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Applying a human touch when developing enterprise mobile apps

Mobile enterprise app developers usually focus their efforts on productivity, and therefore, tend to overlook user engagement, ease of use and other characteristics that are commonly found in many consumer apps. Unfortunately, these apps are almost exclusively evaluated from the IT point of view. Designers must shift their focus from just the number ofapps being released, to include enhancing the user experience, along with the ease of navigating different options.

Consumer apps, on the other hand, are designed to be highly social and emotionally evoking. By following this cue, developers of mobile enterprise apps should attempt to fulfill the following conditions.

Enhance engagement

Most traditional enterprise apps do not offer much in the way of user engagement and can feel like blocks stacked together. A good rule of the thumb for developers, is to create apps that provide value within twenty seconds after the user has clicked the app. This is made possible by theease of navigation and simple messages cut into chunks.

Execution

The execution of an app is the look and the feel of the app -two powerful contributors to the overall user experience and should not be overlooked. Animation is one of the ways to change the feel of the app, while color and fonts contribute to the look of the app. Experimenting with the various interplay of look and feel is an important aspect in creating a superb app.

Delivery

App users should get information in context. The app should not be driven by the users, but instead, be at the forefront of informing users. It should keep a record of the favorite areas that the user likes to visit and save some information that can still be accessed even when the app is in offline mode, in cases where no cell connection is available.

Information provided should be brief, timely and appropriate. Most people are looking for quick bursts of information. Apps over-ladened with too much perceived meaningless content may end up leading users to the uninstall button or becoming a “dead app” on the user’s smartphone.

Effectiveness

Mobile apps must perform the actions for which it was created with ahigh level of effectiveness. There should not be time lags or a myriad of steps in the execution of the action for which the app was created. If doing a simple action takes too many steps, users may avoid the app altogether and look for alternatives.

To summarize, enterprise mobileapp developers are best served by blendingtechnical functionality and precision with the human appeal aspects offered by consumer apps when designing apps.By taking user experience into consideration, developers can capitalize on creatinghighly functional, technically sounds apps that are engaging, user friendly and deliver quality results.

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