Defining usability goals and then achieving the goals efficiently is the job of ‘usability engineers’. Out of all the goals known to them, the most significant ones are – ease and efficiency of use and user satisfaction.
Based on these two goals, app developers strive to create innovative apps that provide a seamless experience to the end users. Such apps ace the popularity charts on various app stores.
With mobile apps becoming the “new battleground for brand loyalty”, brands risk losing a major chunk of their current and potential customers if they do not pay attention to usability factors.
Talking in terms of apps, developers need to look beyond incorporating innovative features in their apps find out ways through which they can provide their end-users an enhanced experience.
They can get started by researching about some of the most common usability demands of their end-users. These include but are not limited to the following pointers:
High speed connectivity and faster mobile devices have spoilt the average user for choices; even if an app takes more time than other apps in the same category, the user feels like he has been waiting forever for the app to load. The idea is to make an app take mere seconds to load and use.
Animated videos have a positive effect on conversion rates. Take a cue from this and use animation to captivate your end-users’ attention while they wait for the app to load. Because animations are simple, tell a story, entertain the viewers and incredibly funny, they pique up the curiosity level of users, especially when they use an app for the very first time on their devices after its installation.
Therefore, instead of making them stare at a blank screen with a progress bar, you can create animated loading screens for your app, maybe with a picture in the background and keep them engaged till the app loads.
There is no denying the fact that your app should resonate with your users’ interests. One of the best ways to ensure this is to enhance the functionality of the app. As mobile devices become more advanced with the introduction of new technologies, so do the opportunities of enhancing their functionalities.
You can make the most of this by incorporating a number of mobile-specific functions in your app. Say for instance, you can incorporate 360⁰ videos in your app, which allow viewers to pan and experience the video from different angles. YouTube and Facebook have already taken the initiative to introduce these unique videos to their target audience.
Hypothetically speaking, maybe in the future we will get introduced to advanced mobile cameras that allow users to take 360⁰ videos and upload, edit and then share them through various apps. Think along the lines of Dubsmash and Vine, which lets users explore their creative bent of mind, but more immersive. Since videos have a much higher engagement factor than that of text or pictures, you can be assured that this will have a positive influence on your app’s usability.
Similarly, you can also follow the example of the Apple Watch, which has a digital crown that serves multiple functions such as – force quitting, activating Siri, taking a screenshot etc.
All in all, these functionalities let users interact with an app actively. The next time, there is an updated version of the same app, they are the ones who are most likely to make a beeline and download and install it on their devices.
Nowadays, a number of enterprises are looking forward to offering mobility to their employees. One such step is allowing their employees to bring their own devices to work (BYOD). Soon enough, this will pave the way for bring their wearables to work, given the fact that wearables are the future.
With the introduction of wearables, mobile devices are going to become all the more personal and will contain more sensitive data than ever. This leaves them vulnerable to hackers and other threats such as network breaches.
This in turn leads to addressing security concerns associated with various enterprise-specific mobile apps. This needs to be at the top of the priority list and shouldn’t be added as an afterthought when the development of the app is done with.
The need of the hour is to have stringent security policies that safeguard against data leakage or third-party intrusions. The best way to do so is to boost up the security features and fortify your app. You will be interested to learn about how a group of tech firms are collaborating to offer a standard way to manage and secure enterprise mobile apps. Take a cue from them and create your app with the best security standards in place.
Personalized user experience in various apps can boost up the conversions like never before. For instance, if you have an app that lets users create an online library of sorts (something like Goodreads), let users upload their edition of books, give them options to select from a range of virtual bookends and bookmarks, change the type of shelves etc. At the same time, you can make recommendations to them based on their choices. Basically, you need to pay attention to the minutest details.
For this purpose, it is essential that you track your users’ activities such as their browsing habits, their locations and what are their preferences when they use apps in the same category as yours. Since gathering and assessing such data is not easy, try going through reviews posted by users on various app stores or on forums and other websites to know what all steps you need to take for personalizing the app for them.
Take the example of Where is My Water, a game app from Disney. A customer has written positive review about the app, praising it for its fun and challenging elements. When your user gives you positive feedback like this or maybe, negative, you need to take it into consideration for bringing out an app with enhanced usability.
These are four of the most common usability demands, which you need to take into consideration. By implementing these in your apps, you enhance not only their experience, but also see an increase your target user base, which will eventually lead to the boosting of your sales.
Have a point or two to share with us on this topic? Feel free to do so by leaving a comment.