On Thursday 4 October, Pocket App held a Twitter chat event, where people had chance to put any questions raised by the Enterprise App Development webcast to Co-founder Paul Swaddle (@paulswaddle) and Design Director Jake Davis (@MrJollyJake).
The webcast covered the full app build process, from pre-design to launch and beyond, including user personas, data security and the importance of post-launch support and maintenance. If you haven’t watched the webcast yet, download it here.
With so much squeezed into 20 minutes, we thought it was important that viewers had the chance to expand on any of the topics covered.
We kicked off with a question from @SwiftFilms, asking where you start with building an app.
“It is all about the problem that the app overcomes, rather than the technology. So make sure that is fully understood,” advised Paul Swaddle. “Once the problem is understood then we can start looking into how we can relieve or overcome the problem with a mobile solution.
“One thing to remember is that the answer is not always an app, it might be mobile web or even SMS, it depends on the problem and the users. SMS can be good for reminders like appointments, mobile web maybe when it is a one-off, and apps for deeper/longer engagement.”
Jake Davis offered his thoughts on solving a problem with multiple apps: “In the consumer space I think all fine – it’s about breaking the problem down into more granular items, as an app maybe more suited to a particular item from a more macro problem. B2B solutions should be a lot more targeted.”
The conversation also took in the all-important question of cost.
“It’s very variable,” said Jake Davis. “Like buying a car you have the budget runaround Fiesta that does the job right for a few thousand, while the luxury BMW sports car everyone wants will set you back a lot more.”
On the long-term financial investment required, Paul Swaddle added: “As a ready recon, around 10-20% of initial cost will be needed for annual maintenance and support, but will depend if you are planning significant updates.”
One of the topics covered by the webcast was the balance between appeasing stakeholders and the end user.
“It’s not easy, but setting clear objectives for the end users and business will ensure it is the deciding factor rather than just by who’s in the room,” said Jake Davis. “Take in all ideas, and audit them against the objectives regardless of who brings them to the table.”
And when should you get the end user involved in the development process? “Hopefully at the beginning, if this isn’t possible and you are relying on personas for the design. Utilising end user testing with an interactive design prototype like @InVisionApp is the best alternative. Tools like this let you test the experience without the need of a single line of code. Get those end users in early!”