5 Fundamental UI Tactics To Keep Your App Users Alive and Active

5-fundamental-ui-tactics-to-keep-your-app-users-alive-and-activeUI matters. If your app offers a sleek, intuitive and simple UI, it will automatically click with users.

If the UI is confusing or complicated, users will leave immediately. Not only that, they won’t mind bad-mouthing your app and pendown negative reviews at the app store.

Just like in the case of a website where the overall aesthetics matter. According to a study, 88% of consumers don’t return to a site if the website offers bad experience.

So I repeat, UI is crucial, even if the app boasts of good value proposition. An app offering great value proposition but an annoying UI, would definitely witness high deletion rates.

There are five fundamental tactics to keep in mind while developing an app.

#1. Personas: In other words, think off some fictional characters to determine what will drive them to use your app. The closer the fictional characters are to your real target audience the better. If possible, undertake a research; it could be surveys and interviews, to create your personas. This will help you build an accurate user persona.

#2. Make-belief scenarios: Think of different scenarios on how the user will act.  The scenarios will act as perfect guide posts to help you design an almost perfect UI.

#3. Know-how maps: Here you need to work out all possible situations from a single interaction standpoint. You need to focus on each step that user is most likely to take. This will help you have better insights about emotions and circumstances that surround each step.

#4. Use common UI patterns:  For this you need to check out popular interfaces and study their patterns. This will make users comfortable. Agreed, it could give your app a copied-versioned look. Avoid this by layering your app with your own creativity.

#5. Use signifiers accurately: For instance, you know that an underlined text would lead the user to new pages. So use signifiers correctly so that users don’t have to think what each UI exactly offers.

In case your app is already available in the market you could use the following tactics to ensure greater user retention

• Use analytic tools: If you already released your app, use analytics tools such as Flurry and Mixpanel to help you understand how users interact with the app thereby helping you identify the problems that otherwise wouldn’t come to your attention.

• Use MyCrowd: If you are short on time and budget to conduct surveys, you can rely on tools like MyCrowd, to get real user data on app’s usability.

• Use feedback and response time: Feedback by the mobile app development company helps users know whether or not the task has been completed. You could use a simple beep, if coming up with a modal window is too much a trouble for you. Whatever the case may be, ensure that your feedback is friendly, human and timely. For more on this you can check out timing guidelines by Nielsen Norman Group.

Bottomline:

A good UI not only makes your app appear good. It also ensures that your app is highly intuitive so much so that users won’t mind opening it again and again, and also share it with their friends and family. Not to mention leave positive reviews at the Play Store or App Store.

5 Types of Location Tracking Apps You Can Use

5-types-of-location-tracking-apps-you-can-useIdeas run the world. Someone years ago  felt the need of location tracking apps and now you can find different kinds of location tracking apps in the Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Many Mobile App Development Companies located across the globe have invested their time and energies in developing useful location tracking apps. All these apps work on Geo-location API on the concepts of Geo-fencing and tracking of time. What are the different kinds of location tracking apps? Let’s find out about a few.

#Apps to track Your Kids

There are several location tracking apps in the market that help you keep a track of your kids even when they are away at schools or in parks. Apps track the kids on the basis of the signals emitted. Either the child carries a GPS tracker with him or has a smartphone with him. Parents who are always worried about the well being of their kids once they are out of their sights can use such apps.

#Apps to Track Your Employees

There are apps that can help you see what your employees are working on. Some apps can help you track time. You will know when they are goofing or when they went out of office campus. You can monitor which project of theirs takes how much time and if your employees are managing their time well.

#Apps to Track Your Car

Parking remains a perennial problem, whether you are out for a movie, a dinner or a concert. You try and find a parking spot and proceed for your movie or concert. When you come back, you are in for some really anxious moments. You are somehow unable to find your car from the rows and rows of cars parked there. There are apps that geo mark the location of your car on the map and when you access them can take you to your car.

