COVID-19 and The Rise of Custom Mobile Apps in Business

The Rise of Custom Business Mobile Apps During COVID-19

COVID-19 has drastically changed the world. From simple things like social distancing and eating out. To a much larger scale like international travel bans, and broken supply chains. Simply put, COVID-19 has had a massive impact across the globe. In order to adjust to the new normals, companies and organizations have had to be agile and innovative. As a result, there has been a higher priority placed on the development of custom mobile apps.

Business leaders across the globe recognize the long-lasting impact of COVID-19. Plus, the shift to a fully-remote work environment brings its fair share of challenges. In order to help smooth the transition to fully-remote work environments, while maintaining efficiency, businesses have started to use custom mobile apps.

These apps range in functionality. From real-time data presented through an AR lense, to simple communication solutions. In fact, TechCrunch reports that mobile app spending is to double by 2024 despite the effects of COVID. While the entire economy got hit hard by the pandemic, mobile app use soared.

Mobile App Resilience

There are many reasons that mobile apps and mobile app technology have been so resilient to the pandemic. While COVID wreaked havoc on society, society turned to technology. As the travel bans, and stay-at-home orders rolled out nationwide, more and more people turned to mobile apps for any number of reasons. Mobile apps like Tik Tok and Zoom saw a massive boom in usership, and revenue growth, but existing mobile apps weren’t the only beneficiary.

One of the driving growth-factors in the mobile app market during COVID is the need and desire for human connection. The need for human connection coupled with a major reduction in recreational activities, made the perfect storm so to speak. This put the market in a unique position. A position in which entertainment and human connectivity were more valuable than ever before.

As more and more companies turn to mobile apps for solutions, the industry surge might last longer than first expected. Companies are turning to mobile apps for all sorts of solutions. From solving communication issues, adding layers of additional data, to making operations more agile. Mobile apps have a wide range of real practicality.

To maintain a competitive edge, companies need to adjust for a post-COVID economy. This is where custom mobile app development comes in. Investing in a custom mobile app is becoming a standard practice among industry leaders.

Go Mobile Now

Companies with their own custom mobile app see a myriad of benefits from the venture. One of the benefits companies see is the formation of custom solutions for custom problems. On top of this, organizations with a custom mobile app have their own dedicated user base. This in turn leads to higher conversion rates, and more loyal customers.

To learn about more of the benefits a custom mobile app could offer your company, visit NS804 today. Get in touch, and watch the dedicated NS804 mobile app development team turn your mobile app dream, into a reality.

How COVID-19 is Forever Changing the Business Landscape

COVID-19 Redefines the Business Landscape

Historic events often result in major shifts in the way businesses conduct their operations. The industrial revolution brought with it the production assembly line, mass production, and automated processes. The information era brought technology a step further, with internet, smart-tech, and other major advances. COVID-19 is only the latest event in history that’s going to impact businesses and business operations for the foreseeable future. The effects of COVID-19 on the business landscape have been nearly instantaneous, universal, and extend from the highest levels of companies, all the way down to the front line. From business communications, to supply chains, and even marketing strategies – businesses have been forced to adapt to the environment of COVID-19 in record times.

The adjustments that businesses are making in light of COVID-19 and the global pandemic, are a testament to the resilience and determination that courses through our society. While there is no denying the tragedy of COVID-19, and it’s long-lasting implications, the rapid adjustments made by businesses and communities alike provide a glimmer of hope, and represent the ultimate truth that humanity will prevail.

Business Operations During and Post COVID-19

There are many adjustments that businesses are making in order to maintain productivity during the world-wide pandemic. These adjustments are reflected in the way companies communicate internally and externally, how they continue to provide ‘normal’ services to their customers, and how they are implementing new processes and procedures to supplement cash-flow and maintain a standard of efficiency.

CommunicationsCommunication is key. This is true in relationships, marriages, and certainly in business. COVID-19 poses businesses with a unique set of challenges regarding communication. These challenges include how team-members will effectively communicate with one another while working remotely, how companies will provide customer-service support, and how traditional conference calls and team meetings will be held when no-one is in the building. With Zoom, Slack, and other mobile-app and desktop communication channels, however, businesses are still able to conduct much of their internal communication, file-sharing, and other necessary internal transactions instantaneously and without missing a beat.

