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Development

ByteLion named as a Top Software Development Firm

By Development

Clutch Names ByteLion as a Top Software Development Agencies in Baltimore and Part of Their 2020 Global 1000.

We got the news and are proud to announce that not only is ByteLion ranked as one of the best software development companies on the 2020 list on Clutch. But we are also included in their Global 1000 – a list that ranks the 1000 leading custom development firms within our industry from all over the world.

ByteLion's badge awarded by Clutch for being named a leading software development company in the world.

This kind of recognition proves that our team’s skills are world-class and can compete with anyone from around the world. This is the reason why we always appreciate our clients who take the time to leave their wonderful reviews on B2B ratings platforms like Clutch.

The award validates all the hard work and long hours our team puts into each project everyday. Our CEO, Terrance MacGregor, summed up the team’s feelings best.

The ByteLion team is proud to be named one of the leading global companies in 2020 by Clutch. ByteLion catalyzes digital transformation which is representative of our team member’s hard work and dedication. We are thankful to all of our team members and customers for another tremendous year” – Terry MacGregor, CEO of ByteLion.

For our team, the year 2021 isn’t going to be any different. We are excited to partner with more great enterprises and startups in the year to come. Fill out our contact form and we can get in touch to learn how we can solve your business challenges with custom software. 

Before You Apply To Be A Software Intern

By Development

Being an intern at a small company is a huge commitment if it is done well.  A company needs to develop an accountability program, design work, setup mentors, and give constant feedback and supervision for work that has the potential to be profitable. More likely than not, however, intern work will be a cost center.  Why do small companies do it then?  The answer is simple, it allows a company to build a bond with a junior person very early on in their career, and it provide them with a pipeline to select individuals that can have a very real impact on the company’s bottom line.   Before you accept the job, you have to ask yourself:

Will I be a good investment for the company?

A good investment means that you have positioned yourself to make the company money. You need to understand the business model of the company you are applying for.  Your goal is to make sure you won’t be a burden to the bottom line, that you are up on current technology trends, and you can contribute day 1 to a mission to help the company.  If you show up and say, “I came here to learn. Can you teach me everything? What are my hours?”, you have walked into your internship with an F.  To be effective, you need to have done prep work.

Every Software Company’s Dream Intern

Nothing is more powerful to a software company than a computer science student that has built a product end to end.  In order to do that, a student must have mastered front end development (enough to get something working) and backend development (databases, APIs, hosting).  They can demo that product from their open source github account or if it is private, be able to demo it confidently.  What matters most is that it works, solves a problem, and you can explain how it functions.

The Perfect Answer To The Question 

Why do you want to intern here?

I am super interested in the company. I read every word on your website, and I think that I can help you with ABC and maybe D.  As I understand it, your company makes $ by doing X.  I have being doing X and I can help you do X by 1,2,3.  I don’t want a traditional internship. I am looking to secure a role in a high speed company and help grow it.

Prepping for your Internship

  1. Learn a simple modern day front end framework like react. It will take 2 weekends (both days) non stop to get through a few tutorials (40 hours)
  2. Learn a backend framework, like ExpressJS   ( 40 hours)
  3. Use a PAAS (platform as a service like AWS)  ( 40 hours)
  4. Set up logging to a remote location ( 8 hours)
  5. Setup database backups (1 hour)
  6. Build a rock solid login or use a third party login system (40 hours)
  7. Build role based views and actions into your application (40 hours)
  8. Integrate with a subscription service payment tool like Stripe. (20 hours)

Total = ~230 hours of self led, self managed time

Interested In A Software Internship?

We would love to talk with you if the article above didn’t scare you!  Contact us at careers@bytelion.com.

 

React Native Client-Side Data Storage Solutions

By MobileNo Comments

In order to develop a mobile application with maximum DIL [Disconnected, Intermittent, Low-bandwidth] functionality, local data storage is essential. Within the React Native ecosystem, there are a number of options to consider.

Simple Storage Solutions

AsyncStorage is an asynchronous, unencrypted, persistent, key-value storage system. AsyncStorage is a perfect solution if the data to be stored is simple, lightweight, and not sensitive in nature. This solution is supported in bare and managed workflows in Expo.

