4 Questions To Ask Before Any Mobile App Feature Upgrade

Improve, improve, improve. Continuous feature improvements are how we keep our apps relevant. And when you’re continuously developing new mobile apps like we are, it’s especially important to keep updating and innovating. This way, we’re always delivering the most convenient service to get from point A to point B.

The most recent feature improvement we tackled? The tracking feature in our transit apps. Now as we’re developing these updates, we thought we’d share our team’s process for innovation and how we’re able to keep things fresh by answering these 4 questions before any feature upgrade:

What matters to our users?

First and foremost, we determine what our users value most from this specific feature. Typically, our team will speak with numerous potential users and get their opinions on what matters to them. While receiving user feedback, we identified two requirements from our users with our tracking feature: reducing anxiety in traveling and knowing when they will arrive at their destination. From this, we are able to better understand our end goals, identify where there may be gaps currently, and get the process going.

What other great apps are out there?

Which apps out there are doing it best? Which app is the easiest for us to use and navigate? Why does it work so well? Each team member will pick five to six other apps that convey our requirements best and also accomplish our same end goals. Once everyone has their thoughts, we’ll talk it out with the rest of the team. What do you like about their features? What do you not like? Then explain their reasoning clearly and thoroughly so that everyone can prioritize which features are most important for us to incorporate.

This is an important step in the process (and has proven effective) because it promotes communication and collaboration. Everyone puts in their two cents and as a group agrees on the best way to move forward.

What should our app look like?

After these features have been discussed with our team, we’ll fully map each idea out and set them on display. Then the team can walk around and physically mark which ones they like best, creating a visual heat map. From this heat map, it’s clear which ones are best received and which ones we should move forward with. Once the team has agreed on their top choices, we’ll assign one member to begin rapid prototyping.

What do our users think of it?

Now that everything is sketched out, we’ll start to test. A combination of in-person testing and testing modules allow us to get a full picture of how users are responding to our app. For in-person testing, we think it’s important to hold a scripted interview, but not let it get too structured. We let our participants expand on their thoughts — taking a step back will give us insights we may not have expected!

We’ve found that answering these 4 questions and following these steps leads to the most effective feature upgrades. It encourages discovery, collaboration, and feedback.

But most of all, it delivers innovation to our users.

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