Development for mobile apps has been an important topic for over a decade. Companies quickly realized that if they wanted to reach a young demographic, they must establish a presence on Smart Phones, iPods, and the other mobile devices that the young adults use. Mobile apps present challenges in both content and presentation. Content had to include clever games, access to social networks, or other popular applications.
Presentation had to be effective in spite of the limited screen size and pixel resolution of mobile device screens. These goals were met with the help of the companies that designed the operating systems for mobile devices. These companies provided special development environments to allow designers and graphic artists the ability to bring their creations to the small screen. As businesses took advantage of the power of mobile applications, they began to discover specialty uses for mobile apps, including mobile checkout, mobile delivery tracking, and mobile readers.
Larger companies soon realized that they could gain many benefits by making mobile devices part of their internal information structure. Here are some of the benefits and considerations of setting up a mobile app for internal company use.
Companies can benefit from a mobile app for internal use whenever they have an offsite application that otherwise requires a personal computer or laptop. Some examples of these come from the sales department, when a traveling executive must look up proprietary statistics to answer a customer question.
Another comes from the technical support department, when a support engineer must access the company server when debugging a client application at the customer site.
A third comes from the management department, when a manager needs an important piece of information from the company network to deliver at a conference or meeting. The IT department can interview key company stakeholders in order to brainstorm other applications. Once a company embraces mobile apps as a way to extend the company network, the possibilities become endless.
Choosing the Target Platform
One key to designing mobile apps that will make them comfortable and useful for company employees is to choose the proper target platform. Some companies choose an industry standard Smart Phone or tablet and supply it to all of their employees. This allows the company to specify a single platform, limit the scope of mobile app development, and make sure that each employee has the hardware to access the network.
Targeting a single platform also lowers support costs. Other companies design their mobile apps for multiple targets and hardware. This allows you use your mobile phone and any employee to use the company network from whichever personal mobile device they already use.
Many companies are rightly concerned about providing access to sensitive company information out of the protection of the physical facility and the corporate firewalls. Mobile app designers deal with security through secure transmission and protected access. Modern encryption algorithms allow secure data channels to all sorts of resources, including off-site web servers, the cloud, off-site personal computers, and of course mobile devices.
Companies can allow data transport across each of these channels with confidence. Secure access is ensured by password protection at both the device and the mobile app level. Extremely sensitive data can be protected by apps designed for mobile devices with a fingerprint reader or other form of verification.
An effective mobile network for the company must also take into account mobile access points. Because all mobile providers have dark spots, companies must choose a network provider with the coverage they need for their key customer sites or other points of contact. They must ensure that they have a provider that provides coverage in all countries where the company does business.
As companies choose their mobile network, they must ensure that they have the data capacity to meet the needs of their information access. Some applications that include video conferencing or other high bandwidth transmissions may exceed the capacity of the network. It may also exceed the budget for offsite communications charges. These potential problems can be anticipated and prevented.
Mobile App Design
Design for mobile applications is very different and generally more demanding than design for desktop applications. Apps designed for mobile app use can be unreadable, unintelligible, and unusable if not designed properly. Many companies contact us for their mobile app design in order to optimize the usability of their apps. They choose us to design apps that will sense the platform of the target device, and adjust presentation and graphics to match. They let us make sure that display navigation is easy, and touchscreen tap points are simple to use and accurate.
In addition, we can add important device features such as Google maps and Twitter feeds, as required. Be sure to consider us for your next company internal mobile app project.