Bringing Acubiz’ apps to the next level

This autumn, Acubiz will launch a new app, and more than 117,000 users worldwide are going to get the new mobile application under their skin. Altoros—a software delivery company and an early adopter of emerging, innovative technologies—shared its vision of mobile development, its evolution, and a strategy to bring Acubiz mobile apps to the next level. Acubiz collaborates with partners who secure use of the newest technology and trends, but relate critically to the development.

Read here our interview with Dzimitryi Kotau, Head of mobile development, Altoros.

It is only about ten years ago since Apple launched the first mobile app. Today, millions of apps are available and people all over the world use them for many purposes. Generally speaking, how have apps “evolved” from the beginning till now?

At the beginning, mobile apps were very simple and couldn’t do much – just a small number of daily tasks. In many cases, such a limited number of tasks was determined by performance of mobile devices and restrictions of mobile platforms in terms of public interfaces for third-party engineers. Nowadays, applications are smart and complex. They can help in many business domains and many aspects of users’ life. It’s now easy to manage bank accounts, plan trips or hospital appointments or take a taxi right from a mobile app. Applications can process photos and videos in real time, work with 3D graphics, augmented and virtual reality, analyze big amount of data using machine learning algorithms, etc. In a manner, mobile apps are as powerful as PC apps. However, mobile devices are always at hand, which helped them to replace PCs in many ways.

Do users of mobile apps get less or more critical to functionality and user experience with the rise of different apps in their everyday lives?

Definitely more. Due to a huge number of different available solutions, users become more and more critical to what they see. But it’s not only about features. In the very beginning, every product team wanted to add as much functionality as possible, but today this trend is left behind. Now user experience takes the first place. Users want to see fast apps with simple interface and minimum set of basic features to solve their problems. All the required information should be accessed within a few taps. The unofficial slogan of mobile apps is “right here, right now.” They should be adapted to use them on the go, should be “lightweight,” and save user’s time on daily operations.

How does Altoros work with user experience (UX) and/or user interface (UI)?

Altoros follows the latest guidelines from Apple and Google in terms of UI/UX. For Android, it is Material Design, for iOS – Human Interface Guidelines. We also ensure proper application of the main principles of human-centered design. If we receive just a raw idea from our customers, we try to clarify it first using sketches and mock-ups, since UI and UX are the key points for mobile apps. After this stage is complete, we create graphic design for the entire application (or the main screen, if the rest of the screens are similar). It’s a common practice for the company to have a few review cycles with our customers and representatives of their target audience – in order to make sure that all the preferences are taken into account.

Are there any difference between designing a new app and redesigning the existing one?

If an app is developed from scratch, it gives more freedom in terms of architecture, but it’s a little bit harder from the UI/UX perspective, since it’s going to be the first “contact” with the target audience of a product. A success of this first experience frequently determines the future of the solution, whether people will continue to use it after the first launch or not. On the other hand, redesigning means that there is already some feedback related to what doesn’t work properly or should be improved, what is clear and what is not, etc. In this case, it’s possible to work with at least some real statistics and rethink UI/UX based on a feedback from users. At the same time, redesigning affects not only general impression and user’s feelings, but a technical part, as well. In this regard, it requires additional efforts from a development team to keep the code clean and not to accumulate a “technical debt.” So, yes, there is a difference between these two cases, in both technical and UI/UX aspects.

Can you say that all users are totally different in their experience with an app or most people are really common in their understanding of the “ease of use”?

Despite the fact that all people are different and individual, most of them have subconscious common understanding of the “ease of use.” One of the main goals of a product team and, specifically, a UI/UX expert is to feel deeply and identify how this simplicity can be implemented in a view of transitions, controls, combination of colors, etc. Speaking about the key points of success, we would highlight the self-explanatory look and expected behavior.

Do you believe that mobile apps are “the right answer to growth” for all industries both within B2B and B2C?

In general, a mobile app is a great tool for expanding business and delivering services to end clients directly. They simplify business processes and help to sell more. Entertainment, healthcare, logistics, banking, retail, and many other industries can increase their revenue, if they know how to use the power of mobile solutions. We can say that mobile apps are a new way of efficient marketing today.