Alternative Operations: The onset of COVID-19 has forced businesses to get creative with new product-lines, crossover into new industries and markets that would previously never have been considered, and approach service in a whole new way. Uber Eats and delivery services are excellent examples of how service-based-businesses are shifting in response to COVID-19. Rather than handing food off and exchanging small pleasantries – delivery drivers drop off food at the front door, ring the bell, and then swiftly retreat to their cars prior to the customer making it out the door. Emphasizing the importance of social-distancing, and making it a routine part of their delivery process.

COVID-19 has proven to be one of the most historical events of the century, and has already completely reshaped the business landscape, as well as our communities. While in the face of this universal adversity, communities are coming together like never before in order to maintain business operations, promote peace and understanding, and prioritize the health and wellness of every employee. Regardless of position or rank. Find out how NS804 can help design your mobile app to market during COVID-19.

Mobile App Design Trends in 2020

What Are Some of The Top Mobile App Designs Trending in 2020?

The mobile app industry, like any tech-industry, is in a perpetual state of change, and mobile app design trends are no exception. In fact, the only real constant is change. Keeping updated on the latest trends and hottest design models is an integral aspect of creating user-friendly mobile apps that have a wide appeal and deliver an excellent user experience. Designing a mobile-app is as much an art, as it is a science. There needs to be a balance between following current trends, unique features, and aspects that push the envelope of mobile app design trends.

In 2020 there are plenty of amazing bells and whistles that mobile app developers can integrate into their finished products; but it’s worth noting that these bells and whistles really only add value to the end user if they are accompanied by a fully-functional and bug-free core. Fancy add-ons, spectacular designs, and additional features all contribute to user-experience, but are akin to the paint job of a car. While aesthetically pleasing, and potentially raising perceived value – the true power lies in the engine that’s under the hood. and remains unaffected by aesthetic.

Mobile App Trends to Watch and Consider in 2020

Personalized Dash BoardsPersonalization isn’t just a trend in mobile app design. As more and more data becomes available through a myriad of collection-channels, marketing firms are dialing in on target markets that are as small as a single individual. The access to big data and personalized demographics like age, household income, occupation, and geography all provide vivid details about an individual. While marketing companies use these data points to provide unique and individualized campaigns, mobile app designers are implementing A.I. and user-data to deliver unique dashboards to the user. Good examples of this dashboard-personalization can be found by examining Spotify and SoundCloud. These music apps collect data on listening habits, user likes and dislikes, and auxiliary data to build a robust user-portfolio from which they can design unique user-dashboards. These offer a sense of comfort to the user, and assists in delivering additional content that the user will likely enjoy, based on sophisticated algorithms and the collected user-data.

Music apps are just the beginning. A.I. functionality can be integrated into a whole slew of apps that range from fitness and meal planning apps, to bucket list apps, and even news apps that can deliver personalized news on the subjects that matter most to a user. The trend of personalized dashboards is far-reaching, and should absolutely be considered in any mobile app design based around individual user experiences.

Convenient VoiceVoice search is seeing a massive surge in application. In fact, multiple sources report that nearly 50% of organic search will be conducted via voice by the end of 2020. This a stunning leap from the nominal contribution of voice search in the past decade. Largely attributed to the integration of smart-speakers and digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Assistant. The mass-integration of smart-speakers in households has reached an astounding 40%. Understanding that voice-search and voice-capable-interactions are a growing consumer demand is integral to creating a smooth and comfortable user-experience in mobile app design.

Designing apps that have familiar features native to their platform is an important consideration when approaching mobile app design. It helps the designer align the app-functionality with what users expect. Building an intuitive user-interface that makes accessing and utilizing voice-search as easy as speaking thoughts out loud seems to have a very secure future in mobile-app design.

Intuitive and convenient user experience is vital to building a consistent user-base that keeps returning day-after-day.

