Make Me Want Your App: Designing Mobile Applications for (Reluctant) Business Users


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Thinking about designing and building business-centric mobile applications for a particular class of user? In this session, Jonathan Ozeran will highlight key design and technical considerations that should factor into your mobile product development efforts. He’ll also share a number of tips and tricks based on his experiences designing and shipping mobile applications across a number of industries including manufacturing, energy / utility services, construction, media, professional sports and more.

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Make Me Want Your App: Designing Mobile Applications for (Reluctant) Business Users

  1. 1. Make Me Want Your App! Designing Mobile Applications for (Reluctant) Business Users Jonathan Ozeran @jozeranSaturday, April 7, 12 1
  2. 2. Agenda Design Principles Design Tools Design in the Enterprise Attracting Cheerleaders Transform with Design Final ThoughtsSaturday, April 7, 12 2
  3. 3. “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” - Steve Jobs (Wired, February 1996)Saturday, April 7, 12 3
  4. 4. Design Principles “Question everything generally thought to be obvious.” - Dieter Rams Source: Wikipedia Source: Wells Riley (, April 7, 12 4
  5. 5. Design Tools UI / UX is a much larger topic... Dribbble But help and inspiration is out there: Brainstorming & Layout: Sketching, drawing, diagramming, wire-framing, etc Interactivity: Keynote, iOS Storyboards, InVision Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Balsamiq, OmniGraffle Inspiration: Dribbble, Behance, iOSpirations Iconography / Stencils: Keynotopia, Glyphish Source: Source: Source: Source:, April 7, 12 5
  6. 6. Design Tools (Cont’d) So you’ve designed the ‘baddest app in the enterprise’ and added a “realistic, physical dimension to your application’ per the HIG*? Source: Warning: don’t let design overpower usability! Because if it does... The organization may lose faith in mobile apps Design takes a back seat in future apps / iterations Web / desktop / “mainframe” apps are simply ported Native gives way to hybrid (or cross-platform tools), requiring more concessions & sacrifices * Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines:, April 7, 12 6
  7. 7. Design in the Enterprise It’s a battle. Actually, it’s a war zone. The average approach to apps is not pretty. In fact, it’s ugly. Taking existing desktop apps and ‘applying lipstick’ is the status quo, still. Today. And with your help, this can change! Source: Source:, April 7, 12 7
  8. 8. Design in the Enterprise (Cont’d) Just a few contexts to imagine: Inspections Career Fairs Construction Environmental Surveillance Health & Safety Warehouse Source: Source: Industrial Commerce Banking Airlines Robotics Tourism Source: Source: AgricultureSaturday, April 7, 12 8
  9. 9. Design in the Enterprise (Cont’d) In the enterprise, mobility can be found in many more conversations. But each approach is unique, frequently inconsistent and includes: Fear Excitement Intimidation Questions Hesitations Concern Source: Second-Guessing And that’s just in terms of leadership!Saturday, April 7, 12 9
  10. 10. Design in the Enterprise (Cont’d) What about the recipients of these new mobile technologies, processes and approaches? Not everyone shares your enthusiasm. “I’m going to continue doing my job how I’ve been doing it” “Why do I need a mobile app?” “I’ll be taking time away from family just to do things how you want them Source: done” “It’s going to slow me down” “I don’t want to have to learn something new”Saturday, April 7, 12 10
  11. 11. Design in the Enterprise (Cont’d) And here’s where you come in... It’s your responsibility to: Learn and connect with your users Understand the mindset of your users Design for repeat & long-term use Simplify and improve lives Identify ways to iterate designs Communicate and share as often as possible Analyze, refine, simplify Source:, April 7, 12 11
  12. 12. Design in the Enterprise (Cont’d) What else? Assumptions Other Considerations The mobile platform(s) selected makes Ease of use especially for repetitive tasks sense for your users (e.g. button placement) You have confidence in your design and Account for context can build a great app (e.g. indoor / outdoor use) There are a number of trusted pilot Apply a good amount of visual feedback users for your app and many more beyond initial release Gracefully handle errors and network connectivity issues The app accomplishes primary objectives Cater to user’s fingers for tap areas Seamless orientation switching (iPad)Saturday, April 7, 12 12
  13. 13. Attracting Cheerleaders Source: Source: Source:, April 7, 12 13
  14. 14. Attracting Cheerleaders (Cont’d) Imagery + Emotion + Context + Motivation Source: Arm yourself with great case studies, stories and genuine user excitement Excite & Motivate Offer Rewards Communicate Frequently Source: Source: Source:, April 7, 12 14
  15. 15. Attracting Cheerleaders (Cont’d) But whatever you do, make sure you avoid the “Angry Birds” problem. Source: Source:, April 7, 12 15
  16. 16. Transform with Design Aim for transformative apps: Empower the workforce Entice users to say: “I won’t miss the old way” Consider a suite of enterprise apps vs. a single app Find ways to give users time back in their day Surprise with hidden utility Keep focused; strive for shortest finger path Attempt to apply the ‘single tap metaphor’ whenever possible Source:, April 7, 12 16
  17. 17. Transform with Design Psychology Be Responsive & Proactive Understand your users Review their ideas, concerns, through persona mappings enhancements, bugs, love letters Allow for discovery of tricks Encourage sketching sessions and nuances they can share to map out new ideas Develop user journey maps Keep watch to ensure users (physical, emotional) don’t fall back into old habits Involve them in the process Find other ways to ease their where helpful pain outside of mobile apps (e.g. Twilio) Sources: Source:, April 7, 12 17
  18. 18. Final Thoughts Security. Safety. Privacy. Don’t take them for granted. If you fail here, your best designs are wasted and irrelevant. Source:, April 7, 12 18
  19. 19. Designing Mobile Applications for (Reluctant) Business Users Jonathan Ozeran @jozeran jonathan@recsolu.comSaturday, April 7, 12 19