SecureStore is another asynchronous, persistent, key-value storage option available in React Native. SecureStore enables the storage of key-value pairs in an encrypted data store. The size limit is 2048 bytes for the value. This solution is also supported in bare and managed workflows in Expo.

Persisting simple data in key-value pairs is highly useful but it is typical that mobile applications will require the storage of more complex data structures. Because of this need, there are many options to choose from.

SQlite vs. NoSQL

SQLite is a relational database management system (RDMS). It uses tables where data is defined by columns and stored in rows. Each table has a unique name and may relate to one or more other tables in the database through common values. NoSQL databases are document-based, key-value pairs, graph databases or wide-column stores. They also do not have standard schema definitions that need to be adhered to. Additionally, NoSQL data stores are typically not relational.

SQL databases have a predefined schema. NoSQL databases have a dynamic schema for unstructured data. Therefore, migrations are necessary when schema changes are made when leveraging a SQL/SQLite database. For apps with the need to store unstructured or constantly changing data structures, a NoSQL solution is best. 

SQL/SQLite databases are a better fit for complex query intensive applications. SQLite implementations often will have an abstraction layer to allow developers to interact with the database in the native language of the project. SQLite also implements most of the Structured Query Language (SQL) standard. This allows developers to implement custom SQL queries if needed. In general, NoSQL databases don’t have standard interfaces to perform complex queries. Typically the queries themselves in NoSQL are not as powerful as SQL query language.

React Native Datastore Options

This is a list with a brief description of some of the options for client-side mobile application data storage solutions capable of handling more complex data than AsyncStorage or SecureStore.

NPM (Node.js Package Manager) is the most useful package manager for JavaScript. NPM is very commonly used by React Native developers to install critical libraries to be implemented into their mobile applications. Below is a graph generated using the NPM Trends tool. This gives a sense of how often the packages we are going to look at are downloaded by developers through NPM. It will also illustrate the current trends for data storage solutions in React Native.

React Native NPM Downloads Graph

_______________________

SQLite

The React Native SQLite module creates a client-side SQLite database that can be queried through a WebSQL-like API. SQLite is a small, fast, reliable, and self-contained SQL database engine. It is one of the most commonly used database engines and is leveraged by all kinds of applications on any platform and is supported in Expo managed and bare workflows. SQLite data stores can be encrypted using SQLite Encryption Extension (SEE) or plugins like SQLiteCrypt and SQLCipher. Unfortunately, it does not look like these libraries are supported in Expo managed workflows at the time of this writing (December 2019).

realm

realm

Realm is an object-oriented NoSQL database. As such it provides memory-efficient access to data by using Realm objects, which usually consume less RAM than native objects. Realm also has faster performance than SQLite and some other data storage solutions. The client-side datastore includes a built-in framework for seamless data syncing with Realm backend storage solutions. Custom security protocols for each of the different device platforms is also one of the strengths of Realm. As of this writing (December 2019), Realm is not supported in Expo managed workflow.

pouchdb

pouchDB

Pouchbase is a client-side datastore with a JSON-based NoSQL interface. It can be used as an abstraction layer over SQLite or by default it ships with IndexedDB adapter for the browser, and a LevelDB adapter in Node.js. The primary reason to adopt PouchDB is to leverage the built-in framework to enable data synchronization with CouchDB server-side data storage solutions. Client-side PouchDB instances can be encrypted using the Simple-Cryptor-Pouch plugin. As of this writing (December 2019), PouchDB is not supported in Expo managed workflow.

mongoDB

mongoDB

MongoDB is a document-based NoSQL database that reads and writes JavaScript objects. It includes the ability to sync to MongoDB backend datastore. The ability to encrypt the client-side data store instance is built-in. As of writing (Dec 2019) MongoDB is not supported in Expo managed workflow.

Couchbase

couchbase

Note from developers on the react-native-couchbase-lite repo: This plugin works for Couchbase Lite 1.x only. For new projects, we recommend to use the Couchbase Lite 2.0 Native API and to write your own wrapper to access Couchbase Lite APIs from a JavaScript codebase (see https://facebook.github.io/react-native/docs/communication-ios.html).

Disclaimer on the react-native-couchbase-lite repo: “This package is not an official couchbase plugin and is not supported in any way by couchbase. If you have issues with it please do not use the couchbase forums but raise an issue here instead. Although this package does work as described it may not be fully featured and may not be suitable for your requirements. This package is just a thin layer over the CBL REST API, PRs and suggestions are welcome!”

