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The Ultimate Guide To Creating an MVP for Your Startup

The Ultimate MVP Guide

Put up or shut up. Put your money where your mouth is. Actions speak louder than words. These phrases have earned their place in history by speaking to a commonality in all of us: the desire for cold hard evidence. Because seeing is believing, right? Therefore, these little quips and phrases point towards the importance of business tools like prototypes, product proof-of-concept, or an MVP.

Prototypes, a proof-of-concept, and an MVP are all tools companies use in a variety of ways. Two of the main functions of these tools include investor recruitment and target market feedback. Plus, developing these tools and making use of them will lead to further insights that will help inform the rest of the product development lifecycle.

Understanding MVPs

No, we aren’t talking about Patrick Mahomes possibly leading the Chiefs to a second straight superbowl, for the first time in the history of the NFL. No, in mobile app development, an MVP stands for the minimum viable product. In other words, this is the bare-bones product that your developers build as a sort of shell-demonstration. This demonstrates the core functionality of the application. However, the MVP is still very much a predecessor to the application’s full-blown vision.

Although, that doesn’t always stop the MVP from being utilized. See there’s a whole niche market of app-development where the bells and whistles are just that: bells and whistles. The end-user isn’t so much interested in the seamless UX or the brilliant design; but rather the solution that the application provides. This is often the case when it comes to business-oriented-applications, or industry-specific applications.

In these environments, the end-user may be an early-adopter or a professional simply looking for a solution to their problem, if your MVP contains that solution – the extra functions and features that get added might just be icing on the cake.

While an MVP may sound very similar to a prototype, and they are in many ways, there are a few key differences between the two. The biggest and most obvious difference between an MVP and a prototype is the form it takes. An MVP is always going to be a lightweight version of the application.

A prototype, on the other hand, can come in a whole variety of shapes, sizes, and forms. The most basic prototypes, in fact, are simple sketches. The form your prototype takes will largely depend on a variety of factors. Aspects like your industry-expertise, technical ability, and access to resources.

The Development

While it may seem like one of the first steps in mobile app development, there’s actually quite a bit of work to be done before your firm can tackle the MVP. The very first step in mobile app development is identifying a problem and a potential solution. This is by far the most critical question that needs to be answered at the onset of a mobile app development project.

Without a firm-wide understanding of the problem that’s being addressed and the solution that’s being developed, a whole onslaught of issues will arise. These issues range from miscommunication, to inefficient processes, and misaligned development activities. In other words, one developer might be working on a user-interface that is completely incompatible with the overall solution that’s being developed. Therefore, time, energy, and resources were all wasted, which could have been avoided entirely with stronger communication channels.

Once your firm has identified the problem they’d like to solve, and how they’d like to solve it; then they can advance to the next step of the development process. The next phase in mobile app development, or MVP development is determining the core-features that need to be built into the application. The core features that are selected largely influence both the MVP and the design of the finished application.

This is important to note. The MVP, as mentioned above, is a tool your mobile app firm develops for a wide variety of reasons. Two of the main reasons for MVP development is end-user and target-market feedback, as well as investor recruitment. These are two of the most crucial phases in the entire mobile app development lifecycle.

Feedback and Investor Recruitment

As the age-old-adage goes, “money makes the world go round.” And as sad as that is to acknowledge at times, the practical utility of liquid assets is undeniable. Developing an MVP takes time, money, labor, and resources. Once your firm develops the MVP, however, there’s plenty of opportunity for your team to leverage the MVP into additional investments.

On top of leveraging an MVP into additional funding for your firm, or the specific project; an MVP also gives your company a way to conduct market focus-groups. This allows you to garner real end-user feedback on the solution provided and the overall direction of the application. These insights can be used to further inform your team on the features and trends most impactful to the target market, and how to finish the development process.

When garnering user-feedback or running focus-groups, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Keeping these elements in mind can help your team maximize the value that these activities in the development process yield. For example, when running a focus group with an MVP, your team should consider including a basic version of the UX. This will help the focus-group. It helps them understand the flow of the application, how the app presents information to the user, and more.

Running focus groups and testing the MVP in a variety of demographics is a best-practice by all considerations. This practice is important because it will help you and your team avoid common pitfalls in app development. One of the most common traps that mobile app developers often fall into is known as the ‘assumption trap’. This is the ‘trap’ that mobile app developers fall into when they believe they already know what the end-consumer wants.

Avoiding The Trap

Conducting a series of focus groups across a variety of demographics, therefore, is extremely valuable and provides incredible insight into consumer behavior, and consumer wants.

The end-consumer, especially today, has more power than ever before. Between the era of information and technology providing more widespread access to information, and the emergence of a very competitive marketplace, the consumer truly is king. Therefore, taking the time to understand the issues that are most significant to your target-market will benefit you greatly. Let the consumers and customers tell you what they want, then deliver. Otherwise, you may very well be putting the cart before the horse.

