The Future of Mobile Apps Lies on the Big Screen

By Michael Chetner. Published at Aug 23, 2019, in Ctrl Alt Del

Mobile applications (apps) have become a necessity for businesses that function in the e-commerce space with over 190 billion apps being downloaded globally last year. The likes of Amazon, AirBnB, CommBank and hundreds of other apps that Australians use on a daily basis have continued to evolve how they connect with consumers, but also how they connect internally. Businesses have moved from bricks and mortar, to desktops and now to mobile phones and tablets, where businesses live in people’s pockets.

As the demand for mobile apps and user experience to support digital shop fronts has grown, so too has the need for app development. The creation of apps developed by a single individual as a side project has evolved to become a lucrative skill highly in demand in Australia and the rest of the world. The development of ecommerce apps and user experience is a massive operation that is managed by teams. Often times these development teams are made up of experts from around the world working together in a cohesive environment.

In the past working on apps collectively was a challenge especially if staff were based remotely.

In today’s work environment we have tools that enable remote teams to work together more efficiently through video communication tools. This has become essential in the app development and user experience sector due to the major advantages video communication tools provide teams.

Screen Sharing for Development and Code Review

Most experts feel the best way to evaluate and discuss product development is by looking at it with other members of the team while sharing everything on screen. However, traditional video conferencing tools have left engineers who are working on a mobile app at a loss as it has been difficult and ineffective to share a screen from a mobile device during a video conference, requiring separate platforms with this capability. A modern video communication tool should allow engineers to share not only their desktop and applications regardless of their platform, but also their mobile screen and applications. This means developers can easily and efficiently bring up the app they are working on to discuss the features with without disrupting employees’ workflow.

Efficiency

Video conferencing is simply a faster means of communication for most topics as opposed to audio-only, chat, and email. Video lets you immediately see who is on and work out any issues in the moment, producing faster results. Video also levels the playing field, ensuring a better balance in addressing needs from all sites. This can be especially helpful when engaging with teams from different countries all working across the same project.

Video is Just the Starting Point

Many workers rely on more than one tool to successfully complete their work. Without even knowing it, many people have ways to easily incorporate video into their workflows. Whether it’s the roll out of Slack or Atlassian, these tools have Zoom video built-in. Through the use of multiple tools employees can instantly upgrade their chats to video meetings with either a simple command or a press of a button.

Team Cohesion

People understand each other better when they can read body language and facial expressions, which have been said to account for as much as 70% of communication. This is because most communication is non-verbal, trying to engage in a complex discussion with a colleague over the telephone or email for extended periods places both parties at a disadvantage. This is particularly helpful in cross-cultural contexts, where, for example, a team in Poland might not realise the engineer in the Australia is making a joke using local slang unless they see them grin over video. Contextualising someone’s speech with their facial expressions also makes it easier to understand them through different accents and dialects.

Video is Not Going Away

While businesses continue to move towards a more digital model to sustain profit margins, technology must continue to keep up providing a means in which people can access these businesses. In order for this to work, businesses in Australia and abroad will depend on teams of developers to build, test and deploy these apps. In order for the developers to achieve the desired effects, they must have the tools necessary to work across larger teams. My using video communication and other tools, developers will be better able to communicate and return the results expected of them.

Author Michael Chetner is Zoom's (NASDAQ:ZM) head of Asia Pacific.

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