Avoiding 5 Common UX Design Errors

​A common sentiment we have harped on in our blogs is that today’s mobile application market, like business in general, is as competitive as ever. This competition necessitates the critical element of utilizing creativity to stand out and create a unique identity through the design of a positive user experience (UX). Often, people associate UX as simply the aesthetics of an application. Nonetheless, UX transcends beyond the surface design as it implements design founded upon thorough research and continuous experimentation to deliver an enjoyable experience for mobile application users. The following 5 common UX errors highlight items to avoid to ensure app success:  
Mistake #1: Relying on One Person or One Department for the UX Design

A mobile application’s user experience ought not to be one person or department’s sole responsibility. To create the best user experience, input must be collected from a cross-section of various departments and or roles. This broad team approach will contribute to a more polished user experience as varying experience and perspectives will be funneled and incorporated into a single laser beam focus.

Mistake #2: Failure to Evolve

UX design should not have a hard finish line. Rather, a mobile application’s UX should perpetually evolve as a result of the continual experience of understanding your own mobile application, changes in the market, and by taking the time to listen and understand what current and prospective users enjoy and dislike. You may wish to have a beta version of the product tested by your core users.  

Mistake #3: Designing For Your Own Likes

Often, during development, teams develop and design applications strongly in line with their own preferences. The preferred method of UX design is to distance your own preferences and biases from genuine user preferences. It is critical for your mobile application to resonate with users and as such, you must design with user’s must-haves and nice-to-haves at the forefront of your mind. Having a user-centric mentality with all aspects of mobile application development will drive you to think about your clients and propel you to make decisions rooted in research rather than assumptions.

Mistake #4: Having a Complicated UI Design

When creating the UI, apply the KISS (Keep it Simple Silly) approach. UI has to be appropriate for the nature of the application but in general, having an unnecessarily complicated UI design will take away rather than contribute to the overall UX. This stems from the inevitable distractions and the inability for the user to locate what they are searching for. Such inability to easily and quickly access information and or complete the user’s task will inevitably cause annoyance and abandonment of the mobile application.

Mistake #5: Overwhelming Users with Excess of Valueless Features

​Similar to the previous point, less is more in terms of a mobile application’s features. Too many features may take away focus from the vital features of the mobile application. Moreover, if the cursory features are poorly developed, it has a negative effect on the main elements of the application itself and taint the perceptions of users. It is a better return on investment to build up the core strengths of the mobile application rather than provide an additional feature that is less meaningful and has less impact on the overall UX. The buffet approach of trying to cater to every user’s preferences may attract additional users but will more than often frustrate your application’s core, loyal users. Mobile applications and companies in general, create the foundation of trust by delivering their products and services to their core users and costumers in a manner that is consistent in its focus.
 

Why react native is the future of mobile app development?

Provided that a current focus within the realm of information technology is that of mobile application development, the great magnitude of attention has brought with it competition and in turn, demand from the market requiring developers to develop products that are:

  • easy to use
  • perform better
  • have a quick develop time, and
  • cost effective

To help achieve such objectives, a hybrid mobile application called Reactive Native has been developed by Facebook to combine the above considerations to take mobile application technology to an enhanced level. Below are some of the features that make Reactive Nature enticing to developers and or their clients:

Strong community and ecosystem

​Being a product of Facebook, Reactive Native has already established a vast network of individuals interacting in forums that are aimed at idea and information sharing. These individuals are comprised of not only many of Reactive Native’s developers who are willing to share their expertise and knowledge openly and freely to the public, but members of the general public who are enthusiasts and eager to share their vast knowledge and resources which have already lead to many improvements to Reactive Nature.  

Cost reduction and code reuse

The primary reason that Reactive Native was developed was to reduce the challenges of those that were writing user interface for the internet, iOS, and Android. An estimated total of approximately 90% of the code in Reactive Native can be reused between Android and iOS. Moreover, Facebook made Reactive Native open source, which allows it to be compatible with platforms such as Windows and tvOS. Both the ability to reuse code and the open source element helps to reduce application development time, which not only makes application development less expensive but it also saves time or allows time for modifications to be made along the way.

