Recently, Zend, an Israeli world wide web infrastructure software company relating to the development, deployment and management of PHP-based web application, released the results of its annual developer survey.
In this report several conclusions are made based on the developer current trend in app development. Should we build a native app, hyrid, web (HTML5), open source, etc. “The poll of 5,000 developers revealed important information about the adoption of open standards, along with key trends in DevOps, mobile development and cloud.
Due to massive takeup of smartphones, tablets and the general consumerization of IT, they say we now live in an “App Economy,” where applications have become the new face of a business to customers, employees and partners.
It appears that open standards and HTML5 are becoming the typical way to develop mobile apps, which are then, more often than not, deployed to the cloud.
|Optimize End User Experience For Mobile Devices|
Depending on your application, you will have to assess whether testing on an emulated device or real device is the best option.
Many times it is not either/or decision and the best choice is both.
There are so many factors involved in both the options. Emulators offer the less expensive testing option, but they have many limitations for mobile testing and may not give an accurate depiction of the mobile user experience.
Whereas, testing on real devices gives the tester full functionality of the mobile device. While device types may be more limited than the emulated devices.
Like the Web itself, a mobile Web application is viewable by users around the world. Even if your target audience only in a single country or on a single network, it helps to understand the global dynamic.
While we test mobile web applications we encounter several challenges presented by the nature of the global, mobile Web. As we understand the nature of each challenge, we can explore different technology options to manage issues and mitigate risk.
Choosing the right solutions for your requires an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages inherent in each of the Testing Strategies and Tactics for Mobile Applications testing options available to you and determining the technology that best suits your testing requirements. These mobile testing challenges include devices, network, and scripting.
|Optimize End User Experience For Mobile Devices|
You can’t have a media site without video, and apparently, if a little video is good, a lot of video is better. It’s the heart and soul of entertainment sites. It’s de rigueur for the broadcast news networks.
And the Web has given traditional print journalism brands the opportunity to compete on broadcast journalism’s video turf. New technology has made it almost as easy to shoot, edit and post a video online as to prepare a written story with accompanying photos. Online media sites, with help from YouTube, have enabled a mass Web audience that prefers to watch rather than read.
There’s also no faster way to lose an audience than with a video stream that stutters and constantly stops to rebuffer. But again, monitoring streams from multiple servers or domains, and understanding actual end-user performance, is a significant test and measurement challenge.
You are missing an huge opportunity if you do not have a mobile optimized website. If you are building a website, or have plan on it being viewed on a mobile device. Keep in mind that slow mobile networks will impact the performance your mobile web content. You want to create a mobile website that provides the same functionality as your regular website, but at the same time is optimized for mobile devices.
You need to take steps to ensure that the mobile website is optimized for all the different mobile devices, many of which have different capabilities, browsers, and screen sizes.
Developers need tools that provide access to all the different mobile devices on which users will download their mobile web content. They also need the ability to analyze content and performance on the mobile device, troubleshoot problems, and provide actionable recommendations that will enable optimization of the end-user experience for their mobile website on different mobile devices.
Mark Zuckerberg recently mentioned that “betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native” was a mistake made by Facebook.
What does that mean for HTML5?
In a nutshell nothing. Even though Zuckerberg sites “HTML5 just wasn’t there”, you have to put it in the proper context for Facebook which is different than most Enterprise companies.
Being the pinnacle technology company, Facebook is trying to squeeze every ounce of performance from their mobile application experience. And when you have something akin to “unlimited” resources, you can make decisions that others in a different situation cannot.
Maybe this decision doesn’t mesh with Facebook’s long term vision, and maybe it was very expensive and will cause them extra development time and effort in the future. All of that doesn’t matter in the short term if they can make their users happy now. Even if you make the argument that they “didn’t do HTML5 correctly”, it doesn’t really change anything. In the end they have an app that most will agree works great and seems to be an improvement over what they had before, so in this case “the ends justify the means”.
So if you’re an Enterprise company should you follow Facebook’s lead and ditch HTML5 for native?
