Mobile

Interview: Developing your app is hard, redeveloping it is even harder but just as important

Green Androids
Green Androids
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The relentless march of Moore’s Law has taken us from the awkward feature-limited apps of 2007 to the creative and technical brilliance that we expect today.

And as mobile web access begins to overtake that on desktop, companies and brands are becoming increasingly aware of the need to get high-quality apps out to the public.  With the market established between Apple and Android and consumers now completely comfortable with the OS of their choice brands now face a problem.

As consumers we don’t don’t just demand that the brands we love have an app, we now require them to have one that’s current, slick, and updated regularly. So, here’s the problem for companies;

When do you update your app? And how do you do it?

To find out, we spoke to the developers behind the Irish buy-and-sell site Adverts.ie’s app (iTunes | Android).  Daniel Good, Project Manager for the app’s redevelopment, told us that they knew it was time to redevelop their app based on feedback their customers had given them since its initial release. And it was this feedback that led the redesign process.

 

What led you to decide to redevelop the app?

This didn’t start out as a redesign. We were working to implement new functionality around setting a minimum offer for your ad, so that people aren’t allowed offer under a certain price, if the seller chose.

For this, we had to redesign all the screens surrounding placing an offer. The knock-on effect of these changes rippled through to other pages of the app however. Rather than just changing bits at a time, we decided to take the opportunity, and focused on redesigning the ad details page and the search results page too.

They were performing well, however we had felt for a while that the information could be structured better on these pages.

What kind of analytic data did you look at and what did this tell you about how the public was using the app?

In terms of approach, we listed out the visual hierarchy, “what is the most important thing to the user on this page, what is the second most important thing, etc” and then went about positioning them accordingly.

Really working to get across the most useful information about an ad at a glance, so the user can browse through long lists of ads quickly, to find what they want.

How did you convert this analytic data into the changes in the app?

This meant that most of the changes in the app were largely just rearranging the elements that were already there, reducing any noise, and positioning them better.

We removed descriptions from search results to make them less busy so the important info stood out, moved comments and offers onto the same page as the ad itself rather than having their own separate screen, etc.

How did you factor in user feedback/comments?

We had over 215,000 downloads of the Adverts.ie app before this update, so we are constantly receiving feedback and suggestions from our users about the app daily.

This feedback is so important and is what has driven almost every change that has been implemented on this update.

 

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).