Mobile UX is just as important as functionality
|Richard Harris in Android Thursday, March 2, 2017|
Mobile UX guidelines and tips for making sure users can easily use your app, as well as it having functionally.
Take security software, for example. By focusing on the functionality, it can protect customers against security threats but if the software isn’t user-friendly, customers might not even want to go to the trouble of using the software. Or even more dangerous, customers might avoid updating their software due to a poor user experience, which - in the case of security software - can leave them vulnerable to the latest threats.
Lavasoft (now adaware) recently recognized this gap between functionality and user experience and rebranded its company, with the intention of focusing more on user experience. Being a 17-year-old company they became so focused on the security aspect of the antivirus product that they hadn’t prioritized creating a user-friendly experience for its customers too. But in their latest software update, there are new features, and a redesigned simple, user interface that provides consumers with faster scans and powerful security, and a great UX all-in-one.
Other companies can learn many valuable lessons from its recent rebrand. Following are some ways to determine whether the user experience is working for your customers or it’s time to make improvements.
Listen to your customers
Sometimes the most effective way to determine if software is user-friendly is to collect feedback right from the source - your customers. You can solicit feedback from your customers directly by sending a survey to your email list asking what’s working and what’s not with your latest software. In addition to collecting survey responses, keeping an eye on social media mentions surrounding your brand can also be helpful in measuring your software’s user experience. Are customers airing their grievances about your software or praising it on social media? Also make sure your support team is reading any feedback received via email or your company website. No matter the channel, take customers’ feedback seriously, acknowledge it with a quick email or social media response and take the feedback into consideration when it comes time to develop your next software update.
Measure success or failure at product launch, and after
Any time you release new software, it’s important to measure its success on an ongoing basis. If you’re releasing new software, track downloads, feedback from users and any product reviews that might be released about your software. The same goes for any software updates, but in addition to overall downloads, track how many current users install the latest version of your software. Continue to measure the success every few weeks or months until your next software update. If customers are slow to update software or you receive any feedback specific to a difficult user experience, it might be time to get working on your next update.
Engage in continuous release cycling
When you first release software, an app or a product, that doesn’t mean your work is done. Rather, it’s only just beginning. As the market evolves, your business develops more advanced technology and customer demands and preferences change, you’ll need to update your software periodically to keep it relevant. With each new release, you’ll want to improve both the functionality and user experience of your software. Also consider releasing beta versions of your app or software, so target customers can get a feel for your next release while still allowing time for any minor design, functionality or user experience changes before the release is finalized.
Software, app and product developers audience are constantly walking the tightrope of creating an impressive product that is not only enjoyable to use but also functional and secure. By testing product updates listening to customers, constantly measuring success and engaging in continuous release cycling, you can be more effective in balancing user experience and functionality.
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