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Creating the Web-Based App Your Business Needs


More and more, clients are turning to us for web-based app creation. They are waking up to the fact that they can do more than ever with technology, particularly when it comes to automation and custom programming.

As big as the possibilities are within this realm, though, you might be wondering how you can narrow them down to solve the specific challenges you’re facing on a day-to-day basis. So, today we want to give you a quick guide to creating the web-based app your business needs now. In order to help you find the perfect concept, we would invite you to answer a handful of simple questions that can point you in the right direction…

 

What Do You Want to Accomplish or Automate?

You can use web apps for ecommerce, scheduling, logistics, resource management, and so much more. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. For the moment, though, think about what it is you would actually like your website to do. What is the one task or function that would make the biggest difference in your business or organization?

When you can answer that, you have the basis for a very profitable web-based app.

 

Who Will Use Your App? How Will They Use it?

Getting to a core idea is great, but it’s only a first step. Next, you have to know who your base of users will be. Does your website need to be designed for customers, employees, or even associates and volunteers? Is it some combination of these groups?

Think carefully about who you need your web app to work for, and how they’ll interact with it. For instance, it’s one thing to build a web app that functions as a front-facing website (like Amazon), and another to build a native app that will live on a smart phone or tablet.

 

How Can You Streamline the User Interface?

In a best-case scenario, you’ll know your target audience and purpose so well that the visual and user experience aspects of your web app will take care of themselves. Still, it’s worth considering what you want your app to look and feel like.

We live in a digital world where aesthetics are a big deal. You don’t have to match Apple in terms of your attention to detail for fonts and colors, but you should strive to create a web app that is as sleek as it is powerful.

 

Is Your App Being Properly Tested?

We like all of our clients to remember that testing is a crucial part of web app development. Otherwise, your programming might not work the way it’s supposed to, or fail to function on certain devices and operating systems. In some cases, it could even create performance or online security issues.

Remember, this is all about designing the web app your business needs. Safety and stability are important parts of that equation.

 

When Will You Update Your Web App?

No website or app is ever really finished. Instead, they simply get to the point where they can be launched and then improved later. Keep that in mind and create a schedule for future feedback and additional updates.

You certainly don’t want your web app to become stale over time, or to stop working with newer forms of other software. That’s why you should be thinking about future releases before the first version ever goes live.

 

Learn More About Custom Web App Development

Want to learn more about custom web development, and how you can use small apps to realize huge savings or marketing gains in your business? Contact the programming team at Kinetik IT today. We’ll help you explore your ideas while showing you how we’ve become Arizona’s number one web app development resource.


9 Things You Might Not Have Known About Custom Software Development


How much do you know about custom software development? Or a better question might be: how much do you care about custom software development?

In truth, most business owners and executives don’t give it a lot of thought… until they learn that specialized programming can help them to automate data entry, streamline order processing and fulfillment, customize marketing, assist with scheduling, and help with dozens of other tasks that are critical to any company. In other words, having someone program an app specifically for your company can make or save you huge amounts of money.

Of course, that’s the one thing you really need to know about custom software development. Once you get past the basic reason why businesses invest in programming, though, there are a lot of other little things to consider. That’s because they can help you focus your thinking and get your project off the ground.

Today, we want to share with you nine things you might not have known about custom software development but probably should…

 

#1 Custom Programming is More Common Than You Think

Custom programming isn’t just for huge companies, or firms with big technical resources. In fact, we have worked on software builds and tweaks for very small enterprises and brand-new upstarts.

You don’t have to have huge budgets to benefit from software development. In fact, the smaller and more specific your company is, the easier it is to separate yourself from the competition with the right app or resource. So, if you haven’t thought about custom programming in the past because you imagined it was too complex or intensive for your operations, think again. No matter where you look, businesses like yours are using apps to accomplish more and spend less.

 

#2 It Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

Not only can custom software development save you tons of time and money every week by making it easier for you to run your company, but it probably costs a lot less than you might imagine.

New clients are routinely surprised at how affordable it is to work with a team of experienced programmers. Unless your vision is extraordinarily complex, there isn’t any reason you have to break the bank to bring it to life. The same goes for scheduling. You probably won’t be waiting nearly as long as you would imagine to get finished software you can use.

 

#3 You Don’t Have to Start an App or Program from Scratch

In some cases, it makes sense to start from scratch when building a new piece of software. Very often, though, we can tweak an existing application, create a plug-in that piggybacks off another piece of software, or work from a template that’s already been created.

The benefits of working from existing software are that it speeds the process up, costs less money, and gives you a conceptual head start. It also restricts your imagination a little bit, but if you aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel – and just want to make it turn a little bit faster – know that your goal is probably well within reach.

