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 titled 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 and Connected Experiences, sums up the research 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 can the problems be solved? The survey concludes by saying:
“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 to be 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.