Ai Editorial: 5 areas to evaluate for mobile app development and analytics

First Published on 29th November, 2018

Ai Editorial: UX- and tech-savvy companies have set a new benchmark in mobile product development and analytics. Ai’s Ritesh Gupta looks at 5 areas.  


The practice of maintaining and running a mobile asset has evolved considerably. Be it for working on a code that runs natively on Android and iOS or iteration speed coming down from minutes to a matter of seconds are excellent examples of how UX- and tech-savvy companies have set a new benchmark in mobile product development.

Significance of mobile can’t be underestimated, but organizations have to be nimble to drop and pick new ways to optimize mobile product development and analytics. Do you know Airbnb has decided to move on from the technology/ approach it had chosen for the Experiences offering a couple of years ago?

“Mobile is not only reshaping the customer journey of today, it’s rebooting the entire travel experience in the process,” this is what Travelport Digital’s Regional Sales Director, Jim Nation, mentioned at the recently held Ai’s MegaEvent in Long Beach, California.

This means airlines have to dig deep to understand the intricacies of mobile. One critical aspect is mobile devices are oftentimes the primary or only form of communication while travelling. So it is important to not only provide passengers with transparent information during the booking process, but also proactively coming up with real-time information directly to their device of choice – be it for flight departure time and gate updates, information about baggage carousels and public transport upon arrival etc.

As an airline flying into several countries, JetStar is trying to test and learn across different regions to understand which products or services should be supported on mobile depending on the mobile take up and travel habits of customers in different countries. For instance, capitalizing on push notifications for personalized or integrating payments to mobile devices.

We explore some of the developments that show how progress is being made in this arena:

1.     Supporting agile processes: As airlines empower autonomous teams and embrace DevOps (supports effective collaboration between teams), approach to monitoring needs to evolve as well. Accordingly, savvy organizations are refining their respective DevOps workflows via a productive set of APIs and SDKs. Eventually a key objective is to capitalize on the data to sort errors, continuous software delivery, enhanced customer experience etc. and drive the performance of mobile assets.

2.     App development: The industry has been assessing mobile development programming languages for cross-platform compatibility, responsiveness to different screen sizes etc. Digital commerce specialists need to open up mobile development to more engineers as well as ship code rapidly by leveraging cross-platform nature of any approach that is chosen. In this context, the industry has been assessing mobile development programming languages for cross-platform compatibility, responsiveness to different screen sizes etc. It is vital to evaluate what enables product engineers to work effectively. In case of Airbnb, the team chose to drop React Native this year, and there were conversations around React Native vs. NativeScript approaches (these approaches provide a series of cross-platform JavaScript APIs for common mobile tasks) to app development. Airbnb also indicated that every company or the specific team should look at their requirements and accordingly decide on app development. It was React Native on which Airbnb had counted on to introduce Experiences, an entirely new business for Airbnb.

3.     Right SDK: Mobile app analytics software developments kits (SDKs) are integral part of understanding the user behavior and overall app performance. But it doesn’t mean that travel companies can overlook the safety issue associated with analytics SDKs.  One aspect is handling of users private data and whether the same is resulting in breaching of a store’s privacy policy. From a performance perspective, specialists point out that SDKs can slow down an app, result in errors or crash, too.   

4.     Data-driven analysis: Mobile specialists also recommend constant action on behavorial data collected to better understand specific customer profiles and journeys. Emphasis is on the use of digital devices of selected people for data-driven analysis.

Travelport recommends delving into why things happened the way that they did. Also, focus on preempting what might happen in the time to come and also automating decisions and actions to deliver the best possible outcome at each user interaction.

5.     Product management analytics: mixpanel is a recent blog post mentioned that goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), and metrics aren’t the same and are often interchanged. Once teams select their goals, they can determine the KPIs and metrics that support them. Transaction and engagement metrics are two common product management metrics. And to understand metrics, product specialists can rely on segmentation (segregate users by the traits they share, such as behavior), cohort analysis, retention and funnel analysis.  


Follow Ai on Twitter: @Ai_Connects_Us