The mobile developer population is growing rapidly, according to a new study conducted by Evans Data Corp.
The market intelligence firm's "Global Development Population and Demographics Study" indicated there are roughly 12 million mobile developers worldwide today – a five-fold increase from 2006.
Also, the study revealed the number of mobile developers could surpass 14 million by 2020.
"Mobile development has really become ubiquitous," Evans Data CEO Janel Garvin said in a prepared statement. "Mobile devices are everywhere, but while most modern applications support mobile devices, not all developers are working on the client target side."
How mobile developers approach the app development cycle may influence their long-term success, particularly if the number of mobile developers continues to increase globally.
In addition, mobile developers who can identify and address the technical challenges of app development may be better equipped to differentiate themselves from others in the foreseeable future.
Consider 111 Minutes, a startup web and app design studio that was founded in 2007.
111 Minutes Head of Business Development Daria Senchikhina told FierceDeveloper that the 111 Minutes team understands that technical challenges may arise throughout the app development cycle.
However, 111 Minutes constantly monitors its technical progress during projects and applies up-to-date solutions to technical challenges to overcome such issues consistently.
111 Minutes and the app development process
To begin the app development process, Senchikhina said 111 Minutes will work with a client to define the client's goals as well as create a user experience (UX) design strategy.
Then, 111 Minutes will start the "business objectives discovery" stage. Senchikhina noted this stage involves "[formulating a] business model hypothesis and [creating] informational architecture to visualize the basic structure and navigation."
Wireframing also remains an important part of the app development cycle. It enables 111 Minutes to map out how an app will look and feel and move closer to providing a client with a minimum viable product (MVP).
"We deliver a carefully crafted blueprint, which incorporates the highest level of details of final visual comp except for the look and feel, color palette and fonts (of the app)," Senchikhina said.
111 Minutes will produce an interactive prototype in the final stage of the app development cycle. This stage is "aimed to refine design decisions, conduct primary focus group survey and validate product before development," Senchikhina said.
User feedback plays a key role for 111 Minutes throughout the app development process, too.
Senchikhina stated 111 Minutes will perform usability testing and focus group surveys to find out how end users feel about an app and modify the app accordingly.
Plus, user feedback allows 111 Minutes to focus on two scenarios to advance the current version of an app:
- Feature and UX Enhancements: "We gather all the information for an exact period of using the product and check if the product [matches the] audience," Senchikhina said. "To make sure everything works as we planned there are such questions: What do users need now? How to make the product better to attract new users and continue solving problems of the current ones?"
- Product Concept Review: "Startups that create innovative projects and new markets constantly need to change the direction of the work to find the right way. If something goes wrong after the completion of the next iteration and product release, the company makes a pivot – a sharp turn and begins moving in a new direction, which sometimes even means complete restart of the project," Senchikhina noted.
Although some apps may require a complete overhaul, 111 Minutes usually recommends a slow, steady approach to revamp an app to ensure it meets end users' needs.
"We recommend to improve the product gradually, by small portions," Senchikhina said. "First of all, it is a good informational reason to remind users about the product. Next, it reduces the risks of wasting time and budget. And most importantly, it helps to enrich user experience."
The future of 111 Minutes
The number of mobile developers worldwide may increase soon, but 111 Minutes will continue to follow a mission that has helped the company stand out in the global mobile developer marketplace.
Today, 111 Minutes works with a broad range of clients, including startup companies, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and industry leaders.
The company deploys a "manifesto" that it follows for each project, which focuses on:
- Building ideas, not applications
- Working for a client's customer, i.e. "the only one who defines a project's success," according to 111 Minutes
- Dedicating time and resources to understand a question before answering it
- Valuing failures and understanding the true value of a trial-and-error approach to app development
- Building successful partnerships
Senchikhina also stated that 111 Minutes' most rewarding projects are often its most challenging endeavors.
"We are lucky to build a great number of exciting apps and websites. But the most breathtaking projects are the challenging ones," she noted.
111 Minutes will continue to follow its manifesto as it explores ways to build native iOS and Android apps, complex websites and web platforms for clients. It also prioritizes creating a positive UX that typically defines an app's success.
"We pay attention to providing remarkable user experience for end users. We are passionate about creating products that people use and fall in love with," Senchikhina said. "So basically, keep an eye on our company, we are about to release a number of beautiful products."