If you want to make a mobile app for your business, the first option that comes to mind is to hire a team (internally or externally) to design, develop and deploy your app. And it needs to be done on all platforms:
- iOS and Android: definitely
- Blackberry and Windows: maybe
- HTML5 (Mobile Web Responsive): Nice to have
However, going through the above process is costly, time consuming and risky. Making follow up updates, bug fixes and adding features is not easy or fast to do. In response to the above challenges, other options have been introduced: One of them is Mobile Application Development Platforms (a.k.a MDAP). Those platforms help you to fast track the development by providing a set of tools and libraries. At least, in some areas, you won’t need to re-invent the wheel however it still needs development, making the app for each platform, etc.
The third option which can be appealing for some usecases is to use a Design Platform. A design platform, similar to Web Content Management Systems, allows a user to use a visual tool, and by using per-defiend templates, drag-n-drop and point-n-clicks.
The latest option can create the apps for various platforms with one click, however, like any other platform, it comes with its own limitations.
The chart below summarizes the respective characteristics and rating for each scenario :
The above charts shows, for the usecases that trying new ideas with limited functionality in the shortest time matter, use of Design Platforms is a good option. If a very complex app, with a sophisticated User Experience is needed, a custom development is a better option. MDAP falls somewhere in between.
Above ratings are based on responsiveness to a new requirement including the time, effort and cost to deliver or change an App. The higher the rating and appeal of the other criteria, the better the solution.
Note: The criteria or ratings are NOT based on a specific scientific approach or methodology. It is a guideline on what parameters to consider when selecting on how to make a new mobile app. It also provides an estimation on each parameters and pros and cons for each approach per criteria.
Original document for this post can be found here.