Advanced AnimationsClean, crisp, and informative animations create a balanced user experience that tells a story. Mobile apps can use animations in a variety of ways, but there’s a large movement to employ screen-animations when users interact with certain screens, make choices that lead to a new frame, or input specific data. The apps animations can detail transaction-processing or completion, confirm that user-input has been received, or simply add a rhythm to the user experience and flow of interactions.

Animations are also important in regards to branding. Mobile apps can employ a series of animations, or a single animation that is infused with their brand image to further ingrain those movements with a specific brand. No matter how they’re used advanced animations are an important aspect of mobile app design that bolster user-experience, brand awareness, and create an engaging and informative set of interactions with users. In turn, all of these metrics drive a higher user-base, word of mouth referrals, and user-engagement in-app. A win-win-win for mobile app designers properly integrating advanced animations.

Rounded Corners and Robust AestheticRounded corners are a trend in and of themself. Outside of mobile-app design, rounded edges have become a popular design feature in smartphones, monitors, wide-screen TV’s and much more. Because of this, rounded corners in app widgets, and other aspects of mobile-apps are an appealing aesthetic that almost mirror the look and feel of the devices they’re loaded on.

Rounded corners aren’t just for aesthetic though. They offer a very practical benefit to the user. Softer on the eyes, rounded corners allow us to process information more easily and quickly which in turn improve user experience, and make the app prettier.

Aesthetic is another important aspect to consider in mobile app design, however. While it certainly isn’t the end-all-be-all of mobile app design, aesthetic is naturally one of the first aspects of a mobile app that someone is going to notice. After all it can sometimes be hard not to judge a book by it’s cover. Keeping a sleek aesthetic that feels smooth and doesn’t hinder the apps overall user experience is a tricky balance, but one that will make a world of difference to the end user. Clunky apps that are unappealing visually will likely turn away users after a single visit, leaving a mobile app dead on install. On the other hand, a sleek design that’s both intuitive and user-friendly will have users coming back multiple times a day.

Universal Device UXThis is the epitome of designing a mobile app with universal appeal. One of the most important mobile app design trends: creating a mobile app that is able to deliver the same user experience no matter the device or operating system immediately boosts the overall marketability of a mobile app. Being limited one ios over another, or only being listed in the Apple Store and not the Google Play store poses massive restrictions to building a more robust, valuable, and engaged user base. More and more of the mobile apps designed today are suited to deliver the same exact user experience regardless of the device.

Expanding the user-experience so that it’s universal between devices, operating systems, and ios versions also delivers a message of inclusion. A message that is growing in importance throughout all industries as we witness massive social-shifts in the way businesses operate, and people interact with one another. Including everyone, and universal access should be at the forefront of mobile app designs at the onset of the project.

2020 has been full of change, surprise, and adversity. However, these uncertain times also offer a wide array of opportunity, especially for those brave enough to consider themselves entrepreneurs or appreneurs, ready to try their hand at designing a mobile app. These mobile app design trends are a great place to start, and NS804 is here to help every step of the way – from concept inception, to execution, visit NS804 and get in touch with a team of expert mobile app developers today.

What Will Make The Users Happy? Five Key Elements Of Great UX Design

There are many elements of mobile app design that need to come together for an app to be successful. One of the most important ingredients to building a strong mobile app that attracts a massive user-base is UX. UX, or user-experience, defines the way users interact and engage with the mobile app.

A great UX is certainly the product of five distinct key aspects. The aspects laid out here compose the five pillars of user-experience design. In following the principles of these five pillars, or five key elements of UX, mobile apps are sure to be user-friendly. In addition to being intuitive and user-friendly, mobile apps should also be built with efficiency and beauty in mind.

The large mobile app market makes UX even more important. More competition forces companies to think about the end-user first. With the user experience driving the core of mobile app design, the companies that provide the best UX will rise above the rest. These companies will perform better in terms of brand perception, overall user base, and other valuable metrics.

In fact, Springboard has the users’ needs as the number-one priority in UX. This shows how important it is to think about the user first in UX design.

