For years, Apple has worked tirelessly to use complex, sophisticated techniques to achieve simplicity in design for their end users. They understand that simplicity provides a great user experience, and ultimately drives user adoption.
In 1998, Steve Jobs talked about this focus in BusinessWeek: “That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Apple was certainly ahead of its time in this thinking, and now most companies that build apps for consumers tend to have large UI/UX teams focused on how to simplify and beautify their apps to get users hooked, engaged, and coming back. But why hasn’t the ordinary enterprise done this for its users? Many brands have felt that getting powerful functionality into the hands of employees is the quick win, so they may not have invested much effort in a polished, user-friendly design.
But in the words of Bob Dylan: “The times they are a-changin.”
Simple in Design
Enterprise organizations are figuring out that compelling mobile apps that help people do their jobs better are boosting employee satisfaction and retainment (read my related post). A terrific example of this comes from AllianceBernstein. When this innovative financial services company developed its internal sales enablement app, they took inspiration from the Weather app. Now the simplicity of this beautiful, intuitive enterprise app empowers thousands of sales reps—delivering improved engagement rates, enhanced data capture, and optimized territory management.
Hard at Work
Consumer-inspired innovation doesn’t stop at design. Enterprises are also investing in making their apps work harder to sense what an employee needs when they need it—or before they even realize it.
For example, as a consumer, when the GPS on your mobile device tells a retailer or restaurant app that you are close to their location, it sends you an alert encouraging you to visit. For employees, when a regional manager of a retail chain gets close to one of their stores, the company app should be automatically able to send data and insights that will help them improve the productivity of the store visit. Mobile technology today can support these use cases. Enterprises can and should take advantage of them, not just for their customer-facing apps, but also for their internal-facing apps.
Humans are creatures of habit. They want to know and do as much as possible and as easily as possible with technology. When you can build apps that fit into these existing behaviors and desires, you’ve hit the jackpot. For years, companies have been striving to achieve this for consumers. And now, it’s time for employees to have it too.
To hear more about how organizations are empowering their employees and creating strategies for future success that address employee expectations, join my on-demand discussion with Eric Klein, VDC Research Director of Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices, where we discuss 5 Enterprise Mobility Trends to Watch in 2019. You can also check out the eBook.
Have an idea for a transformative mobile app for your organization? MicroStrategy’s team of experts can take you from idea, to concrete concept, to a production-ready pilot app in just three weeks. Take a look at our Mobile Start Up offer.