Effective developer experience

Native app development may most of the time prove to be a tedious endeavor since it is characterized by inefficiency, inadequate time for deployment and less productivity from the developer. This is not the case with Reactive Native which adds the aspect of speed to web application development. Reactive Native’s ReactJS UI library for web application provides room for the efficient functioning of applications, simplified programming methods for hybrid mobile development and DOM abstraction. These aspects help to improve the application development timeline and enhance overall efficiency. For instance, Reactive Nature builds in efficiency because it allows for changes to be observed by simply refreshing the browser. Most alternative mobile application methods do not allow for this instantaneous feedback because the developer is required to deploy code-cycle in order to implement any change.

Can be combined with native code

Initially, Reactive Native was primarily developed to support only iOS. Nonetheless, enhancements to Reactive Native created compatibility with other operating systems. This again saves developers time, in turn saving clients’ money, since it allows Reactive Native to combine with other native codes without having to use any other frameworks.

Conclusion

​In light of the high demand for mobile application development, there was and there still is a need to simplify the mobile application development process. Reactive Native has progressed mobile application development towards achieving such an objective.  

How To Market A Mobile App?

​Creating a robust mobile application rife with value is a necessity for success. Nonetheless, success for mobile apps, akin to all products and services, is strongly dependent on effective marketing. Most mobile applications are located in the Apple or Google app stores ready for free download or purchase. The challenge, however, is for your mobile application to stand out and not fall victim to being drowned out within the ocean of more than a million mobile applications.
How does one go about marketing their mobile application to emerge from the crowd?

​The following are 5 important mobile application marketing considerations:  

​1. Take Pride In Your Mobile Application 

​When discussing marketing, individuals at times forget the product or service itself and only consider elements like logos, colors, taglines etc. However, what cannot be overlooked is the importance of investing the appropriate amount of time, energy, and resources in developing a product that delivers value. Marketing is a vital tool to product success but marketing alone cannot achieve, or at the very least, sustain optimum success. By developing a robust product that delivers value, the marketing for a mobile application will be easier and more effective. 

2. Service

​Service can make or break the ongoing success of your mobile application. In addition and in line to the items mentioned in item 3, you can utilize the mobile application to send push notifications to the users to offer them a variety of benefits. For instance, if your mobile application is a game, you can send secret or bonus items free of charge or at discounted rates to your users. Another example is that you can allow users of a business mobile application to get additional features free of charge for a trial period or for a reduced price. Let your creativity run wild as the options are virtually endless. 

​3. Social Media

​Big or small, every organization will need to develop and execute a social media strategy. The benefits of social media are plenty! Through social media, you are able to not only create and enhance brand awareness but also do so at no cost (unless, you are purchasing adverts). A further benefit of social media is the capacity to utilize the numerous platforms as an effective communication medium for and between the application owner and the application user. This manner of communication allows for promotion, engagement, and feedback to help improve the mobile applications. Moreover, the engagement allows users to leave positive reviews within app stores, which again helps your mobile application from standing out in the crowd. 

​4. Understanding Rankings to Tailor Marketing Efforts

​Every organization desires premium rankings within the application stores to obtain the most downloads and in turn, users. The way in which the rankings work within Apple’s and Google’s respective application stores differ from one another and it is important to be aware of these differences so that your mobile application can climb the rankings. Apple’s App Store rankings can be improved by ad-driven links whereas Google’s Play rankings are dependent upon application usage (the greater the application’s usage ratio per download, the higher Google Play will rank your application). With this mind, you are better able to determine where to best allocate your resources and how your marketing ought to be targeted.

​5. Self-Marketing

​If you more than one mobile application, an excellent (and free!) way of marketing your mobile applications is to expose your users to the mobile applications you have. This can be done through push notifications, internal banners, and links within each of your mobile applications.  

Mobile Application Development: How Long does it Take?

For any construction project, time, planning, and effort are essential. To build a beautiful office building, management needs to invest in concrete, bricks, mortar, equipment, and human resource, among others. The same goes with application (app) development. Both front-end and back-end development take time, effort, and resources, which is why estimating the amount of time to build an app is quite hard.
So how long does it really take to build a mobile app? After the planning, strategizing, and organizing stages, most information technology (IT) companies will say that development can take anywhere from two to six months—but really it takes much longer than that.
Let’s go through the mobile app building process together. While many online IT courses will say that mobile app development is easy, it’s a little more complicated than that.