 

#4 Software Development Can be a Productivity Booster

As we’ve already mentioned, there are dozens or hundreds of potential uses for custom software development. However, automating repetitive work tends to be one of the most impactful ways to use a new app or program.

If you have a part of your business that currently takes more hours than it should, or regularly produces costly and time-consuming errors, then a new custom app might be just what you need. The more time you can spend actually running your company (and having your employees handle the most important aspects of their jobs), the higher your productivity is going to go.

 

#5 There are Three Important Parts to Software Development

When business people think of “custom software development,” they usually imagine coders knocking out line after line until a piece of software is finished. In reality, there are really three important steps that have to be followed.

First, you and your creative team get together to discuss the concept. Then, they’ll create flowcharts and mockups of the interface so you can get a visual sense of the way your program will look and feel. And then finally, after that wireframe or static has been approved, they’ll start actually putting the pieces of code together.

Beware any programming team that only emphasizes aesthetics, for example, or functionality. Each of these steps is critically important, and you can’t afford to rush through any of them.

 

#6 It’s Important for Your Software to be Tested

Even the smallest pieces of custom software need to be tested extensively. This doesn’t take a lot of time, but it’s something you want to be sure is being handled.

There are couple of reasons for this. Naturally, you’ll want to ensure your app or program works the way it’s supposed to. At the same time, custom software should work well across any platform (for instance, desktop computers versus smartphones) it’s made to function on. And finally, you have to be sure your software doesn’t contain any security flaws that could leave it vulnerable to hackers.

This is an area where a lot of newer and inexpensive firms will cut corners. However, your business and credibility are on the line, so make sure testing is a priority.

 

#7 Your App or Program Might Change During Development

No matter how crystal-clear your vision of your finished program is, there is a chance that your idea might need to be changed or tweaked along the way.

When this happens, it’s usually because the client realizes a key feature is missing, or they discover users might like some functionality during beta testing. However, it’s also possible that your ideas will be amended because your original concept isn’t quite feasible, or could work more cleanly with a twist.

The more flexible you are during the software development process, the more likely you are to end up with something you and your customers or employees can actually use.

 

#8 Most Custom Software Needs Updates

Even the best pieces of custom software are never really “finished,” they just have to be released eventually. You should approach the launch of your app with the idea that it may need to be upgraded or revised later.

One reason for an upgrade or improvement traces back to the notion that you might decide to add new features. And, it’s possible your customers or users will ask for something more than what you give them initially. Even if those things don’t happen, though, you might need to eventually update your software to match changes to the operating systems it runs on.

A good custom software development team is going to prepare you for this eventuality early in the process and factor it into their quote. Once again, you should take it as a red flag if your programmer doesn’t bring up future updates and revisions with you.

 

#9 The Right Programming Team Can Make or Break Your Project

As you might imagine, choosing the right vendor is critically important to the success of your software development project.

An experienced team can guide you through each step and decision that comes up along the way; a bargain-basement vendor might simply take a feature list from you and then deliver work that meets the specs but doesn’t really fit the vision you had in mind. Then, you might be left with the dilemma of spending more time and money to get it right or using software that doesn’t really do the job you intended.

Experience, technical expertise, and reputation should be important guiding principles as you develop your app, so don’t sacrifice them to save a few dollars in your IT development budget.

 

Want to Learn More about Custom Software Development?

Do you have an idea for an app or program that could help your company grow? Or, do you simply want to learn a little bit more and figure out whether it’s something your business could profit from?

In either case, your next step is clear. Talk to the custom software development experts at Kinetik IT today. We have served businesses, nonprofits, and institutions across Arizona for years, helping them to find, imagine, and build the resources they need.

In one brief consultation, we can help you to think about software programming in a new way. Better yet, we'll give you the answers you need to tweak your idea or move it forward. Contact us now to get started!

Your Advanced Guide to Mobile App Development


Are you thinking of developing a mobile app for your business?

Perhaps you have a great idea for a tool that can be sold as a stand-alone solution. Or, you might be thinking (like so many other business owners and executives) that a mobile app could be a good companion for your website. Perhaps you want to encourage e-commerce transactions by letting buyers make purchases from you directly without having to log in to your website. You might even want several of these benefits.

Whatever the specific reason, mobile app development is more popular than ever before. But, while more businesses are building apps and more creative teams are providing them, it’s easy to make costly mistakes or overlook details that can make or break the finished product.

