we perform complex designs that are displayed on different mobile devices, the limited color depth in a device can cause unwanted effects. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
Color is becoming an increasingly popular way for applications to stand out from the competition. The first wave of applications created has often imitated the native applications of Apple iOS. However, what we are seeing more is a change towards bolder designs with the use of primary and degraded colors. As well as matte finishes. Having strong colors in an app can create emotional responses from users, sometimes, considering it a more memorable application.
If you want to know how to choose a color correctly you can check the post I posted a while ago, it can be very helpful. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
As mobile applications evolve, designers are increasingly moving away from using standard system fonts and using more specific fonts. Many of the features of typography design in mobile applications come from the web. Mobile Web development companies Miami Coral Gables.
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