PRE-PLANNING (1 to 2 weeks)

Before getting down to business and actually building the application, a lot of planning and strategizing needs to be done. This includes ironing out the concept of the application, when you want it to be launched, and who will handle the project. Pre-planning also includes assigning roles and defining boundaries, allotting budget, and setting goals, among others. 
Apart from that, you also have to check if there are applications similar to yours out there. Before getting too excited, you have to know if what you plan to introduce is new to the world—if it’s not, then you have to know how to differentiate yourself.

PROTOTYPING AND REFINEMENT (3 to 5 weeks)

Before starting the design and preparation, first you have to identify which operating systems and devices you want to develop your app for—iOS, Android, Windows, all? Next, the team must get together and iron out the final details—what functions the app should have and what the app should look like.
A storyboard containing all your ideas will also help smoothen the development process. During this stage, it will also be beneficial to quickly build a prototype to ensure your plans were well thought out. Remember, quickly making a prototype is beneficial for testing purposes—it does not have to be perfect, just functioning.

DESIGN AND PREPARATION (2 to 4 weeks)

The last thing you need to do before actually building your application is designing the user experience (UX). The success of your application will rely heavily on the UX, later, as dictated by the user interface (UI). Ironing out the design and codes of both of these functions is essential before the actual app development can be enacted.

BUILDING (1 to 3 months)

After all the pre-planning and preparation, here comes the actual building of the app. Select the platform—Swift, Agile, etc.—you would like to use to build the application and start enacting your plans, making sure that the code is flawless.

TESTING (1 to 4 weeks)

After building your application, testing your program out for bugs is essential. Releasing a faulty product is always a bad thing to do. If the public sees that your application is filled with inconsistencies, there is no coming back from that. Starting strong should always be the best way to go.

LAUNCH

After testing the app out on a select number of people, it is finally time to launch your app. While the preparation process is long, it is necessary for the development stage to go smoothly. Apart from that, making sure your application has the least bugs as possible before launch is essential for its reputation—do not scrimp on testing time.

Now again, how long does it really take to build a mobile app? It takes a lot of effort to build both the front end and back end of an app—so it really depends on what kind of application you want to make.The entire process will take around three to six months—or more—depending on the complexity of the app.
But the development process does not stop there. Even after the initial development process is done, your development team will still have their work cut out for them. Bugs that were not found during the initial testing will surface once the app has been launched. Additional features for better usability will be added for a wider customer reach and base.

The bottom-line is, development never stops—but that should not scare you. You and your development team will make an amazing app that can keep improving so that your customers will always have more to look forward to.

Mobile App Trends 2017

​At App-Scoop, we believe every person and organization experiences one of two mutually exclusive states, either growth or decay. In an effort to educate our readers and provide insight into the latest mobile app trends, below we highlight 4 of the more exciting mobile app trends of 2017 we have observed:

​Mobile Technology Trend #1: Smart Homes and Internet of Things

​Smart apps for homes are continuing to be developed that help with monitoring and the better use of utility resources. For instance, mobile apps for the home allow users to remotely control the home lights, heating, home locks, and alter and monitor home security features from anywhere around the globe. This affords homeowners an intelligent new method to keep costs down and also addresses the rising concerns of parents and care providers to monitor their aging parents, pets, and children.
 
The Internet of Things is the interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects both household and otherwise, allowing them to both send and receive informational data. According to http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/internet-of-things-market-573.html, the Internet of Things market is estimated to grow from $157 billion (US currency) in 2016 to $661 billion (US currency) in 2021. The integration of the Internet of Things application is impacting transport, security, healthcare, energy, education, and automobiles. Given the breadth of its applicability, it stands as one of the mobile app trends to watch out for in 2017.

