Blog Archives | Mood Up team - software house
illustration of sad looking broken phone

Does your App need an update? Check for these 7 signs

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

With almost everyone scrambling to deploy an app to bring their services closer to the customer’s fingertips, your app must be top of the line, have great functionalities, be smooth and have a great UX if it is to make its mark. Sounds like a tall order? That’s because it is. 

Developing a great app isn’t rocket science, provided you do your research on the end-users. Such apps must be customer-centric (we cannot reiterate this enough) and be developed with your customers (think usability tests). Doing so, as you can imagine can be rather costly as it involves many hours of design, development and testing before you can finally release the app. You must then focus on marketing your app to ensure your app gathers traction with your users. That’s it, right?

Not quite, as the business landscape your app would be operating on is bound to change very fast, requiring the app to stay ahead of the curve. This is why we recommend our clients to set aside a portion of their app development budget for upgrades that can preempt new customer requirements. 

Need further convincing? Take a look at how your peers think and compare your app against these 7 traits of outdated apps.

Graph 2 how often businesses update app pt. 2

1. It lacks the latest functionalities 

One of the simplest reasons you might want to consider updating your app is to add new functionalities to it. Doing so gives your end-users what they want, preventing their migration to other apps, whilst attracting new users who will contribute to boosting your bottom line. Such updates impact the experience your users would have within the app and might open new revenue streams that just might be the break your organisation needs. 

A fantastic example of this is Facebook Owned Instagram, who started replicating the exact features Snapchat offered in its app in a bid to lure young users to it (after a failed bid to buy it in 2013 for $3 billion). The strategy worked as Instagram stories now see 400 million daily users whilst Snapchat who introduced the stories feature and considered it a key differentiator is now at 191 million users. 

Another interesting development you might want to keep an eye on is Instagram’s IGTV which might prove to be a worthy rival to YouTube. 

2. App performance is declining

The success of your app is dependent on its performance, which is why it’s important to go dig into the quantitative data. We encourage all our clients to have a set of metrics through which they will be able to measure the performance of their app, and set benchmarks through which the performance could be measured. A few of our top performance metrics include but are not limited to

  • Active users – the number of users who use the app in a set period of time 
  • Session time – time spent on the app
  • Uninstalls – the number of users who uninstalled the app
  • Crash rate – even a single crash is unacceptable. An increase in this is definitely a push to upgrade your app

The above quantitative metrics will inform you of the decline in performance and therefore the existence of an issue. Finding the exact issue, however, is only possible through qualitative data gathered through your interactions with the customer and observations of user behaviour within the app. 

prisoner meme about app crash rate

3. Your users have trouble navigating 

Most apps have set design standards that provide users with a sense of familiarity and intuitiveness when navigating their way within the app. A break in this can have the user feeling disoriented and at a loss on how to use the app, impacting the overall UX. This will then cause a decline in the app’s performance, driving your hard-earned users to rival apps.

Can you imagine an app that doesn’t stick to Google’s Material Design being a hit? What about one that goes against Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines? 

Remember, the hardest battle is retaining your users and not gathering them

4. Reviews/requests from users

The best judge of an app is its users, which is why we encourage our clients to pay attention to reviews on the App/Play Store. Another way through which you can supplement this feedback is via the gathering of in-app feedback. 

A sizable amount of negative feedback or weak ratings on your app should give you pause and deserve a closer look at what is amiss. Such feedback is essential to establish what is working and what is not so that you know the actual scale of the upgrade that is required.

Similarly, you might find a sizable number of users asking for a feature that deserves consideration. Deploying an upgrade with such a feature will allow you to be seen as an organisation that listens to its users and create a positive impression with your end-users. 

5. Your app doesn’t follow the latest security protocols 

With security breaches divulging user information on an almost constant basis, there is simply no reason for your app to be behind the latest security protocols. Remember that an apps owner is solely responsible for any breaches and can be held liable for any damages caused to the users. 

Such breaches also dampen the trust your users place in you and can cause irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation. Remember Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal? How about Yahoo who had 3 billion accounts hacked?

Meme on impact of GDPR on gross profit

6. Your app doesn’t support many devices

The goal of developing an app is to bring it to the hands of as many users as possible and is one reason you should support multiple devices. Doing so with new hardware devices such as tablets require the development of another version of the app, in order to ensure it matches the new display, graphics and device-specific features. 

Remember, your users should receive a very consistent and cohesive experience whilst using your app, whether it be on a mobile or a tablet. 

7. The codebase is long outdated

The codebase of an app is the complete source code that maintains its functionality. Such codebases usually contain a time interval after which they will cease to function as usual and should be updated over time in order to ensure its compatibility with your app’s operating systems. 

Such information is usually conveyed to a client by the software developers in advance and should be taken very seriously. 

Wrapping it up

App updates with today’s technology and lean development processes do not take much time as they used to. Investing is such updates will ensure your app remains relevant, boosts your bottom line and is a brand asset that will improve your ROI many times over. Doing it wrong, however, can have you experiencing the opposite as negative reviews create bigger waves and lasting impressions than those that are positive.

Are you ready to roll the next update for your app? Let us know how we can help you here.   

software tester pointing at a screen with code

8 Valuable Practices for a Better Code Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Code review is the systematic examination of a software product’s source code in order to discover mistakes that might have been overlooked in the initial development phase. Doing so allows the developers to rectify errors in the code as they are discovered, thereby improving the overall quality of the code. This, as you can imagine, is a rather exhaustive process in which the developer who does the review, reads the code line by line to check for bugs or potential problems in compliance with coding standards and best practices. Issues once discovered are communicated to the developer who did the original coding through email or tools such as GitHub or BitBucket. The image we found whilst reading Beller and Juergens (2014) does a good job explaining this.

code review process

Regular code reviews as we mentioned earlier brings a host of benefits to the project, the developers and the client. Provided below are 5 such benefits of code reviews that we at Mood Up see every day.

1. Help reduce bugs – A single overlooked bug can kill a project that’s been in the works for months for thousands of dollars. That’s why we utilise another developer to help discover bugs that might have been overlooked by the original developer. Such regular discovery of bugs allows the team to fix them and reduce the time the QA has to spend on testing.

2. Improve code readability – Delivering clean code is important in any software development project as the developers who take over a project with no prior exposure to it should be able to understand it speedily and not spend time trying to decipher it. Code reviews assist in this as they help improve the readability of the code by having a developer with fresh eyes go through the code.

Pro tip when hiring software developers– take a look at their previous code. Clean code is a good practice all developers must cultivate and is an indicator of their competencies.

