When mobile technology was adopted by mainstream consumers, its adoption in the enterprise was all but a foregone conclusion. The promise of mobile technology in the enterprise was so great, that a software category (mobile application development platform or MADP) was built around platforms that brought the ability to create consumer-grade mobile experiences in enterprise-grade applications.

Remember the possibility that mobile brought with it—the ability to work anywhere. Now go beyond that experience by leveraging additional touchpoints and modalities.

With multiexperience, even the idea of purchasing a car is transformed. The customer’s journey can begin by viewing a car dealership’s stock online by utilizing a mobile device.  Perhaps they can view stock on site by taking a virtual tour of lot. Then, the customer can set up a test drive using a chatbot through text-based or voice-based conversational UI using their mobile device or desktop. After the test drive, the customer can use an augmented-reality enabled app to view different color, trim and wheel configuration of the car they just test drove since dealerships rarely stock every available combination. Deciding to buy the car, the customer harnesses the power of the phone’s location services to enter their address and uses a credit card scanner to enter credit card details – all without typing. While watching their favorite shows, they can pause and use a native TV application to check the status of their car as it moves through the various stages of the manufacturing process. On delivery day, the customer can ask Alexa how much longer until the car arrives. Upon delivery, the driver uses a native mobile app to photograph any problems with the car and captures the customer’s signature electronically to release the vehicle. And all these endpoints are tied together in the background, and lead to a unified journey that meets the contextual needs of the user.

Users desire apps that work off of and provide real-time, actionable data no matter the device or modality. From car lots to the enterprise, the promise of multiexperience is phenomenal: align and connect the optimal user experience for each customer and employee through fit-for-purpose applications that make and tie together every interaction across the user journey effortless.

Developing for Mobile and Multiexperience

Mobile has largely been a target for application delivery for over a decade. However, mobile solutions in the enterprise remain largely under served. Even businesses that are developing AR or other multiexperience apps have only delivered a handful of mobile applications.

But developing rich, responsive applications across a range of devices is challenging for most organizations. It often is due to a dearth in resourcing and hiring for very specific programming and device skillsets. An application developed with a specific programming language, for example, may work for one device or experience, but has to be completely rebuilt for another.

Solving this challenge is vital.

Consumers expect more from their business apps’ mobile experiences. According to a report by Gartner, by 2023, “40% of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities like they do their music streaming experience.”

Beyond mobile, consumers simply expect more experiences for business apps. Organizations need to take this into consideration when defining their application development strategies and product roadmaps.  Gartner predicts in the aforementioned report that “through 2024, organizations with an established multiexperience strategy will outperform competitors in customer experience employee experience satisfaction metrics.” Thusly, organizations need to be creating a tailored, bespoke customer and employee experiences across the user journey.

Mendix’s MXDP vision

Mendix provides the agility to build and evolve experiences over time, without re-platforming, duplicating work, or requiring investment in new skills. The Mendix Platform is uniquely set up to help organizations deliver cohesive multiexperiences whether that’s conversational UIs (voice and chat), immersive technologies (AR and VR), or mobile apps (Native, PWAs, responsive web or Hybrid).

Across the Universe

Developing for multiexperience requires you to think beyond the platform. It requires a change in culture and methodology on top of the technology. That is to say, it’s not just about the tool.

Mendix was built on the concept of collaboration, agility (including capital “A” Agile, Scrum, DevOps), and continuous integration & delivery (CI/CD). These tenets inform not only our platform, but we’ve imbued such a philosophy into our Digital Execution and customer success best practices.

Creating tailored, fit-for-purpose applications requires collaboration across the entire application development cycle and throughout the organization. Business users, often those closest with end users, can shape and tailor experiences with their domain expertise. Bringing business stakeholders earlier and more frequently into the fold is how organizations can more rapidly create applications that are higher quality and more efficient with higher user acceptance.

Making sure a solution is usable and aligns with user and business needs requires thoughtful design and, therefore, applying design thinking techniques to test assumptions from concept to delivery. At Mendix, we believe that this practice of DesignOps should not only be practiced by a product design team, but by all development teams.

The Mendix Platform provides collaborative but separate environments with collaboration between developers and business users in mind. Not only can business stakeholders inform, but with visual modeling, they, too, can start creating and building their own solutions. Beyond abstraction, Mendix’s low-code platform orchestrates process, feedback and collaboration throughout the entire application lifecycle. Business users, developers, and designers can create and validate their ideas quickly. Users can provide feedback in production, which in turn is fed back to the development team directly. All to ensure that, no matter the touch point, the user experience feels cohesive and bespoke.

Mobile as the gateway

Regardless of whether it’s mobile, immersive or conversational, delivering software across a multiple-touchpoint user journey requires the right architectural foundation.

When compared to other technologies under the multiexperience umbrella, mobile is still at the top of the list in terms of importance. This is not only because of the relative nascency of AR, IoT, conversational UI, but because of the underlying architecture. Daniel Sun, Vice President Analyst at Gartner recommends that “development teams should master mobile app design, development and architecture because ‘mobile’ is typically the gateway to multiexperience.”

Setting up a strong mobile architecture is a great way to lay the groundwork for any multiexperience strategy. Organizations have to consider a variety of mobile architecture options. In the Gartner report, “Key Considerations When Building Web, Native or Hybrid Mobile Apps”, authors Jason Wong and Adrian Leow state that “through 2023, 90% of enterprises will use a combination of web, native and hybrid mobile architectures rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Mendix is the only leader in the MXDP Magic Quadrant to support the complete suite of mobile architectures – web, PWA, hybrid and native mobile apps. But in reality, there are essentially two types of mobile experience: AppStore-based (native and hybrid) and browser-based (PWA and responsive web). Native provides by far the best AppStore experiences and PWA is the best browser-based experience. By uniquely supporting both Native and PWA, Mendix empowers organizations to deliver best-of-breed solutions for AppStore-based and browser-based experiences. And when use cases require both, Mendix maximizes reusability between both. Ultimately, this removes any technology constraints from the decision making process.

Mendix is also the only vendor to provide a low-code platform that leverages React Native. Leveraging React Native is a crucial aspect to native mobile development. Doing so let’s organizations rapidly deliver enterprise-grade native mobile applications, while empowering them to take advantage of the large and active React Native developer community and utilize any open source and third-party React Native component libraries to further enhance their Mendix apps.

In addition, Mendix applications are cloud native out-of-the-box, meaning that developers can deploy anywhere—from a fully-managed public cloud to a virtual private cloud, to on premises–to provide end users the experience they desire.

Multiexperience—A promising outlook

Choosing the right multiexperience development platform for your organization is important because companies that select the best strategic fit stand the most to gain. Finding the right one can help you establish a solid blueprint to creating a truly unified, contextually-based, customer journey using multiexperience.