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UX-driven mobile app design helps businesses sack the competition

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The key to business success in the digital age is to glean meaningful data from users’ mobile devices and apps.

Learning how employees use their corporate resources helps organizations improve their business processes and strengthen their brands, said R. “Ray” Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research, here during this week’s Mobility Summit. To get the best insights into data, organizations must keep a few key things in mind when it comes to mobile app design.

The first, of course, is making the user experience (UX) the top priority. Businesses should develop apps using design thinking, a process that focuses on human needs and the intent behind an app rather than just the technical aspects. Organizations must invest in UX experts on their development and IT teams to help balance the left- and right-brain thinking behind digital experiences, Wang said.

“Innovation runs on design thinking — unlocking answers to questions you… might not have even thought about,” he said.

Another key to mobile app design is what Wang called “intention-driven design” — building apps that feel personalized to users and essentially anticipate their needs. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will boost such predictive analytics by using algorithms.

Contextual data also contributes to this kind of analytics. Organizations should take advantage of context, such as users’ location and the time of day, to provide a stronger mobile app UX. This approach also gives IT insight into user behavior and requirements.

The New England Patriots organization, for instance, uses Wi-Fi analytics provider Extreme Networks to gather data about what users are doing in the Patriots Gameday Live mobile app during NFL games at Gillette Stadium.

“It lets us know more about our guests so we can serve them better,” said Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group, which owns the Patriots. “Technology in sports venues is a critical part of the experience. If you can give people everything they have at home — and then some — in the palm of their hands, that’s a big win.”

To improve the mobile fan experience even more, the Patriots organization hopes to eventually take advantage of augmented reality technology to allow users to see the yellow first-down line featured on TV while at the game, potentially through the cameras of their phones, Kraft said. Anyone who’s attended a football game knows just how handy that would be.

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