3. Create a shared coding standard – There is no one way to solve the requirements our clients request of us. Some ways, however, are better than others and coding reviews from senior developers help to discover better approaches to solving problems. Such standards help to create shared coding standards, keeps us on our toes and create a culture of continuous development that is reflected in the code we develop.

4. Creates accountability – We perform our best when we are held accountable for our actions, and coding is no different. Code reviews ensure that the developers produce their best work in order to display their competencies to their peers. The developer who does the reviewing then does the same, creating a circle of accountability throughout the organisation.

5. Double-checks to ensure all coding requirements have been filled – Regular reviews of the code ensures that no requirements go amiss and all that’s required is what is developed. This also makes the job of the QA easier as some requirements are difficult to produce during tests and much easier to verify within the code itself.

chuck norris with gun meme about code reviews
He can, you can’t

So, how can you ensure a code review goes as it should?

1. Make your commit message as clear as possible – The commit message from the original developer should highlight what was fixed or added to the code, allowing the reviewer to verify it. It’s for this reason that we follow established guidelines when writing commit messages during code reviews.

2. Make and review only small pull requests – We use another developer to get a fresh pair of eyes on the code. A code review that goes for longer than 60 minutes and/or 300 lines of code, however, is tiring and defeat the purpose of using a fresh pair of eyes.

How do we know this? A study from SmartBear discovered that our brains can only process so much information, before the performance and the ability to find defects drops. This is why we recommend short but frequent code reviews.

3. Comment on the code and not the coder – Empathy goes a long way and is why it’s important to provide feedback on the code and not make it personal with snide comments. Doing so will ensure that the feedback on the code reviewed will be met with a positive response and encourage cleaner code in the future. This drives the collective code ownership that all organisations should strive for.

Butterfly man meme about feeling attacked by code reviewers

4. Describe a problem and give the solution – The code reviewers job is to find mistakes in the code and highlight it with suggestions on how to improve it. Personal preferences/opinions should play no part in this and is one reason why we insist code reviewers to provide feedback based on existing best practices and/or documentation.

5. Learn and share your knowledge – Code reviews as you might have guessed is a fantastic way to exchange knowledge between the committer and the reviewer. Such reviews, therefore, should be approached as an opportunity to learn something about the codebase, languages, frameworks and best practices. Doing so allows for the continuous development of the team, the code it creates and the company.

6. Comment only the code that was in the changelist – Commenting on every problem you see in the code and not just the ones in your scope is a good way to sour the relationship with the committer and reduce the velocity of your project. Commenting on the changes as they are being made is also a big nope as this can create an expanded changelist that includes many unrelated changes.

Dru meme about losing friends by code reviews 2
Don’t be like him

7. Approve code not when it’s perfect but when it’s perfectly acceptable – Being a perfectionist and criticizing every single line of code is not how you keep the developers motivated. Decide on what is really important and worth chasing as your task as the reviewer is to give the go-ahead for a working product. We recommend granting approval when remaining comments are for insignificant issues (like a typo) or are optional recommendations that you made.

8. Have a strong communication standard – A good strong communication strategy between the reviewer and the committer is important to ensuring the cleanliness of the code. We at Mood Up ensure this by asking both parties to confirm the receipt of a message with a 👍 or ✅. The committers are also encouraged to push back against any changes from the reviewers if they disagree with the changes requested. The reviewers should also give praise when the code is clean and congratulate on a job well done. Remember, positive reinforcement goes a long way.

To wrap this up, code reviews can be an exhaustive and sometimes frustrating process. The value it brings to the quality of code, however, is far superior and is why we integrate it into all the projects we work on. Doing so gives both the juniors and seniors of the company an opportunity to exchange knowledge and deliver a project that is bug-free to the client.

Computer with Node.js Django Spring Ruby on Rails logos

Which Backend Framework Is Right for Your Project?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Any web development project is usually divided into two core phases: frontend and backend development. Frontend development refers to the development of all that a user would see and experience while using the app, whereas the backend handles functions such as data storage, security, scalability and data transformation. A good example is a car, whose body, dashboard and steering is essentially your frontend and define the experience you have with it. This experience, however, will not be complete without the engine, chassis and the fuel tank of the car (backend). 

A backend is vital to the successful function of any web development project, unless the webpage you require is a static one. The easiest way to have such a web page is to create one on WordPress as it allows for basic content and user management. Such a backend, however, is not useful for creating custom web applications with sophisticated requirements our clients require of us.

There are many backend languages used by developers around the world. A few, however, stand out for their ease of learning, use, development time and effort.

Node.js

Node.js is JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine, allowing developers to run JavaScript code on the server. What is unique to Node.js, however, is its ability to serve data requests without waiting for the completion of another. This asynchronous nature makes it perfect for developing IoT web apps that send large numbers of requests to the server at the same time. Another advantage of using Node.js for the backend of a project is its ability to easily divide services to microservices, allowing large projects to be divided amongst the team.

What you have to also take into account is Node.js’s unopinionated nature, which gives developers little to no preloaded features when using it. The backend developers, therefore, have to start from scratch and spend more time to complete a project, despite the freedom that comes with it. Node.js is also not advised as a solution for projects that demand high computational power and require developers to keep their apps compatible with the constantly changing framework and libraries. 

The Node.js community however is an active one, with many developers from around the world contributing their projects for open source usage. One must, however, be careful as developers of lower skills have been known to use such projects in their work with clients, who end up with inferior products created from substandard code. Replacing and/or cleaning such code of dubious quality is expensive and is another reason we recommend doing some thorough research before picking a software development partner.  

Who uses it? Netflix, Walmart, Uber, Paypal, LinkedIn, Medium, eBay, NASA

Smart guy meme about stealing open source code

Django

Django is a high-level Python Web framework designed for rapid development and scaling. It’s very versatile and can be used to developing solutions for content management and scientific computing platforms. Django is also very easy to learn, understand, use and places an emphasis on speedy product development, making it ideal for small to medium projects. 

Django, however, is rather monolithic and does not allow for the division of a project into smaller parts as with Node.js. This might prove to be a disadvantage when working on large projects that need to be divided into several parts between developers. It’s also very strongly opinionated and does not allow developers much freedom as with Node.js. 

Who uses it? Disqus, Bitbucket, Instagram, Mozilla Firefox, Pinterest, The Washington Post

Austion powers meme on using Django

Spring

Spring is another successful solution build on Java, the most popular programming language in the world due to its object-oriented robustness. This popular framework for creating enterprise applications comes packed with many features and additions that allow a developer to start an application with a basic website and authorization, almost out of the box. Spring’s modularity gives developers the freedom to pick and ignore classes, helping them focus more on customer-centric development and less on reinvention. 

