Four Things Your Enterprise App Is Missing

Four Key Components Your Enterprise App Needs

The beautiful thing about baking is that almost all of the recipes already exist. All you have to do, then, is follow the recipe. And with a little patience you’ll then be eating sweet treats and feeling like Betty White in no time. This is the glory of a template. The baker knows the ingredients, knows the ratios, and because of their knowledge they can alter the recipe in other ways. Understanding the key ingredients of a successful enterprise app will help you and your company in updating or developing your enterprise apps.

Designs, Trends, and Visuals

While this may seem a little frivolous, the contrary is true. Having an updated look, feel, and function to your enterprise app is vital to your employees everyday operations. Again, this might seem a little silly at first, but it’s quite logical when examined. Over the course of the last couple decades our brains have become programmed to think and operate in a certain way. As such, leaving enterprise apps outdated forces employees to think in an outdated and inefficient manner. This, in turn, results in a slow and inefficient process within your organization.

Non-Integrated Solutions

This goes hand-in-hand with the point about above about outdated legacy systems. Outdated enterprise apps further hinder your business practices by limiting your ability to integrate them with more modern-day solutions that are common to the modern market. This leaves your company at a significant disadvantage compared to your competitors.

Not only that, but updating your enterprise app to be more compatible with modern day solutions will boost your business. You’ll see an immediate increase in efficiency, as your entire operation will be streamlined and optimized.

Compatibility Across Devices

Compatibility is always a focal point in app development. Making sure that all users, no matter what device they prefer, have unthrottled access to your application is vital, especially in a business setting. This is because, in a remote business context, your employees may have any number of personal devices from which they’re accessing work.

Making sure that your app is accessible from both android and Ios devices is a vital step. You want to make sure that any and all users are able to successfully use your application. Accessibility is a huge piece in that puzzle.

Offline Work Capability

This is another key ingredient to building a successful enterprise app. Sometimes employees need a place to flush out their ideas. Some scratch-paper, so to speak. Including some offline-access functions in your enterprise app will allow users the privacy and freedom they need to work out their latest inventions and innovations. Without the prying eyes of team-members and co-workers.

This also allows for your employees to test out new formats, or try new formulas in their spreadsheets before making them live, or sharing their trials; further allowing the success of each individual in your company.

Wrapping Up

Having a comprehensive and modern enterprise app is now vital for most businesses. Especially in the new remote economy. For more information on developing or updating an enterprise app for your business, visit NS804. NS804 is the premier place for the everyday app developer.

Boost Enterprise App Productivity With Offline Access

Building a compelling enterprise app can be tricky. It should run well under a wide range of scenarios, even when Internet access isn’t a given. Nowadays, company employees require a seamless online and offline experience in their apps to retain a productive workflow. That’s why every good developer should rise to the occasion by creating applications that have useful offline modes. Below, we provide several pointers on how you should implement offline access for your upcoming app.

1. Using An Enterprise App Anywhere

Developers go out of their way to support as many platforms as possible. Without a doubt, this is a smart move, as it maximizes the reach of their applications. Some users access apps via their desktops, while others prefer to use their mobile devices. But it doesn’t end there, as there’s a growing number of applications developed for the web.

If you’re embarking on enterprise app development, then you’ll want to follow a multiplatform strategy. After all, a company’s employees utilize a plethora of devices during their day-to-day work. But it’s vital to take things a step further by allowing for offline access. There’s nothing worse than for employees to have their work interrupted while the Internet’s down or when encountering connectivity issues.

2. Offline Access Is A Necessity

Even if your app’s online features are indispensable, always have a backup plan for when Internet access is unavailable. Furthermore, design your app to function when the Internet’s slow or when users experience connectivity issues.

Your enterprise app development strategy should encompass what apps company employees use throughout their day and how they use them. For example, some employees may need to make changes to data when offline. Developing the enterprise app with an offline-first design methodology means that it won’t need to access the backend server to implement these data changes.

Also, consider the many benefits that building an offline app brings to the table. Users prefer to retain apps on their mobile phones that have offline functionality. Offline apps load faster and use less battery than their online counterparts, which most millennials appreciate. Furthermore, users located in regions with slow or no access to the Internet can actually use your offline apps, giving you an edge over competitors that don’t have this feature.