It does not appear like the developers of Couchbase are currently supporting a React Native implementation of their client-side data storage solution. The best React Native compatible client-side data storage solution with built-in server-side Couchbase syncing at the time of writing (December 2019) is PouchDB.

If you are looking for application support as it relates to building applications in disconnected, intermittent, and low bandwidth environments (DIL), contact us here. Bytelion has developed a portfolio of apps meant to sustain connectivity and support local data storage.

Advanced Search Experience with Algolia

By DevelopmentNo Comments

Providing the customer with an excellent search experience is one of the most overlooked aspects of successful eCommerce websites. According to Forrester Research, 43% of website visitors go directly to the search bar when they open a website for the first time. This means that, for nearly half of your user base, the search functionality of your website will be their first impression, so it had better be good! ECommerce giants like Amazon fully understand this, so they have spent significant resources on ensuring that the search experience of their website is user-friendly and effective. Considering how universal Amazon is today, they have essentially set the bar for advanced search experiences, and as such, your average user will expect high-quality search by default.

Algolia logo

This poses a significant challenge to the average eCommerce website. Very few eCommerce websites have the resources that Amazon has to engineer this kind of experience from the ground up. After all, an online merchant is not a search engine company – they should be able to focus their time and resources on other aspects of the website. Nonetheless, users will be expecting a search experience that rivals that of Amazon’s. So how can the average online merchant deliver advanced search features their users expect without exhausting their resources?

One great option is to utilize a tool like Algolia! Algolia is “a hosted search engine, offering full-text, numerical, and faceted search, capable of delivering real-time results from the first keystroke.”  By using Algolia to implement a search solution, eCommerce sites can rest easy knowing that their search functionality is solid while freeing up resources to focus on other aspects of the platform. Let’s take a look at some of the advanced search features that are made easy by Algolia, and how it can help you drive sales and deliver the search experience that your customers expect. 

FREE AUDIT

Guided search screenshot

Guided Search

A relatively simple but overlooked feature is what’s known as guided search. The screenshot above depicts the guided search feature on Coursera.com, whose search is powered by Algolia. As you can see, as the user types, they are recommended popular search terms. This helps to make the user’s experience more streamlined, so they can get to the product they’re looking for faster, or be inspired by some of the other popular search terms and decide to buy something else.

Federated search

Federated search screenshotNowadays, it’s not uncommon to find content other than merchandise on an eCommerce site, such as blog posts, corporate news, FAQS, etc. Using federated search technology, search queries can be done on multiple content sources simultaneously. This means that when a user searches for a product, the results could also include, for example, any relevant blogs posts about the same or similar products. This increases visibility to non-merchandise content on your website and could potentially motivate users to spend more time on your website, which is always a good thing.

Personalized search

A great search experience will not be the same for every user. Using personalized search features, search results on the same exact query can vary from user to user, based on a variety of factors. For example, a user that is located somewhere with a hot climate might have more warm-weather clothing in their results. The displayed results can also take a user’s past shopping habits into consideration, prioritizing brands that the user has purchased before. This helps to make the user’s shopping experience more relevant to them, increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Analytics

Analytics screenshot

On top of all the great search features that Algolia provides for your customers, they provide valuable analytics into what your users are searching for and buying, all displayed in a convenient dashboard. At a glance, this allows you to see trending search terms, which search terms lead to the most conversions, which search terms are returning no results, and more. Even if Algolia did not provide any added search functionality to your website, these search metrics would be extremely valuable. These insights into what people are looking for and buying allows online merchants to rapidly respond to its customers’ shopping habits and take steps to increase sales.

Conclusion

These are just some of the advanced search features that Algolia can add to your eCommerce website, for a fraction of the cost of building them in-house. You can check out the documentation yourself at https://www.algolia.com/doc/ for a deep dive into the additional features they offer. Using the robust features of Algolia, one of our team members here at Bytelion helped improve the search experience on Under Armour’s website, resulting in 35% increased conversions from search. If you are interested in seeing similar improvements on your eCommerce site, please contact us. We can conduct a free eCommerce audit on your tool to give you actionable insights. 