Spring, however, is very configuration dependent and requires a developer to write a sizable amount of boilerplate code in order to add new features. It also requires developers to undergo a steep learning curve as there isn’t much set standards and best working practices. This is one possible reason why you might encounter Spring when working with more experienced, bigger teams working on enterprise projects.

Who uses it?  Amazon, ESPN, VISA, American Express

For Christmas I want a dragon meme spring framework

Ruby on Rails

Also called “Rails” or RoR, Ruby on Rails is an object-oriented programming language that is fast gaining a name for itself. First extracted from another project due to a requirement of its author, RoR is now favoured amongst the backend development community due to its ability to create fast web solutions. It also allows for speedy development due to its convention over configuration paradigm, which essentially  “assumes” what the developer wants to do and how. 

The downside, however, is its relative recentness, which is why the RoR development community is not as large as those you would find with other backend frameworks. It’s also not very flexible and rather resource intensive when compared to other frameworks. RoR’s age also makes it evolve quite often, requiring developers to update several dependencies to ensure the product they created on RoR stays updated. 

Who uses it? Twitch, Github, Airbnb, Shopify, Bloomerang, Etsy

Dr Evil meme developers after convention over configuration

Which one should you choose?

The backend framework you need should be decided based on what you hope to achieve with your software product. This decision is best made by your software development house in close consultation with you, the project requirements, outcomes and future plans. Doing so is vital as the backend architecture you pick will decide the trajectory of development and have implications on everything from planning, design, development and testing

Need an application that is highly scalable, fast and supporting web, mobile and other devices? We recommend Node.js. Looking for a speedily developed MVP project that treats the web app and your backend as one? Go for Django or RoR. Have a computationally heavy app with a sizable number of features that require long development times and iterative developments with multiple sprints? We recommend opting for Spring as it allows for the division of the job requirements between a team and gives you control over what needs to be developed first. 

Pink sticky note with Run Usability Test Written On it

Usability Testing: the Key to Design Validation

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Our partners hire us to bring their ideas to life and design validation helps us make sure the end product meets expectations. One key means through which we validate our designs is the performing of usability tests, which is essentially the process through which we allow potential users to try out the product and share their thoughts. Such active involvement from potential end users in different stages of product development helps us keep the product user centred and not get ahead of ourselves. This, in turn, keeps the project’s velocity in check and helps us reduce the number of issues that might arise as the project is nearing its end. 

What’s the difference between regular QA testing and usability testing?

QA testing is performed on different versions of a product to find bugs by testers who have a good amount of knowledge on the app and its functionalities. Usability testing, on the other hand, is more concerned with the design intuitiveness of the product and tested with users who have no prior exposure to it. Such testing is paramount to the success of an end product as a fully functioning app that creates confusion amongst its users will not last for long. 

Why is usability testing important when developing a product?

1. It lets you avoid design changes that might draw users away from it – Remember Instagram’s horizontal scrolling, that was reversed in a few hours after the update?

2. It can help decide which idea is best when the team has many ideas on the table.  Such testing is a great learning opportunity for the designers to learn on what works, what doesn’t and will shape the way in which they approach future design.

3. It highlights user expectations of functionalities and allows developers to create user-centric apps.

4. Iterative tests help pick the best options of wording, icons or fonts.

Yoda meme on running usability tests

At what stage of a product should usability testing be done?

It is important to start usability tests in the early stages of the design process when it is easy to make changes. Another round of testing should then be done when the design is nearing completion as it will allow for the testing of a prototype similar to the end product. We also encourage our partners to conduct usability tests after the launch of an app as user interaction data from the end users is invaluable in improving an already great product.

The type of usability testing is dependent on many factors such as the project, its level of progress, costs and the resources that can be deployed for testing. What you need to know however is that most prototype usability testing is divided between low-fidelity and high-fidelity tests. Low-fidelity tests are helpful when testing ideas as the prototypes does not need to be fully developed. The prototypes for high-fidelity tests, on the other hand, needs to resemble the end product very closely and require more resources.

It is also wise to know what you are looking for through usability testing.  Behavioural testing can provide quantitative measurements, such as the time between taps on an app or eye tracking. Attitudinal testing, on the other hand, is more concentrated on the needs and attitudes of users, and involve qualitative data collection via surveys and interviews. 

What is the process for conducting such usability tests? 

The first stage in conducting usability testing lies in deciding on the type of testing required and the measures through which success will be defined. A prototype with the functionalities you’d like to test therefore must be prepared, alongside a scenario of the behaviour expected of the participants. It’s also important to create a test environment that reflects the environment the end product will be used in.

The second stage is where you’d need to pick and invite a sample of the population your end product will be used by. Remember that the number and the quality of the sample should be a good representation of the end users.  For example, designing a website for children requires the participation of children of different ages, due to the cognitive differences. Participants should also be reminded of how the test is to validate the designs and that no score is given for sticking to the scenario that was drawn up in stage one.

The third stage is where the data from stage two is analysed. The feedback gathered through this can reveal issues with something as specific as the order of buttons or give rise to a completely new functionality that would make the products user experience better. 

Usability testing hard to swallow meme

To summarise, usability testing is pivotal to validating the designs made for software products. Not doing so can produce an app that looks and feels great in the eyes of the designers, but is found to be difficult to use by the most important stakeholder, its end users. Such apps with invalidated designs is a recipe for disaster as bad UX experiences can kill any app and damage your brand reputation. This experience will stain the trust your users have with the brand and impact the take up of any future software products as well.

Paying for software using fixed price contracts vs time and material contracts

Fixed Price vs Time and Materials: which software pricing contract is right for you?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

The cost of development is always an important consideration when looking to hire a software development partner, and rightfully so. Such partnerships can be built on either fixed prices or contracts where the client is charged for the time and materials needed for the development. Making a decision on which one to opt for however depends but are not limited to factors such as requirements, budget, quality of work and the date in which the product needs to be delivered to the client.

Read onto to find out whether your business needs fixed or time and materials pricing for its software development.

What is a fixed price contract?

Fixed Price contracts as the name implies are software contracts whose deliverables and prices are agreed upon before starting work. Such projects involve intense questioning and probing of the client’s ideas and requirements to ensure the software house has a very clear idea of the end product. Wireframes can be extremely useful here as it will help visualise the end product. The software house then does some scoping inside itself to evaluate the technologies, designers, developers and other resources that must be deployed to deliver on the requirements expected from the client. The client is then presented with the scope of the work that is required to create the product, a plan for the development of the product, a deadline and its fixed cost.