3. Choosing Which Features To Offer Offline

During the enterprise app development process, you’ll need to prioritize certain features over others. And this is especially true when deciding what features must run consistently during your app’s offline mode. Making the correct design decisions can make or break your app, so choose wisely. Focus on mission-critical features essential to the smooth operation of the enterprise. Furthermore, study employee workflows carefully to determine what features serve them best.

If you’re developing e-commerce, file upload, money transfer, news, and on-demand delivery apps, then you should implement robust offline modes. When users lose Internet access, allow your apps to store mission-critical data offline. And when they gain access again, the apps will automatically complete or queue up all transactions and file transfers.

4. Handling A Push Notification App With Offline Use

When mobile users are offline, they won’t receive your push notifications. And this is unfortunate, as these notifications can help retain your existing app users. That’s why you’ll need to develop your push notification app with offline use in mind. Utilize a versatile analytics platform, such as Kumalos, which allows you to analyze how users engage with your app. By studying user data, you can carefully craft and schedule your push notifications so that they’re engaging and meaningful.

Alternatively, save user device information and whether or not they’re online in a server-side database. Detect when users get back online and run an automated request on your server to deliver the relevant push notifications they missed while offline.

5. Reduce Enterprise App Frustrations

Users expect apps to run flawlessly, especially in an enterprise environment. While they can put up with the odd bug that will be fixed in the next update, they don’t like dealing with apps that break entirely or slow them down. Don’t allow company employees to miss important deadlines because your app can’t perform specific tasks offline.

Communicate what features users can access while offline through the User Interface (UI). Moreover, make it easy for users to quickly see what functionality they have available without breaking their workflow. Apart from updates, ensure that your push notification app delivers the latest notifications that users missed out on earlier.

6. Decide How Much Users Can Store Locally

Nowadays, most smartphones come with a generous amount of storage space. But this doesn’t mean that all that space is available for your enterprise app development projects. Most users store documents, music, and videos that eat up much of their smartphones’ available storage.

When building your upcoming app with offline functionality, ensure that you only store essential data locally. If you’re developing an e-commerce app, store the most popular products offline for users to peruse. And if you’re creating a money transfer app, keep details of the recipient on the phone until completion of the transaction.

7. Saving The Current State When Suddenly Going Offline

Internet outages often happen when you least expect them. So make sure that your enterprise app saves the current state during such a scenario. Implement a dynamic or static cache, or even both, depending on the type of data your app handles. Data that’s updated regularly is stored in the dynamic cache, while data that doesn’t change often gets stored in the static cache.

Many apps utilize real-time data synchronization, which works well when online but not ideal when offline. However, there are workarounds, such as implementing modern synchronization protocols that facilitate specific data updates during offline mode. Do keep in mind that data synchronization comes with its own set of challenges. Too much syncing will drain a device’s battery quickly, whereas too little syncing increases the risk of losing data and missing important updates.

8. Create A Seamless Online And Offline Enterprise App Experience

Take a look at some of the best and most-used apps, and ask yourself what they have in common? Whether it’s Google Maps, Netflix, or Spotify, all these applications provide users with excellent offline modes. Users feel confident using these apps because they offer a stable and seamless experience both online and offline.

Focus your efforts on unifying both the online and offline aspects of your app. And don’t skimp on the User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) either, as you’ll need a consistent look and feel for its entirety. Your users should never feel like they’re using a completely different application when they go offline. Instead, they should enjoy using your app both online and offline regularly.

Final Thoughts

Several of the most successful and widely-used applications function flawlessly when online and offline. While there are many challenges in developing apps that provide a seamless experience, it’s worth the effort to meet and surpass user expectations. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can help you develop engaging apps with powerful offline features.

What’s Involved In Maintaining A Mobile App?

Input cost is always a primary consideration when embarking on the app development journey. That makes sense when a simple mobile app costs about $37,500 while a complex app is north of $500,000. Undoubtedly, designing and developing an app is a substantial investment that company leaders need to comprehend. But they also need to understand the importance of maintaining their applications after releasing them.

