Thank You Brian! Building Apps IS Wrong!

In a recent post over on Software & Services Safari, Mr. Brian Sommer tells us that Building Apps is Wrong! and, as far as the doctor is concerned, he couldn’t be more right!

According to Brian:

      Software application development has been going on for decades. In the old world of software, applications took a (usually accounting) business event and then validated, stored and reported it. These were internal usage utilities that dealt with internal data. That’s the wrong perspective to have today. Businesses don’t want apps – they need ‘capabilities’. Moreover, they need capabilities that serve different kinds of information to different kinds of smart devices to mobile, interconnected workers.

And, as Brian points out, not only do interconnected workers that want to access information whenever and wherever they are, they want one user interface no matter how many solutions are serving up information on their device.

This means that a Desktop App, an iOS App, an Android App, a Windows App, each customized to the browser or platform, is not the way to go. When you customize to the platform, you tend to drift away from the current UI to the new UI until you have a hodge-podge of interfaces across a dozen platforms. Unless you want to develop your own extensions to the default development libraries on each platform, and alter your UI to be observant of the limitations of each library, you need to focus on a platform-independent delivery method (such as mobile-compatible HTML 5) and focus on what the user really wants — a slick, information-rich, user experience, and not a solution exclusively oriented around the data and the capabilities of the platform.

After all, as Brian points out, what the user really wants is:

  • Context to enrich and complete transactions, customer interactions, etc.
  • Information served up at point of need
  • Information designed to answer the worker’s or customer’s needs
  • Information beyond transactional data
  • A solution that makes the most of data, voice and video

and not flash. If they want HD graphics, they’ll fire up a HD game.