How much does it cost to develop a web app or application?

So, here you are. Chances are that you must have an idea for a web or mobile application and want to see if it’s something feasible and within your budgets. There is no direct answer to this question. First we need to understand what goes in making an app. So, let’s go through it.

BASICS: Functional specifications or user stories

Any software development project starts with a detailed understanding of what the application does. To understand it we have two different methods.

The first one involves creation of functional specification document. A functional specification document describes the exact behavior of an application, its components and their front/backend functionality. Most enterprise clients we work with prefer this method as it broadly follows a waterfall approach to development, meanwhile allowing us to lock down features and costs (fixed cost/fixed time). The downside? Well, since features/functionality of the project has been locked down, there is no room for changes in it. Any changes in requirements would affect project timelines and eventually the cost.

On the other hand, User Story is the second approach we use for web application development. A user story is one or more sentences to describe what an application or the users are supposed to do. Say, ‘I want a web based application where group of friends can share pictures with each other’. This leads us to ultimate 5Ws: Who, Why, When, Where, What. And How, as well. Agile development methodology comes handy here. Since, when compared with functional specs, user stories are rather flexible and allow continuous improvements/modifications, Agile environment entertains it better where focus is on iterative and incremental development.

Example Agile User Stories

User Story: “As a manager, I want to administer a skills audit so that I can understand the capabilities of my staff.”

STORY TEST CASES
As a manager, I want to browse my existing quizzes so I can recall what I have in place and figure out if I need to update based on the skills my team’s acquiring. Make sure it’s possible to search by quiz name and quiz banks included.
As a manager, I want to browse the quiz banks so I can make sure I’m subscribed to all the necessary topics for my skills audit. Make sure the banks are searchable by topic.
The user can send select a set of quizzes and send an email with a note to the purchasing authority (i.e., “These are the quiz banks we should buy”).
As a manager, I want to purchase additional quiz banks so I can add additional technical topics to my quizzes. The manager is able to purchase additional quiz banks.
If the users don’t have purchase authority, they see a list of those that do.
The charges are correctly prorated against the billing anniversary of the account.
As a manager, I want to create a custom quiz bank so I can add my own questions to the quiz. The customer is not charged for this bank.
The custom bank is invisible to any other accounts on the system.
As a manager, I want to create a quiz so I can use it with my staff. The administrators can set the length of the quiz in terms of number of questions.
The administrators can allocate a set quantity of questions from any of the available quiz banks.
The administrators cannot allocate questions from a quiz bank they are not subscribed to.
If the administrators try to allocate more questions from a bank than remain against the unallocated total questions in the quiz, they will receive a descriptive error that includes total questions in the quiz, questions from each bank so far.
As a manager, I want to create a list of students from an Excel file so I can invite them to take the quiz. The system accepts a standard Excel template we provide.
The Excel template is downloadable from the page where the users go to create the list of students.
If the users upload an invalid file, they receive an error that directs them to the correct template file and warns them not to modify it.
As a manager, I want to create a list of students online. The users can paste in a comma or tab separated list of student emails, and the system will identify the individual email addresses.
The users can create students individually.
The users can specify email addresses and optional names.
As a manager, I want to invite a set of students to take a quiz so I can receive their scores. The users receive a helpful error message if the list of students is blank.
If the email delivery to the students fails, the managers should receive a notice and the failure should be visible on the portal.
The managers see the list of students and must confirm before sending.
As a manager, I want to see which students have completed the quiz and which have not so I can send them a reminder. The users can see a list of students who have competed vs. not completed the quiz.
There is a visual indicator for students whose email invitation failed.
The users can customize the body of said email.
The email sends in under two minutes.
As a manager, I want to see how the students scored on the test so I can put in place a skills improvement program. The users can search by student first name and/or last name.
The users can see a presentation that shows all the students’ scores and the averages.
It is impossible to see any reports if you are not an administrator.

 So, What’s better?

There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on following things.

  1. You have fixed budget and time-frame with locked-in features?

Yes? Waterfall development model fits your project.

  1. Do you have an idea with features that you might want to change many times throughout the development process?

Yes? Agile gives you opportunity to design, develop, redesign, redevelop your application until you are satisfied. Remember, it’s not going to be fixed price/fixed time model. Such projects involve different engagement models, commonly referred as Time/Material engagement or more popular one, Dedicated team/s.

Looking back at our experience with projects, we have seen that Functional specification (waterfall methodology) best fits enterprise applications development where the requirements are unlikely to change very often. This allows for comprehensive, well planned and well scoped document creation.

