There are three major factors a successful enterprise mobile application must take into account: user experience, efficiency and engagement.
Organizations pushing out mobile applications that act like websites, that are non-native “hybrid” rather than native iOS and Android experiences, aren’t personalized, aren’t intuitive to use, don’t solve a business problem, or don’t provide relevant data to users, waste the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars an enterprise spends on the mobile app.
Personalized User Experience
Digital marketing is driving the trend towards personalizing user experiences. Robust .NET solutions, such as Sitecore, that integrate well with other enterprise systems, offer contextual experiences across devices. This same attitude towards relevancy to the user is critical for enterprise mobile applications.
Having a streamlined and non-aggravating UX is demanded by today’s users, or they will abandon the app—no matter how many thousands of marketing and training dollars are thrown at user adoption.
Building a hybrid app that confuses the unique experience unique to iOS or Android will irritate users, and they will abandon the app. If enterprises think they’re building for the web when building for mobile, the app will fail.
Enterprise apps have to go beyond an easy login and securing user data; apps must be relevant to each user. By providing solutions and minimizing friction, an app’s chance of success is greatly increased.
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Inexperience in the mobile arena leads people towards the thinking that mobile apps are just like web apps. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
People peruse the Web, and use mobile. While we may seek the same types of information: a contact, directions, video and audio, how we accomplish getting what we want differs according to the platform or device used: desktop, tablet, phone.
If the app isn’t a useful tool, and if it doesn’t provide relevant information that stays up to date with backend systems integration, then the resources to design, build, integrate and market the application are wasted.
As a tool, enterprise mobile apps need to be efficient. Every action must have a goal that can be achieved in as few steps as possible. As Microsoft research shows, the human attention span — at eight seconds — is less than that of a goldfish.
Push notifications and emails that engage users are more than marketing ploys. 90% of time spent on mobile is through apps; more people use the mobile web than desktop; and more than 50% of all internet traffic is now mobile. Timely and relevant information provided to the user on the mobile device is a key component of building a successful enterprise application.
Organizations must meet their customers, internal and external, where they’re at: on mobile phones and tablets. This is especially true for the digital natives entering into the workforce in droves.
By not adopting a mobile-first attitude, organizations are hurting their brand with a bad user experience and killing efficiency with longer sales cycles, lost opportunities, less productive employees, and a host of other preventable problems.
Going beyond the basics
Building an enterprise mobile application isn’t about doing something novel, fun, or because it sounds like a good idea. It’s about engaging external and internal customers in a way that creates value.
While these three factors of user experience, efficiency and engagement are critical to a successful enterprise mobile application, they are just the majority of what’s needed to be useful to customers. The details are where people get hung up, which is why expertise is needed to execute mobile strategies.
Mark Twain wrote: “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Organizations can’t afford to do this in the digital world. The adage of keeping it simple is critical for mobile app design — which makes it so much more complex.