#Apps to Locate Your Devices

You are at a vacation and you come back to your hotel room to find your iPad missing. What do you do? You search the room. You complain to the hotel desk as soon as you can. But you know you can start a bit of sleuthing on your own. How? By checking on your smartphone, the apps that have the location of all your devices; you had the foresight to install the device tracking apps in advance to secure your devices.

#Apps to Locate your Friends

Generally most of the time during the day, we are away from home – on the move. How do you then keep a track of your close friends? How do you then find out where they are?  You would love to get together if they are close by but how do you locate them without messaging them? Use apps that are designed to do this. Simple. Yes, there are apps that can display the location of your dear friends all the time. They enable you to stay connected so that if on a Friday night you are all in the same neighbourhood, you can all come together and grab a beer.

We at Openxcell, have several of such location tracking apps in our portfolio. You can check out apps like G.P.Us Friend and Come Get Me which are based on the principle of location tracking. We have expert teams of developers who can build the kind of app you want – based on your idea. They are experienced, skilled and know the right technologies.  So do not hesitate. If you want more information about app development you can call our sales teams who would be glad to help you out.

Live smart With Home Automation Apps

live-smart-with-home-automation-appsInnovation spans every nook and corner and to make your home spaces comfortable and convenient, mobile apps are delivering new automated facilities which lets you to personalize and simply plan and control several things remotely right from your mobile phones. Smart home is one of the promising areas in the Internet of Things.

Latest innovations in Smart Home Spaces are enabling us to interact better with technology and devices to make our life at home more simple and convenient. Mobile apps are designed to act as a hub to not only control but also keep you informed. Earlier products like Televisions, Vacuum cleaner etc were designed to be in compliance with apps, but today we see several products are designed considering IoT. The growth of Smart Home Automation systems market is attributed to several factors such as expanding IoT market, efficiently embedding mobile Apps and solutions and large number of companies expanding their product capabilities to include the facility of home monitoring from anywhere in real-time.

What’s latest?

Smart mirror

Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the news today???? Mirrors are not just to check your looks, they can be more productive. Apps are here to help this happen. Interactive experiences are built right on to your mirror. A simple mirror can be your latest notification hub. While you admire your looks, you can get the latest news, access social media, weather updates, upcoming calendar events, time and much more. The concept is straight out of sci-fi movies. Several companies have already started establishing their name in smart mirror market. To name a few are Lavie by Lenovo, Panasonic’s virtual image. Even Google’s top engineer Max Braun has come up with the same concept along with voice search interface.

Smart Furniture

Apps can now control your furniture too!!! Yes, this is the new fad where apps are designed to deliver truly individual experience at the click of a button. These apps are connected with specific company’s products and can be used to individually control seats of the sofa, the reclining positions etc. So, if you feel like having a foot-rest while watching your favourite TV program or would like to extend your seat depth, you can do that at the press of a button. Apps like these are designed to be intelligent to save several seating positions of sofa, cocoon chairs and other associated furniture. Aladin Sofa Control App is one such app.

Smart security

Apps can now help you watch your home and detect sound and movement 24/7 from anywhere in the world all real-time.  Nest, Logitech, Netatmo are few companies who have already explored this market and have launched their sets of security cameras that are associated with apps. These apps when downloaded can alert the owner when it detects motion, smoke or any conspicuous sound. These products are smart enough to recognize family members (works on the feed). Few of these apps can give a small recap video clipping of the entire movement that happened in a day. Smart eh!!!

Smart Electronics

Smart electronics include products that enable its users to control home appliances remotely in real-time. Whether you are at home or not, it does not matter; you can still operate your appliances through apps. Just say, schedule, check and protect all your electronic appliances via apps. Belkin’s WeMo is one such app that helps you control your lights, appliances etc with just a click.

These are the few picks. Many more are there in the home automation front which will help us live smarter.

