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Why mobile apps need to update rapidly and evolve to meet user needs

Rick_Barron ‎08-12-2014 03:56 PM - edited ‎09-09-2015 10:09 AM

The lifecycle of a mobile application doesn’t end once the app has been released. To keep enterprise-level apps relevant to consumers and employees developers must continually monitor performance data, gather user feedback and conduct competitive analysis. It is about so much more than mobile application development, you have to also focus on application performance monitoring. Maintaining this proactive position also helps keep your application up-to-date with the latest technologies.


With a circular lifecycle in mind, the incremental improvements must be centered on the user experience. A well tested app may make its debut to consumer acclaim, but can fall off if user’s needs change or if they find another app that better suits their preferences.



Customer satisfaction


Even though an enterprise-level app goes through extensive testing before it is initially launched, its true performance cannot be measured until it is released to the general public. This is why most mobile apps go through several minor up-gradations (i.e. version 1.0.3) to fix bugs before making larger, less periodic updates.  In a mass market, it is crucial to utilize users as the main app testers to indicate the level of satisfaction of an app. 


User feedback


  1. Users will often ask for a specific app feature in their feedback. Even if the result might not be very significant, adhering to the users’ request can make a big difference to their perception and as a result strengthen app loyalty.

  2. You observe that a feature is causing problems and is leading to a bad user experience. It is vital that you evaluate the consequences and consider removing the feature. 

  3. Certain app features may go unused by the majority of users. Remove those features to make the code lighter and the app smaller for mobile storage.

  4. Consider different aesthetic layouts for your app. Often times, visual appeal has a large influence on the users’ satisfaction.


Keeping up with the competition


You are in a constant battle with your competitors to increase and retain market share. To maintain your position or increase your holding, it is essential to provide a service or feature that is more user friendly than the competition, or a feature that your competitor does not offer. If the playing field is still level, even after weighing these options, consider providing the same level of service and functionality at a lower cost (or for free).


Visual distinction and UI between competing apps are also important elements that are often the deciding factor when users choose a preferred app. This is why constant adaptation and competitive monitoring in the mobile market is vital.


New hardware and software


Utilizing new hardware is another factor that garners attention when updating mobile apps. New mobile devices are always being introduced. This means your application needs to be able to adapt to different:

  •          Screen sizes
  •          Processing speeds
  •          Functionalities
  •          User Interfaces.

If, for example, an app is introduced to the market just before a new iOS or popular android device is released, it is crucial that the app is quickly updated to maximize its efficiency across the new operating system or device specifications. 



Here are a few other blogs to consider reading to learn more about the mobile lifecycle.


  1.      Responsive design and 4 steps to consider
  2.      Is your mobile app user friendly?
  3.      20 examples of minimal mobile UI design

If you want to learn more about mobile application development, visit the HP Anywhere homepage here.

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About the Author


Rick Barron is a Program Manager for various aspects of the PM team and HPSW UX/UI team; and working on UX projects associated with He has worked in high tech for 20+ years working in roles involving web design, usability studies, and mobile marketing. Rick has held roles at Motorola Mobility, Symantec and Sun Microsystems.

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