What to Consider Before Growing a Business Internationally

A non-stoppable app with high conversion rates is the envy of most companies. With mobile tech paving the way for how business gets done, designing apps consumers enjoy is a must. Yet the majority of users can agree on one thing. Not all product designs behind mobile applications make sense. It’s why some software fails to launch in every sense of the word.

The design of your app’s user interface could make or break your business. A great UI could draw users in and lead to higher revenues. But adoption and conversion rates will plummet if an app doesn’t serve your customer base well — and sales numbers could soon follow. You can stop the latter problems from spinning out of control with a few proven product design strategies. Here are four approaches that can revolutionize your business.

1. Top to Bottom

Consider your company’s website. It has more than one page, but all those pages must work together for visitors to get a seamless experience. People will become disoriented and irritated if the look and feel aren’t in sync. A lack of coordination between portions of a website can happen when the design process isn’t holistic.

The same is true when you’re designing a mobile app. Separate sections will have competing priorities and visions if they’re conceived without an overarching theme and purpose. This often happens when designers try to do too much in an attempt to please a poorly defined audience.

With end-to-end product design, the piecemeal approach gets set aside. Instead, you’re designing with the idea of taking your mobile app from concept to launch. Your team is engaged in a collective, well-coordinated effort with a clearly defined audience, purpose, and desired outcome. The result is a less confusing, more engaging user experience.

2. Agile

Companies operate in an increasingly volatile environment, with buyer behaviors sometimes changing in ways that defy predictions. For example, rapid rises in gas prices caused 64% of Americans to modify their driving habits. Because of the pandemic, consumers expect a wider range of dining options and conveniences. And nearly 33% of shoppers are going into stores less.

The ability to adjust to market shifts midstream is becoming an essential survival tactic for businesses. Its importance will only increase as economic factors like high inflation and — for the moment — low unemployment make human behaviors unpredictable. The agile approach to product design helps companies adjust to the realities of real-time feedback.

Since teams work in increments, they can modify design aspects along the way. Maybe the initial idea for an app is to beef up security with multifactor authentication. At the start, test groups said an SMS code would be more than enough to make them feel secure. But three months later, prototype tests indicate the app needs to include options like fingerprints and touch passcodes. With the agile method, the designers don’t have to either stick to the script or shelve the project.

In a similar regard, the Uber design system came about in an effort to consolidate the dozens of apps the company’s employees used on a daily basis. Innovation and agility shouldn’t just be consumer-focused, but internal as well. 

3. Platform-Oriented

A platform-driven design strategy tries to strike a balance between market and business needs. This approach considers who will use your mobile app and how your company may want to scale it. You may not need to design for multiple platforms if you have a niche market with narrower tech preferences. Your audience might consist of diehard fans of a single operating system. Focusing on one platform-centric strategy is better from a cost and market perspective.

On the other hand, say your business model requires reaching the maximum number of possible users. Your market may lean more toward one mobile operating system, but you have a growing mix of users. Under this scenario, your app design strategy should take both ends of the spectrum into account. You’ll want to invest in compatible designs for several segmented audiences.

While a multi-tiered method doesn’t necessarily have to cost more or be inflexible, some companies implement it slowly. Design teams go full speed ahead with the platform most of their customers are already using. Meanwhile, the business tests the waters with apps for less popular operating systems. This way, they’re ready to ramp up as their market grows.

4. Innovation-Centric

Consumers adopt innovative technologies at different stages. About 2.5% jump on the bandwagon as soon as new tech comes out. Another 13.5% are what marketers call early adopters. They’re not as quick to jump but are less hesitant than the rest. About 68% of people make up the combined early and late majorities. At the end of the curve are the 16% of laggards who are the last to adopt.

Innovation-centric product designs leverage emerging mobile technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Businesses typically use innovation as the center of design strategies when their target markets consist of early adopters. However, companies can do this with the broader future in mind. If it’s almost certain 5G cellular networks will overtake 4G, ignoring the requirements of 5G will hurt an app’s longevity.

Likewise, a consumer base with growing predilections for augmented reality will wonder why an app doesn’t meet those expectations. They may express their grievances on surveys and social media. Users may also simply abandon a mobile app if it falls behind the times. An innovation-centric strategy can be risky because there’s always the chance a trend won’t take off. But as with riskier financial investments, there could be greater long-term rewards.

Better Apps by Design

Apps aren’t going away anytime soon. If anything, mobile tech is a critical part of a company’s marketing and customer service activities. An app’s design helps determine whether those efforts are successful. Good outcomes start with product design strategies appropriate for a business’s consumer base, resources, and goals. By selecting a suitable strategy, leaders can positively influence the course of their company’s future.

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