Music is a big part of my life. I own too many guitars for my own good, and love discovering new music. One of my favorite apps for discovery is Shazam. With so much focus on how to build amazing mobile apps it’s really hard to go past Shazam. As we see the demand for enterprise mobile apps to continue to accelerate, I can’t help but ask where’s the Shazam for enterprise mobile apps?
Shazam nails a few design principles that enterprise mobile app developers can learn from; And misses a few others that are critical to employee adoption and user experience:
Shazam creates a fantastic first-click experience to capitalize on that short window of opportunity where you hear a song and want to know who it is. Shazam lets you capture the micro-moment. Enterprise mobile apps must do the same: approve a report in the elevator, record a video of an accident to apply to an insurance claim, and so on.
2.Use cloud services
I don’t know how Shazam works behind-the-scenes, but I suspect it uses a combination of proprietary algorithm to listen to a song and matches this against a third party cloud service that contains a catalog of millions of songs. The great thing is that I don’t need to know – it just works! Enterprise mobile apps must the same for existing enterprise systems: connect to finance for expense policies, aggregate other cloud providers for payroll, etc.
Once Shazam identifies a song and returns the result, the user is presented with additional services to enrich their experience: I can play the song on Spotify, read the artists bio, watch a video of the song, or even see where the artist is next performing. Enterprise mobile apps must do the same: An insurance agent should be able to jump from taking a photo of a claim directly to policy information, vehicle history, weather reports at the time of the accident and more.
4. Enterprise UX
Not surprisingly, Shazam doesn’t do very well with what I call Enterprise User Experience (UX). Enterprise UX is how well information from an app flows between other systems within the enterprise, and improves other employees, and processes, efficiency. For example, a mobile expense reporting app that lets you take a photo of a receipt, automatically associates a city with the expense (via geo-location), and submits this to an expense management system that uses this information to automatically determine whether an expense confirms to policy for a particular region, has a great enterprise UX. Shazam let’s you tag songs, but I can’t export these songs to load into another system or app. Perhaps I could export them all to Spotify and make a playlist? Enterprise UX is much more important in business mobile apps than consumer apps due to the downstream dependencies on data and information coming from mobile apps. Every enterprise mobile app should consider enterprise UX as a core requirement.
Next time you are in a coffee shop and hear a catchy tune, try the Shazam app, and ask yourself where’s my Shazam for the Enterprise?