It's difficult to accept just how new the concept of mobile app development really is when you consider the ubiquity of the technology today. The rise of the mobile app has coincided with burgeoning smartphone use, which has snowballed beyond all recognition.

This year (2013), the number of people browsing the internet from mobile phones is expected to surpass the number of those using laptops, tablets, and desktop computers combined. So it's not hard to see why so many of the world's biggest brands are desperate to cut themselves a slice of this growing pie by designing and developing the next big mobile app.

So, as promised, here are five development tips to help your mobile app stand out from the crowd.

Down with skeuomorphic design!

As a revolutionary slogan, that's not going to win you any prizes or inspire the masses, but it might help you quickly assembly a forward-thinking team of mobile app developers.

For those none the wiser, skeuomorphic design is the term used to describe the surprisingly simple concept of designing apps to look like the physical object they represent. Apple's Notes application, with a design that incorporates the torn off pages and leather-bound border of a physical notebook, is an example of this design approach.

Once all the rage, skeumorphic design is beginning to die out as mobile users are becoming increasingly frustrated by the sacrifice of functionality in favor of design. So, though skeuomorphic apps might look the part, they usually miss the usability boat.

In terms of design, 2013 is to be the year of more intuitive, flat-style designs, just like the new National Geographic redesign, which has shunned skeuomorphic design in favor of a  sophisticated and stylish approach:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Anton Faulconbridge

Anton Faulconbridge and his team at Rantmedia, based in Cardiff (the UK) work with some of the UK's biggest brands, developing apps that integrate the latest industry innovations.

Twitter: @antlers