Creating Cross-Platform Software is a Challenge for Developers

User Interfaces affect User Experience

There are a number of challenges faced by software developers when creating software that needs to be presentable on both mobile devices and desktop or laptop computers.  There has been a massive shift towards people using their mobile devices to access a broad range of activities and services.  As consumers we will frequently access these services for entertainment and online shopping, while as professionals we rely on our mobile devices as almost an extension of the office – as a way to share information with colleagues or to engage with clients on a daily basis.

As both the number of users and the capabilities of mobile devices grow,  it is more important than ever that software developers will ensure their clients’ data is fully capable of being accessed on both the desktop and a mobile device – without any loss of functionality or appearance.  As easy as it may sound, it is not always a straightforward task.

CODE – Code Once Deploy Everywhere – has long been a mantra for developers, but it has become a lot more difficult.  Software may no longer works anyway and everywhere.  One of the major challenges faced by software developers who target both mobiles and desktop environments is how to construct an application which gives both the scalability and the functionality to retain an effective web presence. A development team now needs to cater for cross-platform functionality and accessibility. Today, as we develop software not only do we cater for devices and different operating systems, we also need to take into account their deployment targets; destination websites or applications; and possibly even different online stores and the processes involved in those stores.

User Interfaces affect User Experience

Furthermore most apps nowadays require social media integration in order for users to interact with the company/brand or share and  rate.  A few years ago, integration with Facebook and Twitter was enough.  Now you must consider LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and the list goes on.  Each social platform may require additional development work in order to integrate properly.  Even at the most basic level, it’s not enough to design a beautiful looking screen if it looks terrible on a small mobile device – it must be designed in a responsive manner that will look beautiful on a 4 inch screen or a 44 inch display.

Next time you notice with pleasure how nicely a web page or application works when using it from your mobile device,  spare a thought for the developer – he or she has had to work hard to deliver that positive experience!

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