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Potential Hazard In App Design Every Business Should Know

Let’s face it, right now app design is an extremely hot commodity, but there is a potential hazard in mobile app design that every business should know about. What is the very real and concerning hazard? Read on and we will tell you all about it!

Everyone wants an app

Mobile Apps as an extension of a business are a big deal right now; much like having a website was at the turn of the millennium. Businesses are in a rush to ensure that they too have an app just like their competitors, or to get an app before their competitors have one.

However, you need to be careful with this idea of keeping up with, or ahead of the Jones’s. You want to make sure that in developing an app for your company, you aren’t inadvertently hurting your company and its reputation.

Fun fact, half of all apps end up losing half of their peak users within three months.

That is an incredible statistic! While this number encompasses all apps including games, it should still be a very big concern for a business developing an app; 50% of apps cannot keep people engaged and happy over the long-term.

The APP Pitfall

Your app is an extension of your business and your brand. As such, any failings it has will directly reflect on your brand image, either positive or negative.

So what exactly are you creating with your app?

After reviewing numerous business apps that were created by companies to offer users some sort of convenience in their interactions with said company, we found a disturbing trend – many apps provided an unsatisfying experience! We aren’t talking about the design aspect or user interface, but the raw functionality.

That disappointing experience then can lead to customers uninstalling your app or just not using it after the initial download. Not only have you left a customer unsatisfied, but if they are willing to drop that app, might they also be willing to drop you in favor of more convenient options someone else provides?

Ideally any business app should:

  • Provide additional features and functionality they can’t get from your website
  • Provide all of the features and functionality the website does that a user would want or need to use while on a mobile device.

In our testing we found numerous apps that suffer from problems of functionality and performance that hurts the overall company reputation. For example, if you can only perform 2 of the 4 tasks you typically go to a website for on the app how often are you really going to care about using the app? Is it going to annoy you that the company was rather shortsighted in the design process to not allow you to do everything you want to do? Is that going to negatively affect your opinion of their brand?

For example, one app allowed you to purchase items from the company very easily. Browsing was smooth with a nicely integrated shopping cart. However, you could not easily track packages from the app which meant waiting to check on a desktop later. Why? The tablet we were on could handle that aspect so why wasn’t it there?

Another app for a credit union would allow scanning of checks for deposit, something the website cannot do. However, it was unable to do certain transfer actions and verify purchases for the Debit/Visa card, which are both functions a user would want to use from a mobile device for convenience.

The Bottom Line

Customers want to be in control and that doesn’t always happen when mobile apps are rushed to market just to have an app. The app needs to heighten the overall user experience and provide the user with convenience, not annoyance. That means design and testing phases should be done carefully, including comparing functionality of the website to what you plan on doing. Now that you are aware of this potential hazard in app design every business should know, you can make sure your business doesn’t fall into that same pit.

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