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Posts Tagged ‘mobile apps

Every web designer, design agency or somebody who works with websites must keep themselves up to date with the latest goings on in the world of web design, because the web is a unique environment which is constantly changing and evolving. Every year some new trends are born, some fade and some just continue to prosper.

We’re in a golden era of tools for designers with new products coming out every month. Innovative tools are popping up in every part of the workflow. From brand/asset management (Lingo and Bynder), to prototyping and collaboration (Marvel, Zeplin, InVision, Flinto, Justinmind), to website creation (Webydo, Blocs, Webflow), to tools for the amateur or marketer (Canva, Stencil, PicMonkey), and of course, to professional creation tools (Sketch, Affinity). And those are just the larger, more successful ones.


In this article we will take a look at new web design predictions for 2017, which hopefully will help you design better websites.

Let’s start!

There is no doubt that 2017 is definitely the year for super-rich gradient colors. Gradients and bright colors are already being implemented much more than in the past. We will also see many companies rebranded their own brand with bright bold colors. Instagram, Stripe and Asana are some good examples that already started.

We can all notice that today every young adult is an expert web user. And even the amateurs are acting like pros: using multiple tabs, and swiping to go back a page.

The result is that everything is faster. And we’ve all learned to become impatient. If you want to make a mild mannered person explode with annoyance, just make their Internet really slow for a minute.

Now websites are forced not just to become faster, but to become faster to understand. Designs which slow the user down have the same impact on their audience as these websites which don’t load at all.

Simpler designs are easier to scan, which means they’re faster to appreciate.

This is the biggest reason for the death of skeuomorphic design: users are more perceptive, less patient, and clutter only slows them down.

Apps put most websites to shame with super-minimal, beautiful interfaces. And they’re doing this because minimal interfaces perform better.

What about animation?

If you want to make a website look dated, cover it with animated “Under Construction” GIFs and Flash animation. But several things are coming together to make animation a rising star in modern web design.

Flat design can end up looking too consistent, boring even. Animation helps a website to stand out and to pack more information into less space.

Mobile apps have redefined what a user expects. Mobile apps use motion to convey meaning, and websites are just starting to do the same.

Typography trends emerge every year. Everyone is aware of the importance of typography in UX design. Much more than just arranging pretty fonts on a nice background, typography is an essential part of every design, it can make or break a whole project. It enhances your story, emotions you want to drive. It helps you to communicate the message to your users. This year we will see an increase in bold fonts.

If you haven’t dived into flexbox yet, you’re in for a treat. This relatively “new” CSS layout module offers both incredible responsive-friendliness in its functionality, but also makes a lot of sense to visual designers used to manipulating objects on the canvas with the align and distribute tools offered in the likes of Sketch and Illustrator.

Coming up hot on the heels of flexbox in the race for newer, better layout modules is CSS grid. While flexbox helps us solve some seriously aggravating and long-standing web design problems like vertical centering, it really wasn’t intended for use in full-page layouts. Grid, on the other hand, was built for full-page layouts. And like flexbox, it allows you to easily rearrange content order for different media queries.

There will be more focus on conversation. You might call 2016 the year of the bot. 2017’s going to see a lot more bots popping up across your life.

What this might mean, exactly, we’ll have to wait and see. But possible impacts include:

  • An even greater interest in “human” language (more good news for content strategists!)
  • Increased capacities for writers and content strategists to act as UX designers and bot developers
  • More conversational/natural-language forms
  • Attempts to transform the comment section from the internet’s sewer into fonts of “engagement” and new content — an effort already kicked off by the Coral Project

These are the main trends we believe will be trending for web design in 2017, but we want to hear from all of you! What are your predictions? Waiting for your comments.