To Wrap

B2B spending on IoT technologies, Mobile Apps and solutions will reach $267B by 2020, according to a latest report. As far as Smart home area is concerned, products are designed to include the ability to be in compliant with apps that can help in remote monitoring and management. More and more customers are getting familiarized with the facility of integrating with products in real-time remotely.  Mobile App Development Companies are working on cloud apps. To smartly connect to these apps, big players like Google, Apple have come up with voice assistants that can help you in connecting with these apps. So, go ahead to give your commands, tasks and instructions to integrate various services; remotely monitor and manage your home, security, temperature, lighting, media and many more with just few smart home automation apps. You just have to download apps that enable access to systems at home. Moreover, digital assistance like Google Home, Apple Home, Amazon Echo, and Sony Experia Agent are all rising to play their role to connect you with these apps and control everything smartly. Many less things to worry about now for you…. Time to live smart….

5 Questions You Must Ask Your Mobile App Developer

5-questions-you-must-ask-your-mobile-app-developerOnce you decide to have an app for your business, you start scouting for good mobile app developers. You read reviews of app development companies, you go through their work portfolios and try to gather as much information as possible. You cannot let fancy presentations alone sway you. Before finalising the partner for app development however it would be prudent to ask them a few questions. Once you know the answers you would be better informed to make a decision regarding the app developer you want to choose for the development of your app.

So what are those questions you must ask? Let’s go through them one-by-one.

#1 Can you share details of 3 of your best apps?

Answer to this question can tell you a lot about the company. The apps the company submits as best work need not be super successful ones in the market but they will give you an idea about the development capability of the team. The app should be easy to use. Jumpy UX and UI should be considered warning signals.  The logo, the color palette, icons used, navigation etc. will give you fair idea about the designing and development team.

#2 Is the development team that will work on my app in-house?

Some mobile app development companies outsource the complete app development work or a part of it. When the work is outsourced you do not have ways and means to monitor the progress and really know what is going on with your app. A project always goes through a few roadblocks and a few corrections while in development. It is better to keep everyone in the loop. With a team that is not in-house things can get complicated.

#3 What will be the communication procedure during the development?

Depending on your convenience you can tell the app development company details on how you would like to be communicated. If you are an email person or you prefer getting on with the team on Skype – you need to set the standard procedure of communication beforehand. Decide the day, date and the time you can be contacted at – it is important to discuss this in case you live in different time zones. You can set guidelines for resolving conflicts too. Line of communication should be clear. The team should be able to incorporate feedback as a part of the process.

#4 What will be the after launch app maintenance policy?

The job doesn’t get over with the app launch. In fact the journey of users starts after the app launch. Make sure you and the app developers reach a clear understanding about the journey of the app, which would invariably include updates, post launch.

#5 Will you transfer the codes, files and documents to me after the project is completed? How?

You would be paying the app development company for the project. You own the source codes, the related files, databases, web systems and documents. A good mobile app development company should have no problem in handing it all over to you – should you ever want it, once the project gets over.

These are some questions you can ask the app developers before finalising on the one you are most comfortable with. Do not hesitate to add more questions if you have doubt regarding any aspect of app development. Good partnerships are built on good open communication. Hope you find the right app development partner for developing your app. Good luck!

4 Top App Onboarding Essentials

4-top-app-onboarding-essentialsFirst impressions stay forever. In the case of apps, getting the onboarding right is the only  way to get your first impression right.

As per a recent study by Localytics, 20% of the apps are used only once. So, it becomes all the more important to get your onboarding right.  A good onboarding ensures that a first-time user becomes an engaged, active user from the first interaction itself. For this, the onboarding should deliver on various fronts. It should provide the user a basic idea on how the app is going to serve his needs. Plus, the design should be intuitive and simplistic, not to mention visually appealing. Most importantly, the copy, concise and clutter free.

Here a list of features that ensure that your onboarding is right

#1.  Introductory content

App marketers get only a few seconds to impress first-time users. So make sure your app intro covers the core features.