Mobile Technology Trend #2: Artificial Intelligence

As discussed in http://www.ascendle.com/blog/top-7-trends-in-mobile-apps-for-2017-and-beyond, technology companies are beginning to embed their technology with more sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI). For instance, Apple has developed Siri, IBM has developed Watson and Microsoft has done the same with Cortana. This AI technology could further be commercialized to impact virtually any industry and can be utilized for any form of education, professional development and even lead to further replacement of employee jobs and job functions. Moreover, as highlighted by Hollywood films, the AI technology can be useful for personal company and entertainment. 

​Mobile Technology Trend #3: Location Based Services

​Location based services are gaining further momentum and gaining focus within marketing efforts. Mobile apps with location based services embedded allow for a business to do such things as:

  • advertise at one specific store or specific stores and not across all stores;
  • cross-promote with corporate affiliates or partners; and
  • provide nearby customers with spur of the moment or timed specials. 

 
In essence, location based services allows a company to target customers in specified areas and engage with them through various promotional or information alerts. 

​Mobile Technology Trend #4: Android Instant Apps

​2017 will introduce a minor yet convenient revolution with Android Instant Apps. Android Instant Apps have the capacity to instantly load on a phone without the need of downloads or installation times. The instantaneous nature of Android Instant Apps will serve those constantly imploring for technology to become faster, stronger and more robust. Additionally, the particularly beneficial element of Android Instant Apps will be overcoming the reluctance some users may have in trying a new mobile app.
 
Technologically speaking… the future is brighter than ever!
 

Building a Tech Start-up Without A Technical Co-Founder

​Building a technology-based start-up without a technological background is a daunting challenge to most. Although bright business and technological ideas invariably fuel excitement, the excitement often is quickly overshadowed by trepidation over the lack of technical skills and a technical background. Start-up success should be premised on the viability of the concept rather than primarily the technical execution. In spite of technological shortcomings, one can build a technology-based start-up (and eventual empire) through persistence, organization, and intelligent decisions. Below are a few rudimentary strategic ideas and elements to consider to help build a technology start-up even without a technical background. 

Put Pen to Paper / Type Up Your Thoughts

​Ideas may be small and simple, or large and complicated. Crystallize your thoughts and ideas by documenting them. The act of rolling up your sleeves and taking the necessary time at the outset to write down your business idea has numerous benefits to visionaries and entrepreneurs. One of, if not the most important benefits of writing down a business idea is that allows for the opportunity to gain clarity. Writing down business ideas allows one to think more clearly, creatively, and critically about what it is that they will be creating and or selling. Additional benefits of writing down business ideas are that it averts the chance of forgetting ideas, and increases excitement and follow through with ideas.

Reach Out to Potential Customers

​After you have documented your business idea and formulated a business plan, it is wise to reach out to your target market to better understand the desirability and feasibility of your product or service and collect feedback to help build upon your original idea. Some of the sort of questions you would ask your target customers would be:
 

  • Would your technology assist them with a current problem?
  • Would they pay for it and if so, how much?

 
In the event that you require more detailed guidance in understanding the sort of questions to ask or the information you should seek, it is beneficial to take  Steve Blank’s free online class on the Udacity website. 

Recruit and Partner Up

​Depending on your time and interests, you may wish to learn to code to help bring your tech start-up to life. Nonetheless, a more prudent use of your time may be to recruit a technical partner who can manage the technology end of the business while you work on the business itself.  Although you may be reluctant to provide a percentage of the ownership share of the company at the outset, it may be your best bet to take on a partner to progress the initial idea into a product and in turn, a viable business. In essence, when one lacks both the necessary technical skills and the monetary resources to outsource the development work, working with a partner is virtually essential. Keep in mind that a smaller share of a viable business is more valuable than sole ownership of a non-profitable business or simply just a great idea.
 
Commonly, entrepreneurs will rely on their personal and professional network to team up on tackling new start-ups. This allows entrepreneurs to work with those who they feel most comfortable with. Nonetheless, alternatives to resorting to your personal and professional networks are to create connections and recruit through various networking events, university job fairs, start-up events etc. Additionally, online tools like LinkedIn and Angel list are excellent platforms for creating connections with various technical and non-technical professionals. Like all important personal relationships in life, it is critical not to rush in selecting those who you wish to work with in starting or managing your company. Perform reasonable due diligence in determining whether the individuals you have selected not only have the capability of completing the nature of work required but also fit well personality-wise. Toxicity and disharmony among work relationships will more often than not result in failed start-ups. 