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype: kate.kviatkovskaya
LI Profile: Kate Kviatkovskaya

 
altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

The mobile app development industry is thriving and continuing to evolve year after year. In 2014, we saw mobile app market maturing from smartphones and tablets to wearable devices and Internet of Things. There was also an increased focus on app analytics and mobile app marketing. Actualy developers don’t need us to tell them that the app landscape is constantly changing. But it never hurts to pause for a moment and look into exactly how it’s changing:

1. Swift surges onto developer scene
Anyone in the technology business knows it’s rarely an “if you build it, they will come” proposition. Adoption of new technologies and products—even trendy ones—can take a while. So the rise in usage of Apple’s Swift language for iOS apps is certainly noteworthy: According to VisionMobile’s survey of 8,000 developers, one in five were using Swift just four months after its public launch. Compare that with a 39% usage share for Objective C (which obviously had a bit of a head start with iOS-centric devs) among device-side developers. That’s rapid adoption, to put it mildly.

A decent chunk of early Swift developers—nearly a quarter of them—are new to iOS development. But VisionMobile notes Objective C isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the best iOS developers will have both languages in their toolbox: “For at least the next few years it seems that practically speaking it’ll be necessary to learn both languages to be an accomplished iOS developer,” the report reads.

2. Cross-platform tools growing in popularity
The State of the Developer report found third-party tool use among mobile developers, in particular, at an all-time high: 83% of respondents use at least one third-party tool for things like analytics, crash reporting, and testing. Even more notable, use of cross-platform tools has jumped from 23% to 30% during the past six months. What goes into selecting the right tools? One tech exec noted the importance of choosing a stable provider that’s going to be around for the long haul.

3. Enterprise apps make more money than consumer apps
Smartphones continue to fly off the shelves and the app stores teem with activity, yet there’s no guarantee your app will earn a dime. In fact, developers working on enterprise apps are much more likely to make money, and it’s not even close: 43% of developers focused on enterprise apps hit or exceed $10,000 per month in revenue, compared with just 19% of consumer app developers. Many consumers aren’t eager to shell out real money for mobile and other digital apps. On the other hand, as VisionMobile’s report says, “businesses are very willing to pay for software that helps them be productive and make money.”

4. The Internet of Things is hot, even if the payoff isn’t imminent
Internet of ThingsPlenty of developers are investing energy in something that might take a while to deliver a tangible payoff: the Internet of Things: (IoT). More than half (53%) of developers included in the report say they’re working on some form of IoT project. Interestingly, many are doing so as a side project or hobby, not their actual job. It’s no real surprise that the biggest areas of current interest within the broad IoT universe are those where existing mobile platforms—namely iOS and Android—have a clear stake, such as the smart home/smart building and wearable computing markets.

While it’s still early days, VisionMobile’s report cites an enormous upside in the IOT for the developer community at large: “The [IoT] products with the best software will be the most desirable; hence developers become essential to creating competitive products.”

Put it all together and you get a picture of a mobile development market that continues to evolve rapidly in everything from tools and languages to device platforms and economics. Keeping up with the changes can be almost as challenging as doing your actual job, but that’s one reason why mobile is such an exciting area right now.
 

Lina Deveikyte

Marketing Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Mobile apps have the potential to do everything from bring you information just when you need it to brightening up a dull train journey – but many have the potential to collect more information than end users may expect, not least their location. Location-based services are appealing both to individuals and businesses, whether for finding the best coffee shop in the area or for supporting logistics planning at an enterprise level – many delivery companies are now so dependent on systems using GPS that without them they could collapse.

Despite these benefits, the reality is that users are not always made aware of the purposes for which their location data is gathered and in some cases, not aware that this sharing is taking place.

Data privacy is a hot topic on the agenda of regulators and government. In 2011, the EU issued recommendations on processing of geolocation data by service and app providers. Under this guidance, by collecting location information, an organization is a data controller and therefore inherits all responsibilities associated with that status. Last year a discussion on user privacy on the web generated significant debate on the implementation of the EU Privacy Directive, which guides how websites can use cookies. So it should come as no surprise that regulation is targeting mobile.

