It’s so easy to uninstall an app.
Which is why you must develop something that people want to use.
This process goes beyond creating a great piece of software. Your app can be the best innovation out there but if the necessary support structures aren’t in place and if it doesn’t meet your customers’ needs, it’ll fall flat.
In December, we launched OneView Lite, the companion app to our existing OneView telecoms expense and lifecycle management platform. Because we were developing something to accompany an established platform, we knew that people would have expectations around what the app was called and how it looked and functioned. And because we were targeting the same user base, we needed to make sure that the app conformed to the same standards as the existing platform.
We really did learn so much during the app strategy, development and launch process. Here are a few things I’d advise you consider when making the move into the app market.
Start out with a solid idea
Your idea must be crystal clear. What is your purpose for releasing this app/feature? Ours was a case for convenience. Because OneView monitors telecoms spend, it just made sense for people to be able to track their usage and spend directly on their mobile devices. Users no longer have to log in to their computer to view their telecoms spend, they can now do on their device it via the app.
Test, test and test again
Once you have that solid idea, it’s important to test the waters. Figure out who you’re targeting, research what your potential customer wants and decide if your app meets their needs. The development process is iterative; so don’t be afraid to do so. The very first thing you produce is probably not going to be very good. You must develop prototypes and run proof of concepts over and over again to see if what you’re making still applies to your target audience, if it’s still user friendly and if it’s still what the customer needs and wants.
Rope in a few “friendly” customers
It’s important to collaborate. When we were developing OneView Lite we enlisted the help of customers who were willing to test the app out. By putting it into a “contained” real world scenario, we could get customer feedback and adapt the app based on these critiques. We really learnt so much from this processes.
Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s simple
In an ideal world, you release your app and it will be so simple to use that no one will ask any questions or have to read any documentation to figure out how things work. We wanted to make our registration process extremely smooth but we managed to make it so simple that it actually wasn’t clear what to do. We literally had to add in a few steps to make the process of registering more of a journey.
Streamline support and fast track feedback
An app is only as effective as its support structures. Users must be able to provide feedback and receive the support they need without any hassle. And all elements of the business – from marketing and sales to product support – must be properly informed and trained to engage with and assist app users.
Apps may be one of the fastest growing categories in the mobility market but it’s important that businesses don’t get too caught in the hype. When you first set out on the process of developing an app, it’s so easy to do it for the wrong reasons. That’s why planning, testing, training and collaboration are so important.
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