In last month’s blog, we shared the process to create a successful mobile app. If you implemented our recommendations, you’ve assembled a dedicated team and created a budget, timeline, and plan. Your team has storyboarded or wireframed your app’s core purpose and functionality and agreed upon your Minimal Viable Product (MVP). You’ve tested and tracked and communicated.
Congratulations! Now, you’re ready to take it to the next level – developing and launching your mobile app. Before you launch, make sure it has these six must-have features. And remember – just like any other type of software application or website design, everything comes back to communicating with your customer and making their experience with your brand superb.
A Responsive Design
With mobile users expected to reach five billion by year-end, functionality, efficiency, and a responsive design that works well across all platforms – iOS and Android – phones, tablets and now watches – is imperative. Your app needs to easily integrate with other features and tools on any device and support mobile functions, like the ability to work offline.
If app users don’t like the 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 an app experience.
UI/UX – Make Your App Intuitive
The responsive design also plays into the second most important feature – User Interface/User Experience, or UI/UX. According to research, a bad mobile 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 has taken over as the chosen method of brand engagement. If the UI/UX is not personalized to the user, simple, highly engaging, and easily navigable or intuitive, 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-haves” on the list…
Many of these features cross-over into each other; simplified navigation is no different. Navigation is part of responsive design and UI/UX – but important enough to warrant its own place on the list. Really easy, intuitive navigation is imperative to keep app users. Think very carefully about what your menu should contain (and what it should not) and 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 get 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 today – a conservative estimate of 2018 cybercrime profitability is $1.5 trillion – embedding the most up-to-date security in your mobile app is not an option. Your company must ensure that user data is secure or their data can be stolen or manipulated. And, 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 lose your company fighting the ensuing legal battles. Be sure to employ these critical mobile app security practices for your customers’ 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.
A Visually Appealing Landing Screen
A captivating landing screen (which is the main navigation page) that draws users in and guides them easily through your app could be the difference between user engagement and being deleted. Vivid colors, videos, animation, and simple content that evoke emotions, as well as structured sections and clear call-to-action, all work together to maximize conversions.
Inviting user personalization or customization of the app’s appearance has also been shown to increase conversions. Keeping the landing screen lively yet uncomplicated with simplified navigation that makes it effortless to stay connected is essential.
Many people don’t realize that most apps connect to something in the back end. In many cases, creating a backend 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 mobile app user data needs to be collected and stored on the backend to 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.
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 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 or this article, we’d love to be a sounding board for you and are here to help in any way we can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. 877.377.SWIP
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Tom Swip has been developing and streamlining business processes for over 20 years. Tom’s expertise lies in business process automation, software and application design and network infrastructure. In his spare time, Tom likes kayaking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.