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Application design factors that make or break the mobile commerce experience

Most of today’s businesses that want an app have an app. But having one isn’t the whole process. The app creator and the company behind the mobile app have yet to make it work efficiently.

As more and more people use apps, many companies are focusing on bells and whistles to help them stand out, instead of designing the apps to achieve maximum efficiency. Often times, the app builder is more focused on monetizing a larger share of app users than seeing the third-party entity earn a significant share of their revenue.

Often stuck in the middle are consumers who download and install the mobile apps and then face a less than pleasant user experience. They must also tolerate poor, even potentially dangerous application performance.

This is a problem for both the business and the application developer. Flashy apps only improve the user experience when the app is fully capable of doing what it needs. Making sure an application works on both sides, even for the simplest of tasks, is essential to producing a high-quality application that all parties involved in the business process find valuable.

SDK risks

The bottom line for business owners and app developers is that most of the time, the functionality of the app is insufficient. Business owners need to identify these gaps in their own application in order to provide customers with a fully functional and engaging user experience. The pressure is on as the use of mobile apps continues to soar.

At the root of this problem is a difficult dichotomy that exists between monetizing a mobile app and creating a positive user experience, according to Hank Schless, senior director of security solutions at To look for. Mobile app developers are under constant pressure to deliver the latest compelling updates to users and find ways to monetize their apps.

“Most mobile users see ads as invasive and feel it belittles the overall experience. In order to monetize the app in a less invasive way than the ads that take up the majority of the screen, developers often embed dubious mobile adware development kits (SDKs) that can run in the background, ”he said. he told TechNewsWorld.

SDKs are a set of software development tools in an installable package. They offer a developer the ability to create a custom application that can be added or connected to another program.

The most prominent example of an invasive advertising SDK is the Mintegral SDK for iOS apps, he added. This SDK, dubbed Sourmint, provides extended visibility across user devices, returns URL requests from the app in which it is integrated to a third-party server, and can report bogus clicks on ads.

“These capabilities mean that any application with this SDK is classified as risky software, meaning that there may not be outright malicious functionality in the application, but it could violate the privacy of users. users and corporate data usage guidelines, ”he explained.

Organizations need to have an overview of their mobile fleet to understand if any apps on employee devices are using risky advertising SDKs like Sourmint, he warned.

“However, while advertising SDKs are not visually invasive, there is a risk that personally invasive capabilities may be hidden deep in the software code,” he said.

When application development teams are in a rush to release new versions of applications, they may not run these SDKs through proper security review.

Misguided efforts

A big part of this functionality problem is that developers can miss the business-important points behind the mobile app, according to Mike Welsh, chief creative officer of the digital consulting firm. Mobility. This is where the silent utility theory comes in.

This happens when, for example, the retailer behind the app misses the app developer’s attention to features the retailer didn’t care about. This may involve the experience of retailing and selling their products or services.

“What they often ignore is that consumers are only using 20% ​​of the app’s functionality anyway. Developers don’t spend any energy creating shopping cart checkout and checkout experiences, ”Welsh told TechNewsWorld.

App developers are dispersed in a landscape of different features and functions that users do not use. So the retailer’s sales efforts will collapse despite the time, money and energy spent on features that will never be used and that will in fact become a risk in the App Store, he said. Explain.

“You don’t want a one-star rating on a feature you want. There is an incentive for companies to really think carefully about the idea of ​​having meaningful functionality for users that achieves their silent utility, ”noted Welsh. “I don’t care to hear about your ratings and reviews in my app, because it’s a responsibility for me. “

Consistency is essential

The challenge for the retailer or website owner is to identify and then resolve customer experience issues. The trick is the research, not the data or surveys that nobody fills out and that are self-selected anyway. The solution lies in using real research into this behavior, suggested Welsh.

Most of the time, companies tend to throw out their PowerPoints and their spreadsheets and all that other nonsense. They let that guide their behavior, and everything is focused on the inside, he added.

Retailers and app developers need to be on the same page for what the app needs to accomplish. Both need to know the driver to actually have an application. The purpose of having an app developer is generally to try and get the purchase for the income. In this case, the developer of the application will remove anything that hinders the development of income.

If you are a retailer who has set up a digital channel, including an app, website, retail store, and physical locations, you need to ensure consistency between these properties. These retailers must then begin to make roadmap choices around a holistic view of what they want for their consumers.

Welsh considers the consistency issue to be one of the main factors in connecting mobile apps to all e-commerce operations. Consumers are seated behind a variety of devices. Each provides a different set of user experiences. The consistency of these experiences is what matters.

“There has to be a platform, an operating system. I don’t mean like iOS or Android. I mean, there has to be some kind of mentality of these companies to create a platform that consumers can experience, ”he said.

Businesses need to start realizing that they are building a system for the transaction side. Welsh wants consumers to have the same experience on all devices. User experience should be unified, whether connected through a mobile app, website, or point-of-sale kiosks.

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