What advantages does a fixed price contract bring you?

1. Helps with budget allocations – Having a fixed price for the deliverables can help clients allocate a set budget for it and not worry about it increasing. Any charges over the agreed amount must be notified of in advance and agreed to by both parties.

2. Requires little client involvement – Fixed price software contracts require very little involvement from the client as the deliverables are agreed by all parties well in advance. Such contracts are ideal for clients who have little technical knowledge, little time and/or prefer a hands-off approach to working with their outsourcing partners.

3. Predictability – Clients that need to plan a budget for development costs can benefit from fixed-price contracts as they are fixed and predictable. Such contracts allow the client to have a birds view of the development as it happens and makes reporting easy.

4. Fixed deadlines – Fixed price contracts provide clients with fixed deadlines that the software house will need to meet. Any inability to meet the same can have the software house incurring financial penalties.

advantages of fixed price contract meme

What disadvantages do fixed contracts have?

1. Marked up prices – Fixed price contracts tend to be costly as software houses mark up their development costs to cover any development work that might be outside the scope of work agreed in the contract.

2. Rigid scope with no possibility of changes – Fixed price contracts make no room for adding new functionalities or any change in scope. This is detrimental as the customer requirements today change rapidly, and might have the client receiving a product that is redundant.

3. Long planning sessions – Agreeing on the scope of fixed-price contracts is a tedious affair as all requirements and deliverables have to be planned well in advance. This takes an inordinate amount of time, pushing the development time further.

4. Quality assurance issues – Instances of software houses delivering products with substandard code with little testing to meet the stringent deadlines set by fixed-price contracts aren’t unheard of.

5. Miscommunication between teams – Misunderstood project requirements can have the developers doing a sizable of work that will end up being of no use. This risk of miscommunication is very real when the cultural differences between the client and software house are rather large (yet, another reason why Mood Up prefers nearshoring).

Disadvantages of fixed price contracts boardroom meeting meme

What is a time and materials pricing contract?

As you might have guessed Time And Materials contracts charge for the actual work that is done (agile pricing) against the more rigid one-time payment required of in fixed-price contracts. Such software development is accomplished by scoping the project requirements with the client, accessing the work required and then dividing the work into sprints (components). The client is then informed of the number of hours and materials that would be required to build each sprint of the project. Such an approach to pricing software development lets the client be in charge of the development and have a birds-eye view of development as it happens.

What are the advantages of a time and materials contract?

1. Better control of costs – Time and materials software contracts give clients better control over the development costs as they are usually charged on a per sprint basis. Such an approach to software development is best for clients who prefer to see what they are paying for as it is being developed.

2. More flexibility to change requirements – The ability to pay only for the work done allows clients to add and/or modify the requirements from their software product, at any time of their choosing. This is important as the market and customer requirements might change, thereby requiring new/modified functionalities.

3. Less time scoping, more time developing – Time and Materials based software products work towards building a minimum viable product (MVP) first and then making iterative improvements to it. Development work, therefore, can start immediately without the need to spend days pouring over requirements as with fixed contracts.

4. Transparency throughout the project – The client is informed of the work hours and materials that is required for development, along with the hourly rates before every sprint. Such transparency allows for better cooperation between the development house and the client.

5. Ability to terminate the partnership at any given time – Time and materials pricing contracts allow clients to pull out of contracts at a time of their choosing as the charges are by sprints. Such a pricing approach tends to be useful if the quality of work from the developers do not match client expectations.

What are the disadvantages of a time and materials contract?

1. Requires more client involvement – Time and materials software contracts require clients to play a lead role in managing the development of the product. Clients tasks in such an approach to development can have the client creating, managing the product backlog, attending weekly reviews on the state of development and product demos.

2. Costs can escalate with more functionalities – The ability to add/modify functionalities can have your product being more costly than it was budgeted for. This, however, should not pose much of an issue as the client can always terminate a contract should the cost become too excessive.

3. Uncertain deadlines due to changing requirements – Any changes in project requirements can push the deadline of the product back and delay the release of your product to the market.

So which should you choose?

Both software pricing approaches have their pros and cons which is why we recommend our clients to opt for one that best suits their development and business needs.

fixed contract vs time and material contract meme

Fixed price contracts are ideal for when the software that is required is of limited functionalities, for a set purpose that will not change anytime soon and has a very strict budget. Such an approach to development should only be taken if the product is akin to a MVP and has a strict delivery deadline.

We at Mood Up prefer the time and materials approach to software development, as it matches our agile design and development principles. Such an approach we’ve found is ideal as it is impossible for both us and the client to have a concrete idea of the end product before starting its development. The flexibility offered by this pricing approach allows our clients to add new functionalities and ensure the end product is relevant and not redundant as with a product delivered at the end of one long fixed-price development cycle.

Side by side comparison of mobile apps with good and bad UX design

A Bad UX Can Kill Your App. What Can You Do to Avoid It?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”

Dr Ralf Speth- CEO of Jaguar

A good User Experience (UX) is vital towards the success of any mobile app and we cannot stress this enough. The UX should be at the top, centre and bottom of any mobile app development as those who use it should have an experience unlike any other to continue using it. Any experience less than stellar can have your hard earned users getting frustrated, closing your app and uninstalling it. You might even get a negative review on the App Store or Play Store if the said customer is in a particularly bad mood.

A good mobile app UX should have the end user being able to navigate inside your product in an intuitive manner, without much hesitation or instructions. This sense of mastery over the app in the first interactions is an experience many designers should aspire to provide as failure to do so can have the user feeling anxious and frustrated.

A bad UX is usually due to a combination of many reasons. Key amongst them are:

1. Lack of strategy in UX design  The UX of any mobile app should be created with the end user in mind. Such deliberate, user-centric UX design is only possible through research on the end users and their needs.

2. Client centric design – client feedback is important to the success of any app design. Such feedback, however, should not overpower common design principles recommended by the UX designers. It is a designers duty to push back against any counterproductive ideas from the clients and provide insight into why that is so.

3. Compromising on investing in design  creating great app UX designs take time and a sizable amount of investment. Cutbacks on these can have an impact on the design of your app and therefore its overall success.

4. Not conducting enough tests  design based on usability tests should and is fast becoming a norm due to their ability to get design feedback from the users themselves. Such exhaustive tests give power to the user and give the designer more insight into the expectations of their app design.

