Finding ways to improve how your business works is all about finding the right tools to get the job done. And in today’' current technological landscape, there's perhaps no better way to test solutions than with business apps.
But what features should entrepreneurs look for in an app before adopting it? After all, with so many options out there it can be difficult to isolate which aspects could benefit – or hinder – your business's unique structure or pathway to success.
To find out more, we asked 14 entrepreneurs from YEC to share the kind of features or functions they look for in an app and why. Here's what they said:
1. Reliable data synchronization
"If I am to entrust my data to an application, I have to be certain that it will be synchronized across platforms flawlessly. That means encrypted data transfer, no data corruption ever, no long waits for data to be synchronized and no need for manual intervention. From a programming perspective, reliable synchronization is challenging, and I have a lot of respect for companies that get it right." – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.
2. Small learning curve
"I think it's the golden rule of all apps that UI and UX should be familiar to users, with a small learning curve. Just as we've all gotten used to the look and feel of platforms like Office and Instagram, incorporating familiar elements from these programs into a simplistic business app design will cut down on frustration and make apps more accessible for the average user." – Kristopher Brian Jones, LSEO.com
"I look for apps which allow for customization to match my specific needs. Try to avoid apps that take a one-size-fits-all approach, as no two businesses are the same. Sure, many of the default settings and features are helpful but most often, customization is required to reach its maximum potential. Ideally, you want an app which has both great out-of-the-box capability and the ability to customize." – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
"If an app takes too long to react, I'll usually close it. There are numerous apps out there that simply take too long to load, and I honestly think that it's a mortal sin in the world of app development. Everyone has tons of apps, photos and videos on their phones so they have limited memory and bandwidth. If your app is not light and fast, people will look for alternatives. I guarantee you that!" – Amine Rahal, Little Dragon Media
5. The space and power it uses
"The last thing I want is an app that chews up most of my storage space and battery. Those are the types of apps I close right away and this reduces their stickiness. If I use a business app, I plan to leave it open because I want to make sure I can keep a check on it. Try to create something that doesn't take up so much space and kills your battery." – Sweta Patel, Startup Growth Mode
"An app can have a lot of bells and whistles, but if it doesn't have a user-friendly and branded design, someone else probably has it and better. Curated content, accessibility and a look that clearly speaks to the brand that owns it shows thoughtfulness to detail that I appreciate and trust – right along with the brand I initially downloaded it from!" – Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs
7. Easy navigation
"I always appreciate apps that don't waste my time. I want to be able to see clearly or know where I would go should I click a particular button or tab. Apart from easy navigation, an app should correctly function like its web counterpart; meaning, I should be able to select objects and input information without the keyboard and mouse with no problems." – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
8. Measurable impact
"Business software has had an incredible impact on companies, improving marketing efficacy, increasing cross-team communication and collaboration, and reducing the number of people needed to do the same jobs. Ultimately, if I'm going to sign off on my company using a new app or software, it must have a measurable impact on my business to make the hassle of adoption and rollout worth the investment." – Jonathan Gass, Nomad Financial
"This may seem obvious, but there are still many business apps that completely turn me away from ever using them due to their excessive permission requirements. No, I'm not going to share my contact information or enable notifications for the benefit of streamlining one small asset of my workflow. I prefer apps that get the job done without my personal information." – Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
"I want to make sure that I can use the app with other compatible apps that I need to use to get my job done. For example, if I'm looking to download a CRM app, I want to make sure that it integrates to my email marketing service provider to be able to get accurate numbers in the dashboard." – Jared Atchison, WPForms
11. Updates and compatibility
"If you're investing time and money on an app, you want to make sure it's still going to work in the future when you upgrade your hardware or software, add new business challenges, or have to make changes — so think ahead in terms of upgrades, training and forced obsolescence." –Sam Saxton, Paragon Stairs
12. Platform usability
"A robust business app should function seamlessly irrespective of the devices and the platform. To ensure optimal usability, the UI/UX design of the app should aim at providing native-like experience across different operating systems and adapt well to changes in screen sizes and resolutions. Designing for portrait as well as landscape orientation is also an added advantage." – Rahul Varshneya, BenchPoint
13. Offline access
"If I don't have a Wi-Fi connection and therefore I can't use your app, that's a huge downside. It's important for users to be able to access and use the app offline so that they can use it anytime and anywhere regardless of their connection." – Blair Williams, MemberPress
14. The right amount of notifications
"It's important for a business app to have the right amount of notifications. Not too much where you're getting a notification for every little thing and it becomes annoying, but it can't be too little either. I like getting notifications for major updates and activity. Notifications that remind me to check in if I haven't used the app in a couple of days are great because it keeps me on track." – John Turner, SeedProd LLC