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Boost Enterprise App Productivity With Offline Access

Building a compelling enterprise app can be tricky. It should run well under a wide range of scenarios, even when Internet access isn’t a given. Nowadays, company employees require a seamless online and offline experience in their apps to retain a productive workflow. That’s why every good developer should rise to the occasion by creating applications that have useful offline modes. Below, we provide several pointers on how you should implement offline access for your upcoming app.

1. Using An Enterprise App Anywhere

Developers go out of their way to support as many platforms as possible. Without a doubt, this is a smart move, as it maximizes the reach of their applications. Some users access apps via their desktops, while others prefer to use their mobile devices. But it doesn’t end there, as there’s a growing number of applications developed for the web.

If you’re embarking on enterprise app development, then you’ll want to follow a multiplatform strategy. After all, a company’s employees utilize a plethora of devices during their day-to-day work. But it’s vital to take things a step further by allowing for offline access. There’s nothing worse than for employees to have their work interrupted while the Internet’s down or when encountering connectivity issues.

2. Offline Access Is A Necessity

Even if your app’s online features are indispensable, always have a backup plan for when Internet access is unavailable. Furthermore, design your app to function when the Internet’s slow or when users experience connectivity issues.

Your enterprise app development strategy should encompass what apps company employees use throughout their day and how they use them. For example, some employees may need to make changes to data when offline. Developing the enterprise app with an offline-first design methodology means that it won’t need to access the backend server to implement these data changes.

Also, consider the many benefits that building an offline app brings to the table. Users prefer to retain apps on their mobile phones that have offline functionality. Offline apps load faster and use less battery than their online counterparts, which most millennials appreciate. Furthermore, users located in regions with slow or no access to the Internet can actually use your offline apps, giving you an edge over competitors that don’t have this feature.

3. Choosing Which Features To Offer Offline

During the enterprise app development process, you’ll need to prioritize certain features over others. And this is especially true when deciding what features must run consistently during your app’s offline mode. Making the correct design decisions can make or break your app, so choose wisely. Focus on mission-critical features essential to the smooth operation of the enterprise. Furthermore, study employee workflows carefully to determine what features serve them best.

If you’re developing e-commerce, file upload, money transfer, news, and on-demand delivery apps, then you should implement robust offline modes. When users lose Internet access, allow your apps to store mission-critical data offline. And when they gain access again, the apps will automatically complete or queue up all transactions and file transfers.

4. Handling A Push Notification App With Offline Use

When mobile users are offline, they won’t receive your push notifications. And this is unfortunate, as these notifications can help retain your existing app users. That’s why you’ll need to develop your push notification app with offline use in mind. Utilize a versatile analytics platform, such as Kumalos, which allows you to analyze how users engage with your app. By studying user data, you can carefully craft and schedule your push notifications so that they’re engaging and meaningful.

Alternatively, save user device information and whether or not they’re online in a server-side database. Detect when users get back online and run an automated request on your server to deliver the relevant push notifications they missed while offline.

5. Reduce Enterprise App Frustrations

Users expect apps to run flawlessly, especially in an enterprise environment. While they can put up with the odd bug that will be fixed in the next update, they don’t like dealing with apps that break entirely or slow them down. Don’t allow company employees to miss important deadlines because your app can’t perform specific tasks offline.

Communicate what features users can access while offline through the User Interface (UI). Moreover, make it easy for users to quickly see what functionality they have available without breaking their workflow. Apart from updates, ensure that your push notification app delivers the latest notifications that users missed out on earlier.

6. Decide How Much Users Can Store Locally

Nowadays, most smartphones come with a generous amount of storage space. But this doesn’t mean that all that space is available for your enterprise app development projects. Most users store documents, music, and videos that eat up much of their smartphones’ available storage.

When building your upcoming app with offline functionality, ensure that you only store essential data locally. If you’re developing an e-commerce app, store the most popular products offline for users to peruse. And if you’re creating a money transfer app, keep details of the recipient on the phone until completion of the transaction.

7. Saving The Current State When Suddenly Going Offline

Internet outages often happen when you least expect them. So make sure that your enterprise app saves the current state during such a scenario. Implement a dynamic or static cache, or even both, depending on the type of data your app handles. Data that’s updated regularly is stored in the dynamic cache, while data that doesn’t change often gets stored in the static cache.