Final Thoughts on MVP Development

The mobile app market is booming. Ever since earlier this year when the pandemic was first beginning to rage and the first set of lockdown orders were issued, mobile app usership has boomed. Between March and April of this year, millions of first-time app users were downloading applications, log-times were skyrocketing, and the shift toward the digital age was officially underway.

In such a crowded market, it’s important to stand out, deliver on consumer wants, and offer new and unique solutions. Developing an MVP will help you and your firm do all of this and more. From investor-recruitment, to real-time consumer feedback, developing an MVP is a necessity.

For more information on MVPs, or anything related to mobile app development, visit NS804 today, and get in touch with an expert mobile app developer ready to turn your idea into a reality.

Can You Get Professional Results With App Design Templates?

Making apps is a costly endeavor, causing developers to seek ways to make their production processes more efficient. And given the increased competition, it seems challenging to stick to the planned mobile app budget. After all, users desire more features and slicker design, whereas innovative competitors push the envelope even further. While it’s tempting to cut corners to stay on budget, this move would be detrimental to the success of your app.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to reskin existing apps or source low-quality assets to bring costs down. Users have become seasoned in spotting asset flips, reskinned apps, and generic GUI icons sourced from the web. Fortunately, there are ways to make impressive-looking apps without resorting to these questionable methods. A custom app developed by an experienced developer, such as NS804, will provide the best results.

An alternative way to make your app look professional is by utilizing app design templates, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

1. Why You May Want To Use App Design Templates

Every developer wants to reduce their time to market (TTM) significantly. That’s why many teams use existing frameworks instead of building everything from scratch. Furthermore, most experienced developers are capable of crafting unique apps instead of cookie-cutter apps using these frameworks. Since they no longer have to worry about boilerplate code, they can now focus on creating compelling apps that excite users.

However, you can go beyond frameworks to reduce cost and time to develop your upcoming app. After bouncing some app design ideas with the relevant team members, it’s time to consider using customizable or pre-made templates for your project.

We recommend that you stay away from cheap templates, as they’ll make your app look dated, low-effort, or unpolished. Many talented designers work on custom templates and ensure that they meet the criteria set out by platform holders such as Apple and Google. Do keep in mind that a North American designer may set you back between $ 45-250 per hour depending on experience and project complexity.

Your project’s requirements will largely determine whether you’ll opt for a custom solution or templates. But if you don’t want to skimp on quality, then nothing holds up to a custom-designed app.

2. Are Custom-Made Apps Really That Different?

Well, that depends if these custom-made apps have enough unique elements to make them stand out. And since the attention span of users is less than 8 seconds, developers should get their ideas across quickly. Furthermore, most successful apps always strive to provide users the instant gratification that they crave. But to make these types of apps, it’s vital to understand the entire process.

It all begins with a rock-solid idea that has been conceived after planning your app on paper. Team members should be encouraged to share their app design ideas, which should include ‘must-have’ and ‘nice-to-have’ features. Then, you should create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s a stripped-down version of the final product. Moreover, you can create a prototype that lacks all the bells and whistles but showcases basic functionality.

Once you have a functioning app up and running, you’ll want to focus on its visual elements. The work you put into your User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) will go a long way in differentiating your app. If you’re fortunate enough to have talented designers on your team, then they can create stunning icons, menus, and screens. Also, they can alter existing templates and recompose them so that they seem custom-made.

If you don’t have designers on hand or aren’t confident in making a compelling app, then we recommend hiring an experienced developer. NS804 can help to make all your ideas come to life while also assisting in other key areas. Don’t forget to do market research before launching. By knowing what users want, you can add those unique features that differentiate your app from the competition.

Lastly, you should always study user feedback and make changes, whenever necessary, to keep them engaged. Several good ways to gain user insight is through interviews and surveys. Then, update your app regularly and ensure that you’re delivering the changes and features that they want.

3. The Right Template Is Already Professional

App builders have become commonplace in recent years. They make it easy to build apps for small businesses and other organizations using drag-and-drop wizards and templates. However, they’re not always the ideal solution, especially in light of Apple’s 2017 ban on low-quality templates. Ensure that all your cool app design ideas don’t go to waste by meeting the requirements set forth by the platform holders.

Apart from not being spammy, your app’s built-in features and UX design should serve specific businesses or needs. If you’ve sourced high-quality templates that scale perfectly to different screen sizes, then you’re on the right track. But it’s also necessary to consider the use cases of various templates as well. For example, it’s never a good idea to use a template meant for restaurant apps when you’re making a fitness studio app.

Users and platform holders prefer a clean and uncluttered look for the current generation of apps. Not only does this enhance usability, but it’s also more aesthetically pleasing. The good news is that it’s reasonably easy to find pre-made templates that comply with this minimalist design language. Moreover, it’s possible for any experienced designer to alter these templates to better fit your app and UX design.

4. Use Templates To Get App Design Ideas

Coming up with the latest great idea for your upcoming app may seem difficult. Fortunately, there are several handy tools to help you draw up and visualize your app in record time. Microsoft’s Web and Mobile Wireframe Templates make it possible to design your next app with a few mouse clicks. These templates are generic so that it’s easy to implement changes without much guesswork.