The intro content could run in between first to three screens…and may go up to five screens as well. You can use your own discretion on this.

Nevertheless, keeps these five things in mind while designing your intro content:

# There should be length indicators. Users don’t like the content to drag on forever. So, you need  to provide them with indicators as to how long the content is. This will keep them going no matter what.

# Speak about benefits, not features – Speak about how the app is going to benefit the users and the value they would derive from it.

# Embed brand identifiers: This should include your brand logo and tagline. This would help users identify the brand right away.

# Make it visually appealing: Text should complement with images.

# Keep it short: It’s okay to run your intro from one to five screens. But then, the screen should contain only limited words. Don’t drag. Don’t ramble. No one is interested in reading your long stories.

# Option to opt out: Some users may like to opt out of intro…so make sure you embed that option as well.

#2.  Seek User Permission For Sending Push Notifications

The only way to offer value to your users is through push notifications and location tracking. However, before you send out your push notifications, the user needs to sign up for these features. This is where permissions come into the picture. Nevertheless, you cannot simply go ahead and seek app users’ permission. There’s a proper way do it.
Here are the four ways to seek permissions from users:

#1.  Leverage custom opt-in dialogue: This sort of permission helps you seek permission in your own personal way and at the same time helps you highlight your brand’s personality in the dialogue.

#2. Ensure to embed custom opt-in dialogue before the OS dialogue: This is because once the OS dialogue appears you won’t get a second chance to seek permission.

#3. Your users should know why you are seeking their permission in the first place. So, explain to them the benefits of push notifications and more.

#3. Nail Down User Intuition

User onboarding could be different for different apps. Say, for instance, for some apps, onboarding is straight forward.  Users don’t have to rack their brains to understand the app features and functionalities. However, all apps don’t share a similar onboarding trait. There are apps that come with less intuitive designs. For such apps, some sort of support system has to be put in place. For instance, in the case of gaming apps, the entry-level could serve as user onboarding. For service or eCommerce apps a tutorial could come handy.

Tips to create a perfect onboarding tutorial:

  • Keep it short. Users won’t spend more than a minute on it.
  • It should be easy to locate
  • The final step should ensure that users are still engaged with your app. So lead your users to actionable pages where they could update their status, take photos or something of a similar sort that keeps them hooked.

#4.  Use different color plays to guide users

Obviously, you should stick to the color scheme decided during the app development stages. But then, make sure to use higher contrasting hues and also bright colors to draw attention to where the users should actually navigate. This is one of the best ways to keep users visually engaged. By employing different color plays you could easily suggest users which option they should choose sans any explanation.

Final Thoughts:

User onboarding is not essential for all apps. Some apps are intuitive enough. And so user onboarding could turn out to be a pure nuisance for such apps. But then, some apps simply can’t  do away with them. So leverage the above-mentioned to tips to get started. However, make sure to keep testing your onboarding tactics and also consult some reputed mobile app development companies so to have a clear idea on what works and what is annoying to your users.

6 Things You Must Know About Testing Your Apps

6-things-you-must-know-about-testing-your-appsA buggy app is a recipe for disaster. It is important that you test your app properly before launching. Many mobile app development companies have separate divisions that focus on app testing. If the app does not perform properly on the user’s device after he has put in all the effort in  downloading your app and launching it, he will not hesitate in uninstalling your app and will give you bad reviews too. So what are the important things you should test your app for? Let’s find out.

#1 Test Your Device On Different Networks

Mobile apps behave differently in different network environment. It is difficult to achieve seamless connectivity. Sometimes there is lack of bandwidth, drop in packets due to re-routing and other glitches. Some apps crash when they are working from a specific location on a particular network. Testers need to find the vulnerabilities by testing the apps on different parameters like Uplink Bandwidth, Downlink Bandwidth, packet corruption, Loss percentage etc.

#2 Test your UX and UI On Different Screen Sizes

It is important that you test your app on different devices of different sizes. UX and UI of your app should perform well on the devices. All the elements should align perfectly with UI providing the right navigational maneuvering comfort it is designed to provide.

