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Monthly Archives: April 2022

Mobile App Development

Top 5 Methodologies Used In Mobile App Development

With the rampant use of smartphones, it’s no wonder spending in app stores is exploding. According to Forbes, global spending in app stores climbed to $50.1 in the first half of 2020. So choosing the right development approach for your mobile app development is crucial.

To find out the best practices in app development and what kind of planning and reporting goes into the work, carry on reading!

Why Do Different Mobile App Methodologies Exist?

With so many apps out there we can’t expect a “one size fits all” solution. There are intricacies to every app that determines how it’s made. While some applications need to be particularly responsive, others need to have full hardware access to achieve that rich visual display required.

The development methodology used will also depend on the team working on the app. After all, different approaches are employed to help teamwork efficiently and communicate clearly. So if an app fails, you should also keep in mind that the team structure, various analyses, and market research are also players to keep in mind.

Before we dive into the best methodologies for mobile app development, do bear in mind that combinations of different approaches can be great for one project.

Agile Development Methodology

Let’s start with the absolute star in the mobile app development methodology roster. As the name says itself, Agile development is a flexible method that lets teams implement changes throughout the project. That’s the key benefit – you can adapt without sacrificing discipline and workflow. Also, various types of risk are reduced this way.

The Agile methodology relies on:

  •  Iterations which last between a week and a month. 
  • Constant communication between the team and customer takes out the guesswork.

One of the main drawbacks of the Agile methodology is that bigger projects can be harder to estimate in terms of documentation and time needed to complete the product

Mobile App Development

Waterfall Methodology

But before Agile, there was Waterfall.

Before UX (user experience) was crucial in determining the success of mobile application development, Waterfall was the way things were done. The name itself describes the approach: phases are executed sequentially and completely. Teams don’t move on to other phases before the previous ones are done.

Waterfall’s big downfall (sorry-not-sorry for the pun) is that once you move on, you can’t go back. So there is no typical MVP (minimally viable product). Instead, you can make changes once more only in the maintenance phase, which comes after the product launch.

Waterfall Methodology

The Spiral methodology is great for big projects and for those project managers that focus on the risks. That is because the main benefit of Spiral is the practical way of spotting and lowering risks in early project stages. How is this done?

Mainly, developers work out the kinks, which leaves the team with a good risk management plan. Also, project managers will love that their web developers will be working fast since all features are implemented systematically.

Key drawbacks include:

  • The Spiral methodology is costly since any flaw in risk-management can veer the team off course.
  • The Spiral methodology requires a tedious approach to documentation and patience since you can’t easily predict the length of the process.

Prototype Methodology

If you see some similarities between the Prototype and Waterfall approaches – you’re correct. The main difference is that the Prototype methodology is the next evolutionary step of the Waterfall since it fixes one huge drawback – it lets you make changes during the design phase. 

That is done with prototypes (hence the name). It was created with the assumption that the team and the client benefits from a prototype to understand the scope of the project before the development carries on.

As with Agile methodology, Prototype allows the client to quip in and give an evaluation. It’s clear now why this methodology is also smart for reducing risk.

Mobile Application Development

Lean Development Methodology

Lean development focuses on quick and cheap product development. While this sacrifices efficiency, it also lets you develop mobile apps that are easy to change afterward. So if you are down on time and money, going for lean development can be a great strategic move.

Also, your team can be extra motivated working this way since they have a bigger say. But be wary of choosing this approach if you lack a good business analyst and suffer from poor communication in the team. But if your team has a good track record of working together and your analyst is experienced – they are less likely to lose their focus and sight of the goal.

Final Word

It’s more clear now that there isn’t one correct methodology for mobile app development. For a customized approach, you may find out that a mix of Agile and Spiral methodology suits you the most while developing an app. The most important thing to note is that one strategy won’t apply to building all of your apps.

So instead of wasting time and other resources, go for a trusted mobile app development team that you can lean on while waiting for your perfect product.

