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Trends on Tuesday: Avoid the “App Graveyard”

Apps that are downloaded, used a few times and then never used again, are considered part of the “app graveyard.” In fact, 95% of apps are discarded within a month of download by users, according to Smashing Magazine. By focusing on creating a great user experience, you can make sure your agency apps are used consistently and don’t end up in the app graveyard.

Smashing Magazine lists some “Lessons Learned From the App Graveyard” that government agencies should heed.

  • Validate the Need for the App: Before creating an app, think about your business goals and determine whether a native app is really necessary for the content/functionality you are hoping to provide to your users.
  • Make Sure the App Works as Expected: When apps fail to accomplish their main task, users will stop using them. To avoid this, be sure to test your app on actual mobile devices when releasing a new version or after an OS release.
  • Don’t Drain the User’s Device: Apps should sparingly and effectively use a device’s resources. These resources include memory space, bandwidth and battery power.
  • Follow Design Standards and Guidelines: Developers should ALWAYS refer to industry standards provided for all platforms (iOS, Android, or Windows), and the MobileGov Community of Practice created Mobile User Experience Guidelines and Recommendations to help agencies create amazing and engaging mobile user experiences.

However, mobile development is ever changing and it is time we revisited these guidelines and recommendations. At our Mobile Gov Workshop: Help Expand the Mobile User Experience Guidelines on Monday, August 4th, the MobileGov Community of Practice and the Federal User Experience Community want your thoughts on how we move those guidelines forward. Sign up and help us ensure that federal mobile products don’t end up in an app graveyard!

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