Visual Development: What it is and why it works

by | Nov 5, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 13.08.16Think back to the last thing you read. You might remember the gist, but do you remember the heading, the statistics it addresses, or the exact wording? Now think back to the last image you saw. You probably remember what was in the image, what colors were used, what mood was portrayed. This is because people only remember about 20% of what they read, versus 80% of what they see. The world as we know it is visually based and becoming more so all the time. Since 1940, visual IQ has risen at a higher rate than any other IQ. This has obvious implications in digital marketing, but has also had a noticeable effect on the development of mobile and web platforms. Visual development is the newest innovation in mobile app development, making it easier for non-technical individuals to build beautifully designed apps for their businesses.

What is Visual App Development?

Visual app development is just what it sounds like: building mobile apps in a visual way instead of solely with coding. If you think about a website builder such as SquareSpace or Wix, these tools enable you to build a website without code using a visual development experience, such as drag and drop. Visual development is a more intuitive way to build applications for less technical people. For example, apps are usually developed in a specific coding language, normally Objective-C or JavaScript. While learning to code is definitely doable, most people don’t have a proficient knowledge of coding language, which prevents them from easily building an app without essentially learning a new language, or outsourcing development to a professional developer. Visual development uses visual builders, such as drag and drop editors, to create an app or site the same way you would draw a sketch on paper or rearrange boxes into the pattern you want. This type of development is easy to understand and faster than traditional development.

There are several companies that utilize visual development with their services. In website development, one of the most well known visual development platforms is Squarespace, a website builder with dozens of pre-designed templates that users can customize with a drag and drop builder. WordPress is also jumping on this growing trend by allowing for themes that have visual drag and drop builders included, or even plugins that add a visual builder to a current theme. In the realm of visual app development, at Hatch Apps we pride ourselves on our platform that includes an intuitive drag and drop app builder, allowing you to create a custom, beautifully designed, and functional app. We even show you every step of the app building process, which is easy to use for people of all technical levels.

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What are the Benefits of Visual App Development?

In short, visual app development enables people who aren’t fluent in mobile coding languages to create and launch software. While many people today have a creative sensibility or can learn about the ins and outs of mobile app design themselves, they lack the technical knowledge to actually build software themselves. With visual app builders that allow you to create an app with little-to-no coding experience, a floodgate as been opened for many more companies and individuals to launch a mobile app for their business or service. In fact, pretty much anyone can use visual development platforms, making them highly accessible for the everyday person, putting people in control of their own software without having to rely on someone else.

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Is Visual Development More Efficient Than Traditional Development?

Whether visual development is more efficient than traditional development depends on your technical chops and coding ability. If you’re a professional or seasoned developer who has a great understanding of coding languages and some experience under your belt, then traditional development might still be more efficient for you. But for the majority of the population (and even some developers), visual app development is a much more efficient way to create apps. With visual app builders, it is easier to see the progress of the app development process. It also usually takes much less time, as much of the coding is done automatically and immediately while you are building the app.

Biologically our brains are mainly image processors, giving us a much greater ability to process and understand images over words. Because of this, even some skilled developers prefer visual builders for app and site development. Whichever method is more efficient really just depends on your preference and your experience.

What Characterizes Visual Development?

Visual development is a little different when comparing websites to apps. For websites on platforms like Squarespace, you are allowed to select a pre-designed template where you just insert your own information and images. You can customize a little by adding in your own elements here and there, and by dragging different elements around the page to mix up the order. But overall, you work mostly from the given template.

With visual app development, most platforms are characterized by drag and drop app builders. Drag and drop app builders allow you to drag different elements, such as text and images, onto your screen and then dropping, or placing, them in the spot you want. This means you can visually build your app’s pages. When using drag and drop builders to build apps on a computer, you use your mouse and cursor to select, drag, and release elements. Most no-code app builders use this form of visual development, as it is easy to use and very intuitive for most people.

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What Problems Does Visual Development Solve?

Moving forward, the really problem that visual development addresses has to do with supply and demand. Predictions from the U.S. Bureau of Labor cite an increased need for software development, as there will be a 24% increased demand for software developers between 2016 and 2026. As demand for software development continues to outpace supply, the price of development will rise, making it harder and harder to find talented developers. This is especially problematic for small businesses, who are unable to allocate as much money to development as large corporations.

In 2018, it’s important for your company’s digital presence to have a website and an app. How else will users find you? With this increased demand from people who don’t have the coding abilities to completely create their own app, visual app development allows people to build their own products, making sure software demand keeps up with the supply, and making sure that costs stay down.

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Conclusion

While development might seem like a scary word to those with little technical experience, visual development is becoming more popular, giving people accessibility and ease of use when building apps. With 32% of U.S. smartphone users downloading 11-20 apps in just a three month period, visual apps builders (like Hatch Apps) allow people of all backgrounds to capitalize on the increased use of native mobile apps. Visual app builders are easily understood by catering to the human brain’s ability to process images quickly, making development intuitive for anyone looking to increase their brand’s digital presence. For example, Hatch Apps’ drag and drop app builder allows you can create the perfect app for your business or idea in a matter of days, not months. With visual development, the world of app development has become everyone’s oyster.

If you’re curious to learn more about a no-code app builder like Hatch Apps, set up a 15-minute conversation with our team. We’d love to learn about your app idea.

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