App Design for the Enterprise

May 19, 2018

This has been said a million times, but we’ll say it again – the way we interact and work has been revolutionized by smartphones and of course, the mobile app. These two things have come together to provide people with a platform on which they can carry out functions in a simpler and more streamlined manner.

Naturally, the outcome of all this is that everyone’s become way more efficient and productive. In fact, productivity is one of the key goals of app development. This is what drives the development of applications such as Slack or Dropbox.

Now, the apps we just mentioned can be used by any organization. But, we are moving towards an era where individual organizational needs are changing and as a result, require very specific tools. To put it simply, we are entering a phase where organizations will need apps of their own to continue enjoying the same or higher level of productivity and efficiency.

It’s being called the age of the enterprise mobility app and the field has seen some serious growth in the last few years. There are several reasons why such a shift seems to be taking place. Digital transformation is one such reason. Organizations everywhere are looking to update their legacy systems and adopt more modern solutions.

Of course, with anything new and revolutionary comes a certain set of challenges. In this case, it’s app design.

Organizations are having a hard time trying to figure out the user needs of an enterprise app and this has resulted in most of the delivered apps just not being up to expectations. Some of the stuff that’s come out so far is either too complex, filled to the brim with pointless features, or just downright useless.

You see, there’s one thing that needs to be consistent with app design, irrespective of whether it’s for the enterprise or the common user. It’s called user experience design or UX Design. The better the user experience, the likelier it is that the app will get adopted.

Your enterprise users expect, more or less, the same kind of user experience that successful consumer apps are able to provide them.

By prioritizing user experience, organizations can bring forth an enterprise application that truly offers the benefits they are looking for such as, you guessed it, increased efficiency and productivity.

But, what does it take to create enterprise apps with top-notch UX design?

Well, that’s what we are here to find out. Listed below are a few ways in which organizations can ensure that they deliver the ideal enterprise app to their employees.

Focus on User Research

When designing enterprise apps, or any app for that matter, the initial focus must always be on the user. This, of course, requires some user research to be carried out. So, technically speaking, the first step in the enterprise app design process is user research.

The idea behind user research is to determine what it is that the target audience/user group is exactly looking for in the app.

Now, there are several ways to approach this. You can try user interviews or online surveys. When conducting the survey or interview, make sure you focus on a few key areas. For starters, determine what it is that your audience prefers in terms of features. You can ask them to answer by listing out features they have problems with at present (in the enterprise app they are using currently). Ask them what it is that they found problematic in your app that forced them to switch to a third-party option.

Identify their pain points with regard to current workflows and try to address them.

This kind of feedback is necessary as it helps you determine where it is exactly you’re going wrong. Plus, it can help you find validation for all the other ideas that you might have. Basically, user research can put you on the right path, which is a good way to start.

Integrations Must be Made Upfront

A common mistake that often occurs is that some developers wait right up till the end to integrate back-office functions via APIs. This is a very wrong thing to do. Integrations need to be thought of right at the start of the app development process.

If there are procedures and processes that are being affected as a result of backend functions, you need to consider it right from point A. The app must be built in a way that everything works perfectly right from the start.

For instance, let’s look at visual design. This is something that’s very important. Studies show that users will provide “good looking” apps with better ratings than “not so good looking” but functional apps. In the case of enterprise apps, it’s visual design and a reliable, consistent experience that users crave.

So, you need an app that is responsive, looks good and performs 99.9% of all functions without trouble. At the same time, it also needs to be “to the point”. Avoid adding anything that you know will not be used at all.

Make the Most of Device Features

Mobile devices today come with all sorts of native, built-in functionalities that offer plenty of convenience to the user. So, think of how these features can be leveraged as part of functionalities within the enterprise app. In fact, an ideal enterprise app should be able to take advantage of these features, as it only adds more value to the user experience.

By figuring out how your audience is likely to use the app, you can create an enterprise app that truly meets expectations.

In Conclusion…

You have to make sure that the app you are creating is engaging, absolutely useful, and visually impressive. If it doesn’t tick all these boxes, you are going to have some trouble convincing everyone to use the app.

If app design for your enterprise seems like a challenge, Crafted can make things a little easier. Visit our mobile app design page for more details.