Unless you are totally stuck on a problem that can’t be solved by HTML5, or you are a company where fractions of a second have significant value, you should probably stick to what you are doing now. If a mobile banking customer has to wait “a tiny bit longer” to get their account balance from an HTML5 app versus native, I don’t think that is going to cause them to close their account and move to another bank with a native app.
For Facebook, the short-term benefits of their decision outweigh the possible harm, but Facebook is in a different world than the rest of us. Most companies need to balance “customer delight” with what is affordable, doable, and sustainable over the long haul. That means HTML5 will probably take most companies further down the road than some alternate strategy.
Maybe there will be a day when we see an announcement like: “Facebook switches back to HTMLx……”
Recent web traffic analysis shows that many Social Retailers are getting an enormous amount of traffic from mobile devices. In the case of LivingSocial, they’re getting more traffic from mobile than the desktop. Breaking down mobile traffic between the apps and the mobile web, the web is preferred over apps nearly two-fold. This affinity of LivingSocial users for mobile websites is in line with general mobile retail shopping preference finding revealed in a recent Keynote Mobile Study.
So it would stand to reason that LivingSocial is doing everything possible to maximize the performance of their websites on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Yet, looking at results in the Keynote Startup 3-Screen Index, their performance isn’t where you’d hope it would be. On tablets the 43.9 second average response time of their site is downright painful, faring far worse than the average startup.
But the mobile challenge LivingSocial faces is ones other companies would love to have. Their customers and prospects are actively seeking them out on mobile devices and with a few improvements, the company can quickly improve the mobile user experience. For smartphone users they’re delivering a clean, simple website designed in accordance to many mobile best practices. However with 300 KB of content it is on the heavy side. Trimming down the size of the site delivering fewer and lighter content could lead to faster downloads.
Worse yet, they make the iPad user go through a 3 step registration process that isn’t required of smartphone users. Mobile websites are important for all retailers because they’re far more discoverable than apps which require a download from an app store. Three additional steps needed to get to a home page increases the likelihood of user abandonment. Requiring upfront registration and collecting information is very common in Social Retail. But if fake information will get you to the destination, companies should weigh what’s gained in collecting junk data against the potential loss of real prospects.
With all the data from web performance metrics, we still have a longer mile to go. Data analysis is of great importance and nailing down performance problems with the help of this data is of top priority. By just measurement of site up time, we will not be able to pin point the performance issues. We will be able to crack this with the help of detailed and consistent data series.
Problems may or may not be persistent, but monitoring the response times is how close we can get in order to site the problem. We still have the benefit of the data to analyze and drill down to the root cause of the problem. In addition to this, we can locate errors with comparison to the data center and the internet, there could be a million reasons for the problem or just could be an infrastructure problem. Diagnostic audits needs to be carried out periodically from outside and within your firewall. The processes need to be aligned to eliminate bottle necks and to enhance overall website performance.
With rich media content on a site, it is necessary to have a good web based service to monitor website and measure its quality and more over measure the reliability of media delivery.
The service needs to provide a easy access to website performance data and should have reporting capabilities with top of the line diagnosis. With root cause analysis, it becomes easy and manageable to analyze the performance of your streams and media content.
With the help of good diagnosis and reporting capabilities, real time alerts are always an added advantage. The measurement of the audio and video quality is done real time through measurement computers called agents. These agents once connected play your content for about 60 seconds and collect information such as Network statistics, streaming statistics, server statistics and presentation statistics. All these being core to improve your web performance.
Website monitoring services are used by individuals, ecommerce companies, web hosting providers, small businesses, etc. A monitoring service is usually used to see if your web server and your web site is running smoothly and to get a downtime notification.
To get an insight on the working of the a monitoring service for a web page, the service sends out requests from locations around the world to check if your services like HTTP, SMTP, etc are accessible. The accessibility of your web pages are determined according to the response codes.
Its been said that “you cannot manage what you do not measure”. It is necessary to also know what your visitors numbers were before changing the design of your home-page, and after changing the design of your home page. Monitoring every detail along with interpreting statistics lets you improve your website performance and achieve the goal of your website in a much better way.