FREE AUDIT

SalesForce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud – Product to Customer Centric Enterprise

By Cloud Commerce, DevelopmentNo Comments

As technology evolves rapidly and shopping trends shift on a daily basis. eCommerce is in a constant state of adaptation that can leave brands fumbling in the dark.

Bytelion has worked with companies that employ a number of eCommerce tools, many of which don’t meet the challenges we face today. Ultimately, companies need to respond quickly to changing demands with flexible eCommerce built around your customers.

B2B Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud As Your  Solution

Commerce Cloud is a multi-tenant, cloud-based commerce platform that empowers brands to create intelligent, unified buying experiences across all channels i.e. mobile, social, web, and store. Leveraging the power of the cloud, Salesforce helps you craft innovative customer experiences that drive conversions and inspire brand loyalty. It allows companies to handle their entire business operations from a single place. After 10+ years in the eCommerce world, Bytelion has found Salesforce Commerce Cloud as a robust tool to ensure revenue stability and growth in times of economic unpredictability.

B2C Commerce Cloud

B2B Commerce Cloud – is optimized, customized, and integrated so that you can get the complete freedom to curate the entire customer journey. This starts from the first click in the purchase journey to order fulfillment.

B2C Commerce Cloud – connects with consumers and delivers personalized shopping experiences across all e-commerce channels i.e. web, mobile, social, and in-store. This platform enables digital experience and frictionless transactions at every touchpoint. B2C Commerce provides the resources and processing for your eCommerce sites, called a storefront in the Commerce Cloud documentation to help create and build your sites in your vertical.

Is Salesforce perfect for your business?

Today, companies need the best products and services available. As demand for online sales increases, tools that offer numerous capabilities and features are essential. Commerce Cloud provides the capabilities that ensure a personalized shopping experience for you and your customers.

  • Excellence capabilities – helps to manage the products, pricing, and promotions to boost customer engagement.
  • Operational capabilities – facilitates functionality over multiple channels, linking the backend process with the fulfillment of orders.
  • Intelligence capabilities – provide more clear data insights for guiding us with customer interaction(AB testing), engagement, and quick business decisions.

In the past few years, companies that grew their market share have either been native digital organizations or cloud enterprises. For this, companies need an expert team to help rematch, reinvent, and strategize the digital transformation journey.

Bytelion’s work:

Pier 1 Imports is the eighth-largest furniture retailer in the United States and its eCommerce platform is hosted and deployed in a standard Salesforce Cloud. Pier 1 Imports recruited Bytelion’s team of eCommerce designers and developers to optimize its eCommerce platform.

Bytelion is delivering an outsized impact on UI improvements through commitment to adaptation and efficiency. We learned a fully customized Commerce Cloud and navigated complex development systems to accomplish significant strides in software development. This transformed the user experience and contributed to increasing eCommerce revenue. Our team contributed heavily to frontend and backend development, automated quality assurance (QA) testing, and implemented best technical and organizational practices within their team and across the project.

Bytelion drives with speed and agility. We leverage our UX skills and design process to improve and create completely new personalized customer experiences. Bytelion helps build and drive the processes and campaigns that companies need to bring these experiences to life in quick, smart iterations.

We offer development support:

  • Trouble shooting:  Promptly react to complex performance, security or other Salesforce issues, which need to be fixed on the code level.
  • System evolution:  Implement enhancements, including substantial ones, to a Salesforce solution according to change requests. Modifies default functionality quickly with no impact to current business operations in Salesforce.

To learn how Bytelion can help your Commerce Cloud platform, sign up for free audit. Our team of user experience designers will run a thorough assessment and provide actionable insights to help grow your online sales.

FREE AUDIT

GitHub Template to Kickstart Your Project

By Development, Software Lifecycle, ToolsNo Comments

Have you ever needed to ramp up on a project quickly to produce a product as soon as possible? Typically, development teams start out fresh by creating a brand new code project; however, creating new projects from scratch can forfeit time that would otherwise go into building out new features. A GitHub template can help developers reuse code to bring a product to production level at a much faster rate.

We use templates at Bytelion to help our startup clients achieve their goals in a smaller time frame. Check out this GitHub template for a Ruby on Rails API project we have created. In this post we will demonstrate how we created this template so you can get started with recycling your code!

