Ixonos’ Sami Paihonen, Senior Vice President, Design, appeared on the ‘App Design to Satisfy App Stores and Consumers Alike’ panel at the Apps World North America conference in San Francisco this week. Moderated by Apple iOS author Kevin McNeish, the panel also included Sean Bumgarner, chief digital officer from Galvanized; Paul Lanzi, senior manager, web and mobile team from Gilead, and Ben Medlock, founder and CTO of Swiftkey.
Apps World’s audience includes some of the leading design and developer firms for the apps economy: The show has been kind to Ixonos, as the Ixonos London studio won two prizes at the October, 2013 TV Hackfest that Apps World hosted in London.
Below are some excerpts from Sami’s comments on the Apps World North America panel:
“We work with different industries whose applications are different. We want to learn from different applications and mash those to different apps. For example, the news reader apps and games are frontrunners of app design, as they have too much data and too much content that they push into the screen. They help the layouts and the refreshes. We take the best of the different types of apps and push it into a new context.
From 2007 – when there was no App Store around – to now, users expect updates and new functionality. They will also comment on whether your app is over designed. They expect that your application grows. You can have adaptive application for years to come and not just during the launch. Whether we do it native or using html5, those questions are answered later.
When we do applications, we go into micro details – where and in what mindset the user is using the app. We look at location needs; hardware graft, etc. The native versus html5 discussion is a less interesting question, which we want to find out later. Half of the apps we do are html5 because the clients rush to us and want an app, but the offering they have doesn’t require location services.
Games, of course, are totally different – you need to do them native. We use html5 because it doesn’t affect the update cycle. With Android, the most deployed version is Jellybean and Gingerbread and Kit Kat is last. Clients we work with just want the latest and greatest and we know that technology can confuse the overall mission, so we try to keep them away from the technology. We just make it work for them.
We want to see the animations, the motions, the layouts and dozens of screen resolutions. Designers want to get the feeling right. So, we see whether native is the way to go. With native, it becomes heavier to update. Releases – are usually broken. It becomes a budgetary issue.
Users want to grow with an application, so we have to take this into consideration. Always.
Tablet design was initially a challenge for us. We struggled to find the right user experience levels for tablets, because 99 percent were imitating smartphone designs. Real mobile usage is with one hand. For instance, a social networking app – you should be able to do it with one hand, even with a gigantic screen. Minute by minute – if we see that people are using their tablets at 11 pm, at their home, we want to know what is the holding position for them. We try to optimize the layout for the device, particularly in a world where different Android devices have different screen resolutions, so that it seems almost impossible to make the right kind of button.
The second principle is that design is not a democracy: one person makes the decisions. You will fail every single time if you try a democratic approach. We ensure that, with our clients, they know that one person is there to make the decision.
We are now seeing interesting patterns with app consumption. Recently, we wanted to know which countries are the most active in the application front. Japan passed the US as the largest application market in October, 2013. We are seeing that most app revenue is from direct usage, but it is what users do with the app that matters most. We design apps so that, for example, we can reduce the amount of people leaving your service. In the end, it’s not about the technology, but hot markets define the future for the application.
For more, contact:
SVP, Ixonos Design
+1 (408) 620 0030