Mobile App Developers Concentrate on User Interface

Aside from mobile, developers are creating applications for Web (87 percent), desktop (62 percent), IoT technologies (22 percent), and wearables.

mobile apps and progress

Though interest in using mobile apps among consumers and enterprises continues to grow, adoption of mobile application development is slower than expected, according to a Progress Software survey of 3,000 IT professionals and developers.

Nearly half (44 percent) of developers find user experience to be the most important part of the app, and the most challenging aspect of app development is user interface (UI) and developing for multiple platforms (36 percent).

"While it is often assumed that developers want to immerse themselves in technology, our experience shows that what really makes them tick is building applications that please users," Mark Troester, vice president of product marketing for app dev and deployment for Progress Software, told eWEEK. "Whether it is a developer that works for an enterprise building B2E apps, or a developer that is trying to create the next big consumer sensation, they want their apps to be used."

Mobile developers expressed frustration over constraints and changing technology and development practices (16 percent), and they struggle with a range of inhibitors, such as a lack of time (19 percent) to a lack of tools (15 percent) to budgetary constraints.

Aside from mobile, developers are creating applications for Web (87 percent), desktop (62 percent), Internet of Things (IoT) technologies (22 percent), and wearables (6 percent).

"We like to think of IoT in the broader context of digital business. Organizations that can effectively transform themselves into digital businesses can serve their customers better, innovate more effectively and optimize their operations," Troester said. "They can expand their digital efforts beyond the marketing realm, to other aspects of the organization. The focus on customer experience should be expanded to employee experience, partner experience, and other operational aspects."

IoT (35 percent) and virtual reality (21 percent) devices are expected to be the next big thing in app development, according to the survey.

"Because of technological advancements such as sensors and pervasive connectivity, IoT plays a big role in this overall digital business strategy," Troester said. "Whether the use case is a typical IoT pattern that involves sensors that collect data, the ability to sense and respond to an event – or better yet anticipate an event based on analytics - provides tremendous opportunity for many organizations."

Improved operational efficiency was cited most often as a key reason for building mobile apps.

Other reasons include creating revenue opportunities (39 percent), increasing employee productivity (38 percent), improving customer service (35 percent) and engaging customers in a more meaningful way (34 percent).

"From a technical perspective, we see the rise of technologies that allow developers to build compelling, native applications without writing custom code for each device," Troester explained. "This goes back to the critical nature of the user experience and the fact that organizations don’t have unlimited developer experience – especially native mobile developer expertise for iOS, Android and Windows. Organizations are looking to leverage their existing skill sets – such as Web developers using JavaScript, and allow them to develop mobile apps as part of the cross-channel application experience."