There is a huge trend in small business lately: the native app. If you’re not sure what this is, it’s an app that’s downloadable from your OS’s app store that usually gives your client access to your company services, their account, and support without having to sign into a website or make a call. It’s a great idea for a company that delivers a product that can be ordered or who provides a service that must be scheduled.
Some of the native apps that I’m talking about that you might use are the Amazon app, Fandango, or Netflix. Each of these apps allows products or services to be delivered on demand, and they’re a convenient way to make sure your clients can access you wherever they are.
If you are considering creating a native app for your company, there are 5 key things that you must do if you want the app to be worth the investment. In other words, avoid doing everything on this list if you want to piss your customers off.
The 5 Keys to a Successful Native App
- Create a simple to use user interface. Your user interface should be simple enough to use that your clients can find everything they will want to access with just a tap or two. They should never spend more than a second to find the key elements of your app (like search), and the secondary elements (like password or account info changes) should be no more than two taps away.
- Don’t leave out any critical functions of your main site or software. Your app should have all of the important features of your site. Take the Facebook app for example. It has all the necessary functions that a personal account might need. In fact, there is little that you can’t do on the app. However, managing a professional or business page is near impossible, as you can not view the page stats nor can you upload images or easily switch between “who” your post is authored by (you or the page).
- Utilize the device’s features. The device the app is built for usually has several valuable built-in features. If you sell products, allow for barcode scanning. Access the microphone and camera to allow the client to send messages or testimonials. Include push/toast notifications, live tiles, alerts, and anything else that makes sense to create an easier experience for the user.
- Make sure all of the features are features. It sounds strange, but the last thing you want is a feature that has been lazily completed. Imagine a “Contact Us” button that only lead to the contact information. Instead, have the button bring up the option to dial the support/service line, email someone, or send a message through the app. A feature like that is far more convenient than a written phone number and web address.
- Make sure the app doesn’t crash before you deploy it. One of the biggest complaints of any app is how often it freezes or crashes. Test, test, test, and re-test the app and it’s updates before deployment so you can be certain the app will work the way it’s supposed to when your clients need it.
That’s it for this week! Leave your thoughts and share your native app development or use stories in the comments below, and have an awesome weekend!