3 Steps to Creating a Winning User Experience with Mobile Apps in the Enterprise
The benefits afforded to enterprises that choose to deploy mobile apps throughout their workforces and lines of business are well documented.
Mobile apps are now common tools for companies to drive the performance of their operations, generate new revenue streams, enhance the capabilities of their employees, and leverage information to gain an advantageous position over competitors.
While the majority of people are aware of the basic principles involved in developing enterprise mobile apps, and the positive results which will emerge when done successfully, there is one important factor which doesn't always receive the attention or recognition it deserves.
User experience is a crucial component of how mobile apps exist in the enterprise, just as it is in the consumer marketplace. The user experience of an app is what ensures that employees want to use it, keep using it, and consequently will be able to use it to its full potential - only when this is achieved can enterprises expect to see the ROI they really desire from their mobile deployments.
Here we look into this element of mobile app development, and present three attributes which must be involved in the process to ensure that employees are satisfied with the mobile apps they are using to streamline their workloads:
Enterprise mobile apps, above all else, should be simple and easy to use. This doesn't mean that their visual layout or aesthetic concept needs to be basic, but rather that the interface and patterns which employees face when using the app are smooth and effortless.
Mobile apps are meant to simplify complex tasks, so if there is complexity involved in using them, employees will not feel compelled to adopt. Don't include unnecessary elements of functionality in an app's design; an app should consist of only what is necessary for it to achieve its goals, and that includes the usability.
In the current climate, with many employees utilising three, four or even five mobile devices throughout a day, enterprise apps must have a responsive design that is able to comfortable adapt itself to all form factors and screen sizes. Employees demand seamless transitions from a multitude of devices with no consequences to the use of their apps, so this must be accounted for, especially in the professional setting.
If users have difficulty using an app between several devices, it will hinder their ability to complete their goals, frustrate and delay them in the middle of their tasks, and ultimately discourage them from returning to the app which caused such a negative experience. The information and content which apps facilitate must be allowed to flow through working environments, and modern working environments can be defined as various types of mobile devices.
User interfaces must, of course, be intuitive and intelligent in themselves, to make the app useful and deliver as much productivity as possible to employees. To take this crucial feature one step further, mobile apps can be designed to possess awareness of the user's context at any given time, making the experience of leveraging the app far more powerful and satisfying.
By ingraining contextual awareness into an app, users can be provided with data before they have requested it, be alerted to important information without realising it is relevant themselves, and accelerate their capability to work in a vast number of other beneficial ways. This aspect of mobile apps will contribute to users having a truly valuable experience with their mobile tools.