Whereas, user stories (Agile methodology) best serve consumer applications development where users’ input/output make up the big chunk of application. These applications, usually need to be extremely flexible and fast. Since it’s not possible to offer fixed price/fixed time for such applications, development team is paid for set amount of time like per hour, week or a month. Clients can ask team to develop any feature or change it altogether later.

At RED SIGNAL, we don’t force these methodologies. We realize that every project is different. Depending upon the nature and scope of the project, we decide which one to use. Sometimes, we use hybrid approach that combines both.

One More Thing, where to find damn good development team?

The best way to find a great fit? Research a few companies who are good at what they are doing, talk to them, see their work and if possible do their clients check. Don’t just go for a guy that offers you the lowest cost. At the end of the day, you would want a team that you can trust. When tried everybody, Call 00923212423100. It’s our Business Director’s number.

Did we forget to mention average cost of application development?

By now, you have got a good idea that every project is different. Having said, on average our team has about 175 billable hours per week for our custom projects and average web/mobile application development project lasts about 3 months and costs in $25,000 to $65,000 range.

Finally,

Soon, we are going to launch our case histories. You bet, you will not have seen anything like this before. Stay InspiRED. Stay Engaged.

Blood, Sweat, and a Great App

We have heard it before: I have an app and I want to get it featured on the App Store. Well, of course having an app featured in App Store is by no means a small feat. But, before that, why not talk about more important thing – Great product

Building a good product and in this case, ‘a great app’ is much more than just good strokes of design and cool taps and gestures. It’s a journey that takes lots of efforts and resources along the way. But finally, this is only the best who will make it to the end: To the Top.

So, what’s a ‘great product’ for users?

UX? You are right. App store is just about to explode any time. Thousands of apps are submitted daily for review. Finding an app from app store is just as difficult as finding needle is from hay. Even if a user downloads your app and launched it, you have only few seconds to impress him. And, remember, there is no 2nd time.

This is where most of the apps fail. Latest Report from Localytics might give you an idea of what we are talking here. It says that 22% of downloaded apps are only used once before being totally abandoned.

Besides, products are meant to solve ‘problems’. Whether this is a fitness tracking app or a feature rich project management app, it’s meant to be ‘only the best’. Most of the apps die their own death because, they never solve the problems, and in some worse case, become another problem. It’s very important to first identify the problem and then rise as a solution for it.

Finally, great products are built upon great design. If there is one advise that we can give you, this is: Hire the most talented, most innovative and most dependable UI/UX designer.

Now, What’s a ‘great product’ for Apple?

Apple is Godfather of modern design. People quote Steve Jobs to impress others and show them how good they are at designing products. Well, Apple takes design very seriously and so should you.

With Apple’s latest update of iOS, standards of design have been changed again. Flat design, translucence and blur effects and dogmatic advocacy for simplicity are new commandments for mobile app development. So, try following Apple’s guidelines and you would have more chances to score better among the competition. By the way, here are the apps that won ‘Apple Design Award’ in 2014.

Apple design awards

Other than latest design trends, Apple highlights those apps as well which are very good with Apple technology. To our clients, we never stop suggesting them to update their mobile apps with latest Oss, than spending time over supporting older versions. So, while working on new mobile apps, try to consider:

  • Build for latest iOS devices. Use hardware APIs like location, Wifi/Bluetooth, accessory kit;
  • Latest SDK features (Game Center, Passbook, Maps etc.)
  • Support latest OS releases and use APIs such as iCloud, AirPlay, AirPrint, notifications, in-app purchases;
  • Build for all users, even with visually/hearing impairments. Add accessibility options like voice over, closed captioning, zoom, mono audio and white on black mode.

Finally, What it takes to design and develop Great App:

Apple tells us what it takes to make a ‘great app’. John Geleynse, Director of Technology Evangelism at Apple talked comprehensively over it. In this short video Ingredients of a Great App”, he defines great app as:

‘Delightful, Innovative, Sate of Art, Connected, Accessible, Localized, Designed and Disruptive’

Our quick thoughts on this subject are:

  • Make your app multi-lingual, when you are going to sell to different countries or worldwide.
  • Free is good, but not always. Apple is much more likely to feature paid apps. No brainer.
  • Update app regularly (fix bugs AT LEAST once in 2 months) to show you are still standing behind your app
  • Get positive reviews. And get lots of them
  • Make it compatible for all Apple devices (where applicable).
  • Innovate and take risks sometimes. (Apple always buys new technologies. Remember Siri?)

