In last month’s blog, we shared the process to create a successful mobile application, focusing on core app functionality & features. If you implemented our recommendations, your team has wireframed a blueprint of the core purpose and functions of the app. You’ve tested, tracked, and communicated to agree upon your Minimal Viable Product (MVP).
Now, you’re ready to take it to the next level – developing and launching your mobile app. Before you launch, make sure you have these six must-have app features.
And remember – just like any other type of software application, development, or website design, everything comes back to communicating with your customer to make their experience with your brand superb. Having a solid plan for your mobile app systems and effectively communicating that plan into action is the key to a successful mobile app.
1. A Responsive Design
With mobile users expected to reach five billion by year-end, app functionality, efficiency, and a responsive design that works well across all mobile platforms – iOS and Android – phones, tablets and now watches – is imperative. It is also important your smart phone application easily integrates with other features and tools on any device and supports mobile functions, like the ability to work offline.
If users don’t like the mobile app design and it’s not easy to use, they will give up quickly. This also plays into the MVP.
Keep it simple. Don’t try to be everything to everyone and know what your target wants in a mobile app experience.
2. Make Your App an Intuitive UI/UX
The responsive design also plays into the second most important feature – User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX). According to research, bad mobile app design and experience will make over 50% of app users less likely to engage with your company in the future.
90% stop using an app due to poor performance and 86% have deleted or uninstalled at least one app because of performance-related issues.
Mobile app systems have taken over as the chosen method of brand engagement. If the UI/UX is not a personalized experience, simple, highly engaging, and intuitive with easy navigation, they will find another app to satisfy their needs. If your app’s UI/UX is satisfying and remains so with every update, you’ll build a positive brand and a loyal following for years to come. For tips on creating a fabulous UI/UX, read the next 3 “must-have” features on our list…
3. Simplified Navigation
Many of these mobile application features cross-over into each other; simplified navigation is no different. Mobile app navigation is part of responsive design and UI/UX – but important enough to warrant its own place on the list of features. Intuitive, really easy navigation is imperative to keep app users.
Think very carefully about what your menu should contain (and what it should not). Then, narrow the steps for users to get where they are going. Speed, accuracy, and a clear map for the user are necessary.
They may forgive other features that don’t quite measure up, but if they can’t easily navigate to where they want to go and fast, you’ll lose them in seconds.
Ah, security! It almost goes without saying, but since identity theft is now considered the biggest financial and personal threat facing our society – a conservative estimate of 2018 cyber crime profitability is $1.5 trillion – embedding the most up-to-date security in your mobile app is not an option. It is a necessity.
Your company must ensure that user data is secure or their information can be stolen or manipulated. If there’s the tiniest vulnerability in security, the app you worked so hard to develop can become compromised or face a destructive doppelganger.
Ultimately, with even the slightest security breach, you may ruin your business reputation and even lose your company fighting the ensuing legal battles. Be sure to employ these critical mobile app security practices for your customers’ safety and security.
Important Mobile App Features for Security:
- Require a secure login and re-authentication for important actions.
- Encrypt all data – use additional layers of encryption to avoid broken cryptography.
- Use secure coding techniques.
- Use SSL and consider making SSL chain verification necessary.
- Limit login capability to online-only mode.
5. A Visually Appealing Landing Screen
A captivating landing screen (main navigation page) that draws users in and easily guides them through your app could be the difference between user engagement and being deleted.
Important features for your landing screen include, vivid colors, videos, animation, and simple content that evoke emotions. These features work together with structured sections and clear call-to-action to maximize conversions.
Inviting user personalization or customization of the app’s appearance has also been shown to increase conversions. It is essential to keep the landing screen lively yet uncomplicated with simplified navigation so users can effortlessly stay connected.
6. Web API
Many people don’t realize that most apps connect to something in the back end. In many cases, creating a back end Application Programmer Interface, or API, for mobile apps is a necessity. These APIs are typically custom developed, but could also be provided by Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or comparable third-parties.
Ask your team what kind of user data needs to be collected and stored on the back end so mobile app users can see it on multiple devices or create a web interface to connect to that data. This allows for an admin web portal to collect data on users.
Among other benefits, this data makes it possible to continue to appeal to specific users in the funnel and improve their user experience within the app.
The Bottom Line…
When you hone the design of your mobile app, keep in mind that the success of the app comes from those who use it and whether their needs and goals are met with speed, simplicity, and friendliness. You must exceed user expectations right from the start with a stunning, inviting, and intuitive landing screen that evokes emotions.
Your app features and navigation should guide the user effortlessly through layers of engagement, with secure login screens and authentication, to the buying process.
When done right, your app and your brand will be loved by potentials and customers alike. If you have any questions about designing a mobile app, app functionality, or this article, we’d love to be a sounding board for you. We are here to help in any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. 877.377.SWIP