If you are an app or service provider that uses location-based services, you should be considering the following:

Be measured. Don’t gather more information than absolutely required. Doing so increases your liability for what can be minimal business gain.

Think globally. This approach means not just considering market reach but also potential implications of different privacy legislations around the globe. This task is complex and in itself should make you reconsider the reward versus risk obtained from data gathered.

Be transparent. While mobile platforms will normally inform users of apps that will access sensitive functionality, such as location-based services, it is important that you provide end users with an explanation of why data is being collected and for what purpose – either via a screen on your app or a link to your website – ideally, do both.

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Mobile apps that use your location to offer services are no longer new. But are they truly useful to businesses? I’ve asked this question to LI professionals to learn what they think on this point.

“Location-based applications are extremely interesting for brands and retailers because they allow those companies to direct consumers to outlets in their vicinity while simultaneously providing information about the products on offer. When these are allied to measures such as mobile coupons and vouchers, you have the combination of information and financial incentive which can be compelling for consumers.”
Shaun Caldwell
Mobile Application Development

“I think the current services and applications provide hope but need perfecting on availability of statistical information to businesses. Relational information delivered to businesses could reduce the time of business correction by providing comparative metrics to help businesses correct outlying practices. For instance: Hourly sales at a store versus count of location-based check-ins could provide analysis of similar swarm count to sales ratio for comparison of regional stores or historical counts of same store to allow business leaders to react sooner and address same store issues before they impact the bottom line. This is just one outcome, but the reality is: most business would value any and all additional information to better understand their customers actions and trends.”
Landon Gordon
Chief Technology Officer

“Speaking in terms of Gambling and ensuring mobile players are physically located within jurisdictions where gambling is legal, location based tracking is essential. Not all operators do it, but just like IP geolocation is used for internet gambling apps, eventually mobile location will become more widely used in gambling and across other industries. The only drawback for location services is privacy, and recording peoples whereabouts could become a very taboo practice and any such retained data of location history should be tightly controlled like you would credit card information or disposed of immediately after use.”
Andy Furnival
Mobile Systems Architect at IGT

“Companies that service merchants (like: Groupon and Forkfly) must think so. Silly things like becoming the “mayor” of some business with 4Square must be good marketing (on some level) for some businesses. That said, until mobile/location becomes more widely deployed/used by more than just 20-somethings it will likely remain a fringe technology.”
Gary Smith
Sr.Technical Writer with Corsair Engineering on contract at Insitu

In my opinion, location-based services can have a lot or a little to offer businesses, but all of them should be watched, because ultimately connecting customers to merchants is what any LBS has to do. And beyond the desktop, pure-play start-ups are figuring how to combine where you are into unique offerings designed to deliver real value and new customers wherever those customers may be. The LBS game is still rapidly maturing, and as more Smartphones penetrate the market, businesses would do well to consider their best LBS strategy, so they can find the customers that are seeking to find them.

Best Regards,

Kristina Kozlova

Marketing Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Seems like the world is pushed towards HTML5. Apple has been amongst those trying so hard to get Web developers out of the Flash domination, and judging by the latest news of Adobe becoming HTML5-religious Apple’s anti-Flash campaign was successful. Becoming stronger and better polished HTML5 looks to supplant not only Flash but also press back such mobile giants as Apple, Google and Windows.

Recently the popular prediction has become that HTML5 will kill mobile apps business. The logic is simple: better HTML5 => higher quality developer’s tools release => better Web apps => improved Web-browsing experience on mobile devices. All these make the native applications position pretty unsteady. So will it necessarily lead to the twilight of native mobile apps development? At first glance – all point to this supposition. Still let’s take a deeper dig.