You can see how a great app is produced: Mobile Apps Development

At the end, don’t make just another app. If you want to spend money, you have better ways to spend anywhere else. But if you really want to have an app, make sure you have the right idea, right team and right time and then right budget to handle everything. By the way, we are always here to help you with your app ideas!

Looking to Outsource? Think Again

Sure, outsourcing isn’t everybody’s cake. It’s rather a strategic solution, just like Apple did in its early days. Oh my, you don’t know how it worked with Apple?

‘In 2007, Steve Jobs decided that he wanted a Glass Screen for iPhones, just a few weeks before their launch date. All suppliers from USA were approached but none of them undertook the contract, saying that deadline was impossible. So, with heavy heart, Steve turned to China where a factory set up a dormitory even before signing off the contract, so as their employers could work a 12-hours shift to meet the delivery in time.

After contracts were signed, 8,000 workers were roused from their beds to fit 10,000 iphones a day’.

Well, NO BODY is saying that Apple inc. outsources does not mean you should too, or Apple does not outsource means you shouldn’t too. It just means that every business has different short-term to long-term goals and objectives to achieve. In order to make better decision, it’s better asking first, whether Outsourcing suits your objectives and if yes, which objectives it does serve.

Most common reasons, companies outsource their projects:

It’s been 9 years since we are in web design and development business, making websites, ecommerce stores, mobile apps and so on. Companies from different parts of the world approach us and eventually engage us as their offshore outsourcing partner. There are certain reasons behind such engagements and partnerships, most common include:

  • Lack of access to the professional technical resources
  • Cash crunch preventing you from expanding your team
  • Core members wasting their time doing mundane and repetitive tasks
  • Deadlines for deliverable being pushed back due to resource crunch
  • Rapidly eroding capital base because of ballooning expenditure

IMG_21102014_125406

 

Outsourcing isn’t all that easy, btw. It involves serious challenges:

Definitely, there are many challenges involved in outsourcing. You would need to set up systems and processes to make sure projects are delivered in time and within budgets. Many partnerships just fail because there were no systems and no processes for project management. Other reasons behind failed partnerships include:

  • Misunderstanding of requirements
  • Lack of Quality assurance
  • Concerns about intellectual property
  • Security Differences in company processes
  • Communication/cultural barriers

So, Who is right Outsourcing Company for You?

Well, we are glad that at RED SIGNAL, outsourcing is just a matter of everyday work. We have a decade long industry experience and have delivered outsource web development  to clients in every part of the world. We understand the nuances of outsourcing services and that’s why we have established the right processes that guarantee projects’ delivery in time and in budget. You can measure our outsourcing expertise against following check list:

  • Long term experience in the field.
  • Have worked with clients similar to you.
  • Successfully executed both simple and complex projects.
  • Are proficient with a wide range of technologies and services.
  • Able to understand your business model and customer demands.
  • Has a collaborative culture with a focus on communication and transparency.
  • Committed to customer support and high quality.

Interested in working with Us?

If you are looking to outsource web development, web design or even iPhone app development and Android app development, we are always here to help you with that, talk to you and become your trusted IT partner. For more information,

Just write us at: info@redsignal.biz

give us a call at: +92 321 2423100

or Skype us at: Shah4moon

Hiring A Good Mobile App Agency. Really?

Is this mobile agency good? Do they have experienced mobile developers? Or they have established processes to communicate and deliver the projects? Can you trust them? Hiring a good mobile development agency is an important decision. But, it’s not easy as well. Wide open eyes!

 

Don’t buy the adjectives that mobile app development companies use in their services, on their business websites. Do some research on the web, check their popularity, reviews and ratings (at least on their Facebook, LinkedIn pages). This can give you a quick and unbiased look inside company, its people and its customers.

True that, there are dozens of mobile development companies in every city around the world – and each of them claims to be ‘the best’. So, isn’t it all about choosing any of them, right?

No, it doesn’t work like that. Not all mobile companies have the same level of expertise and experience, are equally sincere and dependable, or stick to same quality standards. This is where you need some time to see, talk and judge if they really mean what they say or promise. And seriously, this is the toughest part of the job. So, here is a checklist to help you look at the important things about a company and take the better decisions.

 

1. Cross check website testimonials!

Testimonials are very important. But, this is where companies tend to play dirty and come up with fake testimonials. Ask your mobile app development company for the contact details (phone numbers and/or email ids,) so you can do some cross-checking yourself.

