Every so often you see those pesky red circles clinging on to the corners of the apps on your mobile device that remind you of the pending app updates designed to introduce changes and enhance your mobile experience so you keep coming back for more. Between short attention spans and an overabundance of stimuli brands are fighting to continuously engage their mobile app users. Hence, the ever-present red circles silently promising improvements in usability, speed, and performance. I won’t even mention bug-fixes. I mean, it’s almost 2015…bugs are the unmentionables. With QA flags flying high who has bugs any more?
Speaking of ‘almost 2015’…Most brands, even our beloved mobile laggard dinosaur brands, are on their second – if not fourth or fifth – iterations of apps. While the reconstructing and redesigning process begs the inclusion of new features and functions, it’s equally important to analyse users’ behaviour, based on all those prioritized metrics and data points that you obviously built into the app to measure right at the outset, to adjust the user experience and deliver more of what the users actually want and less of what they don’t.
With innovative practices pushing the boundaries of what’s possible at an unprecedented rate, and new technologies and applications being introduced at an equally astounding rate, one must pause…and plan. For example, beacons and Bluetooth Low Energy paired with some of Apple’s new features in iOS as well as Android’s new Lollipop OS can provide brands with new opportunities to introduce a more personalized interactive experience with their customers.
When creating the new versions of their apps, brands may often find themselves in technical debt by focusing primarily on getting a product to the App Stores rather than developing a user-worthy product. By sacrificing functionality and user experience, the product then requires revisions that ultimately cost more time and money by extending the product development cycle.
In addition to technical considerations while developing the next generation of a mobile app experience, the users’ level of comfort with, and preferences for types of feature must also be considered for alternate options, validated by AB testing. If the current version of the app houses dated features that a small portion of the user base is interacting with it, it may prove worthwhile to eliminate the feature as a whole.
Technology is providing new ways for brands to interact with consumers. As new device capabilities are introduced, users’ are adopting new behaviours more readily. But staying on top of technology is no longer sufficient to keep brands ahead of the curve. The current rate of change requires technologists to anticipate behaviour, needs and wants of users in order to let brands retain that coveted spot on customers’ mobile device.