If you’re in the mobile app development business, your primary goal is to create an app that is simple, easy-to-use and valuable. As with any product, your app must provide value by resolving an issue a consumer may have, or fulfilling a “want” in customers that makes some aspect of their lives easier or more manageable.
But before business owners dive into the nuts and bolts of build a mobile app, they must ask themselves this question: How do I make my B2B mobile app the best product possible? Because without asking that question, there is very little chance that the app you build will stand out in a marketplace of millions of other apps that are vying for consumer attention.
The best approach to building a great app is to learn strategies and principles from people who have had sustained success at mobile app development. Ted Sergott is the EVP Product Development at PRO Unlimited, a mobile development company based in San Francisco. He has spent more than 30 years developing proprietary software and is a SaaS/Cloud expert. Sergott is also the Product Owner of Wand, a SaaS-based Vendor Management System solution.
In his webinar, Sergott takes viewers through the key principles and strategies that have helped him become an industry leader in mobile app development. He shares his belief that user experience is the most essential aspect of app development, and how creating apps that are intuitive, simple and quality-driven are the keys to long-term success.
If you missed the webinar, don’t worry. Here’s a recap of the topics that were discussed.
Webinar topic: How To Build a 5-Star Mobile App With Ted Sergott, EVP Product Development, PRO Unlimited.
How do you define a first-rate vision for your mobile app product? What do B2B users want from a mobile app? How do you define return-on-investment for B2B mobile app development? How do you make your mobile app stand out from the crowd?
- 1 PRO Unlimited product vision & goals
- 2 How to define an award-winning product vision
- 3 What B2B users want from a mobile app
- 4 How to define the ROI for mobile app development in the B2B Space?
- 5 How to make your B2B mobile app stand out from the crowd
- 6 How to prioritize future mobile app development (and what tools to use)
- 7 How PRO Unlimited created an award-winning app
- 8 What is the Mobile Development Life Cycle?
- 9 PRO Unlimited engagement with Robosoft
- 10 Best practices summary
- 11 Questions and Answers
PRO Unlimited product vision & goals
Starts at minute 6:54
- Platform: Wand is a proprietary, SaaS/Cloud based platform used globally by Fortune 500 companies to manage their Contingent Workforce
- Scenario: Working at a rapid-growth company in a rapidly growing industry, and the core Product was lagging behind competitors. Had an existing basic mobile website (responsive)
- Goal: Wanted to build a differentiator with a new mobile app
- Focus: User experience, features that would most be used in a mobile app
How to define an award-winning product vision
Starts at minute 8:56
- Understand the needs of the customer
- Product vision should be able to clearly articulate the MVP that will attract most users and drive engagement
- The app must have a logical roadmap which is based on analytics and market research
- Think about the 80/20 rule (80% of the customers use 20% of the features, so find out what they are and make them robust)
- The app should be modular: you should be easily able to unplug non-performing features and refine/fix them based on analytical data
What B2B users want from a mobile app
Starts at minute 11:26
- User experience – 75% of users abandon apps due to poor UI/UX. App abandonment increases by half if load time increases over three seconds. Users uninstall apps if there are frequent freezes or bugs.
- Simple/intuitive flows
- Actionable advice
- Response times (scalability & app performance)
How to get stakeholder alignment and support for your mobile app strategy
Starts at minute 14:22
- Create a compelling business case on the app will deliver a solid return on investment
- Create an app roadmap that aligns with the overall goals of your organization – for example, for us it was being a differentiator and the user experience.
- Keep internal and external stakeholders engaged in the process.
How to define the ROI for mobile app development in the B2B Space?
Starts at minute 15:57
- Traditional ROI metrics such as direct revenue don’t work in B2B
- Instead, consider using some of the below metrics: influencing sales, NPS, analyst ratings, Appstore reviews, reduction in cost to serve, lead generation.
How to make your B2B mobile app stand out from the crowd
Starts at minute 19:00
- Summarize your app in two lines to show that unique value prop
- For example, our unique value proposition is faster transactions and faster decisions
- Clearly define what your app does better than your competitors in the market
- Go native for the best experience
How to prioritize future mobile app development (and what tools to use)
Starts at minute 25:09
- User feedback
- Client advisor board
- Analytic firms
- Latest development in mobile technology
How PRO Unlimited created an award-winning app
Starts at minute 27:36
- Product vision and guide
- Vendor selection
- Native, Hybrid or responsive?
- Best practices summary
- Q & A
What is the Mobile Development Life Cycle?
Starts at minute 32:04
- UX & UI Design performed by in-house staff
- Performed user research to discover what features will be most used in a mobile app
- Hired Robosoft to perform engineering of 100% native mobile apps for iOS, and Android
- We initially developed iOS and Android in separate, sequential development projects
- We now release all features across iOS and Android at same time
- Robosoft performed initial QA of their code, but formal Function & Regression testing were performed by in-house staff
- Wand platform engineering was performed by in-house staff
PRO Unlimited engagement with Robosoft
Starts at minute 35:30
Engagement starts June 2013
Wand Mobile 2.9 released January 2017
Best practices summary
Starts at minute 39:50
- Partner with experienced experts like Robosoft
- If user experience is critical, build 100% native apps
- Perform user research if appropriate
- Perform UX design in-house if you have expertise, if not, hire a partner
- Support no more than 2 versions of native apps
- While maintaining and supporting native apps is more expensive than responsive, the increase is not duplicative
- Native apps have a much better user experience
- Native apps are more secure
Questions and Answers
Starts at minute 44:30
Having known what you know now, would you have done anything differently with the benefit of hindsight? (starts at minute: 44:53)
With your experience working with companies like Robosoft, are there any apprehensions about working with global companies? How would you address some of these challenges? (starts at minute 46:44)
How do you get stakeholder alignment for mobile products in the B2B world, especially with digital initiatives? (starts at minute 48:36)
If you’re going the native route, would you build an iOS first, Android, or both at the same time? (starts at minute 51:45)
How do you choose the right partner? (starts at minute 56:10)
How do you do mobile QA? Can you automate that? (starts at minute 56:49)