2. Cost effective or loss leaders, be suspicious!

Best app develops and cheapest service providers – unfortunately these are 2 different things and don’t really go together in a single set (considering the prevailing work standards). So, any time you come across a company offering you the cheapest quote, be suspicious. Chances are their work quality would be cheapest too.

OK! Wanna debate?

Go to their portfolios. See their work. Look at their design. Give a check to the functionality. And don’t be sad if it’s cheap because We told you it was meant to be so.

3. They are global?

A good company works beyond geographical boundaries. They have nice (at the least) global presence. Patching up with a sales person in any foreign country and calling his abode ‘Country Office’ – however shameful, but people are doing it. Take such bla bla with a pinch of salt. Run inquiry about where company has registered overseas offices and ask for few valid contacts. Even easier, go to company’s LinkedIn page and see how many of their employees work in that country.

(Oh please, don’t tell us that your company doesn’t have their LinkedIn page. It’s ridiculous)

4. Experienced team of developers or developers with relevant experience?

Experience and relevant experience – you see, they are different things. Consider this:

You’ve got an idea and you want to have an iPhone app. Now you have a developer having 5 years of experience, going to work on your project. The catch? What if the person had been working on java apps for all those 5 years? What if he as new to iPhone as a dentist to eyes?

Hire those app developers who have relevant experience, required for your project. That’s the only way to make sure your projects ends, and it ends well.

5. Turnaround? How fast?

This is people, like you and me, who make apps. There can be technical glitches, the app developer assigned at your project might take a sick-leave, or worse yet switch to another company. Who knows, shit happens all the times.

It’s better ask company to share their back-up plans because its their responsibility to complete the project within stipulated deadline – no matter how hard the problems they might be having. Perhaps, this is why you should avoid hiring 5-7 people agencies and studios. At least, with big companies, you never run short of resources.

6. Non-Disclosure Agreements? Yes or No?

Any company not willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)….. that’s not cool. Most likely, it’s not very good idea to engage further with such companies. These agreements ensure that, once the project is completed and delivered, you (the client) gets the sole ownership and custody of all intellectual rights (IRP) of the project. Without these agreements, where would you go for further updates or so?

7. Full Suite of Development Services?

Designers design. Coders code. Marketers market. For an app to be developed, designers, developers and marketers, they all work together in one team. There are mobile app companies who do not have UI/UX teams, let alone the marketing guys. The programmers double up as designers, and (that’s foul) make a right hash of it. Now, you can do 2 different things. Choice is yours.

Either hire a company that offers a full suite of mobile app development services and can handle your project from design to development and then testing and launch or hire 2 different companies where first does the design and second does the rest of work. In any case, you would get better than what you were getting earlier.

This is it. You enjoyed it, then share your thoughts with us.

iBeacons & RED SIGNAL — We’re Pushing Boundaries further & faster

Often biggest changes in technologies come around from smallest beginnings. Just last summer in 2013, Apple announced iBeacon, a nerd-dragging feature allowing mobile apps (iOS and Android) to behave and respond in a location-awareness ecosystem – indoor mobile communication. Well, that’s the concept.

Imagine if your mobile app could sense the position of its users and then send them notifications, loyalty cards, discounted deals or any other thing right into their mobiles that otherwise your shopping assistant would only tell. Sounds Interesting?

Now that is something interesting. Let’s see what iBeacons really are and how they are going to change the way indoor mobile communications.

What is iBeacon, anyways?

‘iBeacon’ (or just ‘beacon’) is an indoor positioning system — say GPS, but inside offices, stores, universities etc. — that is engineered to be low cost and ultra-low power working with iOS 7 devices to provide directional, informational, and other services. Connected with Apple’s native Location Services like GPS, Wi-Fi mapping, and cell tower triangulation, iBeacons detect when you approach or leave, and estimate your proximity and deliver you the content accordingly. So, no misfires.

It can also be disabled in Settings: Privacy should you not want to make use of it.

At RED SIGNAL, We’re taking iBeacons a bit further, a bit faster:

Being at the sharp end of technology gives us unique opportunities to work on latest tools and technologies. It’s been quite some time now, since we have been working with iBeacons and experimenting their some amazing potentials in our real world. A moment of pause here, don’t forget to visit our complete range of mobile apps development solutions.

