Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beware the Browser

It just occurred to me that none of the students picked up on what Caleb shared about the browser-compatibility issues, so I thought it would be important to highlight this.

First, the most important element in a good app is a good concept. Users must have a reason to come back. As it turns out, the more popular apps are typically games.

For games, they don't have to be overly complicated. It is important to understand the mentality of the Facebook users.

Facebook games are distractions and time-wasters. Many people are wasting their time at work playing them which is why Caleb reported a drop in activity over weekends.

Cuteness is important. However, as Caleb shared, FarmWars actually suffered a drop in the number of users after they "upgraded" from their initial version to a more snazzy version.

Much of their problems came from the browser compatibility issues with IE.

A corollary of this lesson is that students should test their apps with a variety of browsers and platforms and not stick only to one platform.

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