4 Steps to Create a Template Repository

1. Create a new repository that will host the GitHub template

Creating a new repository is the first step to creating your first GitHub template. To create a new repository select the plus button from the top of the page and enter the required info. You can choose to share your repository with the public or you can keep it hidden between you and your team!

2. Generate your code for reusing as a template project

Once you have a repository created you can add any code that you would like to use as a template. In our example Rails template we chose to have a Rails API that will be ready to use, the only steps left are to create our models and controllers that will be used when the API is called by a client.

3. Mark the repository as a template

When the code in the project is complete, navigate to the settings tab in GitHub and select the option to mark the project as a template repository.

create github template4. Use the template to create a new project

To create a new GitHub repository with the template do one of the following. Create a new repository as shown in step 1 and select the template you would like to use. Or if using a public template, you can use the “Use this template” button on the repository page. As a result, you will have created your first GitHub repository!

use github templateNow that you have created your own template you can get started with reusing your own code to kickstart your projects! Have a template you would like to share with us? Let us know by sharing this post and mentioning us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

Client Spotlight: Code of Support’s PATRIOTlink

By DevelopmentNo Comments

Code of Support Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization founded to provide critical one-on-one assistance to struggling service members, veterans, and their families who have the most complex needs. Co-Founders Kristina Kauffman and Major General Alan Salisbury recognized that the mental impact of serving our country, on soldiers and their families, was not being effectively addressed. Because of this they created Code of Support Foundation, and subsequently, the PATRIOTlink® service.  

Teaming Up to Help Veterans

Code of Support Foundation (COSF) recently engaged the Bytelion Team to help them mobile-enable and re-launch PATRIOTlink.  PATRIOTlink is a service offered by COSF that was created to help service members, veterans, and their families find available resources in their area.  The goal for the service is to create a “one-stop shop” to find vetted, direct, and cost-free services for issues such as homelessness, mental health, unemployment and more. After consulting with COSF to understand their objectives, the team decided to provide critical updates to the existing site while concurrently developing a brand new platform to deliver a fresh modern design, mobile-ready experience, and additional features to support large organizations.

The Software Dilemma

PATRIOTlink is not the only service that offers search-based resource navigation for veterans.  However, other options are very difficult to use and often include programs that no longer exist or are no longer accepting new clients. One thing that sets PATRIOTlink apart from these sites is that all the services listed go through a two-phase verification process prior to being released to users.  All services are then re-verified on a regular basis to make sure the information on the site is always accurate and reputable.

Bytelion Blog PATRIOTlink History Input Page

The new platform allows users to sign up for a free account that grants them access to unlimited searches on the site.  When a user signs up for an account, they are asked to enter basic information about themselves, their military service and what they need help with currently. The software then takes this information and searches through thousands of verified providers to return the most useful results in their area. 

The Solution

The new site officially went live to the public in July, and the feedback has been incredibly positive.  Employees at Code of Support Foundation have been thrilled with how much easier it is to input new service providers and move them through the vetting process. Bytelion’s ability to improve workflow in the system and streamline the user interface allows COSF employees to do their job with ease! Data is better organized, which in turn lets users find the help they need more efficiently.

The Future

The team plans to continue working with PATRIOTlink through the end of 2019. Addressing the needs of large organizations remains a top priority for the development of the product.  Enterprise-level accounts include support for regional and national organizations with many physical points of presence and larger teams of people supporting the needs of service members, veterans, and their families.  Critical to managing these larger service organizations is the ability to optimize the deployment of resources. This is made possible by understanding where supply is not meeting demand and identifying the appropriate service criteria required. 

We thank Code of Support Foundation for entrusting us with this project.  We look forward to continuing to support PATRIOTlink in the coming months.  If you would like to know more about how we can help your company, contact us today!

Team Members

8 Deadly Mobile App Mistakes

By Development, MobileNo Comments

So you have an idea for the next killer app? Did you know that only .01 percent of consumer-facing mobile applications became financially successful in 2018? B2B apps fare slightly better, but we must first ask why do so many apps fail? What can we do to avoid making the same mistakes?