Irfan-Danish

‘To state the obvious, iBeacon is totally game changer. Using Bluetooth to send ads and push notifications between nearby devices really fascinates most of us’. says Irfan Danish (Principal Software Engineer @ RED SIGNAL)

We’re in the final phases of delivering world’s most fascinating and first enterprise grade multi-retailer platform that leverages beacons to their full potential, while allowing retailers to deliver a whole new range of directional, informational and promotional services according to their proximity to iBeacons device. What’s more is that our is the only enterprise-grade solution that lets retailors and brands to create, manage and then deliver the alerts, notifications, suggestions and recommendations to app users, whether they are in the store or are in neighborhood.

Similarly, we have introduced contextual messaging for EventBuizz (some of very popular Event Management apps available today), using ibeacons. It all takes EventBuizz to new realms of host/attendee interaction and engagement, while helping attendees pick up their badges faster and get more involved in the sessions they attend. One key feature of the app allowed for real-time audience interaction during sessions, where attendees can network with other attendees in that session, participate in a discussion forum, and answer live audience polls.

Other use cases could include allowing sponsors to show content as attendees approach their booth or match attendees based on profile to make networking more efficient.

How it Works ( Example in context of Point of Sale retail marketing):

Bluetooth? Turned On. iBeacon enabled mobile app? Downloaded. Location Services? Accepted. Push Notifications? Allowed.

how-ibeacon-works-step1

That’s it. This is what makes magic ‘real’. Now imagine, you have a retail store with iBeacons on different places. John heads towards the store with his smartphone in his hands or pockets. As soon as John comes into iBeacons’ proximity, his phone would start receiving signals from the beacons. Say, he is at the entrance, the beacon set in the window sends him a welcome message. John enters the store, starts roaming around. Every time he enters into a particular beacon’s range, he would get different message on his mobile screen, such as discounted prices, special promotions, time-limited coupons etc.

See, No Salesman! That’s just the start. The end is where you stop thinking.

 What Next? Here’s the Future.

 

iBeacon as you see it today is just the initial offering. The uses are endless, and we expect to see it combined with other applications that exist in the marketplace today. Combining iBeacon technology with point-of-sale will provide consumers with a shopping experience that is fast and easy and that fulfills both the consumer’s and retailer’s needs.

If you are looking for highly professional team of mobile developers, with some seriously hands on battling with mobile technologies, we need to talk. Not to toot our own horns, as a leading mobile apps development company, we are made of very high end technologists, Mobility consultants, iOS developers and Android Developers.

Ultimate Design Guidelines For Mobile E-commerce

‘Delightful user experience, like never before, has taken paramount importance in terms of successful mobile e-commerce’. In order to keep users rabidly engaged with site’s content, design aesthetics coupled with effortless usability and accessibility are uncompromising.

Rapturous technological commotion in smartphone mania has led to unprecedented smartphone user base. Interestingly, these users are getting more and more interested in buying and shopping with their swipe, tap and pinch gestures. This newly found buying behavior of smartphone users has brought new adventures for E-sellers and with some wise and well planned user experience techniques, they can really take their sales to the top.

Success of any e-commerce project hinges upon how well e-seller intuits what consumers want.

Latest research reports rolled out by various institutions, authenticate too by Google’s head of global mobile sales and strategy, Jason Spero, show that frustrated mobile experience lets users tear down their pre-conceived brand notions, only to take their wallets out at some other seller. On the other hand, if a brand successfully manages to stoke customers’ aesthetic lust and triggers delightful user experience, consumers happily engage themselves into business with those brands. Nevertheless, creating such a delightful user experience is not an easy task for designers.

Note: This article specifically has been written in context of design approach relating only to mobile sites and apps.

Keeping consumers’ behavior in account, we can try out the design rules that have now been raised to the standards of web & mobile scriptures, and following them would at the least, if not resounding success,  help you avoid utter failures.

Let’s first start with design approach relating to mobile E-commerce usability and accessibility to be fine-tuned into Home Page, Interface Navigation Modeling, Product Displays, Shopping Carts and Checkout Process.

1-      Home Pages:

In mobiles’ perspective, home pages have to stand for different purpose other than clipping bits of entire web pages. They are rather about providing users up front what they are looking for. For this reason, home pages must only carry the most important bits of information such as search products, product categories, links to featured site area and promotional stuff etc.  Generating strong yet balanced visual impact is strongly recommended in portraying desired information on home pages.

Tiled Layout, commonly referred as single column display can help in showing ‘site information’ elegantly without running the risk of being cluttered and littered. From this tiled interface, users would move any way they desire and see what they are looking for. Following examples reflect some nice Home Page design trends.

Tiled Links Listing extending downwards acts as central hub for moving onto important site areas. Similarly, visual marketing propagation puts makes home page rather close to perfection.

