User Experience v/s User Interface

​While creating a website or an application, the developer needs to focus on two important components; the User Experience (UX) and the User Interface (UI). Both these terms are related to one another – the User Experience is based on effective use of the mobile app and how the user enjoys using the app, whereas, a User Interface is the look and feel of the app, its presentation and the overall interactivity of a product.
Hence, while creating a mobile app, the developers need to work together on the UX and UI, but both require different skill sets. Let’s understand this with the help of an example: 

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Take a look at the Facebook home screen. Everything you see in the top and side search bars “News Feed”, “Status”, “Video”, “Upcoming Events”, etc. – is all a part of the UI. So, what the User Interface ideally is that it helps you navigate within the app or website, for example, if you click on Events, you will be navigated to a page where you will be able to see all the events listed in your profile. A good UI is the one that is easy to use and helps navigate the user with ease.

On the other hand, User Experience is when the user clicks on the Events tab, but has to wait for the events to download for more than a minute. Imagine you try to search for a long lost friend, but you can’t search it or get presented with a multitude of options that do not match your friend’s name. With this kind of experience, it is the UX designer that needs to be blamed for the poor performance. 
Cognitive scientist Don Norman, who first coined the term UX in the 1990s, and Jakob Nielsen, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, explain the difference of UX versus UI by stating that:

“Consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.”
What is User Experience (UX)?


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While developing a mobile app or website, it is of utmost importance that the design is user centered – that is, that the app should be based on the needs and wants of the user. It is commonly known as UX – it records if the users enjoy using the app and that it is easy to use the app. UX is supposed to be practical, meaningful, affective, and should offer a valuable human-machine interaction.
One of the most important questions that the UX designer must ask is, “How can my company’s product best meet our user’s needs?”

So, what makes a great UX?

  • It should benefit users.


  • The product needs to be useful and should offer a great deal of value.


  • The product should be designed after testing different options – validating and invalidating product ideas.


  • Understanding of the product’s business model.


  • Understanding the processes clients use.


  • Understanding the broader context in which users interact and engage.


  • Should work on all or defined technological platforms.

What is User Interface (UI)?


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In order to have a good UX, it is important to have a User Interface that is easy to understand and access – UI is basically a presentation of the product. A UI designer is responsible to align how all the features get added on the page, the placement of buttons and icons to navigate and the other visual elements that make the user’s experience to navigate the app or website easily.
One of the most important questions that the UI designer must ask is, “Does the company provide a great product and does its website or mobile application have an intuitive and sleek layout that attracts more users?”

So, what make a great UI?

  • Avoids confusion and clarifies any ambiguities with the help of simple language and visuals.


  • Incorporating familiar features, buttons or call-to actions and making the elements familiar.


  • Ensuring that the UI offers speed and providing feedback when a screen is loading – basically, keeping the user informed about what is happening


  • Keeping the UI consistent on pages so that the user is familiar with the usage patterns.


  • Making it look attractive always make the app/website more enjoyable.

Importance of Design Thinking Process
“The design thinking ideology asserts that a hands-on, user-centric approach to problem solving can lead to innovation, and innovation can lead to differentiation and a competitive advantage. The design-thinking framework follows an overall flow of 1) understand, 2) explore, and 3) materialize. Within these larger buckets fall the 6 phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and implement.”


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As Don Norman preaches, “we need more design doing.” Design thinking does not free you from the actual design doing. As impactful as design thinking can be for an organization, it only leads to true innovation if the vision is executed.

At a high level, the UX and design thinking process identifies the purpose of the mobile product, business objectives, customer needs and pain points, as well as how the product will resolve those challenges. A D&D engagement will prioritise the product’s features that will help create a prototype and validated through testing. After both the business model and unique value proposition have been validated by real users, the product moves into development.

To Conclude
At the end, it is the usability of the application and the personality of your UI that will attract the users. UX and UI developers have different responsibilities but they need to work together to build a great product. The core of creating a good product should be user centric and easy to operate.

What Are Progressive Web Apps and How It Will Make a Difference

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” – Steve Jobs

First man discovered fire. Then came the wheel, then industries and machines and with technology came the constant change and modernization of the world today. When the mobile phone had first been launched, it was a luxury item which few possessed and now it is a necessity. The same can be said about the internet and increasing dependence of people on the web. 

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For years now the mobile community has been divided on platforms like:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Symbian OS
  • Bada OS
  • Blackberry OS

By 2023, it is believed that the number of smartphone users, in Canada alone, will be approximately 30.4 million and the number of mobile phone internet users will be 30.9 million.

It is safe to say we live in a digital world where most tasks are now completed with a few clicks of a button. The top of the market has been the Android and iOS platforms which have effectively been ahead of the other competition. This year, 2019, is said to be different as the hot new buzz is about the Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

What are Progressive Web Apps?
“Progressive Web Apps are just websites that took all the right vitamins.” – Alex Russell, Software Engineer at Google.

