Dark UX Design

Dark UX Design – Leveraging User Research to Mislead

As app developers we talk often of the importance User Experience (UX) design, but in this post our hope is to make you aware of its less noble counterpart called Dark UX Design. Dark UX design, or dark patterns, are features of interface design crafted to trick users into doing something they might not want to do, but which benefit the business in question.

As a refresher, UX design at its best anticipates users’ needs and objectives, as well as their assumptions and behaviors, in order to increase the usability, accessibility, and enjoyment of a product. Typically, creating such benefits for the user also ultimately benefits the company as the product is often more successful as a result.

Dark UX design also seeks to understand the the user, and make intentional, well crafted design decisions. Unfortunately, as noted, the aim of these decisions is often to persuade, mislead, or otherwise encourage the user to partake in the company’s objectives, perhaps to the detriment of their own.

As the rules of an ever-changing technology industry continue to evolve, we are seeing consumers push back against such design choices, essentially asking designers to hold to high ethical standards. They are demanding transparency and accountability – the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a perfect example of this, with its emphasis on privacy by design. Read More

Big Ideas from the 2018 Google I/O Keynote

Machine learning and user prediction were front and center in yesterday’s Google I/O Keynote presentation, which showed off a variety of ways Google is making your mobile devices know more about you than you know about yourself.

While futuristic self-driving cars and augmented reality maps got the oohs and ahs, the talks kept coming back to how Google is using its astonishing combination of tools and talent to understand its users and create a more seamless and responsive experience. Read More

Avoiding App Store Rejection

Top Tips to Avoid App Store Rejection

After spending considerable resources to develop an app, no one wants to experience app store rejection. There are a number of common issues that cause apps to get rejected by the Apple App Store or Google Play, so it’s important from the outset to be familiar with the design, content, and tech requirements that are used to evaluate apps. Read More

App Development Buzzwords

Decoding Software Development Buzzwords

Software developers have their fair share of development buzzwords, lingo, slang, and jargon. Walking into a developer’s office can sometimes feel like stepping off the plane in a new country. You think you know which direction you are going but can’t read the signs because your phrasebook is still packed in your suitcase. We hope this post helps to decode some of those development buzzwords and provides you with a basic understanding of common software development terms. Read More

App Development Process Infographic

Mobile App Development Process Infographic

Mobile app development has exploded over the past decade, with over five million mobile apps now available for download between Apple’s App Store and Google Play. While that number is daunting, individuals and businesses continue to come to us with exciting new ideas for mobile apps that could change how people live, work, and play.

Despite the fact that most people are familiar with how to download and use a mobile app, many don’t understand what it takes to build one. We created this infographic on the mobile app development process to help provide an overview of the stages involved. Please feel free to share it if you find it helpful – and, of course, contact us if you have questions or want to learn more.  Read More

Raise Funds for Mobile Apps

How to Raise Funds for a Mobile App Idea

As a company with offices in two of the top U.S. cities for innovation (Boulder, CO and Austin, TX), we are regularly approached by potential clients who believe they have a great idea for an app, but don’t know how to raise funds needed for development. Perhaps you are in a similar situation.

Before we delve into resources they might consider to fund mobile app development, we like to remind them that more often an app idea fails for lack of business value than lack of funds. Rather than begin by developing a “fully featured” app with lots of functionality, we encourage them – and you – to build the simplest product they can and get it into the hands of consumers to prove its worth. Often called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), the MVP offers the bare bones of functionality – just enough to show the concept, get feedback, and learn if your idea resonates with others.

Starting small not only enables you to refine your idea with limited dollars, it also provides valuable proof of concept to help you convince potential investors your idea is worth supporting.

That said, there are a variety of investment options you can pursue to raise funds for mobile app development. Some are more appropriate early in the process, and others later. Many would argue that entrepreneurs should put off securing funding as long as possible in order to build company value, thereby having a higher valuation before raising capital and diluting equity. Here’s an overview of some of the most common options: Read More

Monetization: Make Money with Apps

Show Me the Money: How Mobile Apps Make Money

It’s estimated that somewhere around 90% of apps in the app stores are able to be downloaded for free, causing many clients to wonder how app creators are able to actually make money. There are a number of different ways to earn revenue, or “monetize” your app, but no one of them is a silver bullet. The right paid user experience is heavily dependent on your target market, so it’s important to make sure you understand your audience before selecting a monetization model.

We don’t have the space in this post to talk about how to familiarize yourself with your market and competition, but we do provide those insights in our free e-book Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. In this post, we’ll review the most common monetization strategies available so you can figure out the best way to make money off your app.

As you read the options, we encourage you to think about what’s unique about your app and what people would pay for the ability to use it. Likewise, it’s important to contemplate your financial situation and timetable as you select a monetization model – can you initially forego revenue to gather users and perhaps gain more revenue overall? Some models earn more money initially while profits come later in others. Read More

App Accessibility for All

App Accessibility: Valuable for All Apps

App accessibility refers to the concept of building an app in such a way that it is usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, including those who are living with disabilities. While the ADA’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 standards do not specifically address mobile apps, we think app accessibility is the right thing to do on many levels. Even from a pragmatic perspective, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, so overlooking app accessibility reduces your potential user base significantly. Read More

Grow your Business

Using Apps to Help Grow Your Business: The Trispective Group

Some apps stand alone as businesses in and of themselves, while others are used to expand an existing business. Expansion can happen in a variety of ways, such as increasing current customer engagement or providing tools to a sales team. We recently had the privilege of working with The Trispective Group to help grow their business by creating an app that opens up their services to new markets. The new app makes their expertise accessible to those beyond their current core audience. Read More

App Developer Questions

Best Questions to Ask to Find the Right Mobile App Developer

How do you determine which mobile app developer is the best one to hire for your project? It’s a question many businesses are asking themselves these days, and rightly so. StrategyAnalytics predicts that by 2022, 59% of the world’s population will own smartphones. With that comes mobile apps and the opportunity to use them to engage customers, grow your business, or sell your product.

Finding the right mobile app development company takes time, effort, research, and knowing the right questions to ask. If you’re totally new to mobile app development, you may find it helpful to first obtain a basic understanding of the app design and development process, before digging into the qualifications of a specific company. Consider reading our book, Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. It’s free to download and was written to help leaders gain a foundational understanding of the business and technical considerations involved in building an app.

If you already have the lay of the land, you can learn a lot about mobile app development companies by reviewing their web sites, evaluating their client list, and looking at their past work. Once you’ve done that, we recommend you dig a little deeper for additional insights by asking questions like the ones we’ve compiled here. Read More

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