How Do You Design Your Mobile Strategy For The User?
People often ask us, “How do you design your mobile strategy for the user?” That is a very good question because in today’s world satisfying the needs and requirements of the end-user are often paramount to the success of any type of mobile endeavor.
From our viewpoint as designers, there are certain steps that should be gone through in different phases to help shape any strategy and project for creating apps to help customers or apps to increase productivity with workers.
Outlining the Strategy
First you need to craft an outline of your strategy, much like you would with a business plan. What are the business goals? What aspects of the business can or should be moved to a mobile platform to either increase customer engagement or to help works perform their jobs better?
For workers, how about working remotely? What tasks in the field can be improved upon? For customers, what are the benefits of having an app? How will the app make their life easier?
You need to identify the ways in which you can improve your business via mobility.
The Basic Questions
There are other basic questions that then need to be answered before you go much further. You need to ask yourself:
- What is the target device? As in what type of device will your end user being using such as a tablet, smartphone, both.
- Will there be platform issues? Is this something geared only towards iOS or Android?
- For a business that is using a device or application will it be company owned?
- What functions are necessary for either productivity/functionality or customer based-needs?
- What kind of data/information will be needed?
- What type of transactions will the app need to complete?
- How can the UI/UX of the app help workers understand and learn it quickly or increase consumer engagement?
- How can we make this something people want or need to use while at the same time enjoy using it?
- What type of security needs to be included to protect sensitive data?
These questions, and any offshoots they might spur, are an important starting point to really help understand the user requirements. With these in hand you are in a better position for the next phase.
Draw the Map
So you have an outline of a plan along with basic questions answered which means you are in position to draw the map to get from Point A to Point B. This step involves considering your goals and your answers from the previous questions to summarize how feasible the goals are, along with considering technology needed and the overall benefit to the business.
Next you will want to craft a workflow analysis that will show how the mobile aspect will fit into the current workflow. This is an important step because after you have a working app the current workflow will be obsolete so a new workflow should have been planned to help with a seamless integration.
The rest of the map involves deciding on the tech needed such as platform and considering budget implications of the project.
Craft the App
With the previous steps done you are in a perfect position to get your app going. Whether doing it in-house or hiring a firm, you should have a very detailed plan in mind that will ultimately help the designer craft the app you want and need.
During the design phase make sure the emphasis is placed on the user experience. Consider breakpoints based on how you want the user to experience the site. Involve people that would be using the app, either customers or employees, in design and testing because the people with boots on the ground are the ones you need to satisfy ultimately. Focus groups, beta testers and the like can really help you get a final product out there that users will be very happy with.
The Bottom Line
One downside to crafting a strategy and apps from the perspective of the business or technical side of things as the focus rather than the user is that you miss out on hearing the most important voice; that of the person who will spend the most time with the app.
That is why when people ask us, “How do you design your mobile strategy for the user?” we outline this plan which places the focus firmly on those people who are paramount to the strategy’s success.