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Apple has approximately 900,000 applications available for download in its App Store, and about 800,000 apps exist for Android. There are apps out there for virtually all of your daily needs, but which ones do you use most?

Your business’ app likely isn’t at the top of the list. Enterprise apps rarely have the same intrigue as ones such as Instagram and Pinterest. They aren’t as appealing in look and feel, and they certainly aren’t a go-to source of entertainment like Angry Birds. However, the potential to turn an enterprise app from bland to influential is big.

With an innovative company app, you can make it easier to maintain existing customer relationships and sustain strong connections with clients. If you can make an application that people frequently use, you can stay at the forefront of their minds. Furthermore, you can expand upon your reputation as an innovative company looking to stay current with mobile trends. 

The End User
In many instances, business app developers spend little time focusing on the utility aspect of user experience. As a result, people don’t feel the need to access the app on a regular basis.

The key to making sure that your company app is always on the main screen of smartphone users is to think about its core value. When you’re in the process of developing the app, you should be trying to fulfill a need – a need that your customers may not even know they have just yet. They should be able to see the value of your app from the moment they use it for the first time. Afterward, it should be difficult for them to picture their lives without it.

The objective is to make your business app invaluable and irreplaceable.

Take the Santander mobile banking app, for example. With this application on iOS, iPhone users can check their account balances in real-time, transfer money and scroll through a list of withdrawals and deposits, all without having to visit a Santander branch. This is one of many financial institutions that offers an app for standard banking, and for some smartphone users, it’s hard to imagine a world without a mobile banking option.

Easy Gets Easier
When you think of the apps you use regularly, what traits do they have in common? Ease of use is likely a big one, and for good reason – people have smartphones to make their lives easier. An app that takes more than a few seconds to load simply isn’t reasonable to users in this day and age. Applications that crash are even less accepted by smartphone users who demand the utmost service directly from their mobile device.

Developers are expected to not only create effective apps, but ones that complete tasks at warp speed. This is where native apps have the opportunity to reign supreme.

Mobile apps – those that need to be opened in a browser – falter compared to native apps in terms of ease of use. They typically take more time to open the browser app and access the mobile page where features can be utilized. In terms of time saving, it’s no contest – native apps are by far quicker to access.

Encouraging App Usage
It’s one thing to get a smartphone user to download your app, and it’s another to encourage him or her to use it on a regular basis. Ease of use and utility can both help you get to this point, but there’s always more you can do to make your app as attractive as front-runners such as Pinterest and Facebook.

Take your target audience’s pain point into consideration. If you understand where they have needs, you can design an app to fulfill them. In turn, people are bound to utilize your app on a regular basis.

Additionally, you’ll want to value quality over quantity. Don’t concern yourself with overloading your app with features. Instagram is a prime example of how you can do more with less. The app allows users to post photos, “like” other users’ pictures and search for trends via hashtags.

Instagram has more than 200 million active monthly users, despite its small number of features. People keep coming back to it because it meets a specific desire – users want to share their personal lives with friends, family and other “Instagrammers.” Developers don’t need to pack it with features that don’t meet users' needs.

When you break it down, there’s an ample amount of work that goes into creating a company app that has extensive benefits. However, putting yourself in the average smartphone user’s shoes can give you an ideal place to start.

What are characteristics of your favorite app? Could your enterprise app make its way to the top of your smartphone’s home screen?