User expectations have risen considerably, and they seldom put up with buggy, obtrusive, and unengaging apps. That’s why it’s vital to listen to user feedback and roll out the necessary bug fixes and content updates. However, this is an ongoing process that increases the likelihood of — keeping users hooked — when done correctly. Below, we’ll take a deeper look at what’s involved in maintaining a mobile app.

1. App Development Is Ongoing

 

Pushing an application out the door is only part of the app development process. And the reason for this is that an app is never truly finished if it’s going to enjoy long-term success. There’s no shortage of applications in the App Store and Google Play, which means that users have an almost endless amount of options. Therefore, they’ll quickly delete lackluster apps to make space for those that seem more promising.

Many users have no qualms about removing applications that have intrusive in-app purchases, poor UX, security vulnerabilities, technical issues, unnecessary features, and when they lack content or violate user privacy. However, you can avoid or reduce the frequency of these issues by regularly rolling out updates for your apps.

2. Hidden Mobile App Costs

 

Developing applications comes with its fair share of hiddenmobile app costs. Back-end hosting, gathering user feedback, keeping up with OS updates, maintaining a developer account, supporting new devices, and providing maintenance and support, all cost time and money. Since an app requires regular updates during its life cycle, the costs of maintaining and supporting it may exceed its initial development costs.

3. Listening To User Feedback And Requests

 

The apps that succeed are those made by developers that take user feedback seriously. That’s why you should always be listening to user feedback and responding to their requests timeously. Look out for reviews left by experts and regular users in the app stores, and always make sure to respond with the necessary bug fixes, updates, or replies.

Their feedback will also help shape your app since you’ll gradually implement features and improvements that users want. Furthermore, by understanding user behavior you won’t waste resources on unnecessary content and features.

4. Pushing New Content

 

It’s vital to keep users engaged so that they don’t lose interest in your app. A good way to achieve this is by pushing new content at regular intervals. And one of the most efficient ways to notify your users about these changes is with push notifications. But there’s a push notification cost that you’ll need to consider. While several analytics platforms and vendors offer a free tier to help you get started, eventually, you’ll need to invest in a paid service to increase your reach.

The Bottom Line

 

Maintaining a mobile app is an essential part of the app development process. And doing it right means that you’re ascertaining all the hidden mobile app costs and listening to user feedback. Furthermore, you’re taking advantage of push notifications and applying the right strategies to keep your push notification cost as low as possible. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop and maintain engaging mobile apps.

The Waterfall UX Process: Everything You Need To Know

When developing mobile apps, we need to consider various project management approaches, such as the Waterfall UX process. After all, we retain users by utilizing methodologies and strategies for UI/UX that work. And we want to reduce the associated risks of creating apps via a well-thought-out Waterfall software development process.

But you may be wondering if this is the right methodology for your upcoming project or considering alternatives such as Agile. Well, we’ll shed some light on these matters and compare both methodologies below.

1. What Is The Waterfall Methodology

 

The Waterfall methodology is a project management paradigm initially used in construction and manufacturing but later adopted by software developers. All project tasks are split into phases that follow a linear sequence that flows downwards, similarly to a waterfall, hence the naming convention. It’s a fairly straightforward process but far more rigid than alternative models such as agile.

2. Does The Waterfall UX Process Work

 

Users expect modern apps to have intuitive and responsive UX. And a few ways to keep these users satisfied is by simplifying the user journey, organizing content, personalizing apps, adding biometric authentication features, and minimizing data input. But how does a development team hash out their UX process to create engaging apps? The good news is that the Waterfall methodology works incredibly well for UX, which many developers utilize.

A well-trodden Waterfall UX process works as follows:

  • Initiate research and determine all core problems
  • Categorize all these problems
  • Generate journey maps and personas
  • Hold brainstorming sessions to come up with new ideas
  • Create a prototype and test it
  • Begin developing the product based on the prototype
  • Release the product
  • Gather user feedback and return to the first phase

Overall, this process brings about satisfactory results as long as the UX isn’t updated regularly. However, many design-led mobile app developers prefer to update their UX in shorter cadences. In such a scenario, a Waterfall process isn’t the most suitable methodology. Thus, a growing number of developers utilize Lean and Agile methodologies instead.

