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Special Edition, March 2013

More to mobile application design than meets the eye

Andy Miller has seen plenty of cool-looking applications take off and die. It happens when companies don't make the back end of their mobile applications as high a priority as the front end, he said. Mobile banking applications are a perfect example. When banks rolled out a feature that let customers deposit a check by taking a picture of it on a mobile device, some apps couldn't properly configure the resolution size. The resulting images were so blurry the checks couldn't be read -- or deposited. That sort of disconnect can quickly turn a bright idea into a dud, according to Miller, the director of mobile products for the Waltham, Mass., consultancy Constant Contact Inc. Many applications are designed to look pretty but lack the back-end functionality required to satisfy customers, Miller said, referring to the coding and programs behind the scenes that support an app's front end, like the user interface. Each mobile operating system -- from Apple's iOS to Google's Android -- has different quirks, and companies have to be ...

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  • Never stop striving for great mobile apps

    Mobile apps are not spinoffs of their website predecessors—they need to be designed with mobile devices in mind. The formula is the right combination of form and function.