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Making sure your app means business
Posted by Perfecto on 11 Aug 2016
By Eran Kinsbruner, Mobile Technical Evangelist, Perfecto
Delivering high quality digital experiences across web and mobile channels has become a critical path to drive revenue, attract and retain loyal customers and get ahead of the competition. A brand’s digital experience also separates the leaders from laggards. A recent Perfecto study of 1000 enterprise web and mobile professionals found that 81 per cent of respondents view the digital experience as crucial to their business success. And with the total time spent on digital platforms having grown over 53 per cent since 2013, you can understand why.
Although mobile, web and desktop apps are more prevalent than ever, 67 per cent of respondents to Perfecto’s study still view the delivery of a reliable and consistent digital experience as a major challenge. So how do you overcome this challenge and create the high quality experiences necessary to succeed in the digital space?
Study customer needs
Central to any digital app strategy is the need to understand your customer. This means turning attention to their requirements, such as most desired functions, preferred forms of engagements, most commonly used devices, and more. Luckily, this no longer has to be guess work.
Today, businesses know more about their customers than any other time. With the sheer amount of data being generated, collected and analysed, leaders have far deeper insights into the behaviours of their target users. What’s more, understanding your customers – as well as the functions your business needs to incorporate – shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the technical teams, but a combined effort by the wider business.
Digital = web + mobile
Four out of 10 purchases now involve more than one device. This means that digital must be able to unite web and mobile assets and deliver a memorable, consistent user experience across all channels. And although 76 per cent of businesses surveyed by Perfecto have a digital presence across both web and mobile, 67 per cent still cite delivering a reliable and consistent digital experience across these channels as a major challenge.
In addressing this challenge, businesses should first of all be unifying their mobile and desktop test teams. That over half of businesses are now doing so is an encouraging trend given that when mobile and web teams are combined and using the same tools, it’s easier to spot differences across devices and platforms.
Responsive web design (RWD) is another great way to make sure your digital products will work on new devices. RWD done right will deliver a seamless digital experience on every screen, but must include rigorous testing. Three RWD testing scenarios to keep in mind:
- Visual testing to make sure content looks right on every screen
- Client-side performance testing to measure the time it takes website objects to render on different screens
- Navigation testing to verify that the website performs expected functions correctly on all devices
Keep up with the market. Keep testing
By their nature, mobile apps will be used from different locations and under different conditions, forcing you to consider various factors and user conditions. This in turn requires the ability to test in environments that accurately mimic real user conditions.
App development and testing is a continuous process. Once you’ve defined the target personas and implemented their test code correctly, they’ll need a detailed and actionable rich report to continuously drive improvements. Such a report should include network logs, device and app memory and battery consumption details, and timers showing how long it took certain actions to take place.
As well as testing continuously improving your apps, you will also need to keep up with the market’s release cycles, planning accordingly around market calendars. In keeping up with release cycles and continuously testing, automation is simply a must for your company. A big bank or airline can lose hundreds of thousands of pounds if their app is slow to market.
With people only spending more time on digital platforms and mobile devices, it’s crucial for businesses to create a seamless, cross-device digital experience to succeed in the digital world and develop a profitable app that will keep users engaged and have a high retention rate. Knowing your customers, designing your app for all devices, testing and keeping up with the market are some of the necessary steps to create that high-quality digital experience. And in taking them, businesses stand to benefit from customers’ invaluable time, positive perception and purchase consideration no matter the platform or device they choose to use.