There’s no denying the power and popularity of mobile apps. In 2020 alone, mobile app downloads hit 218 billion - a seven percent increase year-over-year. If your business wants to keep up with the competition and meet customer expectations, a mobile app is a must-have.
There are many choices to make when it comes to designing an app - from features to functionality to design - all of which can have a huge impact on its usability and success. If you’re developing an app that shares data (COVID-19 contact tracing apps, for example), you may need to present a visualization of complex data in the form of graphs, charts, or dashboards that are embedded in the app. This can help users better understand the data you’re sharing, discover insights, and improve the customer experience.
If you’re considering a design approach that uses a lot of data, consider some of these key features when selecting the right visualization tool for your business and customers.
Many data visualization tools on the market can be embedded into various applications. Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Looker, and Sisense are just a few examples of these types of tools. If your organization is already using these in other capacities, this can be a good place to start for your app. If you’re not using tools like these or need different capabilities, it can be helpful to conduct research and assess prototypes of different tools to see what would work best. Prototyping will help you evaluate features better and determine which parts of the application to further develop. At this stage, you’ll also want to consider security configurations or operational requirements as well.
There are a few considerations you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding which visualization tool to build into your app, including:
Most visualization tools should make configuring chart types more flexible. If you prefer widespread charts, for instance, you can use the Box plot graph type. However, this will depend on the needs of your organization.
- Layout Features
When choosing a data visualization tool, make sure that its layout features meet your needs. Of course, when you are planning to integrate these tools into your application, you’ll need to make sure it integrates well with your design. The same goes for the device compatibility of the application. If you’re considering a cross-platform app, the layout features will need to be flexible enough to accommodate this.
If your data visualization tool meets your business needs, it should also be easy to integrate, or at least not require too much time and resources. With the right tool, integration is easy with an embed code or HTML. If you need something more custom, you can use an API, especially if you need to meet project-specific conditions in the visualization.
- Personalization and Interactivity
When using data visualization tools, you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with your app requirements. Personalization is an important factor in determining the usability of these data visualization tools as needed for your business goals. Look for the ability to move app assets around, change the sort order, include different metrics and columns in the display, as well as the ability to customize graph types. Some tools will even allow you to extend these features through APIs.
Security is an important factor both in building and employing mobile applications, particularly if you’re dealing with sensitive information, such as health or financial data. You want to make sure the tool allows for row-level and column-level security and access to specific user data should be restricted to login credentials of that user only. Access to overall data visualizations of your users should require administrator-level credentials.
Users appreciate - and have come to expect - fast and efficient apps. You’ll want to make sure that your data visualizations load quickly and seamlessly. Visual-heavy applications tend to evoke certain expectations for snappy movement, quick runtime, and overall efficiency. However, this can depend on the amount of data the app is processing. If users expect complex data and analysis, then higher latency is forgiven. However, if you’re embedding visualizations into websites then quick load times are a must. Search engine optimization guidelines are very strict about page loading times and often penalize slower ones.
It’s important to consider whether the tool’s development features are flexible and scalable enough to grow with your business needs. Important features include version control, development, workflow deployment, test practices, and continuous integration. All of these should allow you to modify your application even after its launch.
- Integration with Analytics Platforms
Developing an app that shares data and insights with customers can be a powerful tool in a business’s arsenal. The average customer responds to visual layouts and it offers a simpler way to understand complex data. However, choosing the right data visualization tool can make or break the user experience. Consider how well a tool will integrate with your app requirements and look for elements such as chart layouts, flexibility, security, and efficiency.
If your business is looking to develop a mobile app with data visualization requirements, reach out to Everestek today. We use modern web frameworks to build fast, reliable, and secure web applications and our expert team of UI/UX designers can take your idea from initial concepts to a fully functional, production ready web application that will wow your customers.