Submit Your App

How To Submit Your App To the App Store in 2022?

App development and launch are both crucial components of the process of establishing your app as an enticing one for users to download. But all of that goes down the drain if you gloss over app submission. After all, what’s the point of a great product or feature if people can’t find it or don’t even know about it? To submit your app successfully to app stores, you need to go through certain steps.

We’ve listed the steps down below – find out how to submit an iOS app to the App Store.

Make Sure Your Prerequisites are in Order

When writing the guide below, we’ve taken the approach of assuming you took some actionable steps beforehand. More precisely, these:

  • Having a developed app that passed Apple’s App Store Guidelines
  • Joining the Apple Developer Program
  • Access to a computer that can run Mac OS X
  • Installing these programs:
    • Xcode 13
    • Keychain Access

The other moves you need to take to enhance app experiences and make your application faster and more responsive are listed out below.

Gather All the Needed App Information

Before you submit your app, you need to prepare all the relevant information about your app. For a full rundown of app information. you need to provide.

Some of the data you need to present are:

  • The app name as it will appear on the App Store, between 2 and 30 characters long.
  • A 30-character long summary of your app
  • Keywords separated by a comma
  • A URL link to your Privacy Policy
  • A bundle ID, a.k.a. a unique identifier used in the system. It must match the one you set in Xcode. 
  • Screenshots for every device screen size your app supports.
  • Your app’s logo in the JPG or PNG format in the RGB color space, with a minimum 72 DPI resolution.
Submit Your Application

Open an App Store Connect Record for the Application

To create an App Store Connect account, you need to:

  • Make your App Store Connect organization and act as the team agent. The same Apple ID you’ve used to join the Apple Developer Program will be applicable here as well.
  • If you don’t want to make your organization, then you can be added to an existing one. Still, you will have to hold an Admin, App, or Technical Manager role.
  • If your app is a paid app, you will need to deal with some additional paperwork. For starters, you will need to sign a contract that deals with terms of payment. After you choose the Agreements, Tax, and Banking tab on the App Store Connect dashboard, you will need to fill in the info and submit needed forms in the “Request Contracts” section, as well as the “Contracts In Process” and “Tax Info” sections.

Adding a New Application

We’re still in the App Store Connect dashboard, mind you. From there, follow these steps:

  • Click on My Apps
  • Click the + sign in the upper left corner
  • From there, select New App

At this step, you will need to submit some of the information we mentioned beforehand, such as app name, bundle ID, SKU ID, etc.

Use Xcode to Archive and Upload the Application

Installing Xcode is one of the pre-requirements because you need to upload the build through this software before you submit the app for review via App Store Connect.

To do this, you need to go to the software and:

  • Click Generic iOS Device.
  • Go to Product in the top menu and click on Archive.
  • From the Xcode Organizer that opens, select the current build of the app and choose the Upload to App Store in the right-hand panel.
  • Click on Choose after picking your credentials.
  • You will get moved to another window, where you will be able to click on Upload at the bottom-right corner.

Success!

After you get the rest of the details in order in the App Store Connect account, it’s time to submit your app!

Submit Your App to app store

Submitting Your App for Review

To submit your app for review, remain in the App Store Connect account and go to the “Build” section. From there, pick the build you have uploaded via Xcode and save your changes.

Then you will be able to select “Submit for Review” which will mean you’ll also need to answer Export Compliance, Content Rights, and Advertising Identifier questions.

Final Word

And now, you wait. You can check the App Store Connect while you get approved. It will usually take 1 to 3 days to get approval. Following the approval, your app will be visible in the App Store. If you don’t see it right away, don’t panic, it can take 24 hours to appear.
Don’t forgo the App Store Connect dashboard after getting approved. After all, that’ll be the place where you will be able to view downloads, sales, ratings, and reviews!