2-      Global Navigation Modeling:

Though Home Page often acts as seamless hub for remaining site areas yet separate navigation space model is required to fine tune users’ site experience. The key here is simplifying the things as ‘Simplicity equates usability’ where as complexity leads to perplexity. Applying too much pagination and information ramification would terribly play down at whole site/app structure.  So, while designing, it is core responsibility of designers to figure out interface which could imbue all paradigm shifting features at the surface and nothing important is buried under mazy layout.

Side Bar Navigation lets users quickly move back and forth in all site areas fearlessly. For large E-commerce stores, such an interface helps categorizing informational architecture.

T

Though all information is categorized yet end impact is ‘cluttered’. Navigation Interface should be harmonic; either single columned or double comlumned.

There are different design approaches in which main site navigation can be steered up. Most commonly seen navigation is normally header/footer based but trend of ‘Side Bar navigation’ has been rising lately. Facebook iOS app is prime example of this latest roll in/roll out navigation. Unlike sticky navigation, this navigation menu shows up only when thumb is rolled from the sides of screen. Hover controls, Symbolical icons and in page modal windows don’t only help simplifying things, they also empower users to control information the way they want to see.

‘Aesthetics’ is still powerful key to trigger the emotions which may increase consumers’ buying probability.

 

3-      Product Displays:

Single Page Scrollable Product Display

Categorical product management with strong visual displays and sufficient ‘unique selling points’ can never be more important than they are now. Initially products can be shown either in table displays or even in grid display. Particular product can also be shown through two different ways, first ‘single page product display’ and other ‘tab format’ allowing chunked product display with relevant marketing mix details as shown in the

Accordion/Tab oriented product display applied by Samsung

Samsung’s product display . ‘You only see what your eyes want to see’ and you would see what your mind wants to see’. Contrary to tab/accordions display, Single Page Product Display urges users to do lot of scrolling but it finally liberates users from working with accordions or tabs carrying detailed product information.Office Depot rolls out such a product display as can be seen in figure here.

How much products could be and should be shown in product pages? You can sell only those products to consumers which you can have shown them, particularly in mobile environs. But at the same time, large number of products shown collectively also betray to bafflement. So, for large retailers, it’s challenging to choose which products to show and which to not. I may have not any data to support which products would score best on your front lines, but we can surely have ample anecdotal data to learn ‘how’ any products on the site floor can get more and more customers.

Shopping Carts:

Even the best products would fail when shopping cart layout is quirky and flashy. Shopping cart must only carry the information that is highly requisite and indispensible such as save order, add to favorites, delete order, update order shipping information and checkout etc.

Any frustration or dead end at this ending phase of purchase could ultimately lead to shopping cart abandonment which is a total nightmare for any e-seller. Nevertheless, keeping things intuitively aligned and available on page would substantially increase conversion rates. In order to ensure information accessibility, like on product pages, here on shopping cart, you can again employ ‘tabs/accordion’ display pattern which will allow users to see their order details rather in intelligible chunks.

Checkout:

‘Seal the Deal’. It’s more of a process than any pattern, so usability and functionality are crucial for maintaining efficient conversion rate. Checkout process inherently involves number of steps, at the least 4 to 5, initiating from shopping cart to confirm order. Established brands can use as many steps as they like because consumers are pretty much sure in their purchase with them. On the other hand, newer brands or small retailers must have to be strictly specific about the information that they want for moving their products to the consumers.

Well, regardless of number of steps involved in a checkout process, most important thing is to design this checkout process in uni-dimension; i-e, linear. Unlike non-linear checkout process which is intimidating and frustrating for users due to its randomly propelling steps into steps layout, linear checkout process is end-destined, never to incur back and forth engagements. So, secret to ensure usability is to make checkout ‘linear’ and ‘smart’.

Quick Recap:

With exponential increase of smart phone users, e-commerce are seeing highly attractive marketplace to sell their products. Now it’s designers who are key players of running their mobile storefronts successfully. We have seen above that:

1-      Home pages must seamlessly show up as hub of important site areas. Strong visual identity is rather crucial for initially impressing consumers and keeping them rabidly engaged with site content.

2-      Global Navigation must be ubiquitous, even when being rolled out through user ‘gestures’. Making use of gestures is quite interesting but don’t abuse them.

3-      Product pages are content nucleus and must be designed in way to stoke customer’s lust so as to demand desired prices from consumers. These products can be shown through various design approaches including single page product display and accordions/tabs format.

