We asked our featured speakers for their take and insight into where mobile is headed in design, user experience and enterprise management. Here's what they had to share.
A Roundtable Discussion on Where Mobile Is Going
Mobile technology is reshaping the way we live and work by fueling our need to access information and connect with people and objects. Moreover, mobile is disrupting business sectors and creating a new platform for enterprise mobility. Touch-based infrastructures, wallet technologies, phablets, sensor-based applications, and responsive design will continue to be refined for the mobile market as users expect an immersive experience.
We asked our featured speakers for their take and insight into where mobile is headed in design, user experience, and enterprise management. Here's what they had to share.
How does developing mobile apps engage an audience?
James Falkner: Mobile devices from smartphones to wearables are treated more as a personal extension of ourselves rather than as a tool used to get work done. People are reaching for their phones in everyday situations, so creating apps that meet their immediate and long term needs is key to engaging them.
Juan Fernàndez: The mobile apps extend the information experience to places never imagined before. We can now interact with users and users can access and share information wherever they are, whenever they need. The mobile experience is the final step for audience engagement.
What do you think of wearable technology as a digital experience?
James: It’s nice to finally see wearable technology progress. We've had wristwatches for what—500 years? It makes more sense that wearable technology gets connected digitally because it is even more of an extension of yourself than the phone in your pocket. There are many applications that can make use of wearables which are not possible with physically disconnected devices, like healthcare apps that monitor your sugar levels, or pants that tell you to get back to the gym because they are getting stretched out a bit more than last week.
Juan: It opens a really interesting set of possibilities never before imagined. Using standards, being modular, and focusing on service allows us to enter the market as a back-end service for wearable experiences. We are starting to see projects linking these new devices to Liferay to extend digital experiences even further.
What can cause user disenchantment or disengagement?
James: Intrusive apps that don't respect your privacy, don't respect platform norms (e.g., iOS vs. Android), unintuitive or tedious user experiences, and, of course, bugs.
Juan: Irrelevant information, outdated information, hard-to-search content, and a bad user experience usually lead to disengagement.
What can we look forward to with Mobile SDK? Any enhancements?
Juan: We plan to continue adding support to most common features native app developers need when dealing with Liferay Portal integrations. Features such as push notifications or offline and synchronization management of assets are on our list. We also plan to extend the scope of this project to include reusable visual components to make the mobile developers' lives easier by hiding complexity on accessing our services remotely.
Describe the perfect Mobile SDK user experience.
Juan: Personally, the perfect Mobile SDK experience would be a mobile developer designing a whole business app, from back-end services to user interface, just by reusing and connecting a set of Lego-like building blocks provided by Liferay. That way he would only need to worry about the business problem he's trying to solve: we'd take care of the rest.
Will building hybrid mobile apps be the wave of the future or should developers look to hybrid over native or mobile apps?
James: Hybrid mobile apps are no better or worse than other mobile solutions and approaches. Each has its drawbacks and advantages, so you have to decide which to use based on your specific requirements and resources. There are amazing apps made using each approach. The great thing is Liferay supports them all and makes it easy to build, regardless of your chosen development model!
What makes you passionate about your job or this industry?
James: Meeting and learning more about a diverse crowd of people from around the world and seeing the cool things that our community creates that Liferay never would have thought about.
Juan: Constant change, fast-paced evolution, contact with customers with a global impact, and creating tools to solve real life problems for people.
| || || We tapped Vitor Fernandes and Juan Hildalgo from the Engineering Team for their ideas about mobile design. Vitor believes in a mobile first design approach that informs enhancing user experience. Juan draws from a breadth of design and interface experience in creating meaningful user interaction. |
What trends are we seeing in mobile design?
Vitor Fernandes: The ubiquity of mobile is apparent in our day-to-day lives, from the emergence of new smart devices like watches and glasses, to mPayment technologies like Google Wallet, Square, and Paypal Beacon. For the first time, mobile is influencing desktop-based interfaces, and content delivery is taking precedence. The level of complexity is also rising on matters of security with biometrics and face-scanning as password protection. Moreover, remote access to home and office from a mobile device is becoming commonplace. Motion interactive-graphics and animation are also popping up as a new layer of design, like Google’s Material Design OS.
Juan Hidalgo: Flat design is the new rule of simplicity in design as mobile leaders have adopted this and are turning away from the traditional skeumorphic design, which relies on the principles of physical objects. Flat design enhances user experience, refocuses the attention on your content, and uses a simple color scheme. Parallax scrolling and single page use are hot design trends, not just because they are easy to develop for a great experience, but they are also conceived to having a mobile first approach. Scrolling helps to create a way where users can navigate through information instead of through clicking. Parallax design provides depth and snippets of animation and emotion to create an immersive user experience. Single page web experiences help to remove the necessity of navigating between pages.
What are on our users' wish list?
Vitor: Our users are the best idea starters. Big on the wish list are responsive interactions or interfaces without lags, bugs, or glitches. They’re expecting automation to simplify tasks, personalization where they’re remembered, and customization to work smarter. Most of all, they wish for options to work, play, and share through a convergence of the technologies that they use to communicate and connect not just with people, but now with objects. The future of mobile is about bringing more beauty and meaning into each and every day.
Juan H.: Users want to have the same experience that they are feeling with other interfaces in different devices regardless of the connection point like the home, car, or office. The line between devices and experiences is becoming thinner. The important thing to remember is that if your product is not aligned with the feelings and the experience that the users want, you do not have a product. You only have an “interface,” which might be pretty to look at but without much utility for user experience.
We want to thank everyone who participated in our roundtable discussion on mobile. To learn more about how Liferay is adapting mobile technology for enterprise projects, please check out the hands-on workshops at the Liferay Symposium.