How (not) to screw up your enterprise mobile app

Mobile app

Great read on how (not) to screw up your enterprise mobile app by Quinton Wall, Director, Platform Technology, @quintonwall.

Main takeways

1. Don’t spend weeks or months gathering requirements from all the stakeholders. Instead quickly decide on the minimal viable product (MVP) and release an early version of the app- fast! Once the app is released, then ask your users for feedback. Build in and iterate on that feedback.

2. Don’t just model your mobile app on existing business processes. Instead think about how users would get the best use out of the mobile app. Also think about what new processes does mobile allow.

3. Make sure the mobile app connects seamlessly with your enterprise apps. Don’t make a user manually enter information twice!

Key excerpts:

How (not) to screw up your enterprise mobile app
Most enterprise mobile apps have a long way to go before they can be considered great mobile apps.

First Mistake:

Give users exactly what they ask for.
Start by finding your best business analyst and spend a few weeks compiling a list of requirements for your app. Once you have a good handle on what you need, put out a request for proposal (RFP) and search for a vendor that doesn’t understand your business to implement the app.

I’ve got one word for you: iterate. How many times have you ordered exactly what you wanted at a restaurant only to be disappointed when you got what you asked for? This same feeling of regret happens all the time with mobile customers.

Second mistake:

Model your app after an existing business process.
Your users probably don’t like your existing processes too much when they have a full keyboard and a comfortable chair to enter information, so forcing them to do it on a touch keyboard designed for pixies will be even more painful.

Here’s an example: Delivery drivers often have a hard time finding the right apartment on the first visit. With the existing process, drivers entered a description of the location in the system. With mobile devices, however, the driver can take a photo of the location and GPS-tag it. The mobile process is completely different and more efficient, and drivers can complete it much more quickly.

Divide a whiteboard into three vertical columns. Label them: Business Process, Mobile-First, and New Opportunities. In the first column, draw your existing process in a flow diagram. In the second column, draw lines from the flow diagram for steps that could be re-imagined with mobile and list them in the Mobile-First column.

Third mistake:

Make sure the app doesn’t really connect to your business
I constantly see organisations roll out amazing new mobile apps for viewing corporate data that are completely devoid of enterprise UX. These apps let the user view information on the go, but require them to jump to another system to update the data. What actually happens is that your business process is now harder than it was before you gave your users that new fancy mobile app.

Cloud platforms speak mobile – with RESTful APIs, efficient data transfers, and native mobile SDKs – to make it possible to create great enterprise UX without ever spending on costly development cycles updating legacy systems.

Read more

Any questions? Feel free to contact us.
Check out iStockist, our wholesale eCommerce.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment