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A Year In… Mobile Development – Do We Get it Yet???

I have been building for the new Windows Phone platform for about a year now.  I have built a couple of apps and I have talked to a few developers. – Well that is a bit of an exaggeration, I have built more than 60 apps now and have talked to literally hundreds of developers around the world through every medium imaginable. 

Here is what I have found out:  We don’t really get it…

Don’t get me wrong, we want to get it, very few of us do get it, some of us almost get it, and others are on their way to getting it, but most of us do not get it!!!  I include myself in this.

What is it???  It is them, the users.  We don’t really get them yet, and we have to… fast.

A lot of us developers are still stuck in the frame of mind that what we think of our apps matters.  I mean, it matters, but no where as much as we think it does.  It really only matters what THEY think of our apps.  They are the ones with the voices, the money and the ability to influence the adoption, popularity and in the long run, the profitability of our apps.

We, as developers live in fantastic, yet dangerous times. 

Fantastic because the devices and platforms are new, different, exciting and challenging.  Fantastic because the tools and access to training materials and examples is unparalleled in our lifetimes.  These times are fantastic because the communication accessibility of our users is insane in it’s scope and things can go viral in a heartbeat.

We live in dangerous times for all the exact same reasons. 

New platforms and devices bring with it a necessity to look at development, design, usability and functionality in an entirely different way, which most of us do not do yet.  The tools are fantastic and easy to use, and in most cases, free which means everyone can have them and with the glut of tutorials and examples out there, people are creating apps and stepping into the developer role at a rate never before seen.  Existing developers have to step up their game!  And last, but certainly not least , the users talk, communicate, blog, review and spread their opinions like never before.  If you don’t try to get what the users want, you’ll be the last to know.

I am going to do a few posts over the holidays to hopefully help a bit with the change.  I am going to share what I have found that may help existing developers from other platforms adapt their styles and improve their development and I would really enjoy any feedback, suggestions and/or stories from other developers.  We have to learn to get it, before we miss it.

Posted in Design, Mobile Development, UI.

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