Design Considerations When Building Cross Platform Mobile Applications


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SuperConnect's Director of Technology Chris Balcer presented at Chicago's Mobile Monday event on July 23, 2012. As SuperConnect builds apps to expand the abilities of mobile computing for enterprise workers, the technology team is addressing various design considerations.

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Design Considerations When Building Cross Platform Mobile Applications

  1. 1. About me & SuperConnectChris BalcerDirector of Technology Innovation at SuperConnect• Microsoft technologies background• Worked with Android, iOS, C#,C++, … the list goes on…• Prior experience: Arthur Andersen, Hitachi Consulting, HubbardOne, William Blair & Company, Slalom ConsultingSuperConnect• Division of Slalom, LLC• Founded by Dave Cutler, Jordan Fladell & Garret Carlson April 2, 2012• First product roll out in BETA July 19, 2012BACKGROUND
  2. 2. The vision of SUPERCONNECT is to create innovative tools for employees that enable them to get their work done more effectively and efficiently by supporting the new work styles of today including mobility, gamification, social computing and more. WORK. BETTER.SUPERCONNECT VISION
  3. 3. Designing for cross platform applicationsVisual Design & User Experience design arch• Must be appealing and brand-able• K.I.S.S. – Must be easy to useApplication Architecture• Scalable• Cost-effectiveData Flow & Volume• Amount of data that needs to be moved / viewedSecurity• Make use of existing security mechanisms used by customers data securityBUILD IT RIGHT
  4. 4. Connections: world’s smartest mobile corporate directory 1. SmartSearch – type-ahead search of contacts across company-specified fields 2. SmartConnect – real-time availability and “behavioral presence” intelligently determines best way to connect 3. SmartSchedule – schedule meetings with multiple people based on calendar availability • Built on an enterprise class, multi-tenant cloud platform • Native apps for iOS and Android; mobile web for other device • “No code” configuration of data, presentation, and branding • Integration with Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, LinkedIn and TwitterCONNECTIONS: OUR FIRST PRODUCT
  5. 5. The BLANK Slate BRANDABILITY Be smart, keep it simple • User experience on each device differs in some way • 80 / 20 rule LOWEST COST / MAINTENANCE Push it up the chain • Application power resides on the server • Massage / cleanse images before going mobile CUSTOMIZABLE DATA / UI Templating helps where customers cannot • Designer-defined templates for components • Data driven populationVISUAL DESIGN & UX
  6. 6. Does a square ever fit into a round hole? BRANDABILITY Design once, apply everywhere • iOS & Android native applications • Mobile Web • Windows 8? Windows Phone 7/ 8? LOWEST COST / MAINTENANCE Develop once, deploy everywhere • PhoneGap • Appcelerator Titanium • Mobile Web for ALL? CUSTOMIZABLE DATA / UI Ultimate flexibility, make it all dynamic • Data driven UI • User experience across platforms • Big data decisions & SQLiteAPPLICATION ARCHITECTURE
  7. 7. To the CloudScale & Expand• Use cloud computing for scale at low cost – Windows Azure• Services help for scale & expansionRecover & Maintain• Push recovery and maintenance to companies that do just that recover scale available expandCost Effective• Quick prototypes cost effective maintain perform• Fast fail• Helps with sales to be able to set up demosAPPLICATION ARCHITECTURE
  8. 8. BIG DATA in a little world … or deviceSearch is pretty important• Data structure : tall tables• IndexingCorporate Directory to device• Huge clients = huge directories• Images plus dataNo guaranteed connection• Mobile / wireless carrier networks are not reliable• Connections can be dropped / throttledMulti-tenancy• Handled on the data / services tierDATA FLOW & VOLUME
  9. 9. Transmitted JSON Committed to All data pushed / Data loaded into files tenant databases synched using web SQLite DB on service tier devices Customer Data sourcesDATA FLOW
  10. 10. Large corporations = Extensive securityHuman resource data• Most data is not public – and cannot beUtilize corporate security policies• AD / ADFS• System integrations – calendars, directory, presenceTenant & User Management• Simple management through admin console • Internal • Customer-facingSECURITY
  12. 12. QUESTIONS