The lack of updates in this blog throughout the 2013 confirms: we’ve been incredibly busy. While we continue designing and developing corporate database driven websites – and remaining loyal to our old clients – we’ve been shifting our focus towards web and mobile application development with emphasis on PHP/MySQL, jQuery, HTML5 and other mobile application frameworks.
Most part of the year 2013, we have worked exclusively for a client in Dallas developing web and mobile applications with social networking and content publishing features. Due to the ongoing nature of the work, we cannot reference this work on our site but would be pleased to walk through some of the features should your company be interested in considering us for custom web and mobile application development work.
In November 2013 we signed up a full time software engineer to our team, Pyry Kuusi, who works from Helsinki, Finland as an exclusive team member of Interaria. As many of you know, we are a family based company with James Shields in web development and project management, his Finnish wife Meri Kuusi-Shields in user experience design and brand positioning, and now Meri’s brother and James’ brother-in-law Pyry in a full time position for software & web application development.
Over the years, we have realized that our clients care about one-on-one agile approach to project development which means ability to comprehend complex business models and organize them in a make-sense manner, willingness to embrace the organic process of new ideas and the ability to shift the direction for development when needed. For us, working with a small core team has meant this: ability to be flexible and less bureaucratic, all while holding a higher quality control with each deliverable.
The year 2014 will mark our 10 years in business, all with the same team. We are quite excited about the web and mobile application development for multi-platform media where users have more power to customize their content and interaction experiences and choose their device for user interaction. The concept of ‘interactivity’ will carry more meanings and make us more demands as we continue our years.
Mobile sites are designed to provide an optimal user experience for visitors accessing the web through their mobile devices. Today, we can develop mobile sites using several different mobile web application frameworks.
Interaria recommends considering the following options for mobile site development.
1) jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile is an HTML5 based web application framework for smartphones and tablets based on jQuery and jQuery UI. jQuery Mobile supports a very extensive range of devices and provides a seamless method for extending existing applications to mobile and tablet that were originally built to run inside the desktop browser. The key benefits for choosing jQuery Mobile for web application development are: jQuery Mobile is open source / free and has a large global development community behind it, supporting it and actively pushing it forward.
3) Sencha Touch
4) Responsive UI Design
Mobile applications developed with HTML5 utilizing responsive user interface design focus on adjusting the presentation of web media content for mobile device use. A strong well planned out CSS rules and coding is the key for successfully implementing the responsive design method. According to set CSS rules, the display of the applications’s content layout and components may be programmed to auto-reformat for display mobile differently than on tablet or desktop. An example of responsive web design would be for a layout that displays four columns of content in a ‘landscape’ view on tablet devises, but when in ‘portrait’ view, would auto-shift to show only two columns of content instead of 4. Further, then when the same content is viewed on a mobile devices, the content would shift to slim down further to show only one column of content. Responsive UI Design is not a mobile web application framework but rather a method for allowing well planned and coded HTML5 content to display differently on desktop, table and mobile.
Which Platform to Choose?
The decision of which mobile development framework to choose is determined by several criteria such as the mobile site’s navigation structure, amount of custom content provided for mobile users only, requirements for the design and content to adjust for different screen sizes and resolutions, the amount of custom coding required to launch your new mobile web app, and the amount of coding and development that has already taken place.
Contact us to determine which mobile web application framework provides the most optimal platform for developing an engaging mobile media presence for your company.
In this blog post we discuss the use of a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework in the context of custom web application development. What exactly is a Model-View-Controller (MVC)? Wikipedia gives the following insight and definition:
MVC (Model-View-Controller) is an architectural design pattern that encourages improved application organization through a separation of concerns. It enforces the isolation of business data (Models) from user interfaces (Views), with a third component (Controllers) (traditionally) managing logic, user-input and coordinating both the models and views. The pattern was originally designed by Trygve Reenskaug during his time working on Smalltalk-80 (1979) where it was initially called Model-View-Controller-Editor. MVC went on to be described in depth in “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software” (The “GoF” or “Gang of Four” book) in 1994, which played a role in popularizing its use.
