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App Schmapp, what works across platforms?

Mint.com lives by the purpose of “empowering people to understand and do more with their money so they can live better lives.”

The panel was given by Aaron Forth who is director of product design at Intuit’s Mint.com. The assumption was that it was going to be a panel about tricks and methods that would work best across platforms, but it turned out to be mainly about Mint.com and their path of adoption across platforms.

It began with some initial facts about their thought process when considering the transition from a webapp over to other platforms. One of the main points was about what was the criteria when choosing a platform.

The criteria included:
1. Device Adoption – how big is the market for the chosen platform?
2. Can you get the apps directly to the consumer?
3. Does the platform have a large SDK and support?
4. Is there low fragmentation amongst adopters and customers?

Once the correct platforms have been defined, there are some basic questions that should be asked and answered for a successful solution.

What logic needs to be uniquely built or created versus being reusable from another application?
What is the experience going to be on the new platform?
–  The experience does not have to be identical across each.  Mobile is different than web, and tablets will be different from both mobile and web.
–  The application needs to evolve to support each subsequent device.

Overall, Mint.com has been able to adapt successfully by staying true to their purpose and defining the expected behavior and experience across each new platform.

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