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Thought Leadership

Having A Good App Isn't Good Enough

by James Barton / December 17, 2018

Building apps is great fun. It allows me to express a nerdy creative side, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my days than building wireframes and working out how to solve complex problems.

Of course, you then need to look at the user interface (UI) and make sure that my nerdy approach is actually usable. I am sure we have all used apps that do what they are supposed to, but are difficulty or clunky to use. Those tend to have been built by people like me!

Let’s assume you have a technically brilliant app. It looks great and the user experience is great. You get it on the App Stores and people start to use it. Success!

Or is it?


Adoption Is The Critical Element

Of course, downloads are important, but what we really should be looking at is who is actually using it. You can build the world’s greatest app, but it has no value if it has no users.

In my world this is called adoption, and it is a critical success factor in any app deployment. Adoption is definitely impacted by the quality of the app, its content and its UI, but far too often the most critical area – ease of use – is missed.

In corporate applications, there is often a need to create an account, sign in or some other convoluted process that can significantly impair the adoption of your app. I understand the need to have a login, but the way that login function operates is critical.

With the advent of fingerprint or face ID, logging in is getting easier, but we still need to refine the sign up process. My experiences of this have ranged from excellent to frustrating to the point of exhaustion. Thinking about the login and sign up process got me thinking about something else...

How can we at eTravelSafety give the best login experience?


Letting Go Of Compliance Prejudice

To answer this question, I needed to pull apart my previous thinking and, if I am honest, prejudice. I know prejudice seems like a funny word, but I think it is spot on in this context as I was indeed prejudiced.

My prejudice was against anything that could be a threat to what I saw as total compliance. Accounts need to be registered. Monitored. Scrutinized. Whilst all of this is true of course, the reality is most of it doesn’t really matter and was actually putting a significant load on administrators. Moreover, it was creating a difficult experience for the user.

The reality is that we have dozens if not hundreds of accounts that already exist, and the important thing is to ensure the person is who they say they are at log in.


The Magic Of SSO

This drew me to the concept of SSO or Single Sign On.

SSO is a beautiful thing indeed. At its core it uses credentials from another platform to allow our platform to sign in. I still get all the user data etc, but the user simply connects using credentials they have used before, all in nerdy synchronization.

SSO can be provided by many things – it could be your Microsoft Office account, your corporate credentials and even social media. It is simple to deploy and even simpler for the user to use.

Before you dismiss SSO, understand this: first impressions matter. A user’s first interaction with an app will dictate and inform their ongoing experience with the app. In short, if you want users to actually use your app, getting the login process right is essential.

Of course, there are some use cases where this not applicable, but in the majority of cases, giving the user options on how to sign in or create an account will significantly increase the adoption of your app.

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James Barton

James Barton

With over 20 years of experience in technology and sales, James is one of the leading voices in leveraging technology to create effective solutions.