It is to guide the design thinking process that UX designers follow Nielsen’s Usability Heuristics. Key amongst them are:

1. Keeping the user updated  Every action should be correlated with an appropriate response. Users should be always informed about the current state on the screen, whether it be loading or experiencing connection difficulties. Such information about the status prevents frustration born out of waiting and guesswork.

2. Matching the app to set standards – Matching your app design to the standards the end user is familiar with and expects is important to how intuitive the app feels. The app designers should, therefore, pay a sizable amount of attention to ensuring users are able to navigate their way around the app with ease and accomplish their end goals in as little interactions as possible.

3. Aesthetic and minimalist design – User-centred app designs as you might have noticed from your use of the most famous apps today do not need to be complicated. It can, in fact, be very simplistic and help the end user achieve their goals speedily.

4. Giving the user control over the app – A good app UX is when the user has mastery over his actions within the app and has the ability to either interact or undo the said interaction. Such freedom to undo and/or redo gives control to the user and can go a long way towards the overall UX one experiences.

5. Cutting out the jargon Not every user is a software development engineer, which is why the language used inside errors, popups and larger group of texts should not be jargon. Remember, real-world users, react well to real-world interactions and natural language.

Kermit the frog meme on how apps with bad UX will not be popular

How to avoid the pitfalls of a bad UX?

Mobile app users today are spoilt for choice and will have no hesitation in moving towards your competitors whose app design is better than yours. This lack of loyalty will translate into a bad reputation that will impede the rebranding/remake of the app that led to the issue in the first place and taint the success of any future product. One must, therefore,

1. Know that bad UX designs do exist – Designers should always work with user expectations in mind and prioritize their basic needs. We at Mood Up like to conduct usability tests with a sample of the end users to ensure what we discovered through our market and user research matches the actual expectations. The goal is to make user-driven iterative changes whose success we can measure.

2. Take inspiration from top players – Visually pleasing designs might compensate for the lack of a user-friendly UX flow. This, however, will not last long if you are creating a global app in a saturated app marketplace where your competitors are looking to out-design you at every turn. Take inspiration from the top players and apps that are seeing high popularity to get an understanding of what makes their UI and UX design so successful.

3. Hop onto the shoes of the end user – User-centric UX designs need user input and that’s why we recommend creating users personas and scenarios. Such user personas help designers to get insight on their end users, their needs and ask the right questions. Another little trick you might want to try is creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and letting a sample of end-users use it before asking questions on expectations and improvements.

4. Sketch – Constant constructive iterations are the key to making a great product, as even the biggest brands made those along the way. Get the user involved in the design process with user tests and solve problems together.

5. Test, test, test – Place an emphasis on usability tests with a certain group of users. This will provide you with fresh insight into improvements and issues you might have missed due to your familiarity with the design.

Remember

Creating great UX designs isn’t easy. It, however, isn’t also rocket science and can be mastered if the designers pay attention to their end users and practice due diligence with tests. Such test driven design should be a cornerstone of any app development project and one we at Mood Up place a core focus on in every project we work on.

Developers coding custom software on laptops

8 Reasons You Should Opt for Custom Software Development

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Making a decision on whether to invest in custom software development or in an off the shelf software solution can be a daunting prospect for many companies. All the more so if the requirements of the said software are for mission-critical or process improvements, involving a substantial amount of investment. Such considerations and the unfamiliarity many have with custom software solutions encourages the easy purchase of off the shelf software products which in most cases do not fit the full scope of requirements.

Off the shelf software solutions are created to fulfil the general purposes a company such as yours might have and offers little customisation. What we know in our 7 years of software development, however, is that each company is unique and require software solutions that fit it, and not force the company to fit itself to the off the shelf software that was purchased. Your software solution should fulfil your needs and this is only possible if it is developed from the ground up, in consultation with the end users. Such an approach ensures that the end users do not have to compromise and the final product is in line with a company’s business needs.

Custom software development might sound like a lot of work and it could be if you pick the wrong software development partner. The right software partner, however, should be able to understand your needs, scope your requirements and provide you with the benefits that are inherent to customized software.

1. You own the source code

Custom software development makes products for you, based on your requirements, thereby making you its owner. All code and materials related to your product will be provided to you by the developers, so that you may exercise your ownership over it. This, however, is not the case with off the shelf software solution providers who retain its ownership, with your business incurring a monthly fee for its usage. The support is also not as comprehensive as you find with the developers who designed your software from scratch.

Another factor you have to consider here is custom software development’s ability to let you dictate what you want to be developed. This freedom would allow you to integrate multiple business requirements into your product instead of compromising and/or using multiple off the shelf products. This would increase the uptake of your product with customers, employees and reduce churn rates.

Off the shelf software kermit meme

2. The end product is unique

No business is the same which is why off the shelf software that takes a one size fits all approach, a bad idea. Custom software development is done after analysing your need for it, business processes, people and expectations. Such software has a higher chance of fitting seamlessly to your business than off the shelf software that is more rigid and offers little to no customisation.

3. Better long term return on investment

The biggest argument against custom software development is the costs involved in it. What you have to remember, however, is that custom software is designed and developed with your specific needs in mind,  which is why it might tend to be costlier than off the shelf products, whose costs are recouped through its licensing to many clients. It’s important to remember that developing your own software is a one-time investment in your business and will have you saving money from the process efficiencies achieved through it. Custom software that fits a company’s needs makes it leaner and more prone to shave unnecessary expenses. An off the shelf software solution, on the other hand, will have you spending more money on training and alternate tools to fill the rest of your software requirements in addition to the cost of licensing.

Another factor you have to take into account is the rapid rate of progress in the software development industry. Native software development is now being overtaken by hybrid software platforms due to the cost efficiencies they grant. The design of the software is also made cheaper and faster thanks to lean UX principles that are fast becoming a norm.

It’s important to take hidden costs into account when using off the shelf software solutions. Custom software development leaves no space for hidden costs or markups as you receive exactly what you pay for.

off the shelf software hide the pain harold meme 1

4. Provides full control of the development process

The software house you are opting for should give you periodical updates and demos of the product as it is being built. This gives you a holistic view of where your money is being spent, what is being developed, tested and full control over the process.

Such insight into the software development process will allow you to identify and resolve problems before they materialise in the finished product.

5. Able to scale with your business needs

The software made for you by developers you hired will have an innate understanding of how they can scale it to more users or with more features. This is important as your software should fit the updated needs of you, your customers and the business environment you operate in.