4-      Shopping Cart act as product carriers that consumers have opted to buy, either in time or in future. Shopping cart abandonment must be ensured through setting accessibility features upfront in design interface.

5-      Checkout process must be uni-directional as back and forth shifts around various site areas would ultimately trigger confusion and intimidation among consumers.

About Red Signal:

Since 2005, Red Signal has been continuously providing quality end-to-end IT solutions for a range of key vertical industries and horizontal competencies, ecommerce solutions in particular. From idea consultation to product execution, Red Signal is poised to deliver new generation of products and services and help our clients in competing successfully in continually shifting IT marketplace.

Game is Changing, Get Ready – BlackBerry Maker RIM Spends US $100 Million To Grow Developers Community

 

What’s the future of BlackBerry maker RIM; dead, alive or reborn? These days, there is much hue and cry over this question and among all this fuss, RIM once again takes the floor and announces that it would invest $100 million in growing BlackBerry’s developers’ community. Few days ago, RIM had already announced that its BlackBerry 10 would not get decked in market shelves any sooner before 1st quarter of 2013.

This large number of writings, news and analysis are acute evidence to the high stature that once RIM used to possess. After lapse of these couple of years, just same as millions of other former berry-carriers, I myself still cherish pleasant memories for RIM.

Now that RIM announces $100 million for Blackberry’s developers’ community, we can’t help but wonder if it’s too late to mend now or RIM can still rise from ashes like mythical phoenix. At BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour, RIM offers various lucrative and attractive packages for those who would develop for BlackBerry 10 OS. RIM offers valuable connections, one-on-one expert guidance huge amount of money if they successfully develop apps for their portal.

Now there are various speculations about how these developers’ growth programs might work. One attraction might be as developer would get $10,000 for developing a paid app which earns $1,000 in its first year.

95% market share erosion and horrendous financial losses have put RIM in its lowest ebbs and thus, developers aren’t ready to trust RIM so easily. One of these grim, gloomy and grotesque pictures portray that

‘BlackBerry is about to become extinct species, forsaken by 41% of mobile application development companies, where 14% of them were using it as their core services.’

How much RIM’s generous invitation impresses you, share with us.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean — Every Thing That You Need To Know

 

1st half of the month was primarily surrounded by Apple Mania and each day we had something new about Apple’s line of products and services. And now in the 2nd half, it’s Google taking the whole camera line in front. Google’s annual developers’ conference is getting into climax steadily but still we have got some great news from Google team. One of those exciting news is Google’s latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Google’s Jelly Bean is its latest mobile operating system and undoubtedly has undergone plenty of upgrades which can potentially endanger Apple’s iOS 6 as well. Anyhow, in an attempt to avoid any of Google vs Apple debate, let’s dive deeper into Google’s Jelly Bean.

Google Now:

Google Now is a feature that we were looking for passionately. As a matter of fact, ever since Apple rolled out its Siri, Google’s refuge was only in creating its strong counterpart.

Google Now is a smart service which observes all of users’ activities quite intelligently and based on these observations, it automatically starts forming whole day schedules and routines for users. While swiping home screen, users will see various listed cards where each highlights some particular event of your day.

For Example, as in the photo on the side, Google Now can use your location and dig out what the traffic flux is around and ultimately, using that information, can trace out an estimate for how long it will take you get to your office/home. Meanwhile, it would also vie for some shorter alternate route. And if you use public transport, Google Now would still help you out by finding buses and trains near you, and showing you when next bus/train would leave.

This Google Now provides effortless user experience and gathers whole lot of user based information automatically. Apple’s Siri is now on back foot as Google Now provides even command free environment.

Google Keyboard:

Despite the fact that smartphones are getting smarter and for commands, tapping buttons is getting into back waters. Evidently, voice enabled commanding offers nice experience but recently RIM brought out handsome predictive keyboard which knows what’s to be typed next based on context. Google follows the suit and offers something quite same as RIM’s predictive keyboard.

Jelly Bean’s keyboard, after seeing users’ first two or three typed words, makes commendable guesses and pops suitable word options. Besides, Voice enabled text service is also improved tons of times. Voice transcription SW is just baked into the OS and now users don’t need to look for the service anymore.

Android Beam:

Google’s Android beam is one of those features which aren’t fully matured yet. It’s quite some time now that Android Beam has been blooded into the phones but it was ending up quite terribly same as Samsung’s NFC S Beam.

