A round-up of the stand-out consumer and business apps on the market
The mobile app marketplace is more competitive than ever with apps available for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve. With so many mobile apps being released in such a short period of time, designers are aware that they need to create apps that really stand out from the crowd.
Good UX is what separates successful apps from unsuccessful ones, and for apps to deliver a better user experience, testing your mobile app in real world environments is key. Testing enables you to measure, manage and improve your app’s performance during the first phases of deployment.
Here at Userzoom, we like to keep a close eye on the mobile app market for examples of great user experience. Here are some of consumer and enterprise apps that are top of our list right now.
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- Telegram Messenger
- Google Photos
Telegram, a free cross-platform messaging app that many people see as the new Whatsapp, has just announced that it has over 100 million monthly active users worldwide, and that it is currently adding 350,000 new users a day.
Telegram has built a solid reputation in the competitive chat app realm. This is in part due to the company’s focus on encryption — Telegram’s servers are protected by the MTProto protocol, while the app also offers a secret chat feature that makes it easy to delete messages or schedule a time for them to self-destruct.
Google’s always had a Photos app, but the overhaul it launched in 2015 means it deserves to be on this list. The new Google Photos intelligently organises your entire photo collection and is super simple to use. It has seamless backups, automatic organisation and plenty of tools to make special projects.
For a free program with free storage, Google Photos is a great way to find and organise your photos.
The official AirBNB app wraps up all the major features of the short-term rental service into an attractive, Material Design-influenced package. For guests, the app offers a quick and easy way to search specific cities or areas for accommodation, with filters to narrow down the selection. And there’s also quick access to starred listings, messages and upcoming trips. If you’re a host, the app also lets you manage your own listings and respond to messages from guests.
2015 was a big year for Periscope. The app launched in March, and with the support of Twitter, quickly became the leading livestreaming app. The platform combines the personal connection and instancy of its mother brand with the irresistibility of video, and the app has been adopted widely by individual users and media outlets to offer instantaneous coverage from a smartphone to the rest of the world.
Periscope revealed in August that it has crossed the 10-million-user threshold in just four and a half months since launching the app, a considerable achievement for a social-media idea—mobile livestreaming—that was barely a concept until recently.
Learning a new language is a dream of many people and Duolingo makes the process a lot less daunting by teaching you through a series of games-style lessons. Each lesson is designed around reading, writing, listening or speaking and are all short enough that they don’t take up a big chunk of your time. Using Duolingo, you could learn French or Italian on your commute to work in just a few weeks!
- Skype for Business
Trello is an online, collaborative workspace you can use to manage projects of all kinds, whether they’re business-related or personal. It works simply, with drag-and-drop capabilities and an intuitive interface.
Trello uses a kanban-style work methodology, which is highly visual. It’s perfect for solo organisation or if you need to collaborate with a team. Each task is sorted into a column and gets its own card, to which you can add a progress meter, due date and comments.
Simply put, Wunderlist is a to-do list, but a highly effective one. You can create an endless number of task lists and share them with whomever you want. Lists sync automatically so that others can see which items have been completed. Wunderlist has even launched a higher-powered business app that lets you delegate tasks to team members, break them down into subtasks, add notes, set deadlines, and program reminders.
This is a great app for business travel. Expensify helps you easily log expenses, capture receipt images, and manage reports. It has a wide range of features, particularly when your company signs on for a corporate account, including allowing you to compile a report and email the PDF to your boss. You can also upload business cards and track purchases.
Last year, Skype re-designed its app with is used by millions of people across the world. User experience was front of mind for the launch and the result was a more natural and intuitive app which also had a range of new capabilities.
Furthermore, we’ve heard in recent days that Skype is about to launch a group video calling feature on the smartphone app. It will start rolling out in the Skype iOS and Android apps and is going to be available to Skype users in North American and western Europe initially.
Evernote is the place to store and make sense of all the notes that would otherwise clutter your desk on post-its or on the back of envelopes. It can even scan images for words, so you can upload a picture of a whiteboard full of handwritten notes and find it later using text search.
Mobile apps are big business. Gartner has predicted that by 2017 mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion.
With more businesses realising the advantages of a dedicated app, increasingly designers are switching over to a mobile-first approach because the usability of mobile apps lags well behind the usability of desktop websites. More work needs to be done in the testing phase to ensure that apps such as the successful ones outlined above are more commonly found in an increasingly competitive market.
For more info on Mobile UX Research, check out our infographic.