Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 3 The future

Maarten van Heiningen over UX, Usability, UI en Design Thinking

Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 3 The future

The world of mobile is on the move and users are always ready to move with it. Keeping up with every development is a difficult task for organisations. In Part 1 of this blog series, we described how Liferay Screens can provide a head start with this.  Part 2 was about Phlink, the native mobile app we developed with the help of this tool for healthcare provider Philadelphia. How do we see the future of our mobile apps and what further plans do we have with Liferay Screens? Read this third and last part to find out.

Liferay Digital Experience Platform

Prepare your business, Create experiences and Understand customers; this is the course Liferay has chosen with the new Liferay Digital Experience Platform. The goal of Liferay DXP is to offer users a digital experience, in which they can shape their customer journey themselves. The platform makes it possible for you as an organisation to communicate more effectively and more often with your users and really ‘listen’ to them, so that you understand what their needs are. You can then transform this insight into action, providing the right information and functionality at the right moment. Users then make a choice from what is offered and create their own digital world.

Although it has its roots in the familiar Liferay Portal, the Liferay Digital Experience Platform puts an end to thinking in terms of portals and intranet. Liferay DXP is a platform solution, and that platform includes mobile devices along with the web interface. Many users communicate primarily via their smartphone or tablet and so the creation of a digital experience also means: the development of mobile apps.

Liferay Screens

The Liferay Screens development tool makes it possible to use the features of the Liferay Digital Experience platform in native mobile apps. This means the content for all devices and applications is delivered by the same platform and we can provide users with a consistent personalised user journey – from desktop to smartphone and tablet – on the basis of aggregate behavior towards predictable requirements.

Componence was able to thoroughly explore the opportunities and possibilities offered by Liferay Screens during the development process of the Phlink app. As described in part 2 of this series, we devoted a great deal of time and energy to the expansion and improvement of Liferay Screens. This resulted in several modified screenlets and a large number of new ones. And as far as we are concerned, these activities will continue.

Liferay to the max

What does the future look like for our mobile apps? In the first place, we intend to use Liferay DXP to the max and take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the platform. In addition, we aim to provide access to more applications in order to satisfy the needs of the users even more. Naturally, nobody will use an app to submit an expense report, but an abstract of the administration system could certainly be interesting for a project organisation. A controller might find it handy to be able to access the financial data – not to modify it but to obtain a quick overview of the situation. And the director of a company may not be interested in the flow of invoices, but would like to check the current status of figures and activities. So we will present more information and different types of information in our apps.

More interaction

The future of our mobile apps also lies in increasing interaction with the user and with devices such as iBeacon and other IoT applications in which physical objects and the virtual world come together (Internet of Things). Imagine that you regularly visit a particular branch of an organization. Then you could obtain answers to all sorts of practical questions via your app on the basis of iBeacon, geolocation or IP address. Where is the closest unoccupied workspace or computer? Where can I find an available meeting room? Where is my colleague, and is he even on the premises today? If it is your first visit to the branch, then you will want to know something about the house rules, the managers present and the closing times of the building.

Users will also interact increasingly with each other via the app. An example is the safe creation and maintenance of group chats, an important feature for healthcare workers in particular. They need to be able to communicate with each other about clients and share personal data, without losing control of this information. Users will also be able to work together in the future within temporary work groups that they set up via the app. And they can use the app to record the expertise available within the organization and find it again later.

Further with Liferay Screens

Componence is continuing to work on Liferay Screens in accordance with a roadmap based on customer wishes and our own vision of the future. So the focus is on interactive and social communication applications such as Private Messaging, Blogs and Group Chats. We will also pay attention to the support for several subsites, in-app branding, finding and creating connections, improving security, filling in forms, and day-to-day reporting.

Separately from this roadmap, Liferay will also continue to supply new screenlets, which we can then further adapt and expand. We are extremely interested in additions such as different levels of authentication, more stringent security (encrypted storage and transport), and expansion of Audience Targeting and the social applications. Componence intends to maintain its lead in the further development of Liferay Screens and will follow the course set out by Liferay with the Digital Experience Platform.

Second Screenlets Library

The collection of new screenlets developed by Componence includes familiar Liferay functionalities such as Localization, Menu, Global Search, Web Content List, Web Content Detail, Comments, Subscription, Notifications, Calendar and User Search. This second Liferay Screenlets Library therefore represents a valuable addition to the functionality offered by the standard Liferay Screens Library.

We will monitor the requirements of our customers and possibly also subscription holders in order to develop more screenlets and add these to our library. We will be happy to use these screenlets to give organisations a head start in the development of native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens. Our library also contains numerous handy Liferay plug-ins, which enable us to achieve a uniform web functionality.

Basis app

Working on the Liferay Screens philosophy, Componence has developed an application framework and basis app, which we can use to quickly produce the foundation for a mobile app. This enables us to show customers a working branded app before the development stage has even begun, which will form the starting point for follow-up discussions about the business value to be added.

By continuously investing time and energy in this basis app and the related Liferay Screens Libraries, we can provide our customers extremely quickly with tailor-made native mobile apps. A strategy that makes it possible to provide continued service to organisations that already use Liferay, and to fulfil the Mobile first wishes of prospects immediately.

Social DXP App

In the near future, Componence will start working on the development of a standard Social DXP App. This will be a generic product that can satisfy the standard wishes of organisations. The Social DXP App – which will be available in the Liferay Marketplace – can be configured as required using the Liferay DXP control panel. This means functionalities and branding can be implemented as desired and combined with predefined site templates.