#3 Test on the OS and its Different Versions

Test your app for the operating system it is designed for and make sure you test it with all the versions available in the markets. Once up at the stores, your app is going to be downloaded by users who would have different versions of Android or iOS running on their phones. Make sure the apps follow platform guidelines. You want to make sure everyone who downloads your app has a good experience.

#4 Test Battery Usage

It is important that your app doesn’t drain battery. Many users uninstall apps from their devices because it drains the battery too fast. App developers need to ensure that the app is not too greedy. App testers have this responsibility to check the apps for battery drain.

#5 Test Your App With Different Devices

It is very disappointing when you are in the midst of using an app and you get a call which somehow gets disconnected. Your app should learn to work with different features of different devices. Ensure that the user is able to receive calls and notifications while he is in your app. It should be able to work with other apps in the device. Some apps request for permissions again and again after every update. It can be very irritating for the user. Have a way for your apps to remember the permission it has been granted.

#6 Test for localization

Our world is as diverse as it is alike. When you plan to release your app in different countries, you have to test it for localization. Language , context, images all need to be localized. A good tester ensures that the app is ready for the country it is going to be released in.

These are a few of the things good testers from reputed mobile app development companies take into consideration while testing an app. Openxcell has experienced mobile app testers and can help you with testing your app.

The How and Why of App Referral Marketing

tips-to-leverage-referral-marketing-for-appsLooking forward to higher app downloads and ROI this year? Leverage Referral Marketing.

Referral marketing is an organic form of marketing and it’s considered to be one of the most successful forms of app marketing.  For instance, Uber, Airbnb and Evernote could attribute their success entirely to its referral marketing programs.

Dropbox witnessed 3900% growth, thanks to customer referral marketing programs. The company had 100,000 registered users in 2008, and within fifteen months it touched to a jaw-dropping figure of 4M users. Referral marketing is that powerful when used rightly.

Some facts and figures about App Referral Marketing

  • App Referral Marketing is the best vehicle for word-of-mouth publicity and helps accelerates app downloads. According to a study by appvirality, in-app referrals increase downloads by 36%.
  • According to Journal of Marketing, the lifetime value of referred customers is 16% higher over a non-referred customer.
  • A referred customer tends to spend more than a non-referred customer.  This is great news for cab or ride sharing apps with regard to revenue generation.
  • According to research, 80.59% of the users try a new app if it’s suggested by friends or family.
  • According to a Nielsen survey, word of mouth marketing is 92% more effective than any other form of marketing.

Tips to Leverage Referral Marketing For Apps  

Focus on market segmentation for your referrals

Narrow down your audience to specific segments. Then among them, identify the highest lifetime value influencers, specifically those with highest number of social followings and engaged users.

Segmenting customers will help you build stronger networks for your referral programs.

Offer Reciprocal Incentive for More Referrals

Remember one thing, no matter what, customers would speak good about your company only if they get something back in return.

The very idea of giving your customer something back in return for a positive public referral is called reciprocal incentive.  Say, for instance, Uber offers a powerful reciprocal incentive for its referrals.  It offers both the referrers and the recepients a free ride.

Referral links should be personalised

This is important. That is, the personalization of referral links and codes. Referral links ensure that the user clicks on the link without much ado, thanks to known names referring the program to you. You could even try coming up with a landing page that displays the image of the referrer.  These two simple tricks will add more weight to your app referral program.

In-app referrals should be promoted

Referral programs should be backed by proper promotional campaigns. Without proper promotion of your referrals, things might not work for you. Through push notifications, social media activities, promotion on websites and mobile sites, SMS, email newsletters and all, you could promote your in-app referrals.

Nail down the influencer for your referral programs

Nailing down the key influencer and then rewarding them in a huge way would give a definite boost to your in-app referral program. Take the help of known mobile app marketing/mobile app development companies to help you identify a key influencer for your app referral programs.

