The technical challenges in creating a mobile app with global importance
We look forward to working with each of our clients. However, the task of creating a mobile application with global importance is among our favorites because:
- We've helped important health information regarding COVID-19 and other pandemics reach a broad audience quickly and in real-time.
- We overcame the technical challenges, we managed to satisfy the client's wishes, and our teams expanded their expertise.
Borislav Kulov - engineering lead in Resolute Software with an experience in technology of over 25 years, shared with us interesting insights about this project. Bobby has gone through all the technical challenges in creating a mobile application of global importance and has made a considerable contribution to the successful results in the end.
Let's go back to the very beginning...
Our client is a global organization for health coverage, services, and information spread that is dedicated to the well-being of the world and they needed to make accessing health news from everywhere easier. Prior to starting our collaboration, the information available on the client’s website was partially available in three different mobile apps. Our client wanted to combine this information into one modern, quick and easy-to-navigate application, and just like the website, to allow users to receive news of preference depending on their language and region.
The technical challenges on the way to achieving the goal
The client has decided to use Native Script to develop the application. Native Script is a Telerik/Progress open-source technology developed in 2014 and adopted by a partner of Progress, nStudio, and other community members at the end of 2019.
After 2019, the engineers who still work with Native Script are much fewer than before, and the technology is not officially supported anymore. There are bugs and problems with plugins. The Native Script components that our client wants to add to the application are not mature, not completed, or not maintained anymore.
The main question at this stage was: How to overcome breakdowns while working on the original design of the application, submitted by the client?
As required, the application had to also provide information in several different languages related to different regions and allow users to customize it according to their geolocation, language, and interests.
"To allow this capability and add other features more easily, our team had to rework the application's entire architecture." - Bobby shares.
Challenges become opportunities
Despite the nature of Native Script technology and the lack of much information on the subject, our team of experienced software engineers managed to gain the necessary expertise.
"We've built the application from scratch, with the most convenient and logical UI, duplicating the appearance and structure of the website, as users were already used to working with it." adds Bobby.
The next question in front of the team was: How do 3 slow and poor of content applications combine into an easy to manage, fast, and interactive one?
The solution was a hybrid framework method that allows you not to make separate applications for iOS and Android but to use an approach to preserve the UI of operating systems and their specifics through already made components. This approach facilitated development because it allowed all UI elements such as buttons, toggles, design patterns, and style to be in place for the specific operating system.
The poor content that we turned into a rich application
Creating a fast and easy to manage application was just the beginning. Our team was also working on a serious and challenging additional question: How to enrich the content so that we add the most value to the end-user?
The client’s website had 6 main languages in which the information reached users, according to the geographical regions using these languages. Our team did the same for the app, allowing users to choose between different languages for a specific region. Borislav also shares the following on this topic:
"We have also added a search filter for a given language, which shows information according to the regions this language is used in or vice versa – you can search by region, and the app shows you all possible languages for this specific region."
In addition to the main news section, our team also added videos, events, conferences, downloadable pdfs, and more graphics. Users now can customize their feed with news, categories, and filters according to their interests. Highlights of news and various insights and statistics for quick access are available on the main screen.
The app is fully integrated with the backend and provides the ability to make dynamic, real-time updates to content. The organization provides information and images to the application server and updates seamlessly. Every time a user restarts the application on their mobile phone, it reads the configuration file on the server and updates the app with any new content and data.
The feeling when creating a mobile application with global importance
"Among others, the added value and expertise our team has given to the project is the transparent communication at every stage of the project." - Bobby shares.
Our software engineers met regularly with the client and reported progress on a weekly basis. As technology experts, we gave our professional opinion on what changes to make to the UX/UI design as well as to the implementation process, in order to overcome the Native Script technical challenges. We have also added ideas to the application development. As time went on and trust was built, everything our team offered was accepted without questioning. In conclusion, Bobby adds:
"I am proud I was involved in the development of an application with global importance that has over 50,000 active users and over 1 million downloads. I am pleased that we have overcome the technical challenges and contributed to the spread of health information, useful not only during COVID-19 but also in general."