A few of the starter templates include Company Wireframe Diagram, E-Commerce Wireframe Diagram, List Wireframe Diagram, Media Wireframe Diagram, User Profile Wireframe Diagram, Wireframe – Mobile App, and Wireframe – Website. These will help you get started quickly, as they cover the most common use cases for mobile and web apps.

One of the tool’s most useful features is its ability to display templates on different web browsers and devices. Without a doubt, this allows you and your team to conceive app ideas while having a clear picture of what they’ll look like on the target platform. Even if you can’t come up with ideas at first, manipulating these templates will help you get your creative juices flowing.

Final Thoughts

App design templates can help reduce the cost and time it takes to produce apps. But these must be professionally made templates that will look good on various devices and display sizes. Furthermore, they must comply with the requirements set out by platform holders to avoid bans. With our many years of experience in app development, NS804 can help you achieve professional results for your next mobile app.

Mobile App Usage During COVID-19: Mobile Apps Seeing a Surge in User Base

COVID-19 And The Surge In Mobile App Usage

In March of 2020 the world began a period of rapid change. The COVID-19 pandemic swept over the globe, and society all over the world felt its impact. Not only that, but shortly after the onset of the pandemic, domestic turmoil erupted as well. With COVID-19 running rampant through cities and states all over the country, things shut down quickly. Additionally, unemployment rates began to skyrocket as businesses shut their doors to customers. Others still would transition to a fully-remote work environment. With businesses shut down, and the majority of people stuck inside, mobile app usage saw a massive surge.

The huge surge in work-from-home positions was just one of the significant shifts that the pandemic began. As companies realized it was no longer safe for employees to come into the office, those same businesses had to make adjustments to stay afloat in our new society. In order to keep operations running, many businesses got creative and found ways to serve their customers remotely.

Mobile App Usage Stats

In fact, in the second quarter of 2020 business app usage saw a massive increase of 220% compared to quarter four of 2019 in the United States. India, however, saw an even greater increase of 450% over the same time period. The significant increase in businesses app usage points toward a general trend in the way that businesses will be operating for the foreseeable future.

Businesses aren’t the only ones to see a huge increase in mobile app usage, however. In the last three months, July, August, and September, mobile app users spent 180 million hours on apps. The huge surge in mobile app usage is universal. In other words, it isn’t just businesses, or customers in a certain demographic that are spending more time on mobile apps.

Rather, it seems that the entirety of the mobile app market is experiencing one of the greatest volume-increases in history. Certainly, while some trends are just that, a trending phase or fad, the increase in the mobile app market seems like it’s going to be more sustainable than other phases.

This is because of two main reasons. The first is that the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic are going to stretch far into the future. The second is simply the versatility of the market. From enterprise level apps that businesses use to conduct operations, to educational apps that are powering remote learning, and of course, even the silly mobile-app games that provide people with a sense of community in these dismal times.

Capitalize On The Surge

While the onset of the mobile-app surge has already come and gone, the massive uptick in mobile app usage is here to stay. Now is a better time than ever to start taking your ideas for a mobile app from concept to reality.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the ever day person. As such, we’re dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Visit NS804 today and get in touch with the mobile app developer of tomorrow.

“After” COVID-19 – Preparing My Company for The Next Pandemic

Learning From COVID-19

2020, if nothing else, has been a year full of change and lessons. Additionally, 2020 brought about a ton pof changes. Changes that businesses and consumers had to adapt to. Shortly after the onset of the pandemic many companies closed their doors. Other businesses still reduced their capacity significantly. However, the largest trend to emerge from 2020 is the move toward a remote working environment. Some organizations were ahead of the curve with their pandemic prep.

Companies need to prepare for the rest of the pandemic. Not only that, organizations also need to look ahead toward the next pandemic. Taking from the lessons learned from COVID-19.

Looking Beyond The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Companies are still trying to recover from broken supply chains amongst other things. Not only that, but the global market is under an incredible amount of stress. Simultaneously, companies are still coping and managing social distancing practices. Ultimately, that limits the amount of business they can serve at any given time.

However, it’s never too late to prepare for the next storm.

Many companies have had to find new ways to operate. In many instances this has included shifting toward a remote-working environment. Working remotely has become the norm of 2020. As such, companies need to prioritize the various aspects that make it possible for businesses to function remotely.

One of the ways to do this is to equip employees with the proper software and hardware. This allows employees to run modern software and applications. Another vital element is communication. Robust communication channels empower staff members.

Without proper internal communication deadlines are missed, projects fall off track, and collaboration collapses. The result is subpar performance, and a culture that allows for miscommunications regularly.

Other Solutions

Beyond shifting to a virtual environment and a remote-working world, companies have continued to be creative in finding new solutions. In a time where companies are facing many unique and specific challenges, custom applications have started to emerge as source of many solutions.