Many apps utilize real-time data synchronization, which works well when online but not ideal when offline. However, there are workarounds, such as implementing modern synchronization protocols that facilitate specific data updates during offline mode. Do keep in mind that data synchronization comes with its own set of challenges. Too much syncing will drain a device’s battery quickly, whereas too little syncing increases the risk of losing data and missing important updates.

8. Create A Seamless Online And Offline Enterprise App Experience

Take a look at some of the best and most-used apps, and ask yourself what they have in common? Whether it’s Google Maps, Netflix, or Spotify, all these applications provide users with excellent offline modes. Users feel confident using these apps because they offer a stable and seamless experience both online and offline.

Focus your efforts on unifying both the online and offline aspects of your app. And don’t skimp on the User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) either, as you’ll need a consistent look and feel for its entirety. Your users should never feel like they’re using a completely different application when they go offline. Instead, they should enjoy using your app both online and offline regularly.

Final Thoughts

Several of the most successful and widely-used applications function flawlessly when online and offline. While there are many challenges in developing apps that provide a seamless experience, it’s worth the effort to meet and surpass user expectations. Contact us today to find out how NS804 can help you develop engaging apps with powerful offline features.

The Ultimate Guide To Improving Mobile App UX

Elevating Mobile App UX

No matter the industry, the consumer or end-user generally has the ultimate power. Businesses and organizations, mobile app developers included, undoubtedly want to serve and gain as many customers or end-users as possible. Keeping this goal in mind highlights the importance of delivering an optimized user experience. To further this point, users will abandon mobile apps that deliver a poor mobile app UX within the first 10 minutes of use.

Mobile app design is, in and of itself, a beast of a task. Designing the user experience is no walk-in-the-park though. There are many aspects that a UX design team must consider when approaching the UX design. However, there is such a wide variety of elements to consider, it’s daunting to go into mobile app UX design without any guidance.

Therefore, successful UX designs stem from an understanding of the various aspects that need to be considered. The following guide outlines four pillars of UX design.

The Design Process

To begin the mobile app UX design process, there needs to be some semblance of an action plan to follow. Building a workflow for mobile app design helps streamline and standardize this process. The first step in realizing an idea for a mobile app is through the development of an MVP or minimum viable product.

The MVP serves multiple functions. One of the main purposes of an MVP is to provide a sample of what the mobile app will be to various focus groups. These focus groups then take a trial of the mobile app. From this trial, garner feedback that informs the rest of the mobile app design.

Through the testing process, mobile app designers gain valuable insights into the features that have been included in the MVP that users experience and trial. These insights will likely apply to a variety of elements such as the beginnings of the visual design, the actual features that are included, and the way the app addresses the problem that it is supposed to solve.

This a very important note to make. Any mobile app, no matter how big or small in scale, should aim to solve a problem. The way that the mobile app solves the problem needs to be evident in the MVP. Otherwise, focus groups, early adopters, and other test groups won’t be able to provide feedback on the actual core-functionality of the mobile app.

Elements of UX

Developing a strong MVP that yields positive feedback from test groups begins with the very first design stages. That includes understanding the actual framework of a successful and functional mobile app. Understanding the skeleton of a mobile app allows mobile app developers to ensure a design is comprehensive.

Two of these five core elements of mobile app UX design are: information architechture, and interaction design. These two aspects together organize the information of the mobile app in such a way that makes it accesible to the end user, and defines the various user-interactions within the mobile app.

These two functions are vital to building a high quality user experience. Information architechture is the way that information is both organized, and accessed within the mobile app. In other words, where do users need to navigate in order to perform certain activites within the mobile application.

Defining the information architechture will be important in building an easy to use and intutive mobile app. The interaction design, on the other hand, applies to the elements of the design with which users actually interact.

These aspects range from the text displayed, to the various symbols and any visual representations used (including brand logos), and other user-specific elements like device-preference. All-in-all the interaction design is a vital aspect of the mobile app UX.

Features to Include for a Strong Mobile App UX

In building a mobile app then, it’s important to identify where to start. This often happens on the back-end of things. The actual coding brings to life features in the mobile app.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Using history as a teacher, there is a library of features to include in the mobile-app design that are proven to benefit the user experience. Pulling from this pre-existing library will start your mobile app design off on the right foot. Ensuring the inclusion of important features.

Some of these features will streamline a process, while others just emphasize simplicity and ease-of-use. Therefore, these features include: platform-specific-design, a simple and swift onboarding process that users can get through without much difficulty, short forms, avenues for feedback, a live chat feature, and helpful navigation systems.

