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We’ve frequently mentioned how important it is to understand your users’s needs to provide them with mobile apps that will make their lives easier. I invited Nitin Bhatia from Propelics to discuss his approach to contextual observations, or “Day-in-A-Life.” He shares how to get started, what to look for when observing, how to incorporate findings in the entire development process, and how to prove you built the right thing. Listen to Nitin discuss contextual observations. Read more about designing for the user experience. Download our eGuide about how to promote adoption and usage of the enterprise apps you develop.

Designing for the User Experience: Mobile UX Design

Let’s face it: enterprise mobile apps can be expensive to develop, costing $500,000 to more than $1 million per custom mobile app, according to a Kinvey study. As such, organizational leaders that are making sizable investments in mobile app development want to ensure that they’re achieving high mobile app adoption rates that can drive top levels of productivity and ROI. Critical to the adoption of any mobile app is a simple yet elegant user experience (UX) that makes it easy for employees to use an app while removing friction from the employee work experience. A good starting point for creating a seamless mobile UX design is by obtaining a thorough understanding about the workflows that specific employees take in conducting their work. This can be achieved, in part, by spending time with work teams (sales, marketing, HR, finance, etc.) and learning about the steps that are taking to accomplish tasks in their workflows. For instance, a salesperson for a B2B company may start by accessing a list of qualified leads that have been generated by the company’s marketing department. From there, the salesperson will try to contact a lead to find out what the company’s top challenges are and whether the B2B company can provide any assistance. A developer can use these insights to create a smooth mobile UX design that provides the salesperson with a logical path from one sales activity to the next, including the ability to access contact information for sales leads using a mobile device. It’s also important to recognize that user workflows cut across the use of multiple devices, including desktop PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. The UX should be devised to make it easy for a marketer to look for customer information on her smartphone but then be able to navigate the next task just as easily on her desktop PC. In other words, the UX between the desktop and mobile worlds shouldn’t be disconnected. Mobile app development also represents an opportunity for developers to create easier and better experiences than users may be accustomed to with legacy desktop apps or other approaches that are used to complete work. For instance, mobile apps developed for field service technicians should make it easier for them to do their jobs, including access to customer records, parts inventory, service contracts, etc. The UX should be developed so that it’s easy for field service technicians to click on an icon to access information for a particular area. Taking a user-centric approach to mobile UX design can create the types of mobile experiences that keep users coming back to a mobile app and drive high rates of adoption and productivity.

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