The Five Key Elements of UX

Jumping into the five key elements of UX, the pillars of user-experience are defined, and a clear theme develops. The five key elements of UX design are:

  • Information Architecture
  • Interaction Design
  • Usability
  • Prototyping
  • Visual Design

Breaking these five pillars down further, the core components of each individual aspect involved in creating an excellent UX can be identified, and optimized. Therefore, optimizing the entire UX process from top to bottom. In taking a closer look at each of these UX pillars, it becomes clear that they all share one common thread. In each of these elements, it’s clear that the end-user is the priority in UX.

Information Architecture:

Guiding users to the information they’re searching for. Assisting users in the effective completion of tasks. This is what information architecture (IA) is all about. Usability.Gov defines IA as, “the organizing, labeling, and structuring of content in an effective and sustainable way.”

Structuring content in UX design is really an art form. Designers must consider many aspects. Aspects such as information location, and process-flow. These two aspects of the user-experience will dictate a lot of design factors. Therefore, designers must understand things like where users will look for information. Additionally, designers will need to understand how users will want to get things done within the app.

Interaction Design:

Interaction design is exactly that. The design of the interactions between users and products. In other words, this relates to the way that users engage with a mobile app. These engagements can also be broken into five distinct categories:

  • Words: Words are obviously any text that appears to the user. However, this category also includes system-messages, content-labels, and any other written content.
  • Visual Representations: Visual representations can be anything from color-schemes, to integrated media, and of course custom-design. This also relates heavily to branding. Designers should make it a priority to align color schemes and mobile-app visuals with the brand.
  • Physical Objects/Space: The physical objects category relates to the way users interact with the mobile-app. In other words, the platform or medium: Laptop, smartphone, etc.
  • Time: Time is a little bit more abstract, but it refers to the evolution of media contained in the app, or software.
  • Behavior: Finally this relates to the actual functionality of the app. How do users use the app, and what reactions do they have while engaging with the app?

Usability in UX:

In simple terms, usability means putting the design to the test. This refers to the data-collection process that happens when a UX has been significantly developed, and is ready for some real user-feedback. This data highlights important insight on design decisions previously made.

As a UX designer it is important to be the champion of the people, so to speak. This includes pointing out flaws, or user-frustrations in mobile-app UX. After finalizing the first version of the UX, designers can employ a myriad of tactics to gain real user-feedback. Some of these tactics include conducting lab-based studies, one-on-one interviews, tele-surveys, and focus-groups.

The data and user-feedback collected from these various data-pools will be extremely valuable in the ultimate design of the mobile-app. This feedback should influence decision making moving forward, updates to the existing UX, and bring about edits that likely should have been included in the first iteration.

Additionally, user testing provides key insights into how to market the product or mobile-app, and user behavior.

Prototyping:

Furthering the feed-back and design-finalization process, prototyping is an excellent, and cheap way to test product viability. Releasing a prototype is a great starting point as it provides a place for iterations. One can incorporate stakeholder feedback, and get real input on the functionality of their design.

This also enlightens and emphasizes and of the user-feedback that was garnered earlier in the data-collection stage from focus-groups, one-on-one interviews, and other data-collection tactics. Not only does the prototype allow for users to give additional feedback, it also offers a strong representation of what works and doesn’t work in the current design.

Prior to this stage, many of the design choices were probably based on theory, rather than practicality. Between the usability testing, and the prototyping stages, designers and mobile-app publishers should start to gain a good idea of where their design stands, and what needs improving.

Visual Design:

This is likely what immediately comes to mind when most think about UX. Visual design is a crucial aspect of an excellent UX, as has already been covered, yet it’s still only one of the five pillars that make up the principles of excellent UX design. The purpose, however, of visual design in UX is to provide the user with visuals that are both engaging and informative.

Visual design is important as it can establish a reputation for the mobile-app, and customers will start to recognize that brand. Visual design can also be extremely influential in the marketplace as far as determining demand for a product or mobile app.

For a long while, it was thought that mobile-apps had to be designed with one aspect or the other, aesthetics or useability. However, recent studies have shown that the two are actually in a positive correlation. More simply stated: the easier a mobile-app is to use, the more room there is for incredible visual design. Vice versa, an incredible visual design can actually improve useability, and guide the user through the process-flow, while also providing an engaging and aesthetically pleasing experience.