This, however, is not the same with off the shelf software solutions who are more rigid in their scalability. Such software solutions have limits to how they could be scaled and could have you spending more for a higher tier license, that still does not fit all your requirements.

6. Stronger security protocols

Custom software is developed as per the latest industry standards and is updated with security protocols that match it. The developers who created your software from scratch are also very knowledgeable about security breaches and will be in a better position to assist you with issues as they happen and protect sensitive information.

Off the shelf software is a more risky proposition as they use technology and security protocols that are bound to be common knowledge and more attractive to a malicious attacker who will get more rewards for his effort.

7. You have full access to a support team

The support you can expect from a team that did the developing of your product is much higher than from a software vendor who has many clients who license its software. With custom software development, there is no need to wait for a security patch or any other update as you would have to with off the shelf software solutions. Developing your software from scratch also gives you access to regular maintenance as and when you want without disrupting the business process.

Off the shelf software tech support air support meme

8. You have many software developers to choose from

Opting for custom software development lets you pick a software developer that fits your business. These developers should be able to ask you the right questions to help scope the exact requirements you need from your end software product. You can then decide on what should be included in the minimum viable product (MVP) and build on it iteratively.

Off the shelf solutions do not offer this flexibility and can have you paying for pre-loaded features you do not require. Your options for picking an off the shelf software solution provider can also lessen if the industry you operate in, is not as popular or as saturated.

Conclusion

We understand that opting for custom software development can be a new experience, which is why we at Mood Up focus on educating our partners on the process and get them actively involved during design and development. Such a partnership enables us to deliver above and beyond the software development our partners seek of us and maintain a shared growth mindset in the years to come.

A person's hands highlighting words with a marker over desk full of design papers

8 Things to Consider Before Developing a Mobile App

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

With over 4,7 billion mobile phone users around the world, who spent an estimated $19.5 billion globally in the first quarter of 2019, developing a mobile app to tap into this vast number might seem like a no brainer. 

A mobile app, however, is an extension of your brand, and developing one should be approached quite carefully to ensure the app brings its intended benefits and doesn’t cause more harm than good. Another reason why we recommend the consideration of the below eight factors is as a haphazardly developed mobile app can have you losing money, time and opportunities. 

1. Do you really need it?

You’d think this to be an odd question from a mobile app development company such as ours, but asking questions such as this makes our clients evaluate themselves and their expectations.

Remember, an app is an extension of your brand and developing one for the sake of doing so is not a smart idea. 

Creating and adding value for your end user however is. 

2. End-user 

All apps should be developed after extensive research as doing so helps to understand the current offerings on the market and the expectations users have of such apps so that your app may serve a better solution. The top four questions you must ask yourself therefore is 

  • Who are my competitors and what is their app offering?
  • What’s their strategy and unique selling point(s)?
  • Are there any weaknesses?
  • Customer sentiments to the app offered by competitors

Having answers to the above should give you an idea of the state of the market you intend on entering and help identify threats as well as opportunities. Upon establishing this, we recommend doing some research on the end-users themselves as the success of any app lies in its user-centeredness. The question you should ask yourself, therefore, is 

  • Why are customers using these apps?
  • What are needs that are being met at present
  • Are there any needs that are not being met?

3. Operating system 

The global app ecosystem is dominated by two key players, iOS and Android, who each command 81.8% and 18.2% respectively. Any development of an app, therefore, should cater to these platforms and their users. 

It might be tempting to aim for the dominant Android platform and leave out iOS users, but do keep the following in mind 

  • 30 million iOS users switched to Android in 2017, whereas Android lost 112 million to iOS.
  • Almost half (45%) of iOS users have more than 5 paid apps or subscriptions, whereas only 19% of Android users could say the same. 
  • Revenue from the iOS App Store was double the revenue from the Play Store in 2018

We have a great article that can give you more information to help make a decision on your platform here.

4. Native or cross-platform development

Once you’ve made a decision on the platform you’d be opting for, it’s important that you pay attention to the technology that will be used for app development. A key option you can pursue is native app development, which is essentially apps developed for the specific operating system, which gives them the ability to utilise device-specific hardware such as camera, GPS and fingerprint scanners.  We at Mood Up favour native programming languages such as Objective-C, Swift for developing iOS apps and Java for Android apps. The downside of such an approach, however, is the increased development time and cost a client would have to incur if the apps need to run on both iOS and Android. 

There is however a second cross-platform option through which developers can create one code base and use it to run apps on both platforms. Such development using frameworks such as React Native and Flutter can reduce development time and costs, allowing the app to be deployed faster. One must, however, remember that such an approach is not always best if the app that is being developed need to be tightly integrated to their operating systems and/or will be performing heavy duty tasks such as graphic heavy games. 

5. UI/UX Design

UI is the interface that the user interacts with whereas the UX is the experience one has with it. Both design elements are equally important and can mean the difference between the success and failure of your app. Such design thinking at the early stages of the design of an app is vital as it sets the look and feel for the app, which then allows the developers to start coding. 

A well thought out UI/UX design will provide your end users with a seamless experience that will translate into increased revenue, customer advocacy, faster growth and better brand image. 

6. Mobile analytics 

It’s impossible to improve on something that we cannot measure and that’s where mobile analytics become highly useful. This, however, should be done in conjunction with your business goals so as to recognize and optimise the performance of your app. Integrating mobile analytics to your app will help analyse and pinpoint functionalities that are performing well with those that are not, so that the design and development team can continue optimising the app to achieve your business goals. 

7. Testing 

An app that works is more useful than an app that looks pretty but is riddled with bugs. Such buggy apps that do not respond, crash and is generally unstable will have your hard earned users abandoning you for your competitors and damage your brand. 

That why at Mood Up place a core focus on running automated and manual tests on each the end of builds we produce. Such testing allows us to discover bugs (if any!) that are then passed onto the developers, who ensure the issue is rectified. This rigorous process ensures that the product build our customers get at the end of every sprint is one that can be deployed should they decide to. 

8. Costs 

Custom app development is not cheap and anyone who says otherwise should have you worried. The benefits of a custom app with a good UX/UI, strong backend and no bugs however far outweigh the costs of making it, and should be considered as an investment in your business with far-reaching benefits, 

Development costs, however, could be reduced if you choose a software partner with agile pricing where charges are only incurred for the development done, unlike the fixed pricing method which locks clients into a contract with set expectations and higher costs (due to set profit margins). 

Another thing to consider is, will you be charged separately for the design, development and QA? If so the bill will be on the hefty side. 

Mood Up, however, offers design and QA as value added services for our clients and only charge for the app development work that is done. 