Market and Sell 

The success of all business enterprises requires marketing and an ambitious sales team as the product or service it offers must be known to potential buyers. Do not wait to have a polished product or refined service before commencing your marketing and sales efforts. In terms of branding, you can begin creating an identity through the creation of a tailored image consisting of particular colors, a logo, taglines, social media channels etc. With respect to sales, you can begin introducing the product or service to your target market even before you launch the business off the ground. Not only will it allow you to gain feedback to help you refine your product or service but it will also lay the foundation for future sales efforts.
 
Like Rome, start-ups and viable businesses are not built overnight. You have to be patient and maintain enthusiasm and drive during the entire process. Invariably, there will be challenges but resilience and drive are a part of the genetic makeup of every successful business enterprise.

Enjoy your entrepreneurial journey!

Why do you need to outsource Mobile App Development?

In today’s ever competitive business climate, many companies include mobile apps as part of their overall marketing strategy to ensure an extended reach to capture a wider market as well as provide an enhanced level of service to existing clientele to further strengthen client loyalty. Despite mobile apps excellent utility, its development can be arduous and costly process for those not specializing in same. The following are some of the reasons why most companies choose not delve blindfolded into complex world of mobile app development and wisely chose to outsource for their development needs: 
​Save Time. Save Money
Time is a precious resource to any business. Outsourcing a company’s mobile development allows a company to obtain their desired vision sooner as many of the steps that a non-technology company will need to plan, organize, and execute are eliminated. A mobile development firm will be able to hit the ground running developing a mobile app for a client far sooner than a company looking to create their mobile app internally. 
A company outsourcing the development of their mobile app not only saves time but they also reduce costs. The core objective of every business is to make profit: the only two methods to maximize profits is to increase profits and reduce costs. As such, if a company has multiple options on the methods of developing a product or providing a service, a business will select the most cost-effective means provided that the end product is the same. Developing a company’s mobile app would invariably require the additional utilization of a company’s resources to hire, train, and supervise employees that have the skills and experience to develop mobile apps. . This presents significant challenges to a business not operating in the business of developing mobile apps or at least within the realm of technology. For instance, management will not have the experience or necessary insight to hire employees with a skillset, educational background, and work experience far different than their own. Moreover, management will have tremendous difficulty in terms of project management: Management will experience challenges with aspects such as defining the scope of work in ensuring the desired outcome is realized,  
Additionally, a company would likely need to periodically update their mobile app, which would mean for ongoing and unnecessary expenses to maintain software developers, thus leading to spending inefficiencies.
Maintain Focus on the Core Business
For companies not specializing in the business of developing mobile apps, attempting to develop mobile apps internally has the effect of divesting interest, focus, and time away from their core business and their source of revenue. As mentioned above, a company will have to hire, train, and supervise a new set of employees in an area of unfamiliarity for the company. Moreover, a company is at the mercy of the new staff because a company will not have the ability to accurately determine project management elements such as timelines and costs. Given the heavy investment of both financial and human capital, the emphasis placed on a new unknown project, and not only the anxiety of the outcome and the fear of any failure, management will likely focus more effort in overseeing the process, hence diverting their attention from their core business. Additionally, as mentioned above, a company would likely need to periodically update their mobile app meaning that a company will have to regularly divest their interest and focus away from their core business. On the other hand, outsourcing mobile development relieves a company of much of the burden since it entrusts the process with a specialist operating within their core competencies. In turn, outsourcing affords management the opportunity to remain focused on their main business operations and the serenity that the project will be done correctly.
Mitigate Risk
Attempting to produce a product that is not within a company’s core competency has two main risks: poor quality and increased costs (as addressed above).  Companies trying to delve in area that they maintain no expertise, let alone knowledge, is a considerable risk given they have no sense of the project needs, constraints, risks, and best practices. Moreover, despite the resources funneled to a project, there is no guarantee that the end product will be as advertised or envisioned. However, outsourcing mitigates this risk because a company has the ability to rely on the already established expertise of a mobile app development firm. Not only will the mobile app development firm be able to share its knowledge and expertise in having a company’s vision materialize, but any reputable mobile app developer will guarantee the end product or at the very least, expose themselves to potential legal liability. Mobile app development firms have a pool of highly qualified programmers that are always up to date with changes in the technological world,