Although a Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern was originally formulated in the late 1970’s, it has more recently gained increased relevancy as a software modeling development system due to recent efficiency requirements when building web applications. Separating the View (presentation layer) from the applications inner workings (Control and Model) allows independent development of each element. The benefits of the separation are several:
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for the design to be maintained and independently updated from the codebase. It is not uncommon that over time the design sensibilities may seem outdated, new design considerations become available, or new devices with different UI requirements become available. Separating the design and code make it easier for the developer to update the designs without affecting the established code.
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for the Web applications features to grow over time. It may be the case with a web application that with new users, new features need to be added that weren’t originally anticipated. When new web application systems are developed they can be modeled according to already established graphical user interfaces.
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for new representations or presentations of the same data, such as showing a chart of data as a pie chart or as a bar chart.
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for new formatting of text or image content, such as a styling of a user interactive slideshow.
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for the division of labor in the development process: one developer can work on the core logic and data structure (Controller / Model) while another can simultaneously work on its presentation to the user (graphical user interface or View).
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for a web application’s functionality to be repurposed based on adjustments to a configuration file, independent of its GUI elements.
- Web application development in the MVC framework allows for scalability by centralizing re-usable building blocks of code. When new features are added to the web application, those new features can re-use the existing web application’s foundation code elements.
Web applications are sometimes a one-off for a specific purpose, but often times their functionality requirements grow over time as more users begin using the system. It is not uncommon to build out a system with a certain feature set and then soon after launch find that some features are more appreciated than other features, requiring further enhancements.
Interaria’s custom Web Application Development utilizing the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework takes into account that the web applications’ user interface designs and graphical components will likely need to be updated over time and that a continued development of the web applications functionality will likely expand over time. Web applications developed in the the Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework allow for development flexibility, scalability and growth of visual design, user interfaces designs and the code base.
Contact Interaria at 214-909-3900 to discuss your company’s custom web application development needs.
If your company is looking to create a large web application or a dynamic website with several web application systems, you may have tens of pages of project specs and lots of ideas that as an end result need to be turned into a functioning database schema with elegant user interfaces.
Some features for the new web application are regarded crucial while some other features may not be a top priority or may require more thinking and clarification as the project planning moves forward. In many cases, it is almost impossible to state with a certainty all required features for the web application as new ideas emerge during the project’s development, new feedback becomes available from focus group discussions, and certain features start feeling unnecessary while some become further emphasized. How long does it take time to develop a web application? What is the cost?
An agile project development approach doesn’t intend to tie the client to a strict contract with a strict timeframe and a strict final number but instead acknowledges that web application development may be a fluid and rather organic process ideally carried through as interactive teamwork in close communication with the client. The web based software applications that are developed in an agile framework allow revising development goals in monthly cycles during the project according to the direction and feedback from the client. Goals for each development cycle will be stated and discussed monthly before any new work begins.
The key features of Interaria’s agile project development approach are:
- The client may revise the development plan during the project.
- The client may revise any existing work and may decide new priorities.
- The client may decrease workload at any time and consequently pay for less development time.
- The client is not tied with the contract to have certain features developed but has the control to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ on the go.
To discuss your company’s web application needs and what type development approach would work best for your company, please set up a consultation time by calling 214-909-3900.
All websites and integrated web applications developed by the Interaria team are tested against several criteria such as clean code, web page loading times, security, and overall user experience and usability.
Interaria’s technical website testing process includes systematically troubleshooting any website problems originating either from the code or the set server. During the development process, each web application goes through a documented benchmark testing to make sure that the web applications function optimally and that they include all required and outlined feature set systems.
The benchmark testing includes scalability planning and testing to make sure that the website and integrated web applications can handle increased data input and user increase.
The benchmark testing also includes security testing that makes sure that all applicable web applications such as payment and billing systems are optimally secured according to the industry standard practices. Continue reading Website and Web Application Benchmark Testing