If you look at the top-rated apps anywhere – Google Play store, iTunes, or elsewhere, you’ll see that they all have one feature in common – great design. Today, it is the same for enterprise apps as well; after all, mobile apps for employee use has become very commonplace today. According to Gartner, by 2020, 75% of Enterprises will have at least one internal mobile app. Enterprise apps are very different from the usual apps targeted at customers; they have several user profiles, require higher security and necessitate consideration of legacy software.
Moreover, it has to hit the spot when rolled out – multiple iterations are just going to disrupt your workflow. One may argue that as Enterprise apps are for employee use mainly, they will use it because they have to regardless of the ease of use or functionality. That’s not true, however. Take a look at why it’s important to have good UX in enterprise apps:
Good UX will save you money as the intuitive nature of the app will allow employees to complete tasks and view results in the app in minimal time.
Your employees are consumers too – and they are used to using apps with superlative UX, like Amazon, Uber and so on; a complex and confusing app will put them off.
Good UX will induce the employees to use the app every day – when the app is not used, whatever you’ve spent on its development is a total waste.
Frequent use of the app keeps your employees abreast of all the latest figures and trends; an informed workforce is an asset to the organisation. This can lead to more loyal employees, subsequently translating into enhanced efficiency and productivity, and greater revenues.
The current scenario in India has changed in a way that, it’s become important for Enterprises to not only hire any of the professional mobile app development companies in India but also give equal importance to hiring any of the professional UX agencies for your enterprise app design and development. But, in India, there is the only limited number of UX agencies who really focus on all the aspects of UX design and with an attention to detail - so it’s really important to find out the top UX agencies in India for your Enterprise app UX.
Aha! But you’re sadly mistaken – your employees are consumers elsewhere, and are probably already using up to a dozen apps – for banking, shopping, booking hotels, and more. So if you thrust a badly designed app down their throats, it simply won’t do! They will have scant motivation to use the app or may spend an inordinate amount of time doing it because it’s too complicated and confusing.
True, the main purpose of an enterprise app is to ensure that a particular job gets done, but why not make it easy for your employees? They will use it often without spending too much time on it and this will make them smarter and alert to the current business situation of the company. Here are some tips to ensure intuitiveness and make it seem like another consumer app:
Avoid button-like elements, that don’t initiate an action or coloured links that aren’t clickable.
Ensure click targets are bold and visible.
Provide feedback on action taken, like the progress of loading of specific data, or confirmation of the action.
Provide proper error messages.
Don’t request the same information more than once.
Provide default values where possible for speeding up the process.
Use pleasing and legible fonts, sound, interesting graphics and micro-interactions.
Regardless of how experienced you may be as an enterprise app developer, it’s always a good idea to brainstorm with the whole team. Let designers and developers voice their ideas; you never know from where the words of wisdom will come! It is also prudent to check with the specific department for whom the app is being developed. For example, let’s say you need to make an app for the HR department; the developer or the whole team even, may not be that well versed with all aspects of the HR department. Ergo, it makes sense to collaborate with the relevant personnel at the design stage to incorporate whatever they need.
Just like you need to talk to the specific department for which you're developing the app, you need to also consider the industry to which a company belongs, at the outset. Designing for a healthcare provider won't be the same as say, a bank, college, or chain of retail stores. The requirements and challenges of each industry are different, as is the level of dependence on technology, and how tech savvy the workforce in each industry is. If you're going to develop an app for an Enterprise in a domain you're not very familiar with, do your research before you embark on the development and design of the app.
When an enterprise is upgrading or switching over to a new app, one of the main reasons for doing so is the realization that the old one is outdated. The old app probably does not cater to the changing needs of the enterprise anymore. However, the team developing the app needs to consider that most of the end users of the app have been used to certain features of the app for years, and are comfortably familiar with certain workflows. It's rather like the old pair of shoes that have holey soles and faded uppers but you can't throw them away because they are so comfy! So what you need to do is take stock; determine what features or parts of the old software the employees swear by, and retain them in the UX of the new app. So you give the employees a sense of comfort without compromising on the efficiency or functionality, and helps makes the transition smooth.
You may think that the employees have to use the app anyway, so there is no need to improve the UX - after all you don't have to sell it to them. On the other hand, some developers may think they have to do a complete overhaul of the whole app; in short, they try to reinvent the wheel. This is completely unnecessary; don't try to fix what is not broken. For example, everyone knows, the 'x' sign is for no, or close and the tick mark denotes Yes; there's no need to use a different symbol or icon in their places and confuse the user.
The older software would have been used by the employees on their desktop or laptop computers which had pretty standardised screen sizes. however, mobile apps today are viewed on a range of mobile devices with screens from 4 to 10 inches. As a developer you have to ensure that the user has a seamless and consistent experience regardless of which device they use. Your enterprise app has to be responsive.
Many enterprises think that it's cheaper and more convenient to develop the app in-house, from their own IT department. However, it's a misconception that to have a customized app you need to develop the app yourself. Thanks to flexible cloud services, you can easily buy products, link them and create customized solutions easily and quickly. In fact, you may be surprised to know that many apps available in the market can be used by a wide range of enterprises without the need for heavy customization. Even if you need an app 100% tailor-made for your company, outsourcing it to a company proficient in mobile app development in India can work out to be more cost-effective, save you time, and provide you with a superior product.
When designed well, enterprise apps have the potential to help your workforce achieve their objectives better and to enhance overall efficiency and productivity. By ensuring that you don't make the mistakes mentioned here, your app could well be helping you on the path to competitive success. Anyhow, ensuring that you're contacting a good web application development company with a proven process is really important for the success of the project.