​Outsourcing will reduce, if not minimize, mobile development costs while allowing a company to maintain laser-like focus on the development of their products and delivery of their services directly related to their core competencies. In our quickly moving technological climate, it is unlikely that a non-technology based company will be able to efficiently and effectively develop technology as opposed to outsourcing their needs. As such, it is wise to outsource mobile app development to save money maintain bonus focus, and mitigate risk.
 

Why wearable technology is the next big thing in mobile app development?

​In current times, individuals are inseparable from their connection to the internet, regardless of whether it is a cell phone, laptop, or a tablet. As evidence of the growing reliance on internet services, in December 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled that broadband internet with download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps will now be considered a “basic telecom service.” Still, technology companies have developed and are continuing to develop wearable technology further fostering interaction and reliance on technology. Thanks largely to the smartphone’s success, chips and sensors have become less expensive and more miniscule. This has helped wearable technology (technology that has been incorporated in every item that individuals wear) transcend from fantasy and fiction to everyday reality. The following are a few reasons as to why wearable technology is the next big trend in mobile app development:

1. A new exciting industry

Early adopters are excited by the novelty of wearable technology. Users of wearable technology are finding the devices easy to use, functional, and an aesthetically pleasing merger of technology and fashion accessories. Wearable technology may have originated with a simple wristband or wrist watch but the depth of the technology and scope of the devices have transcended far beyond simple wrist-worn devices. Today, wearable technology can be found through rings, eye wear, helmets, smart shoes, apparel, clip-on accessories, augmented and virtual reality headsets and so on. Despite the expansion of the scope of wearable technology and its growing demand, smartwatches and wristbands currently still dominate the wearable technology market.

2. Wearable technology for specialized professional use

Although certain wearable technology such as Google Glass is not widely worn, such wearable technology may garner more wide usage within specialized market segments through the development of more specialized apps. For instance, Google Glass has been incorporated by some medical professionals within their medical practice to tap into the benefit of a hands-free source of medical information. Similarly, the DAQRI Smart Helmet is a helmet that displays work instructions right on their visor so that a worker can observe exactly what needs to be completed. The helmet also contains a 360 navigation camera with HD video recording, photography, 3D mapping. The Smart Helmet also provides the potential for data mining, compliance optimization, and maintaining construction records.  Another example of wearable technology is the ProGlove, which is a wearable glove benefiting production procession. The goal of the glove is to enable quicker and more efficient handling by integrating working steps into the natural movement of your hands.

3. Using wearable technology for collecting personal health data

With wearable technology like the new Apple Watch, a user has the capacity to collect personal health information such as sleep-related information, heart rate, calories burned, steps walked and so on. This information provides users with an accurate and objective measurement of personal health information that will allow a user to create the change they wish to see in themselves, hold themselves accountable for achieving targets, and to track their progress. The utility and ease of use of such wearable technology makes monitoring personal health both fun and convenient helping to facilitate better commitment and more informed health and lifestyle decisions.

4. The augmented reality headset for education and practical training

Irrespective of whether it is educational material or hands-on tasks, simple or complex matters, and the age of users, augmented reality sets are establishing to be difference makers in education and training. Augmented reality headsets have been utilized to unlock a child’s imagination, transport a child to new and undiscovered worlds, and teach children lessons through role play. For young adults and professionals, augmented reality apps have a wide array of utility spanning innumerable industries. Educational material and practical hands-on training can range from biology students and professionals dissecting anatomy, chemistry students and chemists delving deep in studying, manipulating and combining elements, structural engineers building simulated prototypes of various architecture, surgeons performing various surgery, and pilots learning through flight simulation. The learning and training possibilities are virtually limitless.

