Considerations when creating mobile apps for business

For the workplace, mobile presents limitless opportunities, enabling organisations to collect vital data from key audiences, draw greater insights and interact in a way that enables better more personalised services than ever before. Increasingly, society is expecting more of a blend between consumer and enterprise app interfaces. No longer are users accepting a more inferior experience simply because it’s a business application.

1. The user

First of all, it’s important to know your user and involve them from the initial definition, development and delivery phases of launching a new service or app.

2. The problem

By understanding the problem and knowing what is and isn’t important to the user, it’s possible to create a tool that you know will be relevant.

3. Simplicity

Keep the solution simple. By creating an elegant design, the user will be able to easily navigate the new features within the application without getting lost. Aim to tailor content and hide more advanced features for those who will instinctively know where to find them.

4. Experiment now, adjust later

The need to launch and get the product exactly right first time is a myth. A company application release can be rolled out in small increments, where functionality and user input can be accessed and feedback into the development process.

5. Focus on what is important

With limited time, resources, ability and focus, it’s important to concentrate on building a good application and adding to it later, as required. Decide what is important and not what’s nice to have.

6. Identify what won’t change

To get the best value from a new application, focus on the elements which won’t change. Make sure the attention is on substance, not a passing fad.

7. Get physical

Touch screen devices which support gesture based interfaces are rapidly changing interactions with technology. This allows more screen real estate to be given to content and helps allow access for less able users. A by-product of this could also lead to increased productivity and happier experiences.

8. Adapt, don’t build from scratch

With the adoption of web services into the mainstream, there is less demand for everything to built individually. High levels of support and development can now be provided by big cloud providers. There is no longer a requirement for racks full of servers segmented into different development, test, staging and live environments. The process can be managed virtually and delivered to wherever your applications require data.

9. Consider real-time

Now with the existence of genuinely powerful mobile devices that can update in realtime, there is the opportunity to finally replace the old-fashioned notepad. However, the server-side must be reciprocal in receiving real-time data to truly speed up the system.

10. Choose your target platform carefully

Consider all aspects; cost, availability, practicality, ability to integrate with existing business systems, before selecting the best platform.

The emphasis on mobile in business is no longer solely about the devices and BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) strategies. More focus should be given to the power of mobile applications and the transformational capabilities possible with secure, app to app workflows. These are redefining how companies operate, engage with customers and exploit new business opportunities.

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