With that in mind, today we want to give you a step-by-step look at what’s needed to create and release something your customers can use on their phones and tablets. Let’s dig into our advanced guide to mobile app development…

 

The First Step Towards Creating a Mobile App is Coming Up With a Winning Concept

What will your app do? This is an important question, and one that speaks to both function and profitability. You should know what you want your app to accomplish for users or customers, but also how it can contribute to your company or bottom line.

Coming up with an idea for an app isn’t necessarily difficult, but refining it to the point that it’s workable, unique, and marketable can be a challenge. Believe it or not, this is an area where an experienced creative team can be a huge help. While you might think of mobile app development as revolving around design and programming, brainstorming and finding answers before work begins is just as important.

 

You’ll Have to Decide Which Features Are Going to Go Into Your Mobile App

Even after you have a sense of the purpose of your app, and how you will fit it into your business, you’ll have to develop a list of features. Again, this is an area where enthusiasm can come into direct conflict with reality. Budgets, timing, and available technology can all be real constraints when you’re trying to decide which features will make it into your mobile app development project.

Keep in mind that not everything on your mobile app wish list has to be incorporated right away. Some features can be added post-launch, or following testing and reviews by real-world users. This can be a good solution, particularly if you want to generate revenue from your app before devoting too much to its development.

 

Mobile App Design Helps You Find the Right Look and Feel

When you know what your mobile app development project is all about, and which features you'll need in the initial launch, your creative team can go about designing the interface. This is all about aesthetics and usability, so it should fit your existing branding and make the app feel like a pleasure (rather than a chore) to actually open and interact with.

This also tends to be a part of the process where owners and executives are most involved. Don’t be afraid to let your designers know how you want your mobile app to look and feel so they can draw layouts to meet your preferences. People will notice the look of your app, so the way you package the underlying features matters.

 

Next, a Programming Team Has to Code Your Mobile App Into a Workable Piece of Software

After you have a set of working layouts for the different screens and prompts on your mobile app, coders will get to work behind the scenes to add all the features and functions you specify. In some cases, this could mean pulling from existing software; in other situations, they may have to work from scratch.

This is often the longest part of the process, and the point where clients are least involved. What’s important is that your development team knows exactly what you want to accomplish and has the skills to deliver it. If so, they should be able to deliver a working version of your app on time and within the budget range quoted.

 

Testing Your Mobile App Is Critical for Its Stability and Usability

Many business people tend to think that after an app is and programmed it can be launched immediately. However, there are still a couple of steps that need to be taken before it’s ready to go out to the public.

The first is a round of rigorous testing that ensures your app is usable, stable, and adaptable. In other words, it should work exactly the way it’s supposed to, and for a variety of users who might have their own distinct hardware and software. For instance, it’s likely that some of your customers will have iPhones, while others prefer Galaxy or Android. Additionally, they might be using different versions of the underlying operating systems. Testing lets you ensure your app will load, display, and function correctly in each of these environments without crashing.

 

Every Mobile App Development Team Should Prioritize Security

The other part of testing you should pay particular attention to has to do with online security. You don’t want to roll out an otherwise perfect app and then find out it has flaws that can be exploited by hackers, or that can leave sensitive information exposed.

In this day and age, the security of your mobile web app is almost as important as its functionality. Users want to know their information is safe and protected, particularly if they will be sharing email addresses, financial data, or other sensitive information through your software.

 

The Rollout and Launch of Your Mobile App Are Important to Profitability

You could simply put your mobile app online and hope buyers will find it and download it, but that’s not a good strategy if you want to make the most of your investment. A better idea is to treat the launch of your mobile app like you would the rollout of a new website or marketing strategy. Don’t just promote it heavily, but plan ahead to ensure your most important customers and prospects will hear about it multiple times.

A successful mobile app launch might include website announcements, social media ads, email newsletter updates, and press releases. You might also want industry thought leaders to review your app, or to get reviews from actual users. All of these can help you ensure you get attention from your market quickly after it launches, so your app can gain those all-important early users, who will in turn help share it with others in their personal and professional lives.

 

You Can Keep Improving Your Mobile App With Updates and Compatibility Checks

Even after you launch your app and see it being used by customers, your work isn’t done. You should keep improving your mobile app over time. Some of your updates might be driven by necessity (changes to operating systems and so on), or to fix bugs that are discovered by customers. In other cases, customers may ask you for features you didn’t originally think of.

However you go about it, remember that the best apps usually improve and develop over time. You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money on your app to keep it fresh, but you shouldn’t simply think of it as a finished product immediately after launch, either. Maximize your long-term ROI, and keep users engaged, by continually looking for ways to make your software better. Don’t worry – your creative team can help you manage this process.

 

Ready to Bring Your Mobile App Idea to Life?

