How to Build Apps that Win Adoption

October 10, 2016


There are two kinds of apps in the world—those that win adoption and those that die. If you’re like the majority of companies that have stampeded into the enterprise app world recently and are frustrated by lack of enthusiasm on the part of your employees, you are not alone.

According to ComeScore’s Mobile App Report, the majority of smartphone users do not download any new apps per month. Zero!

The Challenge of App Adoption

It’s a bit of a shock, considering the fact that time spent on digital media has increased by more than 50% over the past three years. Nearly 90% of the growth is directly attributed to mobile apps, with their digital time spent approaching 60% of total. More than a staggering 50,000 new apps were submitted to the App Store in January this year. However, an average consumer doesn’t use more than 5 apps 90% of the time.

The Mobile App Report reveals that users spend 90% of their time within their top 5 apps and 45% of their time on their #1 most used apps. Mobile app users are sending a clear signal: “We don’t want more apps.” As your employees are also like most smartphone users, their aversion to using new apps makes it extremely challenging for your business apps to win adoption. So, how can you make sure the app you’re building will not end up dead and buried?

What All “Loser” Apps Have in Common

A latest study by Forrester indicates that apps that don’t win adoption are complicated and inefficient. They require extensive training or expert help to pull data and glean insights. When employees are required to use such apps, they often leverage only a limited number of an app’s features and complete the tasks in batches, rather than performing them on the go.

Today’s agile and tech-savvy employees expect apps to help them access relevant and personalized data when they’re working away from the office. They will reject apps that are inefficient, slow, or complicated and will circumvent procedures to make business decisions without the data. This means that companies that deliver mediocre apps will continue to face productivity issues despite having invested in mobile apps. Your mobile investment only pays off if you build great apps.

Building the Apps that Your Employees Want

Luckily, users don’t demand the sun and the moon from the apps. Their expectations are quite basic, as another IBM commissioned Forrester study reveals. More than half of employees (55%) say a great app must not crash, freeze, or display an error. Another half of them say a great app doesn’t drain their phone’s battery, whereas around 40% say the app should save time and give them quick access to the features they most need.

Summing up the above discussion, we can see that in order to be able to win adoption, your app has to

  • Be simple to learn and use.
  • Ensure high availability, especially when offline in the field
  • Never crash or hang not even during a sync.
  • Be easy on the battery.
  • Provide quick/ easy access to features and data relevant to work tasks

These requirements seem surprisingly uncomplicated at first glance, but it’s the simplest questions that are often the hardest to answers. For example, robust offline access with rapid sync is a shortcoming of many enterprise apps.

Answering these questions will require you to plan and allocate resources for doing employee research and finding out what users want and need from your app. You’ll need to integrate your app seamlessly with your CRM (and other data sources) to provide uninterrupted access to the enterprise data required to get work done in the field. You’ll need to personalize access depending on who is using the app so they have access to just the right data required to get work done.

Increasing productivity requires the right amount of data, from the right sources, a true Goldilocks challenge. You must provide just the right amount of data to maximize effectiveness while minimizing redundancy and excessive scope on the “too much” side and avoiding incomplete data on the “too little” side.

Deliver Apps that Win Adoption

Building great apps that get quick adoption requires a combination of expertise, technology, and employee input.

Expertise will help you design seamless employee interactions, interpret research findings, and create a simple, yet powerful design. Employee research will outline the features and data that the users want from the app to do better work. And the technology platform you select will help your quickly turn your vision into apps that win adoption.

The platform you select will ensure that your app is always available and working as expected. It will increase productivity by letting employees easily access the data they need to perform work tasks.  And it will enable your employees to easily work wherever they happen to be.

TethrOn’s mobile development platform and implementation experts will ensure your deliver apps that win adoption across your employees. Some of the world’s largest brands including AT&T, American Red Cross, Starbucks, Cablevision and Thermo Fisher Scientific have discovered the power of TethrOn to quickly and affordably mobilize employees.