Nail down In-app analytics

In the case of in-app referrals, some metrics hold more weight over others. These could include invites sent by the referrer, clicks, installs, revenue generated and more could be tracked with the help of an app marketing agency.

Optimize your App for All Devices

A developer should ensure to optimize their app for all devices.  More important than that, ensure that their feature is visible on the app’s home page as well.

Match your Referral Marketing with Industry Data  

Mobile app trends keep changing at a significant pace. According to an Econsultancy post, ‘How consumers behave on ecommerce apps,’ higher chances of conversion for iOS apps is on Friday, while for Android apps it’s on Saturdays. This data should be borne in mind while promoting apps through different channels, be it through push notifications, emails, sms among many others.

Wrapping Up

Apps are the new website. Nearly 85% of shoppers choose an app over a website. Meaning, even your competitor is focussed on developing an app. So, the only way for your business to survive and thrive is to focus on the app and its promotion. And app referral marketing is one of the proven ways to promote your app and boost app downloads. It’s one of the crucial cogs of the app promotion and retention wheel.

IoT Is an Integral Component of our Future Growth – Flow with the Change

iot

As we stand at the verge of finishing all our tasks for 2016, it is totally understandable that many have promptly and ritually started gathering brand new resolutions and few ambitious challenges to take on at the beginning of a new year. Predictions on how the coming year is going to be keep racing through our mind. One thing that is surely going to attain new levels of efficiency in all spheres related to human life is IoT – Internet of Things. Not just transitional, but sensing the momentum, it is going to create transformational waves. Future generation is going to see a change in human life, in all respects. Yes, the emergence of IoT is going to be the evolution of a new God of all things.

“Worldwide Internet of Things forecast from IDC indicates that by 2020, there will be a projected 30 billion connected things and a revenue opportunity of nearly $1.7T for the ecosystem.

# Factors contributing to the growth of IoT

Increased efficiency and lower costs are the two major factors contributing towards the growth of Internet of Things.

Hardware, software and other support systems working on IoT will enable deployment of applications that can connect anything within scope of internet of things. Connected devices will have huge role as they will be the heart of IoT. Smartphones, wearables, M2M devices etc will have a greater role to play. We have already started seeing the upsurge of Mobile App Developers working on all possibilities towards connecting the internet of things.

“The world is being re-shaped by the convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data, community and other powerful forces. The combination of these technologies unlocks an incredible opportunity to connect everything together in a new way and is dramatically transforming the way we live and work,” mentioned Marc Benioff, the very famous internet entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

# IoT will be Pervasive. Be Ready

IoT is growing big. Predictions indicate that by 2020, nearly 6% of the economy is going to get directly affected by this growth. We can see objects communicating with each other automatically; we can see digital identity for each of us; we can see more of a transparent environment where everything works fast, direct and in real-time; we can see a unified approach towards everything – fusion of analog and digital world. Overall, we can see development of the economy in every sector. Prepare yourself and make full use of this development.

# Hip Hip, Hooray for Hybrid Mobile App Developers

Mobile connectivity is expanding its arms towards this new dimension and Mobile apps developers are going to hit sixes as they have bigger roles to play in helping people to stay connected in the IoT era. Apps bridge the gap between IoT devices and IoT ecosystem.  Hybrid apps are going to dominate the market as they are capable of delivering cross-platform functionality.

Experimentation is On…

Embrace this new change. Internet of Things is in the development stage. Experts are still working in this model to ensure that everything is connected and working together. Smart homes, wearables, smart cities, connected cars are the existing trend. More surprises to come in the future days. Soon you will wake up to check that your coffee percolator has ordered coffee powder on its own, washing machine has sensed its duty, your car has gone to pick up your child and many more. Surprise yourself with the new wish fulfilment fantasy!!!

5 Top Tips To Build a Mobile-first Workplace Culture

Thanks to the growing mobile force culture, employees can be at home at the office at the same time.