Primary reasons mobile apps fail

  • Excessive supply – there are tons of apps being made and launched
  • Apps are expensive – many people begin building apps without realizing the investment required to build a successful app. They’ll cut corners to save money, not realizing they are cutting things that are critical to the app’s success.
  • Poor user experience – if you are lucky enough to get a user to download your app it’s going to be critical that you deliver an excellent user experience to retain the user.
  • Poor technology – not all app developers are the same. As mentioned above, people rarely realize what it takes to be successful and will hire developers who are inexperienced or incapable of building a properly functioning application that has a great user experience.

8 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid Before Building Your Mobile Application

 

Not performing enough upfront researchdeath star

It’s critical that you perform the right research before you spend valuable resources trying to build a new application. This research needs to cover your potential audience, competitors, and the overall marketplace. Does a solution already exist? Have others tried to solve this problem before? Why did they fail? What obstacles did they face? What mistakes were made?

You’ll need to engage your prospective audience in conversations to validate that the problem you are trying to solve is real as well as the impact it could have on them if you are able to help them solve this problem.

You’ll want to engage as many subject matter experts to validate the problem’s existence as well as what other attempts have been made to solve it. You’ll need to talk to technical experts to make sure that technology would even be capable of solving this problem.

Not engaging users for feedback early enough

If you don’t gather user feedback at every step you run the risk of building something that users do not care about. The way to eliminate this risk is to launch something early and iterate often. By launching what is often referred to as a Minimally Viable Product, you are putting something in front of potential users very early in order to gather feedback as early as you can. Your goal is to validate every piece of functionality with user feedback. By launching, testing, and learning you’ll be able to move forward with the items deemed necessary to the app’s value proposition. Again, limit your assumptions.

Don’t fall in love with your idea unicorn

Don’t fall in love with one potential solution to a problem. Instead, you should fall in love with the problem you are trying to solve. By being laser-focused on solving the problem by whatever means necessary, you test and learn from feedback and are prepared to pivot when the feedback tells you to. This is why it is so important to engage user feedback early at every step because the worst-case scenario is your building and launching something that your audience does not care about.

Failing to properly define your value proposition

Your value proposition should live at the intersection of what your best prospects really want and what you do very well. As you add new features to your app you should prioritize based on the impact they will have on delivering your value proposition.

Failure to define user’s pain points

As you collect and incorporate frequent user feedback it will be critical to identify the user’s pain points. You could potentially create a high functioning application that delivers a great user experience but it doesn’t solve their problems or speak to their big pain points. As a result, your app becomes a nice to have as opposed to a need to have for them.

Not being honest about your available resources

Do you have the budget to solve this problem? Do you have the resources to pivot and change paths should you learn something along the way? You do not want to ignore the feedback that tells you to go another direction.

Not performing proper quality assurance before launch

Good developers will spend extra time rigorously testing a product in order to launch with confidence that it will perform on a high level. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and developers who are in a hurry will often skimp on the rigorous testing that is required to deliver a quality mobile application. Skipping QA at any phase of the development can result in a launch with critical bugs that render your app a flop.

Failure to define success metrics for both the business and the users

In order to be successful, you must have a clear vision of what success looks like for both the users and the business. For example, you obviously want to have a laser focus on the user’s needs but not at the expense of delivering something that will not deliver an ROI for the business.

Byte.lion is the premier mobile application development company on the east coast. We have an elite team that is dedicated to lean product design to significantly increase the odds of your mobile application being successful. We complement our expertise in development and user experience design with the business acumen that’s necessary to translate your idea into a financially successful innovation.

Have a mobile app idea? Contact us for a free ROI assessment to test the financial viability.

Bytelion is an Official Partner for Baltimore Innovation Week 2019

By Agile, Innovators, Leadership, Product Design, StartupNo Comments

Bytelion and Baltimore Innovation Week

Bytelion has always been proud to call the Greater Baltimore area our home.  Baltimore is brimming with leading institutions, anchored by The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). The city proudly represents some of the top creatives minds and a growing cultural scene. Byte.lion is proud to support startups and established corporations in Greater Baltimore, as we are greatly invested in seeing the city flourish as a technology hotbed. 

We are excited to announce that we are an official partner for Baltimore Innovation Week 2019 (BIW19). Presented by the Emerging Technology Centers (ETC), BIW19 is an opportunity for leading organizations to celebrate and support Greater Baltimore’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.

Who is Presenting?

