Mobile UI for Developers: the Numbers Behind memwris
Updated: Jul 11, 2019
We. Are. Frustrated. With the evolution of mobile graphical user interfaces, which we think are woefully inadequate as mobile continues to dominate our day-to-day lives. That frustration is, in a nutshell, the catalyst for us to rethink mobile UI, and we’re realizing that vision with the creation of a new mobile dev environment. But, as passionate as we are, we didn’t venture out to Startabizlandia just because we were annoyed.
We did some research and so did others. What did we all find out? Spoiler alert: a fork ton of people out there want what we want. More than enough for a support group or a meetup. Enough for us to feel confident ditching our careers and setting up shop creating a completely new take on UI.
But enough about us. What about cold, hard facts? We hit the (online) streets to survey programmers and here’s what we uncovered:
49% of them are open to using a mobile development environment. That’s a lot. But get this: very few programmers actually use one. Why? Because 90% hate the keyboard, 22% think the screen is too small, and 78% think there isn’t a mobile dev environment conducive to programming on phones.
Our take: no one has come up with a solution that resolves the underlying issues. Existing options may technically allow you to code on your phone or let you practice coding, etc., but we don’t think they scale to real-life, real-work, real-world programming.
And other research we found made us realize that this isn’t just an exciting market today – it’s growing very quickly for tomorrow:
Software jobs are expected to grow 34% in the next few years, and the number of undergraduate students majoring in computer science more than doubled from 2013 – 2017. This younger generation relies more on their digital devices than ever before – 40% of Gen Z are self-identified digital device addicts. Our six-year-old niece doesn’t even know how to use a mouse; guess we need to throw out the mousepad we made her with our faces on it. But she is a good reminder that Gen Z lives on mobile, and memwris is planning accordingly.
And look, uncomplicated design is key – even the New York Times wrote about it. Simple technology lasts longer, isn’t distracting, and gets the job done. That’s why our design is straightforward enough to use with your eyes closed.
So, where are we now? Knee-deep in dev. And we’ve recently turned a corner so we’re ready to shout the deets from the hillsides of Central California…or at least from this page on our blog.
Comin’ atcha late this fall: an early test of a first-ever fully functional mobile development environment designed specifically for small screens. No more shrunken-down desktop interface.
Think about it. Client sends a frantic text about a bug while you’re at the beach…no prob. At a bar…yeah, sure, just program responsibly. Panicked email about a fix while you’re on the toilet…whatever. (Don’t think we’re weird for that. Forty-six percent of our survey respondents who want to program on their phones want to be able to do so in the bathroom.)
One-off fixes are great, but ultimately we want to be something like an emacs/vim for mobile – essentially a best-in-class UI to help you get actual work done, paired with enough extensibility to let you bend this mobile UI to your will. And that’s exactly how we want it; memwris may not have all the fancy pants features you’re used to right out the gate, but we plan for it to give you everything you need to build those features for yourself.
Bottom line: It’s time to leave the desktop behind. Develop anytime, anywhere with an interface specifically designed for your phone.