If you’re tired of wondering what your business could do with a mobile app, or letting your idea pass you by, then why not take the first step towards bringing the concept to reality? When you have a strong creative team on your side, developing and promoting a mobile app is a lot easier and more affordable than most people tend to think.

The experienced team at Kinetik IT can help you bring your mobile app concept into focus, and then turn your idea into something customers can start using right away. We have helped dozens of businesses across Phoenix make the most of the internet, and you’ll be amazed at what we can do for your company, too.

Contact us today to setup a free consultation and see how we can help!

Increasing Efficiency Using Desktop Apps

In the past several years, productivity has become a huge sector of web-based, mobile, and desktop applications. And it’s no wonder: with more work coming at us, and the same 24 hours in a day, we need a way to list, prioritize, and track our own accomplishments, as well as those of our colleagues, third-party vendors, freelancers and contractors. The challenge can be finding an application that is robust and versatile, but that also suits the needs of your business. This is especially true in the instance of job-tracking applications. 


Custom-built job-tracking applications take all elements of workflow into account, so your business can efficiently and effectively track each step in the process. For example,  a business in the home-improvement industry may need a job-tracking desktop application that can inventory the entire process from the sales call, ordering the product,  performing the install of the product, to the customer followup. Information is recorded into a database, and can create automatic email alerts or reports when one task is completed, and another is ready to be performed. 


At Kinetik I.T., after 25 years of developing myriad types of custom software applications for businesses in all industries, we understand that the one size fits all approach doesn’t work for every business. To truly customize our product for your needs, we practice various software development methodologies. By choosing a methodology that suits the scope of the project—agile or spiral methodologies, for example—we are able to avoid unnecessary lag time in the software development life cycle, and to deliver a system that will help your business operate more efficiently.  


And we speak from experience, not only in helping other business streamline their processes, but in doing the same within our own organization. Whether you need an enhanced for a product currently in use, or you’d like to develop a complete custom software solution from the ground up, learn more by visiting us at www.Kinetik-IT.com or follow Kinetik I.T. on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.


Using Multiple Devices to Boost Focus

With all the information we’re confronted with on a daily basis—status updates, tweets, images, trending topics and headlines—maintaining clear focus can prove challenging. Considering that most feeds on social media sites (where it’s estimated that the average 18-34 year old spends nearly four hours daily) are designed to be clickbait-heavy, it’s no wonder we find ourselves emerging from an hour-long internet-induced fog, despite having had every intention of getting work done. 


To combat this mindless time waste, developers have come up with multiple strategies to help maintain focus and productivity—simply search for “productivity app” in your laptop or phone’s app store, and you’ll be overwhelmed with the possibilities. Still, simple solutions can sometimes be the best solutions.


Similar to how service dogs know they’re on duty when wearing their harness, workers who consume massive amounts of media every day out of necessity are beginning to train themselves to perform tasks using dedicated equipment. Discussed in Wired.com’s article, How Working on Multiple Screens Can Actually Help You Focus, the trend is gaining popularity. 


The idea is to perform certain tasks (or utilize social media sites) using specific devices. In the article, one worker explains that he uses social media only on a tablet, so he’s not tempted to scroll through them when working on his laptop, instead remaining focused on work. Another said she sends articles from her laptop to a tablet, to be able to read without being interrupted by email. Though it seems counterintuitive, using multiple screens and devices somehow helps focus attention rather than scattering it. 


As with anything, however, this strategy may prove counterproductive for some. In the long run, finding what works for you—whether navigating through tabs, printing out documents in physical form, or switching devices for various tasks—is the best solution of all.  


To learn more about our wide array of other services and products, visit www.Kinetik-IT.com or follow Kinetik I.T. on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.


Kinetik IT Custom Software

At Kinetik IT, we specialize in website design, graphic design, internet marketing, software and web development, network support and services in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona.

We love to work with clients that love technology because we love technology. The oldest branch of our company is software development, and we truly believe in the power of custom software. We love working with clients who love technology and who want to evolve and optimize their business, moving forward by using technology in the best ways they can.

When deciding whether custom software is right for their particular needs, clients have some decisions to make.  When buying off‑the‑shelf software, a business is, essentially, trying to have to accommodate the software’s functionality and limitations.  The business must adjust how they do business based on what the software allows them to do or to track. And as important, the software usually does not fit the company’s workflow.

With Kinetik IT custom software however, we write software for clients based on how they do business.  We're adept at analyzing various businesses’ needs within various industries, learning how a client does business; analyze their workflow and how they interact with software, catering to their specific needs.

To learn more about services and products, and to stay up to date with Kinetik IT, visit www.Kinetik-IT.com or follow Kinetik on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.