This post is from the Apperian blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
Five Tips for Building Coveted Enterprise Mobile Apps
Not every company has the budget or manpower to create an app store’s worth of enterprise mobile apps for its workforce. However, very few companies have the luxury of ignoring the mobilization of their workforce. If you’re thinking of creating enterprise apps for your workforce – and assuming you’re using an enterprise app store that makes it easy for employees to locate and download apps -- here are the 5 critical features needed for it to be successful.
1. Provide an easy, intuitive UX.
To attract users and keep them as active participants, the user interface for your enterprise mobile apps has to be simple for employees to begin using immediately. It also should be designed so that it’s instinctive for employees to transition from one set of tasks to another (e.g. ability to easily call up customer account information and then drill down on recent customer transaction history). Thirdly, to ensure the app works in a familiar way for your users, you should design it in sync with the graphic standards of each platform you plan to support.
2. Offer responsive/adaptable screen size.
Employees use a wide range of mobile devices in the workplace – or wherever they may be. These include different types of smartphones (iPhone, Android, Windows), tablets, PDAs, etc. Creating a UX for each of the different device types employees may use can be resource and cost-prohibitive. Yet the look-and-feel should be synced with the device type. Responsive design is a viable, coherent approach for native apps, mobile sites, and hybrid apps.
3. Incorporate role-based design.
Employees are more likely to download, adopt, and actively use enterprise mobile apps when they are devised to address a worker’s specific job functions and work habits. Native apps can and should be developed with the interests of employee workgroups in mind. Soliciting employee feedback and encouraging functional teams to participate in the development and mobile app testing will help keep them engaged while strengthening the likelihood of app adoption and active use.
4. Make it collaborative.
Work teams in marketing, R&D, and other corporate functions often pool resources on different projects. Enterprise mobile apps that are designed with collaborative work groups in mind will make it easier for project teams to share ideas and project updates that make group efforts more productive. Mobile apps extend the traditional boundaries of work groups across geographies and work locations, creating new virtual and broad collaboration spaces.
5. Integrate with critical apps and data.
Enterprise mobile apps are only effective for employees when they’re able to access other apps and data needed to solve problems and achieve data-driven decision-making. Make sure that mobile apps developed for employees and work groups are able to access other data points workers need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Use tools and libraries that help the integration of backend content and systems with your mobile app to simplify and standardize this effort across your app portfolio. This post originally appeared on Wired Innovation Insights.