David Bressler’s recent article “Mobile Banking Apps, Why Do Banks Have Only One?” helps to bring home the short sighted thinking around apps today. Many companies are still stuck thinking about their “killer app” and mashing as many features into it as possible, making it a truly mediocre user experience.
So-called killer apps only kill user experience
Apps are meant to be small and focused, not big and bloated. Even the word “app” is shorter and more precise than its desktop cousin “application.” App designers and developers: do one thing really well and the user will be back to use the app again and again.
This paradigm begins with the connected suite of apps. For someone to do their job on a mobile platform, their workflow likely has five to 10 key steps — each of which should probably have its own focused app.
App suites are clipboard killers, revenue amplifiers
If I’m a car salesperson I need to appraise your vehicle, help you find a new one in our inventory and then complete the deal paperwork. Each of these steps should be a laser focused app. These apps should share data and walk through a broader process in a way that the user doesn’t even know they’re switching apps. Information flows from one to the next so there is no double entry. It’s smooth, functional, seamless. Collections of these bite sized apps are better for the user, faster to build and easier to test.
The same concept fits in the consumer space where users need to interact with the organization in multiple ways for different reasons. A collection of focused consumer apps can provide a much better user experience and make it easier to connect that consumer with the company. Apps are a marketer’s dream, allowing the organization to build life long relationships based on a mutual exchange of meaningful value.
Customer & brand loyalty
The more I can help that consumer with what they are trying to do, the more they see my organization as their trusted partner, not just a vendor. Changing providers will be the furthest thing from their minds. Bressler touches on this when he wrote, “Why not create apps with the intention of turning consumers into prosumers… thereby driving brand loyalty?” He’s speaking in this case about B2C, but this certainly applies to B2B companies.
If enterprises continue their quest looking for their mythical single killer app, they will be headed for certain failure and be left behind. Truly innovative companies should look to focused app suites.