Google has brought into some new features to its Android Beam so that it could provide users with smooth and friendly NFC environment. Android Beam would let users to share photos and videos just by simply tapping their phones to other NFC enabled Android Beam phones. Likewise, any other NFC enabled Bluetooth devices such as speakers and headsets can also be paired by simply tapping the phone against devices.

Camera:

Jelly Bean’s camera app is quite interesting in some ways. It allows users to view pictures taken recently and likewise user can swipe the whole lot of pictures gallery in a go and do modifications accordingly.

The whole gallery could easily be shrunk into film strip and thus allows users to view desired picture quickly. Undo feature is also enabled which allows to recover the photos deleted mistakenly or due to finger spasm or some other unintentional steps.

Notifications:

Google is unbeatable when it comes to notifications feature and even the best of other Oss fail to compete with the efficiency and ease of use offered by Google. Jelly Bean only takes this ease of use to next better levels.

Actions can now directly be performed in drop down menu of notifications. For instance, if you’ve missed a call, you can directly respond to that call by either messaging or calling back directly from notifications widget. Thus, jumping to and fro to other screens has been made unnecessary.

Frankly speaking, the best of the features is to expand app fully from notification bar and all available actions are showed up quite comprehensively.  

Future of mobile application development after Android Jelly Bean:

It would be quite injustice to say that there is nothing worth noticing in Google’s new Jelly Bean. Frankly speaking, Jelly Bean is the best Android version released up till now. Though features incorporated in it aren’t whole new from the thin air and they’ve now existed for quite some time on other mobile OS yet the level reached with new Jelly Bean is remarkable.

Mobile application development is reaching new heights of excitement and thrill. App developers are often now found scratching their heads in confusion whether to stick with which of the platform. iPhone app development and Android application development are two of the most prolific and exciting app development portals. Well, with MSFT’s Windows 8 tablet, windows mobile application would surely be revived.

So, ordeal of mobile application development is only getting more and more vibrant. What comes out of all this fuss? Let’s all see together!

57% Of Mobile App Developers Are Now interested In Windows Mobile App Development

Though Windows Phone 8 hasn’t been a ground breaking success right now, yet it’s hoped that it would succeeded in reviving the windows mobile app development. And interestingly, surveys are also showing much excitement among mobile app developers. According to a research conducted by visionmobile, windows phone platform is surely enticing app developers to engage in.

According to the report, ‘57% of the mobile app developers gave vent to their interest in windows phone platform.’ It’s worthwhile to note that the sample size in the survey is quite smaller to represent the whole population’s priorities. Moreover, these are just plans and aren’t going to be realized overnight.

Surveyors have commented on their findings as ‘though new Windows phone is a ‘cool phone’ but to create a developers hive as big as of Apple and Android, dramatic actual adoption is needed at one, or all this go in vain when the balloon goes up’.

But, there are some genuine indicators as well to testify the credibility of the report. One thing is for surely true about Windows app development and that is its ease of coding and prototyping, relatively low cost development and simpler learning interface.

Moreover, new Kernel allows developers to develop apps for both desktop and mobiles simultaneously; it means that all .Net programmers are potentially windows mobile app developers as well.

As far as other developers are concerned, 28 % plan to labor in iPhone app development and 25% are interested in android app development. The graph below tells the whole story with the source.

 

Mobile Application Development — Hey Developers! Turn towards China as She’s Become World’s Largest App Economy

Flurry has released some insightful statistics and based on those statistics, mobile application developers can plan for their future battlegrounds.  According to the reports based on world’s fastest growing countries in relation to adoption of Android and iOS applications, China leads the world in smartphone adoption.

Likewise, China also sweeps the app session board with 1122% growth. According to Flurry, App session is the launch and use of the application. The other countries after China are Argentina, Philippines and Russia with 599%, 546% and 514% respectively.

The report takes ‘new device activation’ into account as well. Here again we see China getting the lead from US; the former largest country with respect to device activations per month.

So, all the statistics; if organized systematically, are telling that China is the next market for any Mobile Application Development Company. As it is clear that number of device activations per month in China is greater than US, it’s understandable that soon China would exceed US in installed base. There isn’t any doubt that US is quite mature smart phone market but the way China is emerging is incredible. Number of installed base in China is twice larger than that in UK.

iOS Development or Android Development?

When it comes about android app development or iPhone app development, one might wonder which would be more lucrative. In European markets, iPhones have reached early saturation but in the Eastern parts of the world iOS powered phones aren’t much affordable for larger part of the populace. On the other hand, Android devices are having more penetration in eastern markets, so building Android applications could be viable option for developers