There is no denying that mobile applications are a big industry. With the new era of digital technology, everyone in the world is well aware of what mobile apps are. Furthermore, apps become a fundamental part of experiencing a tablet or smartphones, they are now part of our daily routines at home and even at work. Nowadays, people are so obsessed with apps that they would give up some of their freedom to be able to solve work-related tasks regardless of where they are. They allow us to complete tasks in a more efficient and engaging way. However, not all apps are the same and they can be divided into different categories such as consumer apps and enterprise apps.
These two types of apps can be matched with a certain operating system like iOS or Android, but they play different roles depending on the requirements of clients and purposes.
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Consumer vs Enterprise Apps: The differences
Consumer apps are accessed by consumers. These apps are available in the app stores. For example, iOS and Android mobile applications that are listed under numerous categories, like entertainment, healthcare, games, finance, music, travel and news, among others that serve the consumers for their day to day tasks.
Enterprise apps are custom made for each organization and help them to achieve their objectives in a more efficient manner. These apps optimize management processes and have a very positive effect on business conduct. Thus, enterprise apps are much more expensive than consumer apps, because they bring much more benefit in terms of work despite the target audience is smaller.
Enterprise apps are designed to achieve business goals rather than to meet the needs or preferences of individual users. Enterprise apps have two major types which are “open” and “closed”.
Open apps are for internal interactions and close apps are developed for supporting the company’s processes. The uses of “open” apps are time reporting, billing, and payment processing applications. These apps have a generic function to be used internally, their sales target multiple individual businesses across many sectors.
Meanwhile, a “closed” apps have a more specific purpose which is made with a certain organization’s function in mind and is often too specific for another company to use. Also, the app’s users restricted to the specific company, hence “closed” apps must be tailored to a specific business use case. Generally, “closed” apps are more expensive than consumer apps because they are more complex. In addition, these apps are developed on a custom basis and their development needs more investment in time and resources than do consumer apps.
Enterprise apps are developed to increase productivity, streamline processes and create efficiencies. They can give more flexibility and mobility so that an employee need not be confined to a certain space while working. Additionally, enterprise apps create revenue in an indirect way due to the fact that the efficiencies these applications provide often add up to substantial savings in time and operating costs over time. The billing model for enterprise apps can be a one-time fee for a lifetime license or a subscription-based service. However, some industries think that developing a visually appealing app is not necessary because enterprise apps are tools to complete a task and see UX as an unnecessary distraction. An example can be an animation. It may improve the design and attract users but slow the user from completing tasks.
Consumer apps involve social media, gaming, sports, and music apps, and are frequently downloaded in app stores under various categories such as entertainment, health, finance, travel, music, etc. Consumer apps often designed to improve a part of our daily lives and they try to attract and retain users through an emotional attachment element in the design. The revenue they earn through in-app purchases, subscriptions, and ads. Moreover, consumer apps may also provide the experience of instant gratification from product purchase ‘buyer’s high’ or the satisfaction from achieving a high score on a game. For instance, a game app might ask the user if they would like to continue playing when they lose a stage or to pay an additional fee to boost their score.
Also, these apps compete to find ways to make their apps better than the competition in the app store. A user can often choose from multiple apps that do similar tasks. Hence, many of these apps are used across the world which creates challenges in designing the app for international audiences; supporting different languages, cultures, and preferences. Designing UI for different languages may have to account for major variations in the character count of a word in one language as opposed to another. Specifically, the English word “nursery” translates to “kindergarten” in German. Multiplied by hundreds of words of varying lengths, differences such as these needs present the visual challenge of allowing the text in each language enough screen room to read clearly and comfortably as well as preventing it from being truncated.
The similarities between Consumer vs Enterprise Apps
There are some similarities between enterprise and consumer apps, for example, both apps expect how applications should work, look and behave. These apps must be easy to use and responsive. A goal for enterprise app developers is that when the client starts using the application, it has a noticeable positive impact on the client’s business. Developers of enterprise software want repeat customers and for those customers to recommend them to other companies. Consumer app developers, on the other hand, also want positive reviews in the app stores as well as good word of mouth amongst consumers. The enterprise apps can mimic consumer apps by focusing on UX and putting more thought and research into how the user would their application to increase ease of use and productivity. As a consequence, the adoption process will be more natural instead of causing the users to feel as if the app was foisted upon them. Customization in apps, such as customizing the app’s appearance for the team using it, allows for a feeling of ownership. However, looking at the needs and preferences of individual departments or company users can result in a less effective overall business function of the application. The primary goal of the enterprise developer is to improve the efficiencies and increased revenue for clients by streamlining processes and creating appealing interfaces which encourage employee efficiency and enjoyment.
The supreme goal of enterprise and consumer apps is to best accomplish customers’ desired purpose. Additionally, it is important to design and code for a positive and engaging user experience. Optimal products are developed when software developers and UI/UX designers take these considerations into account at every step.
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