Summary

Mobile app development as we mentioned is no walk in the park with many factors contributing to its success and continuity. Being prepared and giving due consideration to factors such as the UI, UX, the development frameworks used and QA, however, can help transform an idea to a great mobile app, at a considerably low cost.

Flutter versus React Native

Flutter vs. React Native: Which should you choose for your mobile app?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Choosing the right technology stack for a mobile app can have anyone confounded with the amount of technical jargon out there. The conflicting advice you would find on Google isn’t very helpful either, and this can have you feeling disheartened despite the exciting idea you have for your app. We know this as many a client has told us the same before we sat down with them and started asking the right questions.

The tried and tested method of developing apps for both iOS and Android, is doing their coding separately (native apps). Android apps, for example, require a developer to use Kotlin or Java, while iOS apps are built using Swift or Objective C. Such separate coding is essential for the performance and the stability of the apps, despite the increased time and cost involved.

A second very interesting option is the use of cross-platform solutions, such as Flutter and React Native through which a developer can translate the code to fit both iOS and Android platforms. To elaborate, Flutter is written using Dart, and compiles its code into a native library which is then attached to each platform project. React Native, on the other hand, is a framework in which the code is written in JavaScript, allowing it to run in the background thread of an application and be translated into native code and components expected by iOS and Android. Both platforms as per our experience perform the same despite their differences and have been gaining increasing acceptance from the development community due to their ability to shorten development time and effort.

The technology stack you would need however is dependent on your idea and the expectation you have of your app, which is why we have penned this article with a comparison of Facebook developed React Native and Google-owned Flutter.

Maturity, community & stability

Flutter alpha was first seen in mid-2017, giving React Native a two-year headstart in building a solid foundation, larger community and access to big players in a market with no competition. Flutter, therefore, might still have issues that have been resolved by the React Native community who provide more support and is generally considered more stable. Google, however, is putting its weight behind Flutter and is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Design

Flutter implements components from its own graphics library, allowing developers to choose between Android’s Material Design and Cupertino’s iOS-style widgets to make an app look the way it should without additional work.

React Native, on the other hand, uses platform-specific components, which makes the components such as buttons or switches look different on iOS and Android. Creating identical apps, therefore, will give rise to additional work.

Time

Flutter as we mentioned previously can be useful for developing apps when time and costs are of the essence. This, however, is not applicable when the app contains a sizable number of custom views and requirements that are difficult to implement.

React Native with its large community of developers, on the other hand, can be useful here its head start on Flutter has created a library of information one can use to troubleshoot any issues.

Maintenance & Updates

An app is not a one-time investment and needs to be maintained well. Both Flutter and React Native are equally good in this regard if one is comparing the time and effort that needs to be invested. Those who work with React Native however, might find their work made easier due to a large amount of information they can turn to online.

Updates are vital for any app as they allow it to add/remove functionalities in response to market changes and keep it secure. Flutter wins this one as updates cause very little problems, whereas apps built using React Native can pose unexpected issues.

Documentation

Flutter’s documentation is very exhaustive and supported by Google codelabs example apps, through which developers can learn how to develop and search for specific solutions.

React Native’s documentation in our opinion is not as good.

Popularity with developers

React Native due to their headstart is more popular than Flutter at the present. Flutter, however, is fast narrowing the gap as we are seeing an increasing number of clients and developers taking it up. You might also want to see the popularity of the two terms on Google Trends over here.

Support for testing

Testing is an integral part of app development and Flutter offers a wide range of support for such tests and provides rich documentation about it.

React Native does a good job of handling unit tests. The same, however, cannot be said for its capability for handling integration or UI tests.

Conclusion

Cross-platform app development is the future, with Flutter and React Native vying for a piece of it. Both platforms in our opinion have their pros and cons, depending on the requirements you expect of the app. What is clear however is that React Native is capable, has more help for troubleshooting issues, whilst Flutter is easier to update and provides richer documentation. We at Mood Up are very curious and excited to see what the future has in hold for cross-platform development frameworks.

Do you have an idea for an app we can help with? Mood Up has extensive experience in mobile app development and offers a one-week development trial.

Two people shaking hands

10 factors you need to consider when picking a software house

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Picking a software house is not a task that should be taken lightly as the wrong choice might mean a loss of a sizable amount of money, time, peace of mind and more importantly, opportunity.

This is why at Mood Up encourage our partners (client is a word we steer clear off of) to look beyond the boastfulness and accolades that one sees at first glance and dig deep into a software house’s people, skills, previous work and processes. It might be a tedious task, but one that will pay off in dividends once the project is completed.

1. Presence and market reputation

Software development is no walk in the park and can be a costly affair if done incorrectly.

That’s why we encourage any client looking to develop a product to do their research on the business operation length of the software houses they intend on working with. This will dispel any doubts on the financial stability of the software house in question and create a lasting partnership.

You might also want to take a look at the portfolio of the software houses to evaluate their previous work. Recommendations from clients on websites such as Clutch can also be very helpful.

2. Communication strategy

Communication is vital in any partnership and all the more so in software development as a project’s velocity is dependent on the speed in which issues are discovered, communicated and fixed.

Inquire on the communication tools used by the software houses you intend on working with and find one that matches your preferences whether it be Slack, Jira, Asana or Trello.

Remember, communication with your software house, who are essentially your extended team should be seamless, and not a chore.

3. Partnership dynamics

The strength of a partnership is only as good as its dynamics and this is pivotal when picking a software development partner.

This is why we recommend expending some time to research your potential partners for a good fit. Meet them if it’s possible and/or encourage them to pay your company a visit.

Remember, you need to like the people you are working with.

4. Technology Stack

You need a partner with proven experience and skill sets that match the requirements of your particular app, and not one that dabbles in many programming languages.

Pose your potential software houses with your requirements and evaluate their approach to it. Ask for the credentials of the development team that will be allocated to you. Ask for examples of previous work using the same technologies.

Remember, a good software house should have no qualms about answering any questions a client might have.

5. The work process

Does your potential software development house use agile or the waterfall methodology in developing their products?

If it’s the latter, you might be in trouble as agile work processes such as scrum is now an industry standard due to its ability to increase the velocity of product development at lower costs.

6. Cost model

The cost of development is at the forefront of any customers mind and rightfully so.

Our recommendation is to opt for agile pricing models that charge for the work done as the development progresses versus the fixed pricing model, which can have you paying more for limited functionalities as software house usually add a sizable markup to counter any unexpected issues.

Remember, if the price of a project is too good to be true, it probably is.

