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Contextual Design and Development is the Driving Force Behind all Successful Mobile Applications

The time of ordinary custom web application design & development is long gone. Today the focus is on contextual design and development. It is the rise in the popularity of mobile applications that has provided the impetus for giving importance to ‘context’ when it comes to app or web development.

Let’s focus our attention on mobile applications and why mobile applications need to be developed keeping the context in mind.

Because they are used in diverse locations

Let’s face it. We all love mobile apps because they can be used just about anywhere and at any given point of time. Yes, that’s right, they can be used in offices, on a train, in the kitchen, movie theatre and the list just goes on. So, the app needs to be developed in context of the location. Different users have different needs when it comes to a mobile app and these needs, in part, are determined by their location. For e.g. if a developer thinks a particular app that is in the process of being developed will only be used when a user is commuting, it can be configured accordingly.

Because they are used when the user is moving

Yes, movement is yet another contextual parameter when it comes to the design and development of a mobile app. Most mobile users will use their mobile devices on the move as compared to using them when they are stationary. Here again the difference in need determines the design and development of the mobile app.  During locomotion a particular mobile user might only be using one hand to operate the device because their other hand is engaged in some other activity. For example, during lunch time, many people operate their mobile device with just one hand as they are holding their lunch in the other.

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Say you want to design a mobile app that is only going to be used by air travellers, and that too especially when they are at the airport. More often than not, such travellers are going to use one hand to pull the luggage, so your app must be designed in such a manner that its controls can be used effectively with just one hand.

Because they are used when there is an immediate need

Many of the utility apps are used when a user want to use them immediately. So, out of the all the apps on the device, the user has to choose the right app at the right time and that too in quick time. This is why immediacy is such an important part of context. The user has no time to lose and that is the reason why the app needs to be designed and developed in a way such that it can anticipate the needs of the user. These needs as mentioned earlier are not only based on the user’s location but also locomotion. The reason why apps that are developed around the ‘immediacy’ parameter are so important is that many a times it’s a particular event that triggers the use of an app. For e.g. a user might want to use an app offering airline information when he misses a flight or might want to use an app offering information about emergency services if he is involved in an accident and so on and so forth.

These are just three reasons why contextual development of mobile apps is so important. You can say that the success or failure of a particular mobile app rests on whether it has been developed with reference to certain contextual parameters or not. Companies offering mobile and web development services have begun focusing their attention on this important aspect to bring forth the best apps that meet all the needs and requirements of the user.
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Web Development


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