Mobile devices have a huge impact on the business world. With 81% of Americans owning a smartphone, there is a high probability that your users will expect to use your product from a mobile device. This doesn’t mean every product should have a mobile app, but it’s a good time to start evaluating your mobile options. Even if your product is mostly used in a desktop, A smartphone is part of your user’s lives and they will expect to access your product from a mobile device at some point. At the very least, every company should have a mobile strategy.
How Can I Define a Mobile App for My Company?
Smartphones are shaping how we communicate, purchase and use software products. It’s not about trying to fit your solution into smaller screens. The most important aspect is to identify what will bring more value to your customers. For some products, it is essential to offer the same features and capabilities in any device, but in other cases, users expect different things from different devices. In some industries like eCommerce, users may first interact with your product from a desktop and then complete the purchase from their mobile device. There are two steps we follow to help our clients define their mobile strategy,
1 – Know Your User’s Journeys.
Think about the apps you use every day. Either for personal use or at work. Now analyze if you use them the same when you are in front of a computer or on the train while you commute home. You would expect an app like Twitter to work the same. You’d want to read, browse and write a tweet from your computer and your smartphone. In other cases like Instagram, you use it very differently. Regular users can see the content on computers, but not post from the desktop version of the app. (Business accounts can schedule post from desktop)
When translating into apps we use at work, the same thing happens. Most companies will use tools like Jira or Hubspot. Depending on if you are on the business team of the company or the product portion of it. Both of these apps provide great tools to organize and make teams more productive. Product managers and marketing directors probably have it open a large percentage of their working hours. Both of these products have a mobile app as well. Because as a PM you want to know how things are going with your teams. If an emergency comes up, the first thing you’ll do is look for a computer to work on it.
When you’re designing your mobile strategy, before jumping into defining the features or technology, first map your User’s Journey. Understanding how and when they use your product will give you a clear idea of what the most valuable feature to include in the mobile version of your software product. You will also have a better understanding of the most priority information for your users.
2 – Understand Your User’s Mobile Profile
It’s easy to understand that everybody uses a smartphone, what’s hard is that everybody uses it differently. Now that you know how your users interact with your app and where you can provide the most value the big question is what kind of app to build.
There are many things you need to take into consideration. We have an entire blog that guides you on how to choose the right app for your business. However, there is a step before deciding between a native, hybrid or a web app version.
The first step is to dive into your user’s characteristics and preferences. What type of smartphones do my users prefer is the first question, but then you need to go deeper,
- How do they use their cellphones?
- Will they prefer to download a new app, or do they mostly use the browser?
- What are the apps they use the most?
- Is cellphone data a concert for your users?
Understanding your users will help you build the right app for them.
It’s essential for companies to have a mobile strategy, even if you have a desktop app only. Not only more people are owning smartphones, but also people are using them as kids. It means that the upcoming generation of your customers will have different expectations and it is better to be ahead in the game. Understanding your user’s mobile profile will give an advantage when defining your mobile strategy.
If you want to define your mobile strategy, feel free to reach out. We’ll be happy to learn about your needs to see how we can help. You can also drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org