UI Woes Slam the Brakes on Mobile App Projects

Half of all mobile app development projects run into trouble due to user interface issues.

It's not enough to mobilize business apps, they also have to function intuitively and appeal to users.

Kony, a provider of mobile application development solutions, surveyed 340 app developers and designers and found that 50 percent of enterprise mobile app projects miss deadlines due to user interface (UI) issues. The study's results (PDF) represent a healthy mix of industries, with respondents hailing from such companies as Cisco, GE, Qualcomm, Target and United Airlines.

User interfaces are a leading source frustration among mobile app developers. Typically, a UI design never gets locked or issues crop up after testers spend some time with a working app. Sometimes UI just don't meet some functional requirements.

These stumbling blocks can add up to major delays and extra work.

Thirty-eight percent said it took four months to deliver an app from kick-off to go-live. For nearly 12 percent of respondents, the process took over 6 months. A scant 21.4 percent are able to deliver a mobile apps in two months or less.

When UI changes are requested, nearly 40 percent of developers said that the process requires 25 to 50 percent additional development effort. A third said it takes 50 to 100 percent more effort while almost 5 percent said it requires more than double the development effort from when they first started.

Nineteen percent of mobile app developers receive UI change requests for all (100 percent) of their projects. Only 16.7 percent said that just zero to 25 percent of their projects are affected by UI alterations.

This constant back-and-forth is slowing enterprise mobility initiatives, said Dave Shirk, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Kony.

"Today's IT departments are struggling to keep pace with the demands of their business to mobilize their enterprise," Dave Shirk in a statement. IT executives see their plans grind to a halt because "business users, designers and developers don't see eye to eye when it comes to user experience and interface design," he added.

Shirk suggests that mobile app developers take a design-first approach.

"Mobile app design is often overlooked in the development process, but companies are finding that most mobile apps fail because of lack of user adoption caused by poor design and experience," he stated. "Enterprises should design their app with a mobile perspective when it comes to look and feel of the app."

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.




Tags: UI, mobile app, mobile app developer


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