Almost all companies in the US are pulling down their shutters on their brick-and-mortar offices and trusting their virtual workforce to do all the work for them.

Nope, I am not kidding. Nevertheless, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Here’s some metrics by Telework Coalition that suggest the same:

  • 89% of the top 100 U.S. companies allow telecommuting
  • 58% has already declared themselves as virtual workplaces
  • 9% of employees work at the headquarters
  • 67% of all workers use mobile and wireless computing

All these developments point toward the fact that mobile work culture is gaining ground in a colossal way, specifically in the U.S. marketplace.

But then, for all the efforts you are putting in to make your company culture mobile-friendly, things could backfire if a certain set of process and policies are not put in place.

The framing of certain rules and regulations and also making sure that they are strictly followed would ensure that your new workplace culture thrives much less survives.

Here are some top strategies to sustain and promote your mobile workforce culture:

#1. Craft A Set of Standards and Goals to Make Ensure They Are Strictly Followed  

Unlike offices, where it’s  easier to implement standards, sustaining mobile workforce culture is a different ball game altogether. Here the employees are living and working in isolated environments unbeknownst to each other, which makes it all the more difficult to enforce anything, let alone rules.

So, it crucial for companies to come up with certain set standards and goals that are exclusively meant for your mobile teams. As in, the login and log off timings should be strictly followed. Likewise, there should be scheduled times for breaks. Even a holiday calendar would help.

But then don’t leave it at that.  Request your employees to share their points of views as well. In short, how do they feel about the new regulations?  All the same, measure your standards and goals, time and time again, to make sure it’s not impeding employee productivity instead of improving it.

Reviewing your company standards and goals,  again and again, makes sure that the culture that you’ve so painstakingly build over the years doesn’t get lost among the spasm of technological changes.

#2. Get Employees to Adapt Apps like Slack and Trello

It ensures that all your virtual employees are on the same page on their projects, encourages your  employees to use team collaboration apps like Trello, Workhive and Slack. Trello is a team collaboration tool that creates boards for all your projects, which allows the employees to have the latest updates on their projects, be at home or office.

Slack and Workhive, on the other hand, are cloud-based apps that allow real-time messaging, and most importantly, all project documents are shared at one particular place.  You can even get a customized team collaboration app developed if you want from mobile app development companies like OpenXcell.

#3. One-on-one Regular Meetings to Establish a Personal Rapport     

No doubt tools such as Slack and Trello are a must for team collaboration and communications. Nevertheless, the companies need to look beyond group communication tools and establish a one-on-one relationship with employees. This will help companies nurture personal rapport with employees. Say, for instance, you could delve upon touchy topics such as the progress and promotion and also communicate their expectations from their employees.  On the other hand, employees are free to express their concerns, which wouldn’t have possible in the presence of their peers.

#4. Use more Visuals  for Communication

In the mobile-first era, communication through visuals, colors, pictograms, etc,  are more popular than words. This would help you connect with your mobile workforce better says Lee Coomber, creative director for Europe and the Middle East, Creative Consultancy, Lippincott.

#5. Reward Employees – Not Much Financially

Sticking motivational quotes on your cubicle walls and all works fine. However, what indeed motivates an employee is a hand-written note from CEO directly appreciating an employee for his excellent efforts. If that’s asking for too much, the HR could also initiate excellent performer awards. Such type of rewards could really motivate an employee for a repeat performance.

Other best practices that promote mobile work culture

  • Make a conscious effort to tie in apps into your business environment and at the same time make sure your employees are comfortable using it.
  • Zero down on apps or mobility platforms that address security issues. About 70 percent of employees who resist mobility because of privacy concerns.
  • Go go for systems that offer dynamic multichannel support. This will help confront technical issues that confuses users who employ different device types and operation systems. In addition, it helps cut down overhead expenses drastically as employees would be using their own devices.