Now more than ever before, companies are turning to AI and custom enterprise applications in order to collect and manage data on a larger scale. Not only will data related activities happen on a larger scale, but they will also occur in a more efficient manner. Bringing your business into the modern world means adjusting to the new playing field.

Understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that another pandemic could very well hit us down the road, now is the time to start preparing for an entirely digital experience.

Going Totally Digital For The Next Pandemic

The customer experience of tomorrow is completely digital. With more businesses transitioning into remote working environments, and turning to custom mobile apps, and AI based solutions for data management and collection, the economy is recognizing the reality of this pandemic, and the next one.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person, and is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Visit NS804 today to get in touch with a mobile app developer and start turning your idea into reality.

Understanding The Application Lifecycle

Application Lifecycle Management

There is a beginning to everything. In fact, nothing comes into existence out of nothingness. The universe, for instance, as we understand, came to be through a massive eruption of energy known to science as the big-bang. While the creation of an application may not begin with a universal eruption, its conception is thrilling all the same. Whether this is your first-ever application, or your thousandth, understanding application lifecycle management will boost your workflow and elevate your efficiency from the start.

There are three main aspects of application lifecycle management (ALM). Those three aspects are:

  • Governance
  • Development and Deployment
  • Maintenance

These are the different phases of an application from start to finish. The first two phases are definite, while the last is ongoing. In other words, once the app is live – there will always be ongoing maintenance activities to perform.

Having a strong grasp of application lifecycle management builds innate value into the business. This value emerges in the workflow, processes, and procedures all associated with application development. By understanding the application lifecycle, developers implement best-practices and industry standards into their design process, therefore boosting efficiency, and resulting in higher quality applications.

Governance

Governance is the very first phase that begins the journey of an application. As soon as the app is conceptualized, the governance phase has begun. Governance, in this context, isn’t referring to the laws and rules of a nation. In a similar sense, however, governance in the context of app development refers to defining core aspects of the application.

The elements that need to be defined in the governance phase of the application lifecycle management include a spectrum from function, to logic, and framework. In other words, this is the phase in which designers are able to verbally identify the various pathways, functions, and workflows.

Having an idea of how the application is going to flow and function is crucial to entering the next phase of ALM. A good way to think about the governance phase of the application lifecycle is to imagine it as a blueprint. The blueprint informs the construction crew on how to actually raise the structure, the dimensions of the individual pieces, and how they all fit together.

In the same vein, the governance phase of the application lifecycle should result in an easy-to-follow development roadmap.

Development & Deployment in the Application Lifecycle

This is the phase following governance. Development and deployment are actually two halves to the whole. Development is the first piece in this phase. The development phase is where the application is actually built.

Additionally, there is a third aspect to development and deployment that impacts both phases: consumer and market testing. Testing is a not a formal phase of the application lifecycle management however, it is nonetheless critical to delivering applications that are of value and that consumers desire.

Delving Into Development

There are many aspects of the development phase. As such, this is arguably the most crucial phase in ALM. Since the development phase is equivalent to the actual construction phase in real estate development. In other words, developers are laying the foundation for the app. A strong foundation provides the platform for a well-designed and successful app.

Developers have more on their plate than mere function however. App development teams task themselves with the visual design and work-flow of the application in addition to the functionality and usability. Once developers reach a certain level of baseline functionality, the application starts to enter the next half of this phase: testing and deployment.

Testing

The first round of development yields an MVP: minimum viable product. Firms and developers use MVP’s as samples of the end-product in order to gain additional consumer insight. Companies use this insight to make important decisions on how to finish the development phase.

In market-testing, consumers are asked about multiple aspects of the app. These aspects range from the aesthetic and color-scheme, to the actual function and usability of the app.

After the focus groups and market-testing, the MVP returns to the developers with loads of notes, comments, and real consumer input. Developers use this invaluable insight in order to finish the build of the application and deliver a functional app that solves real consumer issues.

While it’s unwise to spend too long on any single phase of the application lifecycle, testing is certainly not an area to start cutting corners. Using focus groups and market-testing delivers immense value to the final development of the application. As such, these activities should actually be supplemented, if anything, in order to test the MVP on multiple demographics.

Deployment

At this point, the application, its function and workflow, and its usability have been defined. The core build is tested, and the final development, influenced by consumer input andmarketing test-groups, is complete. Finally, the sweet fruit of the labor is in reach, and the application lifecycle nears its final stage.

The deployment of an application upon its completion is certainly not the most laborious of the phases, however it is very fickle. Firms need to start developing their deployment strategy in the early steps of the governance phase. This is because the governance phase will help dictate and define the proper channels of deployment to utilize.

The testing phases will also contribute to developing the deployment strategy, as it will offer real insight into where consumers want to find the application, and how they will use it. Speaking to the core values of your main target-demographics, and ensuring that they have easy access to your application are crucial to releasing a successful application that draws consumers inward.

