As we’ve written before, measuring user adoption for your enterprise mobile apps is critical to the success of your apps. There’s no other way to discover if the app is increasing productivity and efficiency. Also, it’s vital to ensure the app has no bottlenecks or confusing steps in workflows that could stall work performance.
There are times when low user adoption is of no fault of the app itself. The human element can lead to low adoption rates with new apps for a variety of reasons. It could be the workforce simply doesn’t want to adopt a new method or process, or it could be they don’t care enough to give the new app a try. Both of these reasons can be a headache for IT and a blocker of getting new, improved business processes and mobility benefits ingrained into the workforce.
How to Increase User Adoption Rates in Enterprise Apps
One sure way to get people not to use an app is to create one so complex or full of bugs that using it is frustrating. Usually when developers try to create a full-fledged app in one go, we see user adoption wane. In fitting all the features into the primary release, not enough time was spent on making sure it was easy and efficient to use.
The best way to increase user adoption is to make an app as easy to use as possible, forgoing unnecessary bells and whistles in favor of simplicity and intuitiveness. Workflows and business logic should be the primary focus of building an app.
It’s key to know how the users wish to use the app, and what functionality it absolutely must have. Too many steps to get to vital information may cause them to abandon the app for an easier, faster method. Failed apps are usually the ones that diminish rather than augment productivity.
Develop Mobile App Functionality for Specific Users
High user adoption rates are impacted from the very beginning; building an app that is intuitive and perfected for the specific end-user audience. The best way to ensure you have a great app at the end of the development cycle is to use a lean methodology, releasing a minimum viable product (MVP) version, then employing the build, measure, learn system.
Start with basic features and release the MVP app to end-users. Allow them to test run important workflows from the very beginning. This way, you can get the functionality, workflows, and UI perfected before adding more features. Having business users involved in the development from the beginning can save time later, negating the need for unnecessary revisions.
The idea that IT knows everything and can build the exact app business users need is the biggest mistake we see enterprises make. The actual users need to be able to give feedback from the beginning, and their feedback should directly affect the continued design of the app.
The UI should be simple and convenient to use. Apps with high adoption rates don’t necessarily have a lot of functionality, but they are received well because of their ease of use. Simplifying the UI and making it easier to use can increase user adoption significantly more than adding a ton of “candy” features that confuse and processes and workflows.
Enterprise Level Without User Adoption
Enterprises who are trying to adopt mobility already have legacy systems in place. Going mobile allows workers to do their work from anywhere and is a great benefit to the workers and the enterprise. But when there is a logical disconnect between the app and business processes, it’s frustrating to the user. Rather than dealing with the frustration of a steep learning curve, users usually default back to using what they know and are comfortable with in the legacy systems.
The bad news is, if this happens with one app, the next app you release will receive an even bigger obstacle for user adoption, because the end users are already jaded by a bad user experience with the last app. It’s likely they will be skeptical on giving it a fair chance before even trying it.
The Best Way to Increase User Adoption
We recommend releasing an app in bits and pieces, releasing an MVP version to end users then building it piece by piece from there. With the appsFreedom platform, we enable a user-feedback loop from the very beginning to make this much easier. If you choose to use a platform other than appsFreedom, we recommend going with one that makes this easy as well, as it can be the life and death of the app in the long run.
A major benefit of getting a small set of business users involved from the beginning is in the excitement and momentum of the app once it’s available for everyone. If your test users enjoy the functionality of the app and start bragging about it, it’s often a hit with the rest of the workforce. Getting buy-in from the early stages from employee leadership can create a buzz that naturally overcomes the learning curve obstacle to higher adoption rates.
If you can pick and choose the business users who test your app, choose those who could be considered early adopters, and those who can get excited about new, easier ways to do their work. These types of people can naturally build excitement at the prospect of a new mobile app, generating buzz and desire for the app before its release. If done well, a new app should have plenty of anticipation for release. Then, the final product will have been thoroughly tested and vetted by real users, and ready for mass usage within the company.
In the end, an app that is simple and easy to use, that enables workers to do their jobs faster and easier will ultimately enjoy high user adoption rates.