3 considerations for better mobile apps

  • Executives at MEnterprise conference offered insights into app usage.

  • Apps add value at companies of all sizes.
  • Ease-of-use matters, as well as understanding the workflows that will be followed.

In October, I was the content chair for a mobility event called MEnterprise. Executives from around the country came together to share their experiences in mobile. The conference program had speakers representing companies of all sizes (from less than 200 employees to global companies of over 150,000). Over the course of three days, I learned the following:

1. Mobile app maturity isn’t tied to company size.

On stage, I interviewed two global companies that were at opposite spectrums of mobile app deployment. One company had roughly 20 apps and was at the beginning of its journey. The other company had over 200 apps and was closer to the middle of its mobile deployments. What types of elements equated to the difference? If the company serves the consumer market, it typically has more apps. Many of these apps are brochureware, offering limited functionality versus delivering a more complex employee application that requires back-end systems integration. Second, a company needs executive support, or IT won’t have the resources to scale mobility. Finally, employee apps are often more difficult to justify, since the employee is already using these apps on a PC.
2. Usability matters.

My favorite story of the conference came from a CTO who told me that the usage of a statistics app went up dramatically once the company changed the graphical interface. He noted that nothing else in the app changed. But simply changing the UI was the difference between success and failure for the app.

3. Review the process/workflow with your employee before you build your mobile apps.

Mobility leaders discussed the need to know who your users are and what use case you’re solving. Many said that you have to “live a day (or a week) in the life of your users.” Once you’ve done this, you’ll understand what process or workflow your employees actually follow. In many cases, this is different than how you originally designed your PC apps. This experience gives you the opportunity to make your mobile workflows more usable than your existing processes.


What are your tips for mobile-enabling the workforce? Tell me here or connect with me on Twitter @MaribelLopez

Learn more about AT&T mobility services and how they can help your organization.


Maribel Lopez is the CEO and mobile market strategist for Lopez Research, a market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in communications technologies with a heavy emphasis on the disruptive nature of mobile technologies. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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