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Strategic Consultant with HYPE Innovation, helping enterprises get more value from their innovation programs. Firm believer in the concept of jobs-to-be-done, which stresses the importance of understanding customers' wants and needs. Also sports a 2:57 marathon PR. Dad to two awesome kids.

2 responses to “Four reasons enterprise software should skip native mobile apps”

  1. Aad 't Hart

    I agree that there are many disadvantages for building a native mobile enterprise app, but your first argument is absolutely not true. The reason why Enterprise apps display stuff is not to because it’s the best way it’s done, it’s because enterprise software is dominated by engineers that think that a relational database is best represented in lists and grids. The lack of user focus and user centric design has resulted in this mis perception of efficiency.

    The objectives of most people working with enterprise software is NOT processing lists with things to do, you should leave that to robots. The objective could for instance be ‘reducing the days outstanding’ for unpaid bills. So get to the user and determine what they need (not what they want) and design for that. It’s too early to say that a camera or accelerometer couldn’t be part of that. Or imagine a sales representative, consultant or service engineer on the road. They could absolutely benefit from GPS and camera integration.

    The days that engineers decide that lists and grids are the best way are over, it’s now time for real user research and real interaction design to make a user fit.

  2. Hutch Carpenter

    Thanks for the perspective. I’ll disagree that lists, etc. aren’t effective, efficient and one if the better ways to present needed data. Absolutely nothing wrong with that style to get things done and present information.

    But I’ll also note that those aren’t the *only* ways to present information. I know Workday has some sort of “wheel” presentation style for accessing different pages. There are myriad ways to present information. Let a thousands UX’s bloom!

    But here’s the thing – most of those styles likely can be rendered in HTML. Indeed, for the main center of interaction – the PC browser – that’s how they will be presented.

    So if you’re used to a presentation style to get things done via your PC browser, what happens when you’re presented with an utterly different experience on a native app? Instead of clicking a button to access that page, you’re supposed to…shake it? Try to hit it by flinging a projectile?

    If someone really has a new way to improve the experience of using their enterprise software by going native, than by all means, do it! I’m just not convinced there are compelling reasons to do so for most user experiences.

    I’m open to good alternatives for using the OS/hardware capabilities in native apps. If you had an app that was photo-dependent, then it’s a no-brainer to go native. But most enterprise software doesn’t need that full set of capabilities.

    Hutch