5. Headsets for recreational activities

Patrons of movie theatres have long cherished the pastime of catching a movie on the silver screen. Nonetheless, the experience of attending a movie theatre was enhanced with the introduction of 3D glasses. Moreover, movie theatres later revolutionized the theatre experience with technological advances to allow viewers to enjoy 4D experiences. Similar to movie theatres, roller coasters have also continuously evolved to delight thrill seekers. Today, theme parks have elevated the thrill of roller coasters by combining the roller coaster experience with virtual reality headsets. As riders speed through the roller coaster with their body jostling side to side, they observe their natural surroundings enhanced through the headset, which display unique attributes such as frightening creatures jumping out at the rider or the rider being placed in a fighter jet within a battle scenario.
The Reacon Head-Up Display is another example of wearable technology enhancing an already cherished activity. This headset looks no different than standard headsets worn by skiers and snowboarders. However, the headset provides a display that allows skiers and snowboarders to stay connected while on the slopes. Moreover, the display reveals the user’s speed and allows the user’s to keep track of one another on a map.
 
With the booming growth of wearable technology, wearable technology is bound to become an integral part of one’s everyday life either in addition to smartphones or perhaps eventually in lieu of smartphones. Companies would be wise to creatively tap into this industry to gain advantage and stay ahead of market trends to not only secure a new revenue source but to also benefit from the advantages of incorporating wearable technology in facilitating employee productivity, safety, and advanced learned and training. 

How Can Enterprises Benefit From Mobile Apps?

As pointed out by our previous article, 3 Reasons for a Mobile Strategy, the internet is being accessed by an ever-growing majority of smartphone users in comparison to desktops. Moreover, according to Yahoo’s Flurry analytics, mobile apps account for 90% of all consumers’ mobile time used. Nonetheless, enterprises can gain far more from mobile apps then just for marketing purposes.
Companies are developing mobile apps to:

1. Reduce the cost of business

A mobile app can reduce business costs by increasing the productivity of employees. A mobile app can be developed to simplify tasks and or create efficiency. For instance,  productivity may be improved through enhancing the business processes and increasing accessibility of resources and training to workers. This may in turn allow employees to complete a greater volume of work in less time. Thus, the benefit of having more productive employees translates to not only more economical value out of each employee but also the opportunity to rely on fewer employees, which equates to a reduction in business expenses.

The use of mobile apps may also reduce the traditional expenses of office supplies and communication. For instance, mobile apps can be developed to not only gather  information, attendance, and feedback from employees quickly and efficiently without printing costs but also distribute or make available to employees training manuals, policy manuals, company news and so on. This helps to control printing costs yet still provide up to date materials and information and collect information.  Less printing also translates to having a reduced impact on the environment: an added benefit that is internally rewarding and at the same time able to be externally marketed.
A company’s competitive edge can rarely be reduced to a simple formula. Despite this, a company’s prospects for long term success is unquestionably improved with reasonable increases to productivity of personnel and appropriate reductions to costs of business.

2. Improve customer experience

A significant benefit of mobile apps is that they enhance interaction and communication between a company and its existing and prospective customers. A mobile app will provide businesses the opportunity to assist their customers and prospective customers with issues they may experience with a company’s products, services, or even technological issues such as difficulties ordering products or service. The convenience offered to customers to get access to customer service with the touch of an icon will help to bolster the quality of service. It is important to understand that it will be critical to have sufficient staff to provide prompt and professional responses to customers inquiries as a swift response rate is associated with high customer satisfaction and ultimately, increased sales for the company.

3. Increases interaction with workers

Mobile apps provide a platform where the company and workers share relevant information. Communication of real-time information about business news and various activities is enhanced by the use of mobile apps. For instance, apps can provide a secure channel with team members and departments located in the same or different geographies. This can reduce communication costs as well as printing and paper costs. As previously mentioned, mobile apps can also be developed to not only gather information, attendance, and feedback from employees quickly and efficiently without printing costs but also distribute or make available to employees training manuals, policy manuals, company news and so on. Moreover, a mobile app focused on internal company communication can be personalized depending on location, position, department of both employees and management. In this manner, management and employees can collaborate with department members at large or only those working on a particular project. In the same token, company news can be distributed to an entire company at large or through specific departments, positions, project members etc .

