Alpha Software Blog

Data: Users Don’t Like Enterprise Mobile Apps. Here’s why!

Bad news for developers of enterprise mobile apps: Workers who use them “are underwhelmed by their current app experience,” according to a new survey by ArcTouch, “Functional but Unfriendly: A Study of Mobile App User Experience.” The report is based on an online survey of 487 office employees who use at least one enterprise mobile app at least one time per week.

Adam Fingerman, co-founder and CXO, ArcTouch Mobile & Connected Experiences, sums up the findings this way: “There is a significant missed opportunity when it comes to enterprise mobile apps in today’s workplace. First, there is a large unmet appetite for apps among the workforce, and second, a slew of apps that are in use are simply missing the mark. With great enterprise mobile apps, employers have the opportunity to improve their employees’ productivity and overall work experience. Yet many enterprise mobile apps today are simply not living up to user expectations.”

The problem, the report found, is that enterprise apps are frequently poorly designed, not pleasant to use, and unstable and buggy. In short, not a pretty picture.

Here are few of the low points:

    • A full 70% of enterprise mobile app users do not describe the enterprise app they used most as intuitive.

    • Only 13% of enterprise mobile app users describe the enterprise app they use as elegant.

    • More than a third of enterprise mobile app users -- 34% --- do not look forward to using enterprise apps.

The survey also asked respondents to compare the performance of enterprise mobile apps to how important those mobile apps are to them. In every instance, from usefulness to functionality, reliability, speed, time-saving and more, the actual performance fell short of expectations.

For example, 87% of respondents rated an app’s usefulness as being important, but only 61% gave their favorite enterprise app an “A” for usefulness, a 26% gap. There was also a 32% performance gap for reliability and stability.

How You Can Build Better Enterprise Mobile Apps

How can the problems be solved? The survey concludes: “Enterprise mobile app developers should take a page out of consumer mobile app developers’ playbook and focus more on design, customization, and the overall user experience.”

Fingerman says the source of the problem is that in many cases, the user isn’t put at the center of the design, and the business problems users need solved aren’t solidified before app development begins. He also says that many companies develop apps and then don’t measure their performance and then rework them based on that.

We agree with Fingerman. And we’ve built Alpha Anywhere to make it easy build the kinds of mobile apps that will delight rather than disappoint enterprise users. We do that in several ways. Because Alpha Anywhere is a low code development tool, anyone can build mobile apps without special expertise. So, line of business staff and domain experts can write apps based on their needs and experiences --- so-called “citizen developers” who know what users need.

Alpha Anywhere is also designed for professional developers, who can customize code when they want. That allows them to deliver the exact apps users want, and iterate the apps quickly, based on user feedback.

View survey results from Alpha Software's developer survey: “Enterprise Developers Rank Critical Requirements for Success in the Coming Mobile App Explosion.

Read how to fix mobile apps top problem - low mobile app retention rates.

Read about more than 100 new features added to Alpha Anywhere V4 to solve these issues.
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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.