CNN recently announced the best jobs in America. With factors like median pay, job growth opportunities, and quality of life, the Mobile App Developer came in at number one. While this may be somewhat of a surprise given the ephemeral nature of mobile apps, CNN puts it best:
“Mobile app developers get to create something that can reach millions of people on a daily basis.”
So, as a mobile developer who has a newly minted #1 spot on top of the CNN rankings, how do you ensure you are building apps that your users love? Below are the top criteria to consider.
Don’t Keep Your Users Waiting
How do your users access app data? Does your app need to run to the cloud every time a user accesses it or is the data local on the device? Does your app require a network connection to work? According to Forrester Research’s report The Offline Mobile Challenge, offline capability will be "a consideration for nearly every future modern application" and is "often the most important and difficult mobile feature" to implement. Build in offline capabilities from the start. You shouldn’t expect your users to rely on an internet connection to use your app.
Build for All Devices and Platforms
Don’t make life hard. Most likely, you’re going to build your app for Android, iOS, phones, tablets, and maybe even wearables and Apple TV. Pick a technology that allows you to build your apps across multiple platforms and devices.
Amazing and Intuitive UI
This is straightforward but oh so important. Building a user interface that’s clean, easy to use, and intuitive is more challenging than you think. Focus on three things: delight, usability, and functionality.
When you develop your mobile apps, there are hundreds, even thousands, of technologies to choose from. Consolidating technology stacks and layers can help. Evaluate your needs and choose a technology stack that provides a solution at every tier in your application so you don’t have to spend your time piecing together different technologies.
Time to Market
Odds are you’re not planning on spending years to build your mobile app. If you plan to sync data from mobile devices to the cloud, are you going to build or buy that capability? How fast can you prototype? Evaluate the must-haves and the nice-to-haves. App functionality should be a top priority.
Does your app require and/or use sensitive user information? If it does, how are you securing your data on the device and in transport to the cloud? If your app requires it, then security should be a top requirement. Picking a technology provider that gives you built-in security makes your job as an app developer much easier.
Plan for Virality
Your goal is to go viral. Will your infrastructure support that? Can you scale out as demand increases? The best mobile app developers care about the performance and scalability of their apps. Choose technologies that enable this.
As you take the above criteria into account, choosing the infrastructure to support your mobile development needs is crucial.
Check out Couchbase Mobile, a NoSQL database for mobile that helps solve the challenges above. And best of luck on your future mobile projects!