3. The Main Parts Of The Waterfall Software Development Process

 

A typical Waterfall software development process consists of either five or seven phases following a stringent linear sequence. The naming of phases may vary, but these are the commonly used descriptors:

Requirements – Project managers gather all necessary customer requirements during this initial phase. Then, without further customer input, the remaining phases in the waterfall sequence are planned out.

Design – Design consists of a logical design and a physical design phase. Logical design involves the brainstorming and theorization of solutions, while physical design necessitates the establishment of specifications based on these theories.

Implementation – The development team’s programmers start writing code based on the requirements and specifications from the above phases.

Verification – During the verification phase, the customer receives the finished product to review. The customer will then ascertain whether or not the product meets their requirements.

Maintenance – The customer regularly uses the product and gradually discovers bugs and other faults. Then, the maintenance team makes the necessary fixes based on customer feedback.

4. Pros And Cons Of Waterfall

 

The Waterfall software development process has several pros and cons that you should consider before commencing any upcoming projects. Unfortunately, the Waterfall model has gained an undeserved reputation among many developers nowadays. They often claim that it’s inefficient and outdated due to its rigid structure. However, it’s still widely used in enterprise, game, and mobile app development.

Waterfall’s clear structure makes it easy for developers to understand and complete tasks. And since tasks must be completed in sequence, this diminishes the possibility of unfinished and unpolished apps. Furthermore, if the developer can commit to a set release date, then it’s easy to predict the end goal and production costs.

On the flipside, Waterfall’s rigid structure makes it difficult to implement changes. Any sudden change or revision will likely derail the project and extend the time to market (TTM). Another negative is that the customer or end-user doesn’t have a say during the development process and provides valuable feedback that benefits the project. Finally, testing takes place near the end of the process, which may lead to costly and time-consuming revisions.

5. Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile

 

Whether in the canteen or around the water cooler, it’s common for developers to engage in Waterfall methodology vs Agile debates. Since neither methodology is better than the other, it’s difficult to settle on a clear winner. However, they both have several notable differences that are worth discussing.

We’ve already gone over Waterfall’s rigid structure, which makes it difficult to implement changes. Well, Agile is the complete opposite and allows for a more iterative approach at shorter time scales. However, do keep changes to a minimum to avoid a budget overrun. After all, Agile lacks the predictability of Waterfall, making it less suitable for determining cost and time factors.

While Waterfall’s ideal for projects with clearly defined end goals, this isn’t the case for Agile. Customers are often uncertain about how a project should turn out and prefer to determine the result through trial and error. Agile’s flexible approach facilitates user feedback throughout the development process and fine-tuning the project accordingly.

6. What Projects Work Best With Waterfall

 

Waterfall works best for smaller projects and those that have a fixed budget, release date, and scope. It’s also a good choice for any application that doesn’t require frequent updates. And the team structure of the developer may determine if Waterfall is the way to go. For example, if contractors and remote workers will also be contributing to the project, then Waterfall’s clean and straightforward structure makes it suitable. Moreover, the customer may not have the time or inclination to follow the entire development process and only wishes to see the finished product.

7. Should You Use Waterfall And Agile Together?

 

It usually makes sense to deliberate over Waterfall Methodology Vs Agile, especially when embarking on mobile app development. But sometimes, depending on the project, it may be necessary to embrace both methodologies. Ideally, you’ll want to form a hybrid methodology that combines the positive aspects of both models but without any of the negative.

By implementing the Water-Scrum-Fall paradigm, it’s possible to have a hybrid methodology that works effectively. Project leaders operate within the Waterfall paradigm, but the development team functions in an Agile environment and only integrates with the Waterfall structure via the Scrum team. However, it’s challenging to run Agile and Waterfall processes concurrently. But worthwhile if you’re employing Continuous Delivery in your DevOps pipeline for your app development endeavors.

The Bottom Line

 

The Waterfall methodology has played a significant role in software development for many decades. It may seem outdated, especially for newer developers accustomed to an Agile environment. However, Waterfall still has its place and can be made to work with Agile if necessary. Contact us now, and find out how NS804 can help bring your mobile app ideas to life.