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Will the App User Like the Experience?

Published on June 20th, 2012 by in Uncategorized

When the DECIDE team is “pitched” for a new app, the client will often focus on what they want the app to do.  They tell us how the app will function and provide value to the user.  They rarely have spent much time thinking about the user experience.  Intense focus on user experience is probably the most critical part of app success.

There is certainly no shortage of applications available to the consumer.  The winners in app development competition must have a good mobile data user experience (MEX).  There is a delicate balance needed to make the app both easy to use and also robust in function.

Many clients will underplay the importance of the MEX.  Yet in successful apps, just the user set up portion of the program can sometimes be larger than the app itself.  Here are a few things you might want to carefully examine:

Data Capture

Mobile app users rely on multiple apps for their daily life.  A user interface that appears familiar and is consistent with other popular apps instantly adds to the user’s comfort.  When the interface is also intuitive it decreases the learning curve and is accepted quickly by the user.

Although today’s mobile devices can do most anything you can expect a desktop computer, it is still a bit cumbersome compared to a full size keyboard and monitor.  The real estate on the mobile device is much smaller, so excellent navigation experience has never been more important.

You want to make it as easy as possible.  User data entry is best kept to a minimum – without missing the data points essential for the functions to be maximized.  Using pick lists, radio button sequencing and scroll lists is helpful.  You also want the app to “remember” commonly needed data whenever possible.

Small Screen Savvy

Mobile app users are an on-the-go crowd.  If the app is simply a re-scaled website it will not satisfy this fickle group.  They will run away quickly looking for an easier solution.  Designing for the small screen requires us to install effortless ways for the user to buy, register, or respond.  Each screen offers rewards for tapping further and coming back after the first use.

Collecting all the data needed to make your app robust and useful – while also engaging the user to enjoy the process – is a challenge that few entrepreneurs can meet without a professional developer.

Think about what you need to know about the user for the app to give them the most results.  You may want include physical location data and product preferences, but you don’t want to require them to go through multiple screens to do it.  We think carefully about what you want the app to do and find the most efficient way to collect the data.

Beyond coding, a good developer delves into the psychology of the mobile user.  Knowing who will use the app and creating an app personality that will engage the user is part of the process.  If you don’t ask these behind-the-scene questions about user experience, you will fall short of the answers you need to delight your customers.

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