Creating apps with end-user experience in mind

Mobile efforts have shaken many businesses and influenced mission-critical processes to improve overall operations and maximize potential competitive advantages. As more devices enter the workplace, there are numerous challenges that are presented, but providing tools and resources for the hardware is potentially the most complex element. Developers must consider what components to use and how they can incorporate their coding knowledge to execute a successful application. However, while app builders are focused on how to create the program itself, they may miss out on a critical factor - the end user. In order to deploy a beneficial application, the needs and skills of the users must be considered and expanded upon.

It can be easy for developers to concentrate only on what they're able to do, rather than consider other means to achieve the type of program that users will require to succeed. This increases the potential that the application will not be able to suit employee tasks or work seamlessly with their daily operations. No Jitter contributor Eric Krapf noted that if a program isn't performing as expected, users will most likely delete it from their device and seek alternatives that better suit their skill level and chosen interface.

Features make the difference
Many users have had some sort of experience with programs, normally with consumer products, and this interaction will affect how they view the applications that the business delivers. With each piece of software, the features tell a certain story that should relate to the person using it. Employees set out to perform specific functions with the application and these needs should be explicitly addressed by the program's accompanying tools. By considering what issues a user may encounter, developers can build tools to specifically solve the situation.

"A feature assumes solutions to a problem without thinking about the problem itself," Myplanet director of telecom services Ramy Nassar told Krapf.

The focus is on the users
More applications are becoming attuned to how people work and specific user preferences. These programs are often the most utilized due to their convenience and essential capabilities. However, there is still a stark amount of software that is incapable of meeting employee needs. According to recent Localytics research, nearly a quarter of apps are used only once after being downloaded. This means that after trying the program, a substantial portion of users are deleting or abandoning the application in favor of one that better suits their preferences. While some investments can be used to improve this development, organizations must understand what areas will be most profitable to focus on.

"Many assume that achieving app engagement means throwing large sums of money into advertising, but there's a smarter route," Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal wrote in VentureBeat. "It's achieved through accessing granular analytics about your users and their app habits and then converting these insights into targeted marketing campaigns that keep your users coming back to your apps, and ultimately, delivering highly personalized in-app experiences."

Bringing users into app development
While developers can take employee feedback to understand what they want, it's important to use innovative trends to make the experience more successful. Ad Age contributor Scott Gillium noted that by delivering a highly personalized environment and leveraging small data, users will be more interested in keeping their applications. These features will add functionality and increase the value of the mobilization effort within the workspace. As apps become more sophisticated, they will be able to meet virtually every aspect of user needs.

"Apps will leverage multiple sources of data and, with artificial intelligence, begin to create experiences and recommendations in real time, much of it designed around our daily lives and routines," Gillium wrote.


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