7. Scope of service

Some software house provides end to end services that encompass design, development, QA and even listing the final product on iOS and Android app stores.

Make sure you opt for one that has the services you require as close cooperation between designers, developer and QA creates better products, faster.

8. Contracts

Transparency is vital in any partnership, which is why you should ask your potential software development house to provide you with an example of the contract that will be signed.

You are also well within your rights to ask for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before submitting your idea for an estimate.

9. Location and cultural fit

Close collaboration is key to a successful partnership.

Working as such, however, is rather difficult if the software development partner you outsource to is on a vastly different timezone and culture.

This is why we at Mood Up prefer to work with clients who nearshore their software to us.

10. Trials

Outward appearances can be deceiving which is why we recommend agreeing on a trial period to test the dynamics of the relationship and all that we mentioned above.

A phone and an IoT device

8 things to consider before building an IoT app

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

With the Internet, you can upgrade your program. Developing such apps are now easier, Moreover, such apps can be smarter and more effective. 

It is a need for some special applications. 

1. Which platform will the app be built on?

The IoT platform is essentially the ecosystem that supports and connects it to. It can be managed and analyzed to improve functionality.  

Growth in the IoT of The has garnered a the Attention of the big tech players such as with the the Microsoft , Amazon’s , the SAP, the CISCO  and the Google the who offer now! Just made the read, the secure platforms That help the app developers to Accelerate the Pace of development with lower power costs and Risks. Youn’t be able to create a custom made platform from scratch.

The right platform Choosing with Their Contents Technical jargon is the no the easy task, the which is why <br> we Encourage you to the write to us AT the Up with your Mood: idea. 

2. The device you are connecting to 

If you are developing an app. Below questions

  • what kind of functionality does your app perform?
  • which industry do you want to cater to? Entertainment? Fitness? Home security?
  • do you want to connect to the IoT?
  • would you like to expect interoperability with many devices?

3. Making privacy of user data a priority

Our data is a significant concern in today’s digital economy. 

This is not the case. 

Remember, privacy breaches are costly to the bottom line and more importantly, its reputation. 

4. Securing your app from threats

IoT apps. IoT apps need stringent security protocols and continuous updates. 

5. Scaling the app to fit market changes.

With Gartner expecting 95% of all products to use IoT by 2020, your app should be able to. 

You will be able to add more functionalities while you are in the future.

6. The quality of the user experience

It’s a bit of a funk. 

Doing research on customer expectations, features and integrating lean design standards , therefore, is important. 

7. The speed and quality of the app’s functions. 

It is important that you get it connected. 

8. How much will it cost?

The costs of the building an IoT app as you might have guessed is different from a regular web or mobile app due to its nature. 

This, however, is dependent on many factors that include the above, the functionalities expected and the technical skills of the developers you’d hire. 

Summary

The role of technology is to ease the lives of its users and IoT devices are its forefront. Such devices provide a very large market potential which is why we are seeing an increased focus on developing apps that are always connected to the internet. Our advice, however, is to first be clear on the idea for your app and then partner with a software house that has the necessary skillsets, experience necessary to advise, build and deploy your app. 

Mood Up team several years of experience in developing IoT apps. AT a look of Take Our work in the IoT the apps found here or the send us your: idea for an Estimate found here. 

React Native vs Real Native moodup team 12 2018

React Native Apps vs. Real Native Apps – Which Should You Pick?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives, as are the apps that help in making life a lot more convenient and hassle-free. This is the reason why companies are constantly looking for ways that will accelerate and facilitate the process of creating mobile applications to meet market expectations. Not all smartphones, however, are created equal, which is why app developers need to pay careful attention to their operating systems, in order to develop apps that can run on the said operating systems.

Mobile Operating System Market Dec 2018

Statistics data from the Statcounter.

The question then boils down to picking between iOS and/or Android, the two operating systems holding the largest share in the app market. It isn’t easy, which is why we have a separate guide on picking the right platform for your app.

Once a decision on the platform has been made, the developers must then go about creating the code for the two platforms, which are very different. This is as time-consuming and expensive as it sounds, which is why React Native is fast becoming a favourite amongst the app development community.

React Native AppsAbout React Native

React Native is a cross-platform framework designed by Facebook to give developers the opportunity to create apps for iOS and Android at the same time. It is based on React, which is a Facebook library for building user interfaces and has been used in the creation of apps such as Airbnb, Instagram and Facebook due to its

1. Efficiency

One of the most important advantages of using React Native is the ability to save time that would otherwise be spent on developing two separate versions of the same app. Such time saving allows developers to focus on creating better code at a faster speed, which lowers app development costs for the client.

2. Modular and intuitive architecture

The modular and intuitive interface of React Native makes it easy for developers to migrate and implement quickly on the project. This increases the flexibility of the development team and facilitates a faster introduction of updates.

It is however not without its disadvantages

1. Not for all APIs

One of the biggest disadvantages of the React Native framework is the lack of support with some native APIs, preventing it from being able to communicate with other applications, thereby affecting its overall functionality.

2. Design adjustment

The design adaptation may require writing additional code to avoid confusion in the application as Android and iOS platforms have seperate design guidelines.

Real Native Apps

Real native apps require developers to write separate apps for iOS and Android, unlike with react. Applications for iOS are developed using Swift or Objective-C while Android applications are developed using Java and Kotlin.

About Real Native

Do not discount Real Native just yet, as it trumps where React failed.

1. Best performance

Thanks to the native structure, applications are created and optimized for a specific platform, which makes them very fast, responsive and high performing.

2. Better harmony with hardware

The Real Native approach provides better access to hardware such as  GPS, camera and microphone, which translates into enhanced performance and application capabilities.

3. Easy errors detection

By using basic languages for the chosen platform, the possibility of errors are fewer and can be detected as they happen.

The above however does not come without its own share of disadvantages

1. Higher costs

Making an application for two separate platforms require twice the labour, which translates into longer development and testing time, requiring the client to foot a larger bill.

2. Separate optimization

The two platforms require different levels of optimization to their inherent differences.  This is all the more pronounced when developing for Android, due to a sizable number of versions of its platform in the market.

Conclusion

React vs Native Benefits

The React Native structure is a solution that allows you to deliver applications in less time on both platforms and provides many functionalities. It provides full support for the functions of mobile devices and a high rate of performance, which is why most clients prefer to use it for their apps. This, however, is not a standard and requires careful consideration of the project and its scope before deciding.

Got an idea for an app and not sure whether to opt for React or Real Native?  Drop us a line with your idea here so that we can get back to you with an estimate.