Today's business environment is recognising that 'communication' is key to driving business performance. While marketing is still perceived as advertising and branding etc, communication has evolved to include technological software developments that gather queries, route them to the right department for reply and now, the development and deployment of 'mobile applications'. In 2015, if you are not developing a mobile or digital business 'app' of some description, then you are considered to be behind the times and out of touch with your customers.
Knowing that businesses (of all sizes) have become mobile and customers are no longer static, Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS), has invested in creating a Mobile Applications development division to bolster its custom software offerings. While developing an application (App) is simple in theory, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be considered and built. Beyond the basics of having the technical skills to support the App being developed, is the very real need to understand the function and purpose of the App in question.
Lorraine Steyn, CEO of KRS, shares her top five insights into creating apps that perform:-
1. Lesson number one – beyond ensuring that your App has an eye-catching design, make sure there is already a demand for your app rather than building something and then creating the demand.
2. The second thing to bear in mind is, know who your customers are. Are they smartphone based or feature phone or both? When and where do they access the app and are they contract or prepaid?
3. Number three – provide useful content that is easily accessible and easy to read. The application that you develop, should provide value to your end user who will more than likely be drawn to your website – so time to refresh and strip out the old and make it relevant.
4. All of the above should of course achieve a clearly defined objective for the business, whether it be increasing staff productivity or the App itself is the business. This brings up the question of revenue model. Developing an App is a cost but so is the continued updating and maintenance of the service it provides. From the beginning decide whether this is a public service or whether as a business, you want to make the App fully commercial. In the case of I'm Bored, an app developed by KRS that services the parent and events market, it is both. Parents and children can discover the events for free and the events can post free listings but pay for wider advertising opportunities.
5. Lastly, understanding the ongoing cost and what it means to your end user - in the case of business, it is highly likely that the App will be a value-add proposition. While the end user might not actually be paying for the service you provide, there is a data or telecoms cost associated to the use of the App. Giving your end users options, as to how they wish to engage with your App, and making sure that the App is fast to load and execute commands, will win hearts and pockets over in the long run.
Image courtesy of openscience.com