Ongoing Maintenance

Ongoing application maintenance is crucial to user-retention and future user-acquisition. The application marketplace is already supersaturated with options for the consumer. As such, user-acquisition and user-retention are already hyper-competitive areas. User retention is especially important because it forms the regular user-base for the application.

Since a robust regular user-base is one of the most valuable commodities in the application market, maintaining this user-base is critical to longevity. This is, in part, due to how fickle user-ship is in the application market. Users are prone to jump to a competitor with a strongeruser-experience after a single negative interaction with an application.

This type of rapid turn-over puts a strong emphasis on user-loyalty. Beyond that, if applications are left unmaintained and unattended to, their functionality will deteriorate, their security protocols will begin to weaken, and users will swiftly abandon ship.

The Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management

The application lifecycle begins with ideation and governance, moves through development, testing and deployment, and ends with on-going maintenance. Developing applications by putting them through these different phases occurs naturally. However, identifying the phases and understanding how they relate to one another allows companies to build stronger and more efficient workflows.

Firms cancustomize the workflow to fit their specific needs, while still adhering to best-practices and industry-recognized standards. Following through on the phases and their associated actions ensures that released applications are thoroughly vetted, and ready for mass use.

Look no further than NS804 for help developing and supplementing your firm’s ALM practices. NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person. As such, NS804 commits to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. For anything related to mobile app development, visitNS804 today.

The BENE Mobile App – A Case Study

The Development of BENE

It is a fortunate thing to be able to work on projects we’re passionate about. Often, the most successful projects stem from a place of passion and service. This is certainly the case with BENE. BENE is a mobile app that connects employees who rely on tips to the modern, cashless age.

In recent years, the average consumer has all but stopped carrying cash altogether. This has made it difficult, in certain circumstances, for professionals and consumers to easily tip staff. There are many situations in which tipping is necessary. Not only that, but there are even more situations in which tipping may not be necessary, but is acceptable and earned.

The Goal:

BENE aims to eliminate awkward tipping situations and was conceptualized by Anna Skvortsova and her husband, Mike.

Seeing The Problem

Both Anna Skvortsova and Mike are active travelers. As such, they spend a lot of their time on the move. However, with such an active lifestyle that seems to always be moving, they seldom carried cash.

Carrying paper cash is becoming a trend of the past for a variety of reasons. There is, of course, innate risk with carrying cash. Not to mention, that with the recent status of things, people are much more wary of passing things back and forth. Cash included. All of this paired with the rise of the virtual market place, ecommerce, and virtual banking apps, cash is nearly all but extinct.

While a cashless world seems more streamlined and more convenient, there are still a lot of market segments that rely on physical paper money. One of the largest of these segments, is the service-worker segment. Workers and staff members that rely heavily on the tips that they acquire throughout their shifts.

The impact of a cashless society on the tip-based market was driven home to Anna and Mike one evening as they were traveling. After a meal out with colleagues and friends alike, the couple were waiting for the valet to pull their car around. As the valet approached – a moment of panic flew into the couples hearts. It dawned on them, in that moment, that neither of them had any cash on hand in order to tip the valet.

After 100’s of “I’m sorry’s” and a trip to the nearest ATM, the couple was able to tip the valet. Finally. With a sigh of relief, and the awkward moment behind them, they moved on with their evening. However, the moment stuck with them. So much so that the couple continued to discuss the interaction.

The problem:

As society continues moving toward a cashless era with the majority of transactions occurring electronically, service workers and tip-based employees suffer.

Conceptualizing BENE

After the interaction with the valet, Anna and Mike developed a hyper-awareness to similar circumstances that occurred along their trip. More and more they realized how many service workers and tip-based staff were missing out on significant portions of their funds due to a cashless era that they weren’t equipped to operate within.

Hence, the beginning of BENE. The name, BENE, comes from the french word for blessings, and its simple design offers an elegant solution to a real-problem faced by consumers, travelers, and tip-based staff all alike. This started the journey of bringing BENE from conceptualization to reality.

Development Roadblocks and Hurdles

Like with many great stories, they wouldn’t be worth telling without a little adversity. Before BENE was built and developed in part with NS804 and our mobile app development teams, it started in another development shop.

Excited about their new brain-child, Anna and Mike began work with a mobile app developer. As the relationship continued, it became clear that the fit wasn’t good. Not only was the developer missing deadlines, but suddenly, BENE didn’t feel like BENE anymore. At this point, the developer was over 6 months behind, and faith that BENE would ever be finished was wearing thin.

However, in a moment of serendipity, NS804 reached out to Anna about shouldering the rest of the development. Just like that, the project had new life, and there was an entirely new pool of hope for Anna, Mike, and BENE.

Additional Setbacks:

After conceptualizing BENE and bringing it to the initial development house, Anna and Mike were beyond disappointed by missed deadlines and continual delays. At the point of nearly losing faith altogether, Anna and Mike found partnership in NS804, and the project was revitalized.