Calculate the ROI UX

The Best Ways to Calculate the ROI of UX Using Metrics

As much as we wish that we can be assessed at work by our skill alone, that is often not possible. Our clients, managers, and developers are all set to understand us better if we provide them with a much more concise picture of our work. And that picture is painted by numbers. So if you’re a UX designer wondering how to present the scope of your work to others, remember that you need to show that you bring measurable value to the products for which you design user interfaces.

So, how do you calculate the ROI of UX using metrics? There are a few useful ways to do so, and we will present some easy ones below. Read this, and if you implement it wisely, you can use these stats of yours to get the resources you need for better working conditions – be it another team member, a bigger paycheck, or something else.

How Do You Calculate the ROI of UX?

Honestly, it depends. What are the OKRs (objectives and key results) and KPIs (key performance indicators)? In general, you need to link the needs of users with the financial gain of a business. Figuring out how to calculate the ROI of UX helps justify the financial investment the company needs to make into your UX department.

A UX expert thus needs to know how to reconcile the positive gains from well-implemented user experience and the commercial impact the business has experienced.

Without further ado, here are the three most beneficial methods for measuring the ROI of user experience endeavors.

Calculate the Return on investment User experience

Google HEART

Google HEART is great because it found a way to tackle many different metrics into one acronym. “HEART” stands for:

  • H – happiness 
  • E – engagement 
  • A – adoption 
  • R – retention 
  • T – task success 

This Google ROI measurement framework also analyses, as you can see from above, user and brand bonding. But even with its inclusion of a seemingly frivolous “HAPPINESS” metric, HEART impresses with didacticism. For instance, “HAPPINESS” tells you how your user behaves, it gives information about their character via specific satisfaction surveys like the Net Promoter Score and tells you how simple the user found your interface.

Google HEART points to another three elements that should be observed:

  1. Goals – Google HEART rewards more comprehensive goals. The more determined you are, the more precise your results are.
  2. Signs – A numerical measure for your growth. Variables such as a visitor’s browsing time on the homepage or the general numbers of shares on a blog post.
  3. Metrics – For instance, the number of visitors who read an article or performed a step you wanted them to make.

NPS

Now, let’s dive deeper into one of the metrics mentioned above. (NPS) is every UX designer’s great friend.

This metric tells you the likelihood of a user recommending your product, service, or experience to somebody else. If you’re wondering what NPS looks like in real life, just think back to the times when you’ve read the message “Will you be recommending these services to a friend?”

But what the question really translates to is: “Do you approve of the experience we gave you on this website or web app?”

This is not a hard element to implement to your website, and you gain from it a lot, especially if you let people grade you on a scale from 0 to 10.

To calculate your NPS, you need to divide the cumulative number of grades into three categories:

  • Promoters: These users grade you with a 9 or 10
  • Liabilities: Visitors who give you a 7 or 8 are moderately happy and their feedback is not taken into the equation.
  • Detractors: If a visitor gives you a score anywhere between 0 and 6 – they are pretty disenchanted by your service. So they can be a useful indicator that your UX needs some improvement.

NPS is calculated by subtracting the detractors from the promoters (in percentages).

Calculate the Return on investment UX

SUS 

The System Usability Scale (SUS) is a numerical usability scale created all the way back in 1986 and remains popular to this day. 

SUS assists to measure criteria like: 

  • Effectiveness – Tells you if end users can complete their goals. 
  • Efficiency – Lets you know which efforts and resources were required.
  • Satisfaction – Tells you if the user experience was satisfactory.

The SUS takes the form of a questionnaire of 10 inquiries, and users give scores between 1 and 5.

For every odd question, you need to subtract 1 from the given score (x-1).

For each even question, subtract 5 from the given grade (5-x).

After that, add up those 10 values and multiply by 2.5.

Final Word

While these are one of the three most effective ways to calculate the ROI, they are far from the only ones.

And finding ways to effectively calculate the ROI in UX won’t just help users reach the end goal, it will help your organization see your true value. But don’t go overboard – be aware of the limits of data.

