Developing an app itself was pretty difficult once upon a time. But now, things have changed and we owe it to better app development platforms. We now also have more developers and developing companies skilled at developing apps that are more in tune with the current demands of the customer market.
When it comes to app development though we have evolved a great deal. But there are now bigger challenges. As there are more players trying to establish their mark, there are a number of apps and therefore, the focus and the actual outcome expected from the mobile apps are constantly changing. When the app development market was in the nascent phase, concentrating on the functional aspects was the cardinal focus. But now we have thousands of apps that come with similar functionalities. This is thus an age where concentrating on delivering impeccable user experience is equally important.
Is Focusing on the Functionality Crucial in Mobile App Development?
This is more of a rhetorical question. Every single app out there is developed for a purpose. And when it comes to testing an app, functionality test is one of the first ones done. If the app doesn’t pass the functionality test itself, then it would not be checked for the other aspects. After all, no user would like an app just because it looks nice and is easy to use but adds no value. Besides the core aim of each app developed, there are some common functionality elements to be included in apps released in the market. Some of the common functionality aspects to include are:
- Subscription options and the ability to sign in/register.
- Ability to play videos.
- Sharing the app.
- Incorporation of marketing elements, push notifications etc.
- Capacity to gather user information and perform app analytics.
Start with focusing on the functionality aspects and then enhance the functionality by adding the right user interface which gives and overall impressive user experience.
Ensuring a great user experience:
A great user experience begins with designing a great user interface that supports the functionality. In general, a user downloads an app for its functionality. But then, once downloaded, the usability of the app and the user experience offered is what impacts whether or not the user keeps the app or uninstalls it. For business apps, how much the app promotes conversion rates is again dependent on the user experience. This is why user experience, which was earlier considered an additional feature is now considered an essential one.
So what are the benefits of delivering great user experience in mobile apps?
- Establishing brand identity.
- Earning the trust of the customer segment.
- Reduced rework expenses.
- A competitive advantage.
- Proven enhancement in conversion rates and thus increased revenue
Blending functionality and user experience:
For an app to stand out, it should be useful, intuitively designed and interactive. This is why app development today faces bigger challenges than ever. There are more expectations and higher benchmarks to be met. This is another reason why equally blending user experience and functionality is pretty crucial.
In today’s app scenario, one of the most interesting aspects is that these two important elements go hand in hand. When you incorporate every single functionality element, it has to be thoughtfully designed such that the purpose is actually met. For example, having navigation control and home page buttons are important. But what if these buttons are placed at far to reach spots? We now have Smartphone that comes with a screen 5 inches or larger. Most use their Smartphone single handed and the thumb is predominantly used for the controls. So keep in the mind the most accessible areas on a Smartphone to decide on the positioning of the buttons. Having controls in far to reach corners would mean that the app has the functionality features but these features aren’t really easy to use.
The above scenario is a simple example of how each functionality aspect has to be incorporated so as to ensure perfect user experience as well. So answering the big question, “which is more important in a mobile app, user experience or functional aspects?” The straight answer is that one cannot exist without the other. An app without a purpose that looks great and is easy and an app which is pretty powerful but is difficult to use are both useless in today’s market. This is because, when we talk about an app’s user segment, there are several types of users and the app should cater to the needs of every type of user.
Offer nothing but the best User Experience and Functionality while developing the mobile app solutions to your client’s because that is what matters the most in today’s competitive market and becoming a pivotal factor determining the success of an app as well as customer satisfaction.