by Robin Wirz (Guest Author), Netzwoche, March 23 2016, (original article in German)

Current advances in digitalization allow companies to produce a variety of mobile strategies and apps. The key to success here is the user experience. In spite of this, most companies are flying blind in their app management and optimization. With the right tools, however, the demanding requirements are easily met.

MobileExperienceintheBlind

The digital transformation taking place today is primarily a mobile transformation. Many companies are developing countless apps for internal and external use. In the past, companies launched apps in a completely uncontrolled manner, but a more strategic approach is needed today. Mobile strategies must be implemented and the app portfolio must be efficiently managed, monitored, and continuously optimized.

However, many companies are in the dark when it comes to monitoring success, especially when it comes to the user experience (UX). Many companies are flying blind, even though this is the biggest success factor for an app. When the UX is bad, apps are not used and the expected payoff fails to materialize. It takes more than pleasing interface designs to provide a good user experience. Nowadays, users expect apps to “think”, meaning the apps must know what to offer to users in any given moment, according to their then current needs and wants .

Until now, most companies have been content to measure app usage with technical parameters, such as devices used, operating systems, downloads, sessions, and crashes, but this provides little information about the actual user experience. How are the content and functions used? Where are (non-existent) features expected? What are the loading and processing times? Where are the apps closed? Such unanswered questions highlight the need for the right analysis tools. Popular solutions, like those from Google, are usually designed for marketing apps and consumer apps with a focus on sales channels, conversions, and monetization of individual apps. However, they offer only limited configuration options and are not able to handle all of the tasks required for a structured lifecycle management, like tracking small user groups or analyzing an entire application portfolio and the UX across an app portfolio.

Automated analytics tools measure user experiences

Companies often do not even know how many apps they have in use, let alone if and how they are used. To do so, companies need professional solutions that can effectively capture, measure and manage the entire app portfolio. To analyze internal apps, a high level of granularity is needed to track very small user groups, and a high degree of flexibility and customization options are needed to measure success and identify potential for optimization. For apps in widespread use in the consumer environment, a typical approach is to conduct periodic focus groups and analyses using UX testing providers. This can be very costly for individual apps. For this reason it would not be feasible to optimize a company’s entire app portfolio – the costs would be astronomical.

Instead, companies should use automated analysis tools from specialized providers to gain good insight into the user experience for different apps. These tools do more than just measure the UX; they also provide detailed analyses of individual users and devices, and the data basis needed for context-based actions. As a result, the mobile portfolio can be improved with a structured, fact-based approach. At the same time usage and device data, such as history, GPS, and settings, provide an understanding of the user’s needs in different situations so that the right offering and behavior can be created. The users benefit from a personal user experience in which the apps provide what they want at the moment they want it. These and other features, such as analysis of the entire app portfolio including the consolidated UX, as well as A/B testing to compare different design options, allow for effective management and optimization of the mobile product.

Source of original article: www.netzwoche.ch (in German)

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