Overall, though, metrics move the intangible in UX to the realm of tangible.

UX best practices

Using UX Best Practices to Improve User Experience

One of the imperatives when building a website is delivering a great user experience. Smart and up-to-date UX improves applications in more ways than you think. And we emphasize “up-to-date” because change is the only constant in today’s modern and algorithm-driven world.

So if you’re not eager to see visitors bounce off your website and web apps due to outdated and out-of-touch design, we got you covered.

Read on to see which UX best practices you can implement into the development process to see your business grow!

What Is UX and Why Should You Care?

UX is short for “user experience”. It refers to the experience your visitor has when they visit and interact with your web application. Not every visitor may be tech-savvy, but even if they can’t tell you, they want a logical and responsive interface and a functional app.

That is why the goal of UX is to set the tone for the website’s functionality, organization, and usability. If your web app ticks these three points, then you can rest assured that you’ve done your best to deliver a great UX experience.

How do you meet the needs of a visitor? Well, it’s no simple feat, seeing how UX design tackles layout, visual design, text, audio, brand identity, and interaction options.

Yes, we know, it’s a colorful bunch of aspects to pay attention to, but it pays off, we promise! That’s why we rounded up some UX best practices to help you achieve your goal of building your brand, developing your website, growing your business, or whatever it is you are aiming for!

Proven Methods to Improve UX Design of a Web Application

Do Your Homework

If you thought meticulous learning stops once you’re out of school, you’re flat-out wrong. As we’ve said, the field of UX design changes by the day. So you need to be on the top of your game and do thorough user research.

You need to know who the final user is. What are their interests and needs? Do their wishes align with your product’s core value? Will they like the latest update?

UX user experience best practices

Here are some points to guide you:

  • Demographic characteristics: These include the age, gender, lifestyle, and profession of the final user.
  • Interest and preferences: What are the interests and hobbies of the final user?
  • Apps they use: Find out why your targeted audience gravitates towards your competitors and what are their selling points. Use reviews to find the answer.

Apart from reading reviews, here are other ways to conduct research:

  • Search engines: Good ol’ Google rarely fails us in our quests for information.
  • Interviews: A wise way to get concise or in-depth answers from target audiences.
  • Surveys: Such questionnaires fill you with useful details about user experience at scale.

All of this sets the ground for a great user experience. But UX best practices are void without one crucial thing – simplicity.

Provide Simplicity Through Whitespace

Having a clean design that doesn’t overcomplicate or overload you with information isn’t just smart – it’s modern. Minimalism keeps reigning in 2022 as one of the trends in web design.

Aesthetics aside, taking away unnecessary elements means streamlining the interaction process for your user. After all, you want them to follow the steps you map out on the website in order to perform the final action step. Here are four full-proof rules of simple UX design:

  • One intention per page: Too many clickable fields, varying information and different CTAs (Call to Action buttons and text) can dilute your primary goal. It can also push visitors away. If you really want to somehow pile on different information on your web app, then use internal linking.
  • Understandable intent: Not only should you focus on a single intent – the user should also know what that intent is. Use elements, buttons, blocks and headlines to make your intention clear.
  • Focus on the most important details: Highlight and enlarge the sections and buttons you want to appear most noticeable. Some other elements, such as the “Read more…” buttons under blog previews don’t need to be highlighted.
  • Add white space: No, white space isn’t just white. It actually refers to any parts of a web design that isn’t occupied by elements such as images, graphs, text, etc. White space is a UX best practice made to shift the accents and nudge the user towards the action steps you want them to take.

Don’t Forget to be Mobile-Friendly

Statista found that 54.4% of web traffic comes from mobile phones. So ignoring optimization for smartphones is one of the worst things you can do for your web app. It’s akin to painting a beautiful picture and then displaying it in a partially-visible display.

user experience best practices

Not only is being mobile-friendly important for SEO, but your visitors are more likely to stay on the web app if it’s accommodated to their smartphone screens. One of the UX best practices in today’s day and age is making sure that your visitors can conveniently follow the required steps and road on your web app to get you those desired results and conversions.

