Businesses that rely on their apps to strengthen internal communication tend to see great results if they are intentional about it at the development stage. Apps designed to enhance collaboration among employees would need to be heavy on messaging and collaboration features. Apps designed to support communication with customers should allow for service personalization. In this article, we explore different ways in which well-designed apps can improve collaboration leading to improvement in a company’s bottom line.
Responsiveness and Performance optimization
App users today greatly value apps that deliver a smooth user experience. A responsive app is one that has no lag between receiving user input and delivering immediate feedback. Efficient coding and data handling are at the heart of app responsiveness. In addition, the app should cache data that users access frequently to avoid having to input it repeatedly. Perceived responsiveness can be improved by implementing transitions and animations within the app.
App optimization takes into consideration how much of a device’s resources (battery and memory) the app takes up. You do not want your app to cause a significant dent in a device’s battery life or slow the device altogether. Those two scenarios would lead to poor user retention and negative reviews. To avoid this, the development team must implement measures to minimize battery consumption.
Easy Navigation and User-friendly design
A well-designed app should feel intuitive to use, even for new users. Designers must ensure navigation bars are placed at the most natural location without interfering with the user interface. The menu should move responsively depending on the device being used. Buttons and social icons chosen should tell users where they lead. The content team must always be on the lookout for any dead links because those can quickly frustrate users.
Some apps are now taking advantage of advanced features in operating systems to give users added levels of control and operability. These features include being able to use gestures to swipe between windows. Mass-market apps meant to help customers interact with a business’s e-commerce store allow people with disabilities to interact with them through alternative input and output features.
Companies that have employees spread out across different time zones need both synchronous and asynchronous communication tools. Instant messaging features built into apps are therefore quite valuable. The ideal messaging tools should allow for multi-media file sharing for richer communication. Apps such as Slack allow the creation of channels for discussions on specific topics. This means that only people involved in that matter get to partake and follow the channel.
Notifications are a strong enabler of efficient communication, especially when a team is spread out geographically. Being able to customize notifications allows people to respond to incoming communication differently based on urgency or importance. For example, a salesperson who is trying to close a big new account may want to respond to all communication from the said customer even when the salesperson is out on annual leave.
Even though instant messaging solutions and email are the main tools of communication within businesses today, videoconferencing provides a rich experience that cannot be replicated by other means of communication. Face-to-face engagement creates a sense of familiarity between people even when they have never met physically. For business-to-business engagements, deals can take months to complete. Clients often want to establish trust, have questions answered, and have solutions customized to suit their needs. This requires numerous presentations and engagement between teams on both sides. Videoconferencing is the ideal solution, especially if it can be built into the productivity or CRM tool in use within a business.
Social media and Email Integration
Workflow management solutions today need to have integration with social media platforms and email apps for several reasons. First, people within the organization may want to share their work on external platforms such as LinkedIn as part of their personal branding journey. Being able to do this within seconds is not only convenient but encourages them to continue creating.
Some large organizations do have a form of social network of their own where people can share different types of content including pictures, short videos, and blogs. The existence of such networks not only encourages learning and sharing but it also creates a sense of belonging for employees. Further, through the use of hashtags, people can discover content that they relate to.
In addition, integration with email solutions helps with task management and scheduling of meetings. Team members can block out dates when they are unavailable for things such as meetings. This reduces the need for calls which can be a source of distractions and inefficiency. Take, for instance, having to call tens of team members in an attempt to find an ideal date for a 30-minute meeting. It is better to schedule the meeting and invite them instead. IP
Collaboration and Project Management
Features such as being able to assign tasks and set deadlines are important in any project management platform. The implementation may vary from one app to another or on context, but the purpose is to ensure all team members are correctly briefed on their tasks. Team members also get to keep track of a project’s progress. As pointed out, having channels for different topics within the same workspace helps to ensure important conversations don’t get drowned out by seeming more urgent issues.
File Sharing and Cloud Integration
As mentioned, inbuilt filesharing is an important feature of well-designed collaboration tools. However, designers must take into account the fact that apps need integration with cloud storage solutions to enable sharing of heavy files, especially video. Even small word and picture files can quickly take a toll on internal hardware storage space. As such, integration with industry-grade cloud backup and storage ensures quick file sharing across multiple user devices. The files are safe and always available.
In some organizations, a version control feature is important when many people are collaborating on one project. Being able to go back to previous versions ensures that mistakes are not critical and that changes are pre-approved before being implemented.
AR and VR Integration
Virtual reality technology creates an immersive experience for users in an artificial environment. Augmented reality, on the other hand, overlays digital information over a real-world environment. Businesses can enrich communication by finding and implementing use cases for these new technologies within their application. With AR, businesses selling things online are able to showcase how something would look like if the customer went ahead and bought it. IKEA has done this on their e-commerce app whereby users can see how a piece of furniture would look in their house. VR can be used by companies to enhance learning and training for staff thus saving on costs while allowing people to interact with knowledge at their own pace and as many times as one wishes.
Natural Language Processing
Natural language processing allows computers to understand human text and speech and respond intelligently. NLP today is used by companies to serve customers through chatbots. By adding customer-service bots on customer-facing applications, a company is able to provide round-the-clock service and reduce the strain on their call centers. A lot of customers would rather not wait on phone lines if they can get frequently asked information from a chatbot.
Third-party apps today are operable using virtual assistant services such as Siri and Google Assistant. Such operability means users can interact with applications even when driving or doing other tasks. For revenue-generating apps, time spent on the apps directly correlates with revenue generated. Customers today can place orders using virtual assistants or send messages to friends and family with one or two instructional sentences. Any well-designed app today must take this into consideration.
Apps that come with the best-grade privacy and data security are important in today’s context. A lot of valuable information gets shared online and therefore encryption of such information is critical. A breach of security is likely to cause great reputational damage for an organization with effects on profitability also likely to follow.
A recent but important implementation in most applications is giving users a level of control over their information. People now have the option to determine whether to withhold personal information. By law, organizations operating in most of North America and Europe need to expressly reveal to users how they intend to use the personal information they collect from users.
Apps designed to specifically generate revenue through e-commerce sales need to have personalization features to achieve their outcome. Using AI-powered profile building, companies are able to develop highly personalized offers to present to customers. Most e-commerce apps today will show different homepages to every user based on learned preferences and browsing histories, leading to increased time spent on the app, and hence revenue.
Offers will often be sent to customers through automated emails. Customers may also receive push notifications to remind them of carts left pending. In fact, wish lists and carts are important features so that customers can come back and see items on they intended to buy hours or days ago. This quickens the checkout process.
Finding the Right Mobile App Development Partner
Enhancing communication within your organization requires multiple features to be correctly implemented within your application. Some of these features, such as cloud connectivity only require a simple API integration. However, others such as the connect personalization capabilities through AI require customization to suit your specific needs. Finding the right mobile app development partner massively improves your chances of succeeding in improving communication.
If your company is seeking to build an app to enhance your internal communication or engagement with your customers, reach out to our team at NS804. Our team will help you determine features that will best improve the app’s utility while optimizing performance and efficiency. We handle all projects for clients from conceptualization, design, building, implementation, and even maintenance. With clients in tens of industries, our team is best placed to handle your next mobile app project. Reach out to us today through our website.