Final thoughts

To ensure that your mobile workforce culture sustains in the long run, follow the above best practices, and most importantly, hold one on one communication with your employees. Could you think of any other strategy that could help companies sustain their mobile-first culture? Go ahead, put them down in the comment box below.

Source: 5 Top Tips To Build a Mobile-first Workplace Culture

2017 Top Mobile App Development Trends

top-mobile-app-development-trends2016 is drawing to a close. And as a mobile app developer, I guess you already have an idea on the trends that will dominate the app development space in 2017.

Yes, it’s IOT, AR and VR, bots, DIY apps, to name a few. For a change, even DIY app development will catch the attention of the mobile app development companies.

Wish you to read more on the upcoming app development trends? Go on, here’s an elaborate take on the 4 top app development trends of 2017.

#1. App-enabled IOT devices

Turns out by the end of 2016, people all over the world will use almost 6.4 billion connected gadgets. Even Gartner predicts $2.5M per minute in IoT spending and 1M new IoT devices sold every hour by 2021.

Well, this means Internet of Things (IOT) will have a dominant role to play in the app development landscape, given that IOT solutions typically operate through an app. And the best part of it is, developers don’t have to put their money or mind where their mouth is because development of an IOT gadget is not unlike the usual app development process.

But then, what could plunge the IOT market into crises is the need for third-party services or special devices required specifically with IOT apps. This could lead to mobile app security breaches, in the health care IOT.

According to Gartner, 75% of mobile app security breaches happen because of misconfigurations. With regards to the healthcare market – which is considered to be the most potential IOT markets, with revenues expecting to touch $163 billion by 2020, chances of breaches are higher.

For instance, Johnson & Johnson discovered a loophole in their OneTouch Ping insulin. The Insulin Pump and meter-remote, besides checking the blood sugar,  calculates how much bolus insulin you body requires and then pumps to deliver the dose. Now given that the pump is not even in view, hackers could easily increase or decrease the amount of hormone injected into a patient’s body, killing thousands of patients.

So, while building a custom IoT solution, make sure that your vendor conducts multiple security tests, provides Proof of Concept, and also encrypt communications between the hardware and software levels.

#2. Messengers apps boarded with bots

People spend 85% of their mobile time in apps. And the fact is only 5 messengers apps were heavily used in 2016, of which these three were highly popular – WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. In light of this situation, brands have been developing bots for messenger apps in their effort to engage with customers on a new platform. Though quality brand apps may never die out, but then again, it will be messenger apps boarded up with bots, which will gain a lot of traction.

#3. AR and VR Gadgets Run on apps

According to Gartner, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) gadgets and apps will be more in demand compared to enterprise apps in 2017.

In fact, 2016 saw several brands unleashing their VR gadgets. In fact, Pokemon Go, an AR-driven mobile game, became a flag bearer of sorts for the AR industry when millions of gamers worldwide went berserk chasing Pokemon all around the globe. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of the game, several industries will be using it to add value to their business and will embed them particularly in their apps.

The VR-driven retail app will give buyers a complete walk-through of the store and at the same time will help buyers browse products through a VR-enabled transmission.

#4. Do-It-Yourself apps backed by citizen developers

The citizen developers, in other words, non-developers who wish develop their own apps, could make use of Microsoft’s PowerApps facility. PowerApps help you build custom apps effortlessly…thanks to some incredible features such as drag-and-drop functionality, ready-made project templates, prebuilt components and so on to boost low code DIY app development. The trend is picking up in a big way and, in all likelihood, would capture the fancy of the businesses, moving forward.

With mobile apps becoming an everyday affair, businesses both big and small who wish develop simple apps could leverage this technology.

Rounding Up

Sure, these app developments are going to catch fire in 2017. If you wish to have a slice of the app development pie, start developing apps in line with above-mentioned trends.

Over to you

I have come up with just a handful of app development trends. Sure, there are many that need a mention here. Go on. Add to the list via comments.