Iterate or Die: 10 Most Useful App Secrets

By | Enterprise Mobility, Thought Leadership

This is the final post a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

10) Iterate or Die

This one will probably give you a little heartburn. At the end of the day, if we’re measuring what works and what doesn’t, how do we make that tough call that we simply cannot move the needle with our app? Just like feature bloat, supporting multiple apps and many different stores on many different devices comes with a high cost We are actually doing ourselves a service by cutting things down if they aren’t providing the necessary return. Read More

Stay Slim: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Ideas For Your Business

This is part 9 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

9) Stay Slim

When was the last time you removed a feature from your corporate app? Never, you say?? 🙂 In a mobile application, you have a limited amount of real estate and time to capture the data you need to quickly shoot people down your funnels. The more choices and options you give them, the worse your core funnels will behave. In the world of consumer apps and lean startups, you measure what works, and you remove what doesn’t. Of course, deciding that a feature is just not going to work (vs has the wrong implementation) is subjective, but that’s the goal people work toward. Read More

Build Evangelists: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Ideas For Your Business

This is part 8 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

8) Build Evangelists

As we do the steps outlined in previous posts, you will start to notice that your users will not only be happier, but they will be eager to show other employees how to use your app. In the consumer world, we call these people evangelists, and everyone is clambering to get more of them. They talk on twitter, they help other users in support forums, and they tell everyone they know about this cool new app they found. Can we do the same thing in the enterprise (even if we ask them to tone down the twitter a bit :)? Read More

Solicit Feedback From Real Users: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Thought Leadership

This is part 7 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

7) Solicit Feedback from Real Users

You probably have some awesome ideas about how to Sell Everything Everywhere, but I’d bet the people selling on the ground floor everyday have even better ideas. Consumer apps often take advantage of built-in tools to gather feedback and ideas to support their next iteration. When they don’t, they make sure to try out ideas on their users well before they start building anything. You can (and should) start doing this too. Don’t assume the managers and IT developers are your best resource for figuring out what features will help your end user do their job. Read More

Thrill Users With Customer Service: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Thought Leadership

This is part 6 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

6) Thrill Users With Customer Service

In a consumer app, your users are not coming back if your app crashes in a formula that looks something like “value * ease of use / crashes * 10 > 1.” That’s not a mathematical theorem, but you get the idea. It’s really important to treat customers like they are people, showing that you care about their time, and that you are a real person that cares about them as a real person. Until you can establish that relationship, the internet makes for somewhat uneasy conversations. i.e., People are angry at their screen until you convince them you are a nice guy running the little mouse wheel in there.

You can shortcut these uncomfortable situations by being more proactive about how we anticipate and fix issues. If we start listening for errors up front, try to resolve them quickly and think about how our users are experiencing our app, we can pretty easily turn potential complaints into excuses to show them we’re helpful humans! Read More

Nudge Users Through Funnels: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Enterprise Mobility, Thought Leadership

This is part 5 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

5) Nudge Users Through Funnels

You’ve equipped your users with how to use your app, and simplified your app so that it can be used without a doctorate in “Company X Inventory Management.”

What if people still aren’t quite using some portion of your app? How do you give them little nudges to push them toward pieces of the app that aren’t being discovered, or funnels that consistently drop-off users?

In consumer apps, you might have noticed that REALLY good apps seem to send you an email, a push notification, or a popup at the exact moment you get stuck. That’s exactly what we’re going to do too. Read More

Onboarding, Not Training: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Thought Leadership

This is part 4 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

4) Onboarding, Not Training

If you’ve downloaded any consumer apps lately, you’ll probably notice a number of things. Think about how your first experience goes with an app. You usually:

  1. Read a review or article online talking about the merits of SuperFacebookALiscious
  2. Read the comments and details on the app store
  3. Download and install the app
  4. Get presented with a “tour” that shows different capabilities of the app or how you might use it
  5. See prompted “hints” — i.e., arrows telling you “where” to compose a new post
  6. After relaunching the app 3 weeks later, getting a notification with new features that you might use

Consumer apps have to ASSUME they’ll never talk to you in person. A user’s first couple minutes on your app are going to determine if they’re a potential customer or not. We don’t have this problem in organizations though, right? We KNOW that users have to use our app, and so we skip out on introducing them to the app with flows and screenshots.

By including instructions on where to tap and what to do in an app, we can shortcut the process of making expert users who are happy and unconfused. Read More

Measure User Activities and Funnels: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Thought Leadership

This is part 3 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

3) Measure User Activities and Funnels

Analytics, analytics, analytics. It has unfortunately become a bit of a buzz word. Measuring how many people use your app, and how long they use it is nice! However, it doesn’t give you any information to “act” on. By changing our analytics to measure the pathways through our app, and the drop-offs at every step, we can focus more clearly on what is stopping people from achieving our goals. Read More

Guide Users Toward Goals: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Ideas For Your Business

This is part 2 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

2) Guide Users Toward Goals

Build an app that only has navigation paths that help a user achieve a specific goal. To do this step, you really need to understand exactly who your users are, and what they’re trying to do. Read More

Have a Clear, Bold Goal: 10 Most Useful Consumer App Secrets

By | Thought Leadership

This is part 1 of a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.

1) Have a Clear, Bold Goal

When was the last time someone came up to you and said out of the blue, “That new inventory app is so easy to use! I didn’t even have to explain it to Rick, he just picked it up and started using it.” Or, “I asked one of my sales associates what app she and the crowd of people around her were using, and it turned out to be the new sales competition app.”

How about a grin on a warehousing employee that was the result of someone from IT proactively reaching out to him to tell him they saw he was having issues and fixed it on the spot? In the world outside of work, people are beginning to use software in a way that makes them happy.

They connect, they get cab rides, they book dinner reservations, and the experience seems to work the same way we do: naturally, seamlessly, without a manual or a tutorial from anyone else. What can we learn from these startups and apps that can bring those experiences into the workplace? And in the process, is it possible that you can end up not only looking like a rockstar, but even driving organizational change?

In this blog series, we’re going to look at some trends of how startups and consumer apps study their customers under a microscope to create an app that works exactly how they do. Read More