Finishing The Job

Once NS804 came onto the project, BENE had a totally new life. Suddenly, the project had completely new legs and was back on track in no-time. After only a few months of working with NS804 Anna and Mike had a real time-line for delivery on the application. Shortly after, NS804 finished developing BENE. Then it hit the app open-market.

BENE has been live for about two months on both the apple and google play store. Since BENE went live, it has quickly been integrated into the hospitality market. The application is a fit for the hospitality industry as it connects service staff, like maids and housekeepers, to the consumers they serve. This finally bridges the disconnect between consumers and the service workers that earn tips, but don’t get face-time with consumers.

The Nuts and Bolts

BENE is a mobile app that aims to eliminate situations in which consumers are unable to tip staff or employees who deserve it. The application takes the core functionality of other banking and fintech applications in order to create a streamlined consumer-to-staff channel. Similar to Venmo or Paypal, the staff member simply creates an account, links their bank, and receives a QR code.

The QR code is so that staff members can print the QR code on their business card or leave-behind. This is material that the employee leaves in the room they served, or with the consumer. With the addition of the QR code, the consumer can then use their smartphone to scan the QR code. After scanning, the consumer is lead directly to that staff members BENE account, and is able to tip them for however much they see fit.

On the consumer side of things, the transaction is just as simple. BENE understands that tipping shouldn’t be awkward in any sense, and that means it should be as streamlined as possible. After setting up an account and linking a debit card or bank account, consumers are ready to tip service workers with ease. Keeping that in mind, BENE allows consumers to tip staff and employees in as little as three taps.

BENE brings more awareness to the tipping culture in America. The application allows hospitality workers, and service workers to have easier, more convenient access to tipping channels. Not only does BENE encourage consumers and travelers to tip appropriately and generously for a job-well-done, however, it also helps connect service workers to the cashless era.

The Solution:

NS804, Anna, and Mike worked together to create BENE, the mobile tipping app that connects tip-based staff and service workers directly to the customers they’re serving, even in a cashless society or non-face-to-face transaction.

Bringing It All Together

NS804 is proud to be a partner on the development of BENE with Anna and Mike. The power couple who conceptualized the idea comes from humble beginnings, and is clearly passionate about giving back to the community, and helping everyone find fair opportunity in the modern world.

As a mobile app developer, NS804 is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible to the everyday person. Visit the apple store or the google play store today to download BENE and join the tipping revolution.

NS804 is the premier source for information and knowledge on every and anything mobile app development. Visit NS804 today and get in touch with the mobile app developer of the next generation, ready to take your idea to reality.

Unique Challenges Of Developing Both An iOS And Android App

Challenges of Developing Cross Platform

During mobile app development, developers face many challenges. Evidently, obstacles spring up throughout the entire journey. Generally, roadblocks and challenges pop up from the very beginning all the way to the end. Developing a mobile app is already a hefty task. However, that task becomes more complicated with more stipulations. In other words, the more robust a mobile app is – the harder it is to develop.

Developing an application that is cross-platform, for example, brings about a whole slew of development challenges. A cross-platform application is one that is functional on both the ios and the android operating systems. The reason so many developers prefer to build cross-platform applications is because of the market appeal.

In other words, offering the application to both android users and apple users essentially makes the marketing strategy much more inclusive and wide-spread. Essentially, this exposes the application to a much larger potential user-base and amplifies its chance for success. Improving an applications chance for success on the open market is significant, as the mobile app industry is already unbelievably saturated.

Therefore, one way to stand out, is to develop cross-platform applications that include the entire population of potential users.

Defining The Obstacles of Cross Platform

One of the main challenges of cross-platform application development is the coding language. Code is the structural building blocks that create enterprise applications, websites, and mobile apps.

Just like human language, however, there are various coding languages. The different languages apply to different operating systems. In other words, the difference between developing a mobile application for ios and android is no small difference. While the app functionality, look, aesthetic, and feel will end up being identical, the structural building blocks composing the applications are completely different.

Understanding that developing applications for both ios and android simultaneously is much more than a copy+paste type of activity, brings developers to the reality that developing functional cross platform applications takes a dedication to learning and mastering multiple coding languages.

On top of developing applications that are cross-platform and available on both ios and android, developers also need to build for various devices. Many applications are accessed from multiple devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and even tablets. This brings another slew of challenges into the development process as developers need to not only build for multiple operating systems, but also for varying screen-dimensions, and a wide spectrum of devices that consumers prefer.

Wrapping Up on Cross Platform Development

Cross-platform development is becoming the standard in app development. As both the ios and android markets are both soaring through the duration of the pandemic, it makes sense that app developers would want their applications to be as accessible as possible. This translates into taking the time to develop applications in multiple coding languages, and for multiple devices.

Get the help you need for cross-platform application development by visiting NS804 today. NS804 is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. As a premiere source for information and knowledge on mobile app development, visit NS804 today and get in touch to start realizing your mobile app.