Final Word

Great UX tackles many elements and parts of a web app or website. Focusing on just one of those elements and how they can be optimized for satisfying UX would take us at least 5 blogs each. So that’s why we gave you this rundown full of great starting points that will lead you to awesome UX that accommodates the needs of your target audience.

Content Filtering

Content Filtering [Definition + Benefits]

This is a quick guide to content filtering.

In this new guide, we’re going to answer questions such as:

  • What is content filtering
  • How it works
  • Why is it important for your company
  • And more

So if you’re looking to integrate a content filtering solution or improve the filtering on your firewall, then this article will help you.

Let’s begin.

What is content filtering?

Content filtering (or information filtering) is the process of screening access or availability to web pages or emails that can threaten user or network security. The goal of this software is to block content that contains this harmful information and let organizations control content access via their firewalls.

What types of solutions exist?

There are two main types of content filtering:

  • Content filtering hardware
  • Content filtering software

Both of these solutions are often built into devices or integrated into their systems to block access to information. At the same time, information filtering is a crucial part of internet firewalls.

There are also content filtering tools that typically companies use to raise their cyber security or enforce corporate policies around IT system management.

For example, organizations use information filtering to limit employee access to social media websites.

Besides this there are also several sub-types of content filters:

Internet filters: the most common form of content filter. Internet filters block access to specific webpages or websites and are managed via firewalls or browser-based filters (extentions).

Search engine filters: these content filters allow users to deny access to inappropriate links from their search results pages.

Search engine filters

DNS: this form of filters blocks domains that operate outside of acceptable DNS settings that an organization outlines in its corporate policy.

Email filters: email content filters screen the body, subject line, headings, and attachments in email messages to block or reject incoming mail with malicious intent (e.g. Phishing scams).

Web content filters: these filters prevent users from accessing web pages by blocking URLs and preventing browsers from loading specific sites, either based on content or site security.

Proxy filtering: proxy filters are gateway security measures between user devices and servers that enable admins to restrict user access to specific websites. Proxy filters are commonly used by public institutions such as governments or schools. 

Why is content filtering important?

Content filtering helps to protect users and their devices, networks, and servers from harmful information by preventing access to it.

This enables all parties to operate on the internet in a safe and secure environment.

Besides this, there are other benefits of content filtering to users and their organizations:

Minimizing malware attacks

Content filters enable your organization to block access to websites known to carry malware. In this way, you protect data by reducing threats. 

You also reduce remediation time and the workload necessary for incident response.

Protecting you from exploit kits

Cyber attacks are a big security risk to your organizations’ data and assets. Exploit kits have codes that allow hackers to attack your web browsers via its extentions and plugins.

Content filters prevent this from happening by identifying exploit kits and blocking access to them before a user can trigger it with a download.

Boosting network bandwidth

User activity that isn’t work-related can affect the bandwidth of your organization. Content filters help you to limit users’ access to specific websites that raise bandwidth usage (e.g. YouTube). In turn, blocking these websites can make internet usage more efficient for all of your employees.

Raising staff productivity

Besides technical benefits, content filters also have a practical application. By limiting access to specific websites, like social media channels, online shopping platforms, and streaming sites, you raise the productivity of your workforce. (Since they’ll spend less time wasting the company’s time).

Web content filtering

Start Using Content Filtering

What type of content filtering are you using at the moment?

Do you want to improve the way your company filters information?

We can help you.

Demakis Technologies is a professional IT service provider. 

We specialize in managed services, helpdesk support, and, yes, network and cyber security.

So we can offer you IT services tailored to your needs. (Including a tailored solution to boost your content filtering policies)

CONTACT US to get in touch with one of our IT professionals and get started today.