When designing a mobile app, your greatest asset is your customer. Here are the questions you should be asking them.
Great mobile app design is integral to the successful development and launch of an app. Yet, when designing their app, far too many businesses focus on their own wants and needs.
In actual fact, the reason to develop an app is to engage with — and offer solutions to — the customer. Because of this simple fact, it is the customer who should have the greatest involvement in your design process.
Some businesses, especially startups, may not have the luxury of having a client base from which they can draw ideas and inspiration for their mobile app design. However, if you do have loyal customers you can call on for advice, here are four questions to ask them:
Question: What Are Your Favourite Business Apps — And Why?
Mark Twain once wrote “there is no such thing as a new idea”.
This is advice that businesses developing an app would do well to remember.
It is easy to become fixated on doing something incredibly different; of breaking the mould and producing an app that goes beyond anything anyone has ever seen. But is that really want people want?
Instead of risking app failure by designing something that is totally outside the box, consider following the tried and trusted methods of those before you. Don’t strain to think of new ideas; not when you’ve got successful ones you can learn from.
By asking your customers which apps they like, you can get a sense of what type of mobile app designs speak to them and what they like to use. We aren’t suggesting you then copy these designs to the letter, but we are suggesting you use them as inspiration and basic guidelines.
By taking note of what your customers like, you are almost certainly going to be able to create an app that they’ll use and engage with.
Ignore what they like and design something completely outlandish and you risk poor user engagement.
Question: What Features Would You Like to See on Our App?
At Apps4U, we offer a range of features that you can include in your small business app.
Whether you’re after a booking form, customer loyalty system, social media integration or online payment page, we can design and develop it for you. However, enough about what features you want. What do your customers want?
Asking your customers which features they want is a valuable step towards creating a tailor-made app they will actually use. If you fail to integrate the functionality they are looking for, why would they ever bother downloading the app?
You can ask your customers about what features they’d like to see in one of two ways:
- Give them a list: Provide your customers with a list of features you were planning on designing and implementing and discover which they’d like to be included. You could also use a ranking system to ascertain which is the most important to your customers.
- Let them give you the details: Ask them what features they’d like to see without giving them any indication of what features you’ve been thinking of. The upside is you’ll get unique information direct from the minds of your customers. The downside is most people aren’t app developers and might not be aware of what is actually available.
Question: Is There Anything Our Mobile App Design Should Avoid — Or That You Don’t Feel We Need?
There are so many features and functions available for mobile apps that it’s all too easy to go a bit overboard. In the excitement of development, small businesses may find they get carried away, integrating every possible app element under the sun.
But then your app can become cumbersome, slow and confusing; not the sleek, easy-to-use, accessible experience users expect from an app.
By asking your customers what you don’t need to include, you might find you cut dead weight you previously planned to develop.
For example, as an accountancy firm, you might have been planning on introducing an RSS feed packed with all the latest financial headlines, but after speaking to customers, discover they have no interest in such a feature.
This is a very important piece of wisdom from us here at Apps4U: what you keep out is just as important as what you put in.
Question: What Would You Use Our App For?
It is likely that, when asking customers what they would and wouldn’t like to see on your app, you’ll get conflicting or differing information.
This can make it hard to narrow down what features, functions and design choices you should make. However, adding this question into the mix can be highly valuable when it comes to making the right decisions and find out what the customer really wants.
By asking your customers what they would use your app for, you can identify the core inclusions you must make and where you should focus your energy and time.
If people are suggesting you should put in an online booking form, yet they’ll mainly use your app to find your contact information and message your through in-app chat features, where should you be putting most of your efforts?
Likewise, you may find that customers won’t actually be using your app in the way you initially anticipated and that your design and navigation is being centralised around the wrong information. This information allows you to adjust your mobile app design and structure it to best suit the needs and desires of your customers, providing a better user experience and ensuring repeat business.
For example, Apps4U recently created an app for Carleton Canine Centre. The assumption was that the services information page would be the most visited on the app, but actually, it was the live feed of the animals’ play areas which people really engaged with.
Got your customer feedback and ready to start mobile app design and development? The Apps4U team are specialist developers of affordable small business apps and can provide you with everything you need to build and launch an app for your brand — all without breaking the bank.