The term progressive web app, coined by Alex Russell and Frances Berriman, is a set of practises to make a web application function similar to a desktop or mobile application. It is not a new framework or technology or an app even, but it aims to offer a uniform and seamless experience to the user so they cannot tell the difference between a PWA and a native mobile app.

PWAs are said to load like regular web pages but are also said to work offline and have more features similar to those of a native app. For example, while browsing a website, a consumer clicks on a banner which adds the application to their home screen. It runs in the background, works offline and is downloaded without the use of an app store. 

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Many companies today have leveraged the power of the progressive web apps, like:

  • Twitter
  • Forbes
  • Fandango
  • Flipkart
  • Ola
  • Pintrest
  • Book My Show
  • The Weather Channel

Features and Principles of Progressive Web Apps
PWAs follow certain guidelines which ensures clear benefits to both consumers and merchants as well in this increasingly mobile world. Let us have a look at some of these features:

Progressive: The word alone means that PWAs work for all users irrespective of which browser they use. This is because they are built with progressive enhancement as a core tenet.

Responsive: PWAs would be able to automatically adopt different screen sizes and orientations like desktop, tablets and mobiles, which ensures a great user experience and a responsive design helps ensure the app will work on new devices in the future too.

Reliable: A PWA is not dependent on network and can work offline as well. This gives users meaningful content regardless of network conditions. They also have a minimum load time, making them instantly available.

Secure: PWAs are secure by default as the technologies powering these apps require content to be served over HTTPS in order to work. Thus ensuring content has not be tampered with and is safe.

App-Like: PWAs as mentioned feel like an App but are not an app. They provide app style interactions since they are built on the app shell model.

Fresh: These apps are always up to date because of the service worker update process and hence a user does not need to update the same like other native apps. These real-time updates lower down the waiting time for the end users and help the brands to improve the user engagement and retention rate, which eventually add value to their business.

Engaging: Usually native apps are much more engaging than web apps but having an icon on the home screen makes it easy to access the app. Push notifications and alerts also grab the user’s attention and helps re-engage them. Since it is available on the home screen it helps the brands to remain in the minds of the users and improve the chances of interaction.


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Installable: As mentioned, PWAs do not demand longer download time and make memory space available for installing the applications. They are easy to install and does not require the user to visit the app store.

Linkable: PWAs are easily shared via URLs and do not require complex instillation processes.

Discoverable: PWAs are easily identifiable as applications as they reside in browsers. This increases the chances to optimize them as per the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) criteria and improve the Google rankings like in the case of websites and other web apps.

Why Do We Need Progressive Web Apps?
Users spend most of the time on native apps, however mobile web reach is a lot more than that of native apps. It is evident that users are not actively engaged and usually spend time only on their select top apps.
Websites take time to load and those few seconds costs a business a customer. PWAs on the other hand are fast as the data is cache and restarting the app does not need a strong network. Since they behave like native apps, they have access to a devices functionalities and perform tasks seamlessly.
For many companies building native apps, the cost of developing, testing and maintain for several platforms would be ineffective and costly. PWAs would allow these companies to deliver competitive user experience without needing to develop apps for all platforms or dealing with distributing binaries and updates.
More and more companies are shifting towards PWAs as they are cost effective and work on all platforms. It is believed that users of Pinterest’s PWA spend 40% more time on the site compared to the previous mobile website. Ad revenue rates also increased by 44%, and core engagements shot up 60%.


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In Conclusion
Progressive web apps are the future. As coined by Alex Russell, we know that Progressive Web App is a type of regular web app but with some extras which enable it to deliver archetypal user experience and give the user the best of both platforms as it blends the desktop and mobile app experience in one.
If you would like to further discuss how PWAs can make a difference to your business, you can contact the App Scoop mobile app developers or app development team on:

Improving Supply Chains through IoT and Blockchain

“Every company, city, and country is becoming digital, navigating disruptive markets, …(and the) role in the digital transformation has never been more important.” – John Chambers, Former Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems.
The era we live in today is a digital age where all industries have embraced and entered this digital world in some way. Industries get to harness the potential of digitization in various shapes and forms, thus making the best of this evolution.
The supply chain industry is no different and today, they rely heavily on digital technologies to ensure accurate data to help with delivery while optimizing resources. 

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Digital Transformation and the Supply Chain Industry

Managing the supply chain is a large and complicated area, which is chaotic and filled with multiple challenges. There is a lot of manual work which costs time and money and in a way is a futile exercise with excess paperwork. 

Each stakeholder would want to manage their own paper work, ledger and data which could make things more complicated and in order to make sense of this data, a third party would need to be involved especially for bookkeeping.