Our Head of User Experience, Marc Hausle, will lead a free session on Lean Product Design for Startups during the creative & media track day of BIW19. With Marc’s experience overseeing user experience at Byte.lion and leading teams at Google & Apple, he noticed that startups are stuck. As a founder, one may have a great idea and want to launch as quickly as possible, but time and financial constraints hold them back. Our company is rooted in software entrepreneurship, and thrives on driving value and efficiency to iterate rapidly and reduce capital inefficiencies. 

On Tuesday, October 8 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at Clark Burger Fells Point, Marc will provide his insights on how you can design a software product that drives user engagement in a shortened time period and without hefty financial commitments, while indulging in burgers and beer! You will have the opportunity to meet some of Greater Baltimore’s leading founders, entrepreneurs, designers, and c-suite executives.

Spots are limited, so please register now to ensure yummy drinks and burgers!

Bytelion decided to become an official partner for BIW19 because we believe that the Greater Baltimore area will continue to thrive in entrepreneurship and innovation. With the amount of tech talent coming out of JHU and UMBC, as well as the massive incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces, Baltimore is poised to be the best! We are in a prime position to continue to support startups and large corporations in an effort to spearhead growth in our area.

Bytelion is more than a quickly growing, custom software development firm. We are a focused team of creatives, techies and innovators that transforms ideas into beautifully designed mobile and web products. Using industry best practices, our team is dedicated to researching, designing and developing products that deliver world-class user experiences.

Our team looks forward to meeting you on October 8th during a night of great food, networking and experiential learning!

Custom App Blog Header of iPhone

Custom App or Responsive Web: Which is for you?

By DevelopmentNo Comments

It should come as no surprise that mobile is taking over consumers’ daily lives. With approximately 48.7% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices in 2019, it is important to ask: is your company’s web presence optimized for the mobile? There are many ways to ensure your audience gets the most out of their mobile experience. The two ways we will discuss are responsive web versus a custom app.  

When Responsive Web Makes Sense

It is important to consider the goal of your mobile presence before you dive into the development process.  If you are interested solely in increasing brand awareness, a responsive site may be the more practical option.  Responsive design gives your current website the ability to detect a visitor’s screen size and adapt to fit it. Custom App Blog Responsive Web example of iPhone and LaptopBy using flexible layouts and images, each visitor is given the best view of your current site for their device. The best way to see this design in action is to pull up the same site on your desktop and your mobile device, then inspect the similarities.

While a responsive website is great for mobile outreach, we must understand that it is limited in the experience it can provide. Responsive web falls behind in performance and personalization.  Mobile users tend to have different goals than desktop users when they are on the web. Therefore, the software that they utilize should be altered to match these goals. Mobile users are more task-oriented, utilizing their phones to complete specific transactions rather than surfing for information. 

Benefits of Apps

While it does require more time and capital to create an app, there are obvious scenarios when the benefits outweigh the costs. Based on a study done by Comscore, more than 80% of mobile minutes are spent on apps. Mobile apps are far superior when it comes to completing complex tasks.  Apps are specifically designed with the user’s end goals in mind.  This makes their experience with the company more pleasant and personalized. Regardless if your app is a native or cross-platform design, there are several occasions when apps are superior.

  1. Using Complex Data– Apps are equipped to handle mass amounts of data that users input. Not only are they able to hold this data, but apps can manipulate the data using complex calculations to create easy to read charts or reports about its users. Custom App Blog Complex Data Example
  2. Increased Functionality– Because apps are downloaded directly onto the device, they have the ability to utilize the phone’s tools to complete tasks.  The app is able tosend users push notifications, utilize camera and microphone capabilities, and more to enhance the user’s experience. 
  3. Accessibility & Security– One huge benefit of apps is they don’t always require an internet connection to access important information. Due to the fact that the content is downloaded on your device, some portions of apps can be accessed at any time. Websites, on the other hand, always require connection.  The content in apps is also protected from third-party interventions possible on the internet. 

The Right Choice 

While there are many benefits to each option, your company’s goals will help decide between an app or website.  If you are only interested in increasing reach and visibility, a responsive website can be an affordable option. If you want a greater understanding of and engagement with your customer base, a personalized app can bring your company to the next level.  The team at Bytelion can help your company create a beautifully designed application that harnesses complex data to maximize user experience on mobile devices. Contact us today to see how we can bring your vision to life.