In UX design there are simply loads of variables to consider. Following these five pillars of UX design will ensure that your mobile-app, website, or any other design is both efficient, and intuitive. Providing users with a superb experience that stands out from the competition should be every designers goal.

NS804 has experience designing apps in nearly every marketspace, for nearly every type of user. Dedicated to making mobile-app design services more accessible than ever before, get in touch with NS804 today and get the conversation about your mobile-app idea started. NS804 offers additional help in designing an optimal user-experience, and top-to-bottom mobile-app design services.

Finding Early Adopters for an MVP

It’s no secret that investors of all sorts receive a constant barrage of inquiries and proposals. Busy investors don’t have the time to read through every proposal that hits their desk.  Therefore, as an appreneur it’s important to stand out amongst the crowd. One way to elevate your proposal is to develop an MVP, or minimal viable product.

An MVP gives investors and early adopters a chance to hold, feel, and test the product before making any important financial decisions.

Developing an MVP is really only the first step in acquiring investors, and early adopters though. After developing an MVP to include in proposals, it’s time for the next step. The next step involves actually recruiting early adopters and early investors.

It’s hard enough to gain the attention of serial-investors, but how does one go about securing early adopters to test the MVP, and provide real market-feedback?

Using an MVP to Attract Early Adopters

There is a bit of an art-form to attracting the right early adopters and investors to your mobile app. This includes utilizing a series of preparation tactics. In other words, doing the due diligence to create an accurate and informative presentation on products that offer a real solution to a real need.

It can be tricky to find the right pool of early adopters and potential investors. This group should represent a larger marketplace that the product ultimately aims to serve. Additionally, this group should possess an expert level of insight into market trends. This, along with other important insight, will be crucial in determining value.

Once there’s an understanding of the demographic for a product, the search for suitable early adopters can begin. This starts with the brands online presence. GutCheckIt has social media as the number two way to attract early adopters. However, there’s a catch.

Engaging an Early Adopter

Many early adopters are so ahead of the curve that they can be hard to actively hook into a conversation. That being said, showing an interest in their challenges and a real desire to provide a successful solution can be the exact appetizer they need.

Once an early adopter is engaged with you, and opening up about their problems, the time will present itself to pitch your solution. This is a sensitive window. This will really be the time to put your product to the test.

The proposal should certainly include a comprehensive business plan. The plan should contain both a marketing, and acquisition strategy. However, there’s an element that will be even more interesting to the eager early adopter. That is practicality. Early adopters, and early investors, will want to test the product.

Testing can provide valuable feedback and insight. Consider and implement this feedback moving forward.

NS804 is dedicated to making mobile-app design services more accessible than ever before. With years of experience that bridges industries, and spans the entire marketplace, NS804 mobile-app design can be trusted to provide users and appreneurs with the absolute best design service available. Visit NS804 and start the conversation today!

Steps to Take After a Mobile App Rejection From Apple

What 3 Steps Should You Take if Your App Doesn’t Make Apple’s Final Cut?

After hours of work and programming, submitting an app to Apple for review is a moment of achievement, fulfilment and pride. While this is an accomplishment worthy of some pride – don’t get too far ahead of yourself. The app hasn’t yet been approved, and Apples approval process is historically thorough. According to Arkenea Apple adds 60,000 apps to their mobile-app store each month. A staggering volume; yet each of those apps has been thoroughly vetted and reviewed by Apple experts. The dash of pride felt upon app submission can be just as quickly slashed away with the receipt of a rejection notice.

Fear not, the journey to publishing that mobile app is far from over, and there are plenty of actionable steps you can take to improve the app, and get the Apple stamp of approval you seek. Follow a few simple steps, and your app will be available to millions on the Apple store in no time.

3 Steps Following Apple’s Rejection

Step OneReview and analyze the rejection notice. Apple won’t leave you in the dark as to why your app was rejected. In fact, they detail the reasons for rejection right in the notice. This expedites the improvement process by identifying the areas that need improvement upfront and allows for developers to focus their time and energy where it matters most.