This would seem like a nightmare considering the large scale of globalization which has engulfed the markets. Providing in-time, safe delivery while maintaining supply chain transparency is becoming more tedious. Combining digital technologies would increase the efficiency, reliability, speed and transparency between the manufacturer, supplier and service provider.
In 2019, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain services will be enabled and will have an impact on most organizations. Blockchain and IoT can transform supply chains. However, this transformation will not happen overnight and will need experimentation on the part of companies to ensure the induction phase is smooth before expanding more.

Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is a system of maintaining ledgers which can be traced and audited for collaboration in a secure fashion. This technology has great potential to help transform supply chain management as it stores and manages data, while allowing decentralized and autonomous transactions. This way it helps companies build and maintain customer trust while securing the data as well.

Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT is a network of intelligent physical objects and things which can connect to a network in order to send and receive data. In a business, data is of prime importance as based on the accuracy of data major decisions can be taken. If the analysis is incorrect due to bad data, it can mean a big loss for companies. 

It is believed that by 2023, Blockchain will support the global movement and tracking of $2T of goods and services. Logistics and transportation companies are projected to spend about $40B each on IoT platforms.

Improving Supply Chain through Blockchain and IoT
In the supply chain industry, IoT and Blockchain together, can provide multiple benefits for all stakeholders. In the past there have instances where a glitch in the supply chain has led very unpleasant consequences. For example:

  • Spread of E-Coli virus due to spoiled lettuce
  • Consignment of meat stored incorrectly causing the shipment to go bad
  • Delay in delivery due to unforeseen traffic and roadblocks
  • Cancelling delivery as it cannot be delivered due to freight/customs issues

IoT and Blockchain technologies can help push the companies in the right direction and can also help save them millions of dollars. They can drive supply chain management to the next level using multiple sensors, GPS, remote temperature control, asset maintenance, operations monitoring and so on.
Let us have a look at a few key factors that the combination of these two technologies can deliver and help improve across the supply chain industry:

Real Time Supply Chain Visibility
It does not matter if the buyer or seller is in some remote location of the world. It does not matter if there are multiple parties involved in completing this transaction. Now there is end-to-end visibility of the supply chain right from order being placed till it is finally delivered.
Even if the stakeholders are globally dispersed, real-time visibility is possible to track goods and consignments, thanks to IoT devices, as they move through the supply chain. This information is uploaded on a Blockchain framework which allows all participants to access the necessary information. 


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Global Supply Chain Financing
One of the main threats of digitization is the increase in cybercrime. People are vulnerable as vital data is out there for thieves to hack into. It is only fair that they would be apprehensive about sharing data for online payments and overseas transactions.
On the other hand, transactions with clients based in other counties is also more tedious owing to the paperwork and bureaucracy which also leads to delays in international payments and dealing with regulations of multiple countries. Discrepancies here would mean significant delays or cancelling the entire order.
In such situations, IoT and Blockchain has significantly improved the landscape of international transactions. They speed up the movement of the goods, reduce the paperwork, prevent fraud and result in a more secure and efficient transaction. A previous cloud trail also makes it possible to speed up the payment process as once the programme has been set, regular and timely payments can be made automatically.

Regulated, Controlled and Reliable
In certain industries like the F&B or pharmaceutical sector, consignments need to be transported at exactly the right temperature and at exactly the right time. Once the shipment leaves the warehouse it was not possible to control these factors.
IoT feed makes it possible to monitor the temperature, the quality and even the fastest and safest route to the destination. Modifications in temperature settings can also be done remotely. Sensors also make it possible to know when a container or transport vehicle is due for maintenance.
Blockchain technology and IoT ensures the data captured and received is tamperproof. Hence the security of the information is always guaranteed. This would not only be a boon to the medical industry but also any industry transporting sensitive or commodities of high value.

Data Analysis
As mentioned earlier, data plays a crucial role in any business and industry. IoT and Blockchain make it possible to share data securely with all stakeholders. This data can be analysed for new insights into their supply chain.
This data analysis helps realign sourcing and distribution networks as well as make changes and improve on the design of the supply chain. This data can also potentially solve complex supply chain problems.  

Final Thoughts
Tamperproof records, thanks to Blockchain and everything being connected between the real and digital world, thanks to IoT, helps reduce friction by eliminating third parties. Presently, Blockchain and IoT together are disrupting a lot of industries as this combination has been very powerful and effective.

Customers today are very concerned with fast delivery and exceptional personalized service. Companies have little to no choice in leveraging the digitized methods to provide customers with enhanced services.
If you would like to discuss the possible ways to innovate and transform your supply chain, you can contact the App Scoop mobile app developers and app development team on:

Top 5 Reasons Why DevOps is Important

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin.
Today’s world is fast-paced and constantly evolving. Man has come a long way since the discovery of fire and the invention of a wheel. The power of technology in this day and age is exponential in personal, daily lives as well as in the business world. 

