How app design can change the trajectory of your business

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Millions of apps exist. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, humanity collectively installed 37 billion apps, spending a staggering $33 billion.

Suffice to say, consumers have gone the way of the app — and businesses are following suit. In fact, most companies have an app. They are used for a variety of purposes, from sales to customer service to internal communications and more.

While companies are not shying away from investing in apps, few leaders are considering how important these apps are, and specifically their design and function, can be for the future of their companies. Here are some ways that app design can not only impact but change the entire journey of a business.

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App design leads to product-driven growth

Everyone wants their business to grow. Apps provide a central hub where that growth can be generated and trickled down into a brand.

The popular online workplace app limp is a good example of this. In a super-crowded space, they were able to stand out from the crowd through the design of their product. Slack immediately looked and felt different from the typical business chat tools available.

The product team that helped launch Slack Meta Lab, says their goal was to get people talking about Slack with their friends at the bar and to change the way people viewed enterprise software. That virality paid off, as it allowed Slack to experience massive post-launch growth with little to no marketing spend. These days, you can walk into just about any office or coffee shop and see that purple glow or hear the sound of Slack’s ding when messages come through.

Thinking about app design as early as possible creates a focal point where you can codify your brand’s creative expression and use it to influence further areas of growth.

App design provides instant (and ongoing) accessibility

Ten years ago, the ability to build a website gave even the smallest brands instant access to a huge online audience. As with any other business area, those with the best sites often received the most attention, traffic, and success.

In 2023, websites will have a backseat to mobile apps. A company with an app with a superior design can attract new customers. This puts them in the pocket of the company’s target audience and ensures instant customer accessibility in the process.

In addition, apps allow businesses to maintain accessibility over time. For example, even larger retail chains have relied on their apps to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mainly brick-and-mortar operations like Target and Walmart cultivated apps that could maintain the customer experience while observing social distancing. Many of these continue to power both online and in-store experiences, integrate shopping history, provide digital wallets with coupons and payment methods, and so on.

An attractive, well-designed app gives you continuous access to an audience that other communication options can’t.

App design unleashes creativity (both good and bad).

The ability to connect directly with consumers through a device they use hundreds of times a day opens the door to endless innovation. Often this leads to positive changes, from contactless payments to scheduled collections and easy returns policies.

However, it’s worth noting that creative app design can also have a negative impact on a company’s trajectory. An example is Wegmans. The Northeast supermarket chain has created a self-checkout app to help with contactless shopping during the pandemic. That was the case in mid-2022 stopped this initiativeciting too many losses due to the new design.

This serves as a warning. But it does not undermine the positive creative force good app designs generally offer. In most cases, the creativity ends well – and may even redefine a company’s trajectory in the process.

From driving homogeneous growth to providing continuous customer accessibility to promoting creative solutions, app design can have a transformative impact on the way a business operates. The first step in this transformation, however, is leaders’ willingness to recognize the latent power of their apps if they simply take their design seriously.