In the modern business world, increasing numbers of companies are considering the use of mobile Apps both as a means of engaging with their existing customers and as a way of winning new business. More and more people are accessing online platforms, and the explosion in numbers of individuals doing so while on the move, thanks to the dramatically increasing popularity of devices such as smartphones and tablets, means that the role a mobile App can potentially play in linking up a business and its customers is more important now than ever. With that in mind, it is critical for any business wishing to maintain its competitiveness by appearing up to date and relevant to devote serious consideration to the development of a business App with the most engaging user interface possible.
Benefits and uses
The benefits to a business of having an engaging App are potentially huge. Not only do they provide innovative means of enhancing the service delivered to existing customers, they also open up the possibility of engaging entirely new audiences.
The range of potential uses is also enormous, and specific applications will depend on the business itself. Retailers can use them to display a catalogue and provide a means of purchasing items while on the move, for example, while membership organizations can use them as a way of managing user profiles.
Building an App
The development of an App depends in many ways on the intention regarding its ultimate application, but there are some basic rules of thumb and examples of good practice that it is important to be aware of. The following steps describe how to go about getting an App while considering these:
- Know your audience. Primarily, it is critical to understand your audience and their particular preferences. Think about where they are most likely to access the App and what they will expect from it. This will set the ground rules for ensuring the result is as user friendly as possible.
- Keep it simple and tidy. Apps are generally viewed on relatively small screens and therefore their design and appearance needs to take this into account. They should be kept uncluttered and completely intuitive. If they require any sort of detailed instruction, they have failed at the first hurdle. Ideally they should be usable by somebody who is in a hurry, on the move, distracted by other things and maybe even lacking a decent signal. To that end, fonts and tap targets should be sufficiently large, and colors should be clear even in direct sunlight.
- Make it quick and responsive. For an App to be truly user friendly, people should be able to work it as quickly, and through as few clicks, as possible. The more someone has to search for something or think about how to use it, the less engaging their experience will be. Every process within the App should be thought through and thoroughly checked to ensure it passes this test.
Another critical step in the process is enlisting some specialist support. The best Apps are invariably those that have been carefully considered and developed in liaison with experts. This is a growing industry, and it is becoming increasingly complex. The range of potential facilities and applications on offer can be daunting. In addition, the rapid evolution of the technology requires an insight into the industry in order to ensure developments are future-proofed as soundly as possible.
Fortunately, there is help on offer in the form of independent development houses that work on building Apps. Worry Free Labs are experts in mobile innovation and provide a range of services across the full life cycle of a project from ideation to implementation, and covering areas such as branding, visual design, usability testing and technical architecture. You can read more about Worry Free Labs and the services they offer on their website.
Preparing for the future
To dismiss mobile Apps as a gimmick would be a huge mistake. They already play a major role in almost every aspect of how people manage their lives in the modern world. From banking and shopping through to entertainment and playing games, Apps have become so commonplace that many people now take them for granted. Whatever developments the future may hold, most experts agree that mobile Apps will provide the basis, and any business that is serious about its own future development should ensure they are properly represented in this way.