Creating Apps is an Art, not a Science

07 November 2016 ‐ 4 min read

Albert Einstein once said, “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” 

We wholeheartedly believe this to be true. Walk into our offices at 4i, and you may (mistakenly) think we’re all about the science and algorithms of things, however our team has a very different perspective.

Solving Problems for Brands and Businesses

Of course, the science behind complex computing systems and code creation is a vital component to our artform, especially because these complex systems are integrated more and more into our everyday lives. That’s why we have to ensure that every application developed is highly usable and responds to the needs of its users. More and more companies and brands are also seeing (and reaping!) the benefits of designing and developing their products with user oriented methods at the core of their approach, instead of technology oriented methods. At 4i, it’s absolutely vital that we understand both business objectives and user needs, enabling us to map these two important elements to deliver an application that our clients love and their consumers adore. And it’s through that process, that our belief that creating apps is an art, begins to take shape.

Mapping business objectives with user needs to deliver applications that clients love, and consumers adore

The Marketplace

The increasing number of mobile apps in the marketplace has challenged developers to develop applications of superior quality so that they can compete and stay ahead. There are many varied aspects to the quality of mobile applications, including the architecture, design and, of course, the resources that need to be allocated to create the perfect app. Of course, creating the best possible mobile application for just one device still isn’t perfect. When we say that creating apps is an art, it’s the art of designing the most beautiful, functional products in the shortest amount of time and catering for a multitude of display resolutions, devices and users where this comes to life. Tackling these challenges and coming up with native products that work seamlessly and beautifully on a flurry of devices – this is our art.

Tackling challenges by coming up with digital solutions that work seamlessly and beautifully on a flurry of mobile devices – this is our art.

Solving Problems for Users

Mobile devices and applications exist to make life easier for their users. They bring with them a wide range of conveniences, including portability, location awareness and easy, instant accessibility. That’s why our Usability Testing processes form a core function of our development phases, ensuring that the apps we develop are not only useful, but easy to use too. In fact, we launched the first user testing lab in Stellenbosch in 2015 which includes an interview room with cameras that track both the action of the user as well as their facial expressions, and a viewing room where clients can sit in to better understand the roadblocks their users are facing and how to improve them. While many user testing companies are great at reporting on findings, we take it one step further, by making recommendations and offering solutions to overcome the issues discovered during usability testing. Aligning our recommendations and solutions to our clients’ business objectives and the app’s users’ needs is our very specific artform too. By keeping the user journey front of mind throughout development, we’re able to artfully produce beautiful apps that work well and are intuitive to use. That’s why the science behind developing apps support the art of creating them and, at 4i, we love our art – the one that creates beautiful user experiences that serve a business objective.

Limitless Possibilities

We believe in the limitless possibilities of the human mind. By designing an environment where cohesion and collective creativity are the norm, 4i creates unparalleled value for its clients by creating tech solutions that deliver beyond the brief and support the long term strategy of each business. This is our core philosophy, and we live it out loud by approaching app development as an art, rather than a science.