Step TwoResearch and implement solutions. Once the problem is understood and identified – developers can begin working on creating solutions immediately. After implementing and testing those solutions to ensure compliance with Apple’s original rejection, the app can be resubmitted for Apple to review once again. In resubmission it’s really important to focus on the areas that Apple specifically refers to in their rejection notice. Failure to do so almost guarantees a second rejection, which further delays the release, and is frustrating to developers and any investors that may be attached to the project.

Step ThreeContinual improvement. Once successful solutions have been implemented, and the app is eventually accepted to Apple’s mobile app store – the journey is really only beginning. After hitting the market, mobile apps are privy to volumes of customer feedback, reviews, and requests for more robust versions that offer broader capabilities. With mobile apps, being accepted into Apple’s mobile app store is certainly an accomplishment; but also carries with it the necessary investment in future development.

One of the most common reasons Apple will cite for rejecting a mobile app upon review is referred to as Apple’s Guideline 2.1 – Performance: App Completeness. The app store website states that this guideline is responsible for over 40% of mobile app rejections processed by Apple.

Building a mobile app is an exciting journey full of ups and downs. To build a fully functional mobile app requires dedication, time, and patience as layer after layer is composed and new problems are solved with each line of code. That’s where NS804 comes in; bringing mobile app development services to the average person with a great idea.

Mobile App Connection Through COVID-19

How COVID-19 Enhanced Mobile App Connection

COVID-19 brought havoc and chaos to the world almost instantaneously. All around the globe societies and economies alike have had to make major shifts in order to adjust to the new way of life COVID-19 has forced upon us. With unemployment rates reaching all-time highs, and companies struggling to adapt to the challenges COVID-19 has presented, mobile apps have remained relatively unscathed by the historic pandemic through which we’re living. In such trying times, and with social-distancing becoming a norm, the need for alternative methods of communication and personal connection has grown significantly. As such, mobile app connection offers users a multitude of channels and avenues through which to connect with friends, families, co-workers, and anyone in between.

There are many ways to connect via mobile apps and that’s perhaps one of the reasons the mobile app market has proven so resilient even through one of the hardest economic periods to date. The versatility offered in mobile app connection is both far-reaching, deeply personal, and extremely accessible.

Different Connection Channels Mobile Apps Offer

There is quite an array of options when it comes to mobile app connection. From traditional means of communication like messaging platforms, to more modern versions like video-chatting/conferencing, and even to post-modern connection channels such as gaming and social-networking, mobile apps provide connection solutions for everyone and anyone.

Traditional Messaging AppsInstant messaging has been around for a long time. While not necessarily being new-to-the-scene, there are still powerful and popular mobile apps that provide instant messaging services world-wide. Messaging apps like WhatsApp allow users to connect across the globe instantly. With widely applied international travel-bans, having access to the global-community during such uncertain times is vital to many. Especially those with loved ones and family abroad.

Modern Communication: Similar to messaging apps, there are plenty of video-conferencing apps that provide another avenue of mobile app connection. Apps like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype all offer users a wide range of abilities in regards to connecting ‘face-to-face’. This type of mobile app connection has proven extremely beneficial to businesses who have transitioned to remote-operations. Utilizing these avenues to ensure workers are able to communicate amongst their teams, departments, and with upper management has sort of acted as the backbone to companies continuing to operate through the pandemic.

Post Modern CommunicationVideo-conferencing and instant messaging aside, mobile apps offer a whole slew of alternative, ‘post-modern’ communication methods. Between mobile app gaming, and social media apps, individuals are able to create, engage with, and participate in broad and diverse communities. Keeping engaged with different communities offers a sense of personal-connection and belonging that is extremely important to our mental health as human beings.

No matter how you prefer to communicate, mobile app connection is versatile, accessible, and powerful. Capable of connecting individuals far and wide, without any regard to time zones or geography. NS804 is dedicated to bringing mobile app design services to the average person with a great idea. For more information on how to integrate communication into your mobile app, or any design help – get in touch with NS804 today!