The Performance Beacon

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Essential features to include in mobile applications

In today's increasingly mobile world, users are leveraging their handheld devices for more purposes every day. From online shopping and entertainment to banking and business purposes, it seems devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops are invaluable assets for nearly any pursuit. However, during the mobile app development process, creators must ensure that the program includes the features users are looking for.

When a mobile app is difficult to navigate or simply doesn't perform as the individual expects, he or she will likely dump the program in favor of something with greater functionality. This can cause lost revenue, not to mention missed consumer connections for the group operating or sponsoring the app. For this reason, it is important to understand what users want in their mobile applications, including the most requested features.

Push notifications
Selective Apps noted that a main function users seek in their mobile programs are push notifications. Instead of having to launch the program to get new information, an alert from the app will appear, making the individual aware of new product offerings, recently established projects or grand openings, or a range of other related news. The source pointed out that these messages serve to keep the customer informed, as well as boost engagement and impulse buys, thereby improving the overall brand experience.

Social media integration
This particular feature is two-fold, as it can extend to include not only the ability to post and share information via the user's social media profile, but can also mean the utilization of Facebook, Twitter or other networking account credentials to login to the program. Instead of having to create a completely new username and password, the individual can instead log in via his or her social media page. Lauren Perkins of Perks Consulting told The Next Web that this type of authentication feature can also prevent users from straying away from using the app if they forget their credentials. The app can automatically prompt them to login using social media.

Furthermore, providing avenues through which consumers can connect their app experience to their social networking profile boost brand loyalty and increase the client base for the organization. Friends of users will see their posts related to the company's mobile app, and can also connect with the program.

"Most social media users will share anything they feel close to or passionate about, so use social sharing to drive user engagement and word-of-mouth endorsements to their friends – all for free," Selective Apps stated.

Coupons or special offers
Another frequently requested feature for mobile apps is the ability to unlock coupons or special discounts offered by the organization. SeeMore Interactive pointed out that some programs can be integrated with GPS capabilities, allowing the app to provide offers depending upon the user's location. This functionality will not only encourage individuals to utilize the app, but will reward them for doing so.

Features that function as expected
No matter the features or capabilities of the application, they must work correctly to ensure that individuals will download the program and utilize it as it is intended. During the app development process and before the release of the program, creators should leverage performance testing to guarantee that features operate as they should. Organizations that do not take mobile testing into account risk releasing a program that contains mistakes or glitches that could adversely affect its use. Furthermore, if the app does not function as promised, individuals will likely stop using the program in favor of something else. This can cause lost revenue, not to mention wasted resources consumed during the development of a failed app. Overall, performance measurement is an essential step of development ensure the success of the mobile app.

SOASTA Marketing

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SOASTA Marketing

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