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A wave of digital transformation has globally blanketed all walks of life. In order to keep pace with this fast-moving environment, businesses need to find ways to digitize their core processes and systems and also ensure technology and applications are constantly updated.
During these transitions, friction and complications can arise between developmental and operational teams. To avoid these and to aim for a smooth digital transition, the DevOps approach helps bring the development and operations team together. It is more than methodology for a software development. It is a necessary culture to meet the needs to companies developing:

  • Software
  • Websites
  • Applications
How did DevOps Come Into Being?
Requirements of the digital world are fast changing. Software needs to be developed at a quick pace, marketed faster and it must be easy to update and fix glitches and bugs. This is not only the responsibility of the software developers. The operations team is equally needed to deploy and monitor new applications. This led to the DevOps approach.
This approach helps the company go beyond everything purely technical and helps ensure all levels of the company are involved and the key to success is communication. This way the whole company is working towards the success of the product not just the success of their job or involvement in the matter.

DevOps are rapidly spreading through the community and this approach is attracting more and more companies to embrace it. An approach which unites teams and does not treat them as isolated entities ensures fewer conflicts as well. 

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Implementing the DevOps approach brings many advantages to an organization as a seamless set up gets to operate between the teams, testing executives and operational executives leading to a much better outcome in a project.

Why is DevOps Important?
“DevOps is a software development and application delivery method that takes a collaborative and integrated approach between application development (the Dev) and application operations (the Ops). The goal of DevOps is to deliver applications faster, at an increased frequency and with a lower failure rate.”
Effective utilization of the DevOps approach helps promote a healthy environment which encourages shared responsibility and accountability between teams leading to a high performing organization. Let us take a look at 5 top reasons why DevOps is important:

Shorter Development Cycle, Faster Innovation
When teams work independently or in separate silos, it is difficult to tell if an application is ready. There are needless delays. With a combined development and operations team, apps are ready a lot quicker which helps the companies innovate faster than their market competitors.
Shorter development cycle means the product comes to market a lot faster and hence it gives the company an upper hand in the market.

Reduce Implementation Failure, Rollbacks and Recovery Time
One of the reasons a team faces deployment failure is due to programing defects, bugs or glitches. Shorter development cycles promote more frequent code version, updates and releases, making it easier to spot shortcomings.
These implementation or deployment failures can be reduced with the help of the agile approach which allows collaboration and modular programming. This also makes it possible to manage rollbacks since only few modules get affected.
Recovery time is a critical issues as some failure is expected, but how quickly that failure can be rectified and recovered is a challenge during development. With the DevOps method, recovery is much faster as the teams for development and operations are already working together.

Healthier Communication and Cooperation
DevOps approach helps to improve the software development culture as combined teams are happier and more productive. The organizational culture is more focused on performance as a whole and not just on individual goals.
When a team trusts the other teams it becomes possible to experiment, innovate and produce market ready products faster. The operations team is no longer waiting for the development team and it can troubleshoot to fix problems as necessary. The key performance indicators can also be aligned and outlined accordingly.
With this healthy flow of information between the teams, the organization runs more effortlessly and the processes become more seamless as the organization works together towards a common goal. 


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Increased Competencies
An increase in the company’s efficiency and competency helps to speed up the developmental process and reduce the rate of errors. Continuous use of servers can be automated. For example, the process of testing a code. This reduces the amount of manual work required, helping the engineers focus on other tasks.
Speeding up tools help increase efficiency like parallel workflows can be embedded into the continuous delivery chain to avoid delays. One cloud based server or environment reduces time in transferring data from one environment to another.

Decrease Costs and IT Staff
DevOps doesn’t only increase the pace of hange but since business is growing fast, the market is also changing rapidly. The company assess cultural, people, process and technology capacities to meet business goals. DevOps helps us to do things faster at higher quality. By automating testing, multiple man days of effort come down to an overnight hands-free process. Also, all the combined benefits of DevOps ensure a drop in general costs and requirements of IT personnel.

Final Thoughts
The growing automation and toolchain approach, the need for agile processes and development and operations collaboration along with implementations of ITIL and ITSM brought together principles, processes and practices and hence DevOps approach emerged.
Most of the businesses have adopted DevOps at a rapid rate and organizations are eager to take advantage of the faster delivery, better innovation and performance focused employee team method. DevOps is no more than a set of processes that coordinate and unify teams and processes to enhance software development. 


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In conclusion, the impact of a new code is better understood in this practice as the flexibility of fast interaction with other teams helps resolving bugs and issues soon. Thus switching over to a DevOps approach would be a healthy choice for the overall environment and functioning of a company.
In order to make DevOps work for the company, you need a partner who can help and if you would like to discuss how with the App Scoop Vancouver mobile app developers and development team, you can contact us on: