In a recent webinar, conducted by AAJ and lead by our VP of Mobility and Enterprise Solutions Alex Barenboim, we let you in on the five basics business professionals need in order to create a successful mobile application and/or website.

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series—which you  —we first discussed the differences between a responsive design site and custom mobile applications, before delving into the nitty-gritty of mobile app operating systems and how to develop across these three (iOS, Android and Windows) major platforms.

Now that we have established the ground work that must be done for the success of mobile apps, and how they can be beneficial in contrast to a responsive web design, today we will focus on User Interface (UI) and the User Experience (UX).

To put it simply, Barenboim described UI as “how does it look” and UX as “how do people interact with the app.” While this may seem like a no brainer to anyone ready to jump into the wide world of apps, Barenboim was easily able to put into perspective how these two components- which he described as most often overlooked -are crucial to any app builder’s success.

“The challenge [with UI and UX] is similar to a well designed website,” Barenboim said. “I’m sure all of you have visited very crude looking, childish looking websites and you probably never went to go see them again because of how unprofessional they look. Mobile apps are exactly the same way.”

While it’s easy to go to and from a website, applications require more steps and motivations to make it off the app store to your phone. This is important, according to Barenboim, because if you’ve ever downloaded a crude app “you would probably uninstall it right away,” and as studies show, once an app is uninstalled the odds are, it won’t ever be installed again.

More sophisticated apps, he said, take more time and research and concentrate heavily on UX design. As a result, these apps that gravitate towards the top of leader board rankings, in the simplest sense are:

  • Usable
  • Friendly
  • Simple
  • Intuitive

Barenboim noted that there are firms that specialize in UX design, and in fact a great firm located in Florida partners with us, where they handle the design, we handle the software engineering and you benefit from the results.

But is the beauty and ease-of-use of an application really that important if your app ultimately functions the way it is intended to?

It is if you want your app to be accepted by any one of the big three app stores like Apple’s, Google Play or the Windows Store, according to Barenboim.

With “the most stringent process,” according to Barenboim, Apple really sets the standard for app testing and approval. When submitting an app to Apple’s App Store, Apple will test the app themselves and developers must supply the tester with information on how to test the app, how it is meant to be used and even login information when working with native apps.

“If there are any problems like a crash, or [the app] doesn’t return results, it will be immediately rejected [by Apple],” he said. The process in total, when successful on first submission, should take a little over a week. However, when UI and UX aren’t up to Apple’s standards, this process can take weeks or months of back and forth between developer and Apple, Barenboim said.

“You can’t circumnavigate that process and you can’t speed up that process either,” he added, “you have to make sure you submit the app with all of its needs at the very, very beginning or the whole process drags out for weeks and months.”

To learn more about UI, UX and how the two will ultimately play into your apps success or failure, and to watch the webinar in full, click here.