15 UX And Performance Features Every Business Mobile App Must Include

When businesses began introducing mobile apps, many probably considered them simply as a way to share some of the features and information to be found in full on their desktop websites. Today, however, the majority of Web traffic originates from mobile devices. Clearly, consumers increasingly prefer to carry out their online activities on mobile devices, meaning that for many businesses, a well-functioning mobile app has moved from “nice-to-have” to “must-have.”

However, it’s not enough these days to duplicate features of a desktop website in a smaller format in a mobile app. Trends in design and UX have changed since many businesses launched their first mobile app, and customers today expect mobile apps to offer the same full functionality as a business’ website in a format that’s optimized for their devices. If your business is building a new mobile app or updating an existing one, review the following list of essential features shared by the tech experts of Forbes Technology Council.

1. A Simple Sign-In Process

The first impression a user forms when using an app for the first time is incredibly important. Whether you are building an e-commerce app or a corporate app, it must be easy to use and feature a seamless sign-up flow. For example, offering one-click login through Apple, Google and/or phone login will help to simplify the registration process. – Deepak Gupta, LoginRadius

2. A Quick-Loading Landing Page

A mobile app must include a clean, concise, easy-to-navigate and quick-to-load landing page. Users don’t spend a lot of time exploring the depth of apps at first, so you need to catch them early. Also, be sure to include a search function on the landing page that allows them to find what they are looking for without a lot of clicks. Call it the “Googlefication of the masses.” – Erik Rind, ImagineBC Inc.

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3. An Easy Push To Desktop

We often quickly shift between apps