Platform Specific Design

Contrary to what might seem most intuitive, mobile app designers should build the initial design with a native-platform in mind. However, it becomes crucial to then create a responsive-design.

In other words, a responsive design will naturally convert itself to be optimal for any device and any screen size. designing apps with a responsive design is the industry standard, and significantly broadens the marketability of your mobile app. Responsive design also ensures that user experience is consistent between and across different devices.

Swift Onboarding

Users want to get to the crux of the matter. Dancing around introductory screens and a convoluted on-boarding process is almost guaranteed to send users running for the hill. While it is important to bring new users into the community that your mobile app has developed, it is also important to prioritize the time that users spend on your app.

Bogging down the user experience with a hefty or unnecessarily long onboarding process shows users a disregard for their precious time, and will send them to a competitor. Plus, the faster you get the user to their goal, the more likely they are to come back time and time again.

Short Forms

Gathering information from your mobile app users is just as important as delivering the actual functionality of the mobile app. In order to weave information forms into the mobile app that are both natural, and user-friendly; forms should be designed to be concise, and yield valuable insights into user demographics.

Understanding the most popular demographic that uses a mobile app will further inform marketing strategies, and other important aspects regarding the distribution of the mobile app.

Navigation

The navigation bar is a point of much debate in mobile app design. The two main types of navigation menus are: hamburger, or kabob. Both are viable and come with their own strong points.

Regardless of the style, mobile apps only need one main navigation menu. That way users know where to look.

Current Mobile App UX Design Trends

In addition to everything else that’s been covered, designers also need to consider current trends in mobile app design when developing a mobile app. The trends of mobile app design are forever in flux. Some of the popular design trends today, could very well fizzle out within the next few years.

However, keeping up to date with the latest in mobile app design trends will not only inform the initial design, but can also inform and direct future iterations of the mobile app. That ensures that future versions of the app include updates to keep the app relevant and aesthetically pleasing for each and every user on the app.

Start Developing UX with NS804

NS804 is the premier mobile app developer of the everyday person. Making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. NS804 will help bring your mobile app idea into reality. Or, if you’re a do-it-yourself type of person, make sure to check back at NS804 for more valuable information regarding how developers can optimize the user experience.

How UX Fits Into Mobile App Design

Mobile App Design and UX

Indeed mobile app design is no simple-feat. There are many elements to consider at the onset of developing a mobile app. Generally, beyond the function of the app itself, designers answer questions like, “how will the app feel?” or “what will the mobile app experience be like?”. These are questions that are addressed through a variety of components known as the user experience, or UX.

Firstly, components that make up the user experience include visual design and usability. Further, these components break down into a wide variety of elements. Specifically, the visual design incorporates symbols, logos, the color scheme, and how much contrast there is. Meanwhile, usability refers to more functional aspects of a mobile app.

Mobile app usability refers to a series of components that simply make the app more user friendly and intuitive.

Visual Design

The visual design of a mobile app is any and everything that appears on the screen. In other words, the visual aspect of the mobile app is one of the most critical. Visual design is the very first aspect of your mobile app that new and potential users will interact with. Hence, it’s also going to leave your users with their first impression of the app. Just like in life, it’s important that users walk away feeling good after their first interaction with your mobile application.

The visual design is also crucial because of the way it reinforces a brand. The app design should include an aesthetic that supplements the existing brand perception and further improves customer loyalty.

Usability in Mobile App Design

Usability is extremely critical in building a successful mobile app. This term refers to the way a mobile app operates. In other words, how the different functions of the application are utilized by the end-user.

There is a variety of important factors that create usability within a mobile app. Developing a strong information architecture is one of the foundational building blocks of a mobile app with a high usability score. Information architecture is the way that information is organized and accessed within the mobile app. In other words, information architecture defines the operations used to access information stored throughout the mobile app.

To streamline this part of the design process, some mobile app designers will develop from templates, or use low-code tools that shorten the overall project length. Whether you’re coding entirely yourself or using the help of low-code tools, however, crafting an intuitive and user-friendly information architecture will surely elevate your mobile app to the next level.

Perfect the UX in Your Mobile App Design

Nobody is perfect, but we can all strive for perfection. Design a mobile app that delivers the best possible user experience with the help of the experts at NS804. NS804 is the premier source for information on user experience, information architecture, and everything mobile app development, dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible than ever before. Vist NS804 today to start realizing and creating your dream app of tomorrow.