1. All the look and feel.
Native apps are intended to look glossier and perform better than their browser-based counterparts. As they are developed separately for each mobile platform and therefore use advantage of being OS customized and smartphones’ hardware features advanced. But will native apps preserve this advantage for a long time? Sounds doubtful…due to several reasons.
First, because to the growing variety of mobile platforms and their sub/versions. Recently developers have to spend more and more efforts on versioning and support and this is indeed exhausting and expensive. So perhaps the biggest potential benefit of HTML5 is that it will enable app developers to focus on making one version of each app running smoothly in many kinds of browsers, thus freeing them to move on to bringing more and better apps to market. And that’s definitely good, especially keeping in mind that a well-designed Web app can be indistinguishable from a native application for the user, but not ideal in this terms as still HTML5 browser apps run differently from browser to browser and from device to device making it quite difficult for developers to ensure that all mobile consumers will enjoy the way an app works in their setup.
Another point of concern so far has been that, despite all HTML5 improvements, in real-life use cases native apps still run better, faster and more predictably than browser apps. It’s natural because mostly native apps run from the phone’s memory and rely less on the network. But that’s surmountable with time – with the advent of 4G networks users will be able to retrieve content from the network far faster and more reliably than in the past.

2. Visibility and promotion.
After creating a quality application your next step will be to make it visible and popular longest possible. Native apps published in an app store may receive very little notice as app stores have grown and become bloated with shoddy or useless apps and thus accessing apps has become more of a hassle. The main issue is poor organizing and categorizing that results in difficulties to find a proper app for user’s need even if it exists in the store. Still poor cataloging of apps at big app stores could be smoothed over by specialized app stores.
Browser-based mobile apps spare developers app stores addiction and lend themselves better to Web promotion via social media like Twitter and Google+. Still even if it seems easier at first glance isn’t it still a challenge in terms of making visibility better and longer but not seen for a fleeting moment? For those creating Web apps, there’s just no good way and even a good review of a Web app on a popular site has only a temporary impact.
The way to get your app in front of potential customers is to get it featured in an app store. And this is gained by building an app that highlights unique hardware capabilities, exactly the features the hardware company use to sell the product. [These will likely be features that you can’t access today or in the foreseeable future with a Web app. This isn’t because HTML5 won’t advance, but because the device and OS manufacturers will always do their best to keep their products somewhat ahead of the lower-common-denominator Web platform. It is how they sell products.] That’s business-justified. So HTML5 is good for many apps, enterprise and customer ones, but not for the core features or the main UI.
Basically relying on HTML5 to quickly get to broad compatibility across the mobile landscape could become a trap if you follow selective strategy in your product distribution and want to have the app perceived distinguishing. For instance, you might want to build apps that only work on the latest and greatest version of a phone, and intentionally not on previous models. Then fewer people will be able to use it but those with the newest toys. [The more your app makes the hot new hardware look good, the more it’ll get promoted by the hardware or OS manufacturer. That can give your app presence it could not otherwise get. Once your product is succeeding on the brand-new hardware, you can start adapting it to other platforms.] Doesn’t this strategy distributed strategy look the most attractive?

3. Distribution and revenue generating.
As you may predict here we will mostly speak of Apple and its revenue-sharing mechanisms that has been receiving so many claims. Apple takes a 30% cut of all app sales through its store – the only way for consumers to get apps. That’s much compared to an option to build a web app and putting the whole revenue in your own pocket. This is especially unfavorable for applications with subscriptions as surprisingly this 30% cut doesn’t just cover buying apps in the store, it also applies to in-app purchases including subscriptions that may remove all the profit. That’s why for instance you can already download HTML5 Financial Times 🙂

So many counterpoints but should there finally be an either/or decision? The truth is somewhere in between. And we believe for the majority there may be a place for both kinds of apps. Just an example – you can create a browser-based “lite” version of your app so that prospective buyers can try it out without having to visit an app store; and further if they like the game, they might decide to buy the full version as a native app.
Moreover, developers build many native apps in much the same way that they build browser apps, using the same tools, but then fit them with a native app “wrapper.” For this reason, native apps and browser apps sometimes aren’t as different as people may imagine.

And what do you think?
In your particular case what have you decided or are going to opt for?

Thanks for sharing your opinion,
Helen Boyarchuk
Altabel Group – professional software development


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