How to Build an Addictive App

Your customers are addicted to apps in their personal lives. They have embraced the 'there's an app for that' approach to getting things done. Now they want the same in their business lives. That's great news. It means there is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to build a new generation of enterprise apps. Read more to discover the key elements of building addictive apps.

On Saturday morning I woke up, and, as usual, the first thing I did was check my Facebook mobile app.  A friend of mine posted that he was going to the Oakland A’s baseball game later that day.  Another friend said he was going to see Band of Horses at the Fox Theater that night.

Could my wife and I spontaneously join these fun activities?  Would the weather hold up for us?  Who would take care of our son that evening?

Five apps later, I had determined the weather report down to specific neighborhoods (SF Climates), secured our favorite babysitter (UrbanSitter), purchased baseball game tickets (MLB), made dinner reservations (OpenTable) and found concert tickets (StubHub).  All before my coffee was ready, and without typing one stroke on a keyboard.

This app revolution is happening everywhere and every day in our personal lives.

But we want this convenience in our business lives also.  That’s great news, because it means there is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to build a new generation of addictive enterprise apps.

So how do you build addictive apps for business users?

An excellent starting point is to think about collaboration.  Ask yourself:  Does your app bring people together in new ways?

Here’s a quick checklist of key criteria for a collaborative app. 

Is your app . . .

Meaningful?  An addictive app inspires deep interactions across the enterprise.  It should yield business value, and not be frivolous or trivial.

Frictionless?  Addictive apps are natural and easy to use.

Universal?  An app should provide many ways to collaborate.  Users should be able to notify, ask, post, listen, approve, reject, curate, recommend, like, follow . . . You get the picture.

Multiple type?  Great apps build interactive connections between people, products, processes, documents, places, applications, data, equipment and more.

Cross-constituency?  Finally, the most addictive apps are inclusive of everyone across the enterprise – employees, customers, partners, vendors and prospects.

An excellent example of a collaborative business app is Salesforce Do – a social productivity app that allows teams to share tasks, projects and notes in a fun, familiar way.

However, collaboration is only one of six elements that we have identified as key for building addictive apps.

Discover the complete list in our new eBook, ‘The Six Key Elements of Addictive Apps’.

This eBook supports salesforce.com’s vision, which has always been to make business software easy to use.  We want partners who share our vision, and we can help them build new enterprise apps that exceed customer expectations.

So let me know what you think about our eBook.  And here’s to your apps making business life ‘easy like Saturday morning’.

Published
April 17, 2013

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How to Build an Addictive App