The Ultimate Guide To Improving Mobile App UX

Elevating Mobile App UX

No matter the industry, the consumer or end-user generally has the ultimate power. Businesses and organizations, mobile app developers included, undoubtedly want to serve and gain as many customers or end-users as possible. Keeping this goal in mind highlights the importance of delivering an optimized user experience. To further this point, users will abandon mobile apps that deliver a poor mobile app UX within the first 10 minutes of use.

Mobile app design is, in and of itself, a beast of a task. Designing the user experience is no walk-in-the-park though. There are many aspects that a UX design team must consider when approaching the UX design. However, there is such a wide variety of elements to consider, it’s daunting to go into mobile app UX design without any guidance.

Therefore, successful UX designs stem from an understanding of the various aspects that need to be considered. The following guide outlines four pillars of UX design.

The Design Process

To begin the mobile app UX design process, there needs to be some semblance of an action plan to follow. Building a workflow for mobile app design helps streamline and standardize this process. The first step in realizing an idea for a mobile app is through the development of an MVP or minimum viable product.

The MVP serves multiple functions. One of the main purposes of an MVP is to provide a sample of what the mobile app will be to various focus groups. These focus groups then take a trial of the mobile app. From this trial, garner feedback that informs the rest of the mobile app design.

Through the testing process, mobile app designers gain valuable insights into the features that have been included in the MVP that users experience and trial. These insights will likely apply to a variety of elements such as the beginnings of the visual design, the actual features that are included, and the way the app addresses the problem that it is supposed to solve.

This a very important note to make. Any mobile app, no matter how big or small in scale, should aim to solve a problem. The way that the mobile app solves the problem needs to be evident in the MVP. Otherwise, focus groups, early adopters, and other test groups won’t be able to provide feedback on the actual core-functionality of the mobile app.

Elements of UX

Developing a strong MVP that yields positive feedback from test groups begins with the very first design stages. That includes understanding the actual framework of a successful and functional mobile app. Understanding the skeleton of a mobile app allows mobile app developers to ensure a design is comprehensive.

Two of these five core elements of mobile app UX design are: information architechture, and interaction design. These two aspects together organize the information of the mobile app in such a way that makes it accesible to the end user, and defines the various user-interactions within the mobile app.

These two functions are vital to building a high quality user experience. Information architechture is the way that information is both organized, and accessed within the mobile app. In other words, where do users need to navigate in order to perform certain activites within the mobile application.

Defining the information architechture will be important in building an easy to use and intutive mobile app. The interaction design, on the other hand, applies to the elements of the design with which users actually interact.

These aspects range from the text displayed, to the various symbols and any visual representations used (including brand logos), and other user-specific elements like device-preference. All-in-all the interaction design is a vital aspect of the mobile app UX.

Features to Include for a Strong Mobile App UX

In building a mobile app then, it’s important to identify where to start. This often happens on the back-end of things. The actual coding brings to life features in the mobile app.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Using history as a teacher, there is a library of features to include in the mobile-app design that are proven to benefit the user experience. Pulling from this pre-existing library will start your mobile app design off on the right foot. Ensuring the inclusion of important features.

Some of these features will streamline a process, while others just emphasize simplicity and ease-of-use. Therefore, these features include: platform-specific-design, a simple and swift onboarding process that users can get through without much difficulty, short forms, avenues for feedback, a live chat feature, and helpful navigation systems.

Platform Specific Design

Contrary to what might seem most intuitive, mobile app designers should build the initial design with a native-platform in mind. However, it becomes crucial to then create a responsive-design.

In other words, a responsive design will naturally convert itself to be optimal for any device and any screen size. designing apps with a responsive design is the industry standard, and significantly broadens the marketability of your mobile app. Responsive design also ensures that user experience is consistent between and across different devices.

Swift Onboarding

Users want to get to the crux of the matter. Dancing around introductory screens and a convoluted on-boarding process is almost guaranteed to send users running for the hill. While it is important to bring new users into the community that your mobile app has developed, it is also important to prioritize the time that users spend on your app.

Bogging down the user experience with a hefty or unnecessarily long onboarding process shows users a disregard for their precious time, and will send them to a competitor. Plus, the faster you get the user to their goal, the more likely they are to come back time and time again.

Short Forms

Gathering information from your mobile app users is just as important as delivering the actual functionality of the mobile app. In order to weave information forms into the mobile app that are both natural, and user-friendly; forms should be designed to be concise, and yield valuable insights into user demographics.

Understanding the most popular demographic that uses a mobile app will further inform marketing strategies, and other important aspects regarding the distribution of the mobile app.

Navigation

The navigation bar is a point of much debate in mobile app design. The two main types of navigation menus are: hamburger, or kabob. Both are viable and come with their own strong points.

Regardless of the style, mobile apps only need one main navigation menu. That way users know where to look.

Current Mobile App UX Design Trends

In addition to everything else that’s been covered, designers also need to consider current trends in mobile app design when developing a mobile app. The trends of mobile app design are forever in flux. Some of the popular design trends today, could very well fizzle out within the next few years.

