FOUR CRITICAL FACTORS THAT MAKE USABILITY ESSENTIAL TO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Almost 90% of users stop using an app if it does not perform well1, and 79% will seek an alternative solution from a competitor2. A lack of usability will kill your app. The biggest mistake developers make today is to assume that solving a problem is enough. It isn’t.

If a customer does not have a fantastic experience, they will quickly find an alternative.

Improving the usability, presentation, and interactivity of your product is essential for enhancing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. This is called User Interface/User Experience (or UI/UX). When development teams don’t spend time on UI/UX, they reduce the value and potential of customer acceptance.

 

There are four critical factors that are essential to software usability.

1: By 2020, Usability Will Be the Key Brand Differentiator

By 2020, usability will be the most common way users differentiate between brands, according to research performed by Walker3. If your application has poor or mediocre usability, your customers will quickly abandon it, choosing an easier solution provided by your competitors instead. Put simply: Usability will give you a bigger competitive advantage than price.

For example, QuickBooks has 95% market share of all accounting software in the US; 29 million small business customers. People choose QuickBooks because it is easy to use; an accountant or bookkeeper can get started within hours.

 

2: Software Developers Typically Don’t Focus on Usability

For most developers, usability is a distraction: their top priority is functionality. The drive to get things working is hard-coded in their DNA; forcing them to work on usability is outside of their skillset and interest. Instead, software teams should supplement their left-brained developers with rightbrained designers.

3: If Innovation Were Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It

Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”4 Many software teams rely on their customers to tell them what they want – but in most situations your customers can’t help you. We’ve all seen an innovative product or service that seems obvious once we see it – but until then the idea hadn’t entered our minds. If it had, somebody would have already done it.

To create a great user experience, you must take a step back from the details and think outside the box; most people can’t see the forest from the trees. You must also understand the modern design tools and techniques and how to use them.

 

4: Customer Expectations Are Increasing

65% of people surveyed say their expectations regarding apps are increasing over time.5 If your app is not instantly intuitive, customers won’t bother, and expectations are getting higher. Between them, Google Play Store and the Apple App Store offer more than 3 million apps.6 But, the average customer uses just 11 apps, according to research by Google.7 We all download far more than 11 apps, but only the best get used regularly.

Wayne Lopez-Vice President Of Technology And Product – Insperity

You guys are very innovative and came up with ideas to make the user interface and experience surprisingly better than we would've thought of on our own. You added a lot of value to our product.

Wayne Lopez, Vice President of Technology and Product
Jim Johnson ActionMap Testimonial

What I was surprised and frankly thrilled to see is the new interface is more engaging and energizing than I could have imagined.  The new interface gives me much more confidence in taking the application to market. I believe it will have a major positive impact on customer uptake and retention.  To say that the ROI on this engagement is a no-brainer doesn't put it strongly enough.

Jim Johnson, CEO
Wayne JIm Johnson
1. App Dynamics and University of London – App Attention-Span Study – www.appdynamics.com/press-release/appdynamics-releases-app-attention-
span-study-which-shows-nearly-90-percent-surveyed-stopped-using-an-app-due-to-poor-performance/
2. Verma, Vikram. Adobe – Lavacon 2014 – The State of Mobile Publishing –
www.slideshare.net/vickymatch/lavacon-2014-the-state-of-mobile-publishing-lavacon-keynote-vikram
3. Walker – Customers 2020: The Future of B-To-B Customer Experience – www.walkerinfo.com/Customers2020/
4. BusinessWeek 25th May 2008
5. App Dynamics and University of London – App Attention-Span Study – www.appdynamics.com/press-release/appdynamics-releases-app-attention-span-
study-which-shows-nearly-90-percent-surveyed-stopped-using-an-app-due-to-poor-performance/
6. Statista – Number of apps available in leading stores 2015 – www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/
7. Think with Google – Our Mobile Planet: US Infographic – www.thinkwithgoogle.com/infographics/our-mobile-planet-us-infographic.html