Mounting expectations: What’s a mobile developer to do?

In our last posts, we pointed out social conversation patterns we’re seeing on the topic of developing successful mobile applications. The theme for the first post was “choose the platform that best matches the specific project and user needs” and the second theme was “(for apps on the fast track) start with an Agile process that integrates test from the get-go”.  In our third and final post on this topic, we explore the dynamic landscape of user expectations and the challenges they present.

While the prior two signals focused on positive opportunities, the user expectations signal emphasizes an area of great concern for mobile development teams. With the rising number of mobile users, comes an ever-increasing flow of user feedback. Which is a good thing, right? Well it is, to the extent it can be managed to make the application more valuable. But when the amount of change users are requesting outpaces the capacity to build and release updates, trouble is bound to ensue. So what’s a developer to do?

Some developer challenges we listened to included:

  • socialsignals_userexpectations_600x600
    Click to enlarge

    A continuous stream of user demands stemming from growth in IT consummerization turns expectations into a moving target.

  • Only the most immediate expectations are being met before the next set of expectations emerge, leaving some voices “unheard”.
  • Developers and users don’t always agree on what constitutes a reasonable expectation of mobile app user experience.

The signal? Developing a project lifecycle regimen that actively includes the entire ecosystem, from stakeholder to user, will allow all expectations to be assessed, agreed and documented so that there is no disruption to the quality of the application being delivered.

If you have a success story or best practice on this topic, tell us about it.

To learn more about mobile app development, check out the research study by the IBM Center for Applied Insights on what it takes to run a successful mobile project.

Challenges mobile development projects face & how to overcome them - ibm.com/ibmcai/mobiledev
Challenges mobile development projects face & how to overcome them – ibm.com/ibmcai/mobiledev

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