Speaking the language: A deep dive into mobile programming, Part 3: Mobile user experience is the gold standard in the ‘connection economy’
This is Part 3 in a three-part series on mobile programming. Part 1 detailed the difference between using a web browser and a dedicated application, and Part 2 discussed what you should consider when selecting a mobile programming language.
The commercialization of the internet two decades ago led to what became known as the “internet economy.” As digital technology expanded beyond connected computers to mobile devices, appliances and more, the “internet economy” morphed into the “digital economy.”
Now we are in what marketing author and entrepreneur Seth Godin calls the “connection economy,” in which business success is largely based on creating positive and personal experiences for consumers. A large factor in determining whether an enterprise forges meaningful, long-lasting relationships with consumers in the connected economy is the mobile user experience.
Developers know that the mobile user experience can make or break an application. While there are several factors that ultimately impact how positively or negatively consumers feel about their mobile experiences — as well as how they feel about the enterprises that provide them — the most important is the user interface (UI). If a mobile app is cluttered and confusing, it disincentivizes consumers to continue a transaction or even retain the app on their devices — and there goes another connection to a potentially valuable customer.
In a large enterprise, a UI designer might not even need programming skills, focusing instead on things such as creating wireframes and designing user flows. At smaller enterprises, however, mobile developers may have to not only work out the UI design, but also be proficient (or at least knowledgeable) in several programming languages in order to create mobile apps that delight users and build trust and loyalty with the brand — in other words, strong connections.
Though the UI may be the most important factor in determining the quality of the mobile user experience, it’s not the only one. Users want more than an attractive and intuitive screen layout; they want to be able to quickly access relevant information, back-end services and live customer support via multiple channels such as voice, chat or text.
So which mobile programming languages are best for designing apps that ensure a superior mobile user experience. Those that are best-suited to the mobile platform running user devices, and those in which your mobile developers are sufficiently skilled .
If the app users are consumers (as opposed to employees), the development team will need a mix of programming languages in order to code for Apple’s iOS (Objective-C and Swift), Google Android (Java) and Microsoft Windows (C# and C++). Since teams building apps for multiple platforms typically run on short development cycles, Python is useful because its code can help bind existing software components.
While there are seemingly limitless combinations of mobile programming languages to choose from when planning app development, the process should always have the same goal: to create a memorable and lasting mobile user experience.