Anton Faulconbridge of RantMedia writes:
2013 promises to be an exciting year for the app industry. With the number of smartphone users almost on par with laptop, desktop and tablet users, this is a crucial time for app developers to bring fresh and innovative material to the table.
Whilst many industries are drying out, the smartphone technology sector continues to flourish and a wave of app developers who sit up and take notice of new trends are likely to do well compared with slapdash competitors. Let’s take a look at some savvy tips and tricks to stay ahead of the game in 2013.
1. Flat design matters
You know those skeuomorphic designs which try to replicate real life as much as possible? Yeahh. Don’t do that. If you’re wondering what the heck skeuomorphic stands for, it’s basically a design interface which aims to look exactly like real-life counterparts. For example, the notes app on the iPhone is designed to replicate a real note book and comes complete with a lined paper and a border design.
These old fuddy duddy designs are slowly being driven out by a new wave of ‘flat design’ interfaces which are minimalist, functional and altogether more sophisticated.
2. Take advantage of push notifications & location
One trick mobile app developers don’t want to miss is integration of location services and push notifications. Of course, GPS and push notifications are old news in their tradigital sense, but used in new ways can provide a more targeted service.
Push notifications which alert the user without the app being opened are a great tool for pushing your app, one example being social media notifications such as retweets, new followers and likes.
When you have a high number of apps on your smartphone device it’s easy to forget they are there. Location services are useful in this way, for example if a user lives in Cardiff and is signed up to a deals website, they could receive push notifications about deals in the area.
3. Buttons are old news
Whilst we may never tire of that 2005 Chemical Brothers album, Push the Button, we’re eight years on and it’s time to revolutionise the way we use buttons, at least in an app sense.
There are many ways to enhance the user experience and move away from usual button methods, multi-touch functions such as swipe and pinch will give your app an edge. The main challenge for an app developer is to incorporate new techniques without taking away from the user experience.
4. Quality takes time
Getting your app to the top of the app store list is no easy feat, it’s a saturated market out there. Producing high quality apps is one sure fire way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Although there are costs and extra time involved in producing high quality apps, this increases your potential of being popular with users and the chance of a worthwhile ROI.
|Anton Faulconbridge is the director of RantMedia, an app development agency in Cardiff. Anton divides his time between training up app developers in Cardiff and sharing advice with the World Wide Web!