However, keeping up to date with the latest in mobile app design trends will not only inform the initial design, but can also inform and direct future iterations of the mobile app. That ensures that future versions of the app include updates to keep the app relevant and aesthetically pleasing for each and every user on the app.

Start Developing UX with NS804

NS804 is the premier mobile app developer of the everyday person. Making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. NS804 will help bring your mobile app idea into reality. Or, if you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, make sure to check back at NS804 for more valuable information regarding how developers can optimize the user experience.

How UX Fits Into Mobile App Design

Mobile App Design and UX

Indeed mobile app design is no simple-feat. There are many elements to consider at the onset of developing a mobile app. Generally, beyond the function of the app itself, designers answer questions like, “how will the app feel?” or “what will the mobile app experience be like?”. These are questions that are addressed through a variety of components known as the user experience, or UX.

Firstly, components that make up the user experience include visual design and usability. Further, these components break down into a wide variety of elements. Specifically, the visual design incorporates symbols, logos, the color scheme, and how much contrast there is. Meanwhile, usability refers to more functional aspects of a mobile app.

Mobile app usability refers to a series of components that simply make the app more user friendly and intuitive.

Visual Design

The visual design of a mobile app is any and everything that appears on the screen. In other words, the visual aspect of the mobile app is one of the most critical. Visual design is the very first aspect of your mobile app that new and potential users will interact with. Hence, it’s also going to leave your users with their first impression of the app. Just like in life, it’s important that users walk away feeling good after their first interaction with your mobile application.

The visual design is also crucial because of the way it reinforces a brand. The app design should include an aesthetic that supplements the existing brand perception and further improves customer loyalty.

Usability in Mobile App Design

Usability is extremely critical in building a successful mobile app. This term refers to the way a mobile app operates. In other words, how the different functions of the application are utilized by the end-user.

There is a variety of important factors that create usability within a mobile app. Developing a strong information architecture is one of the foundational building blocks of a mobile app with a high usability score. Information architecture is the way that information is organized and accessed within the mobile app. In other words, information architecture defines the operations used to access information stored throughout the mobile app.

To streamline this part of the design process, some mobile app designers will develop from templates, or use low-code tools that shorten the overall project length. Whether you’re coding entirely yourself or using the help of low-code tools, however, crafting an intuitive and user-friendly information architecture will surely elevate your mobile app to the next level.

Perfect the UX in Your Mobile App Design

Nobody is perfect, but we can all strive for perfection. Design a mobile app that delivers the best possible user experience with the help of the experts at NS804. NS804 is the premier source for information on user experience, information architecture, and everything mobile app development, dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Vist NS804 today to start realizing and creating your dream app of tomorrow.

How User Experience Affects Your Mobile App

The Effects of User Experience

Mobile apps don’t exist for the sake of the designer. Rather, mobile apps exist to serve a function. That function, however, can be virtually anything. Although, many of the successful mobile apps that exist aim to solve a specific problem for the end-user. The important note to take there is that mobile apps exist for the end-user. Therefore, optimizing the user experience is a priority.

The term user experience can refer to quite a variety of elements and aspects that a user encounters within a mobile app, or any application. These elements include visual design, interactive components, information architecture, and more. Because the UX is such a vast category when it comes to the design of a mobile app, its impact is also critical.

There are many reasons to prioritize user experience in mobile app development. From improving user-retention rates to a stronger user-acquisition strategy, the benefits of a positive UX speak for themselves.

User Retention

As is mentioned above, one of the key benefits of building and developing a high-quality user-experience within your mobile app is higher rates of user-retention. This is another pillar argument for prioritizing user-experience in mobile app development, as gaining end-users is the ultimate goal. After all, mobile apps don’t exist for the sake of the designers.

The mobile app market is super-saturated. That means that users have endless options to solve the same problem. Therefore, new users who have a bad experience with your mobile app, are very likely to jump ship and download a competitor’s app.

User Acquisition

In the same vein as user retention, is user acquisition. User acquisition actually comes before user retention in the mobile app lifecycle, as it’s the process through which new users first learn about, and join your mobile app. Since the visual design is one of the very first aspects of a mobile app that new users interact with; it makes sense that visual design elements are a significant contributor to user experience.

Build intuitive and user-friendly mobile apps that are aesthetically pleasing in order to reinforce your user-acquisition strategy.

Increased Efficiency

Beyond attracting new users or retaining existing users, strong user experience offers other benefits as well. Since a large component of UX is related to information architecture and usability, this furthers the argument for prioritizing well-designed user experience.

Building a strong information architecture means designing the mobile app in such a way that users get to their end-goal faster. This improves the efficiency that mobile app users experience.

Developing efficiency into a mobile app shows users that you respect them and their busy schedules.

A Final Thought

User experience has a wide variety of effects on mobile app success. From improving user retention rates, and developing a more powerful user-acquisition strategy, user experience is truly the backbone of any mobile app.

NS804 is the mobile app developer of the everyday person. Dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before, and sharing the years of knowledge and expertise we’ve gathered. Visit NS804 today and start realizing your mobile app dreams.