4. Enhances decision making

Although enhanced decision making could have been specified in the previous paragraph, we felt that its significance warranted independent attention. Information is crucial when making decisions in a company. Accessibility of all pertinent information at any time or place is vital in decision making. Since the majority of individuals keep their cellphones on them most of the time, cell phones are an excellent hub for critical information. Mobile apps provide decision makers with a convenient and reliable medium to get real-time information required for critical decision-making. The implications of incorrect decisions due to lack of available information is unforgivable in today’s modern age and competitive business climate. Management and employees suffer a real disservice by being uninformed when having to make routine or critical decisions. Real-time information aids company management and employees to make the best decision in the circumstances helping to ensure company success.

Does An App Make Sense For Your Business?

Many of us think that Mobile Apps are for the Walmarts, Amazons, and Ebays of the corporate world. Nonetheless, today’s business reality is that mobile apps are becoming a part of every conceivable business, irrespective of a company’s size or services they offer. Smaller businesses are accepting that there is a new opportunity with how all businesses may engage with and market to their customers. As such, more and more small to medium-sized businesses are shifting towards developing a mobile app after gaining the awareness that for an effective marketing strategy, businesses require an appropriate mobile app strategy and not restricting their reach and engagement to prospective and current customers by only adopting a mobile-friendly website.
You will notice that considerable portion of the businesses you interact on a daily basis such as your local coffee house, restaurants, and barbers are moving towards adopting a mobile app marketing strategy. Businesses adopting a mobile app to their marketing strategy capitalize from the following benefits:

  • Geo-location Targeting: With the continuous rise in targeting prospective customers or engaging with current customers within a specific proximity or region, businesses can easily such customers  to offer them discounts, coupons and special offers via push notifications. Businesses can send time sensitive message and adverts to such customers at the right place and right time to trigger that impulse within them to capitalize on the fortuitous opportunity. These offers and coupons will make existing customers feel important and new prospective customers as welcomed, both which will create greater traffic and in turn, greater revenue, for the business.

  • Strengthened Customer Loyalty: Customers who download a mobile app can receive news and updates about your business to keep your most important customers cognizant of a business’s happenings, which only further strengthens business-customer relationship bonds. Moreover, coupons and special offers can be accessed exclusively on mobile app which rewards your most loyal clients and may also help spike a little more business traffic during downtime. Businesses can make use of a loyalty program where they can offer points to their customers when they show the app every time they visit a business or by engaging with the business through the mobile app or social media. Many businesses are already making use of customer loyalty point programs via physical cards. However, using a mobile app will provide a business with greater agility with how they engage and reward a customer and also provide customers with the convenience of not having to a carry card every time they frequent a business.
  • Direct Marketing/Improve Customer Engagement: Email and social media marketing are common ways a business can market themselves. However, marketing using a mobile app can provide a significant advantage since many studies reveal that emails are often ignored and adverts on social media are not only often limited to targeting a general population who may or may not be interested in a business’ products and services but that most social media users disregard adverts on social media websites because they are engaged in a social purpose in engaging with friends and family and get updated on the most recent items trending on social media. While reports vary, it appears that in terms of email marketing, only about 20 percent of customers check their email and only about 5 percent of those customers click on advertisement links embedded in the emails. In contrast, about 30 to 60 percent of users open push notifications on their phones and 40 percent of such users interact with the mobile app immediately after receiving notifications. This shows how mobile app marketing is far superior than email marketing.

  • Stand out: Often, businesses experience one of two mutually exclusive states: growth or decay. Businesses that fail to either stay ahead of the market curve or keep pace and adapt to market changes will more likely than note experience decay and in time, death. A company’s present mobile strategy  will set the foundation for its present and perpetual success.
  • ​Superior Customer Service: Customer service is critical to the success of almost any business. A mobile app will provide businesses the opportunity to assist their customers and prospective customers with issues they may experience with a company’s products, services, or even technological issues such as difficulties ordering products or service. The convenience offered to customers to get access to customer service with the touch of an icon will help to bolster the quality of service as well as a customer’s feelings of turning to a company’s competitors.