Over the years StoryShare have deployed a number of mobile apps in the enterprise space. And you know what? It can be fraught with challenges! I thought I would highlight a few of the top challenges that can arise - in particular in pre-boarding scenarios (at StoryShare and many other companies this refers to the activities in the period between offer acceptance and first day) when deploying mobile applications.
1. Variety in the landscape
iOS vs Android. Old models vs the latest smartphones. What about the version number of the operating system?
The challenge here is that a method that works for one may not actually work for the other.
When deploying mobile apps, it certainly helps to know what your audience will be using. However, it is unlikely you will know this in a pre-boarding scenario (or sometimes even in your corporate environment). There are plenty of companies that do not provide corporate mobile devices - and even then you are unlikely to be given one any earlier than your first day.
With mobile technology being a fast-moving space, rule changes can be regular and the mix of options can quickly diverge. This can certainly be seen when you have a mix of personal and company devices.
Whether you have access to this information or not, it is best to have a deployment approach that can be applied to as broad a range of devices as possible. In other words, don’t get too focused on one particular user group. Think about the wider picture first, as it could be a very wide picture indeed!
2. Inconsistent options for your new users
How do I get the new app? Where can I get it from?
Minimising the number of questions can do wonders for engagement and adoption (this is true in all cases by the way, not just pre-boarding).
Examples of challenges with simply getting the app can be seen in lots of cases. From “the app is only available for Android” to “we host it on our internal iOS app store: you’ll need corporate credentials” - users may not only struggle to find where to get their new app, they may not even be able to access that location to start with.
You want to minimise the number of locations users have to choose from and maximise their access. Imagine if your users only had to answer the question: “are you using an Android or iOS device?” in order to know what to do. Now that’s a winning formula!
3. The pre-board/on-board transition
So your new starter has done great. They got hold of your app and have been busying away with the content you assigned them. But now they have been given their corporate credentials and told they need to use them for any future access to the app.
What happens to all of the progress done in the lead up? Achievements, activities and suchlike?
In many cases, new credentials means a new account. And new accounts mean new statistics and tracking. This can be demoralising for users if they are being asked to complete the same learning again during their onboarding that they achieved during their pre-boarding
Unifying accounts addresses this. Having a central source of reference for each user means that as they transition, whether it be to new credentials, new teams, new content; their record is always up to date. I’m sure those tracking and reporting progress will appreciate it too!
So what can you do to prepare for your next (or even your first!) pre-boarding experience?
If you have an answer to each of the challenges here, then you are off to a great start! It’s certainly where we start when looking at our next deployment…
What are some of the biggest challenges your company has faced when deploying mobile apps? Let me know below.