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Mobile first in the enterprise space: refining UX

In many ways, with enterprise apps, the less time employees need to spend in an app, the more successful it is. If it reduces the amount of time they are spending to complete tasks, the app is creating efficiencies and delivering value.

This is the part of a four part post about mobile first and its growing importance in enterprise mobility.

**Refining the user experience**

Analytics in enterprise apps help to reveal how the app is being used, when it is being used, how users are navigating through it and other trends, such as the amount of time they are spending in apps. In many ways, with enterprise apps, the less time employees need to spend in an app, the more successful it is. If it reduces the amount of time they are spending to complete tasks, the app is creating efficiencies and delivering value.

This information can help to refine future versions of apps to improve the way users navigate or input information. Analytics can also be used to help define new features, to integrate into the apps, based on usage habits.

Whilst built-in analytics reveal user habits, getting feedback from users will provide valuable information on how apps can be improved for future iterations. User feedback is not only important to gather in the planning and design stage, but throughout the lifetime of the app. In the consumer space, this may be done via focus groups (planning) or app reviews (lifetime). Enterprise apps have the advantage of having a defined end user to explore the functionality with.

**The Future**

Just as the Internet redefined business in the 90s, apps are now redefining how businesses operate today. The best expression of this is the partnership between Apple and IBM, creating apps that use analytics and data to support business needs.

The three big trends in IT tend to focus on big data, cloud and mobile. In many ways, they are the same thing. Each is the driving force behind the other. With wearables and other connected devices coming out, a mobile-first approach is essential to business strategy.

Mobile-first is underpinned by companies building out their APIs and web services. Coca Cola and firms like GSK are leading the way with this type of approach. By building the right foundations, by building APIs, it enables a mobile-first mindset and approach. Mobile-first is very much about designing around mobile devices and mobile capabilities.

Despite some studies showing that the number of apps are on the decline, their importance is also beginning to grow. Mobile is the connecting technology for the smart home and the smart office. The sensors in devices are helping people to get a better understanding of their personal health. Apps that connect to sensors on devices, have the ability to connect to data from other apps and third party external sources have the ability to unlock amazing functionality.

Already, there are innovators who have taken the camera and flash from smartphones to create apps that can detect eye diseases, vastly reducing the cost and amount of equipment required to help people in parts of the world without medical access. There are others who use barometers and thermometers found in some devices to be able to provide hyper-location weather information; able to detect and predict when it is going to rain. Mobile technology has given people the power to unlock huge amount of potential and challenge existing industries. It has changed the world.

Part 1 – mobile first in the enterprise

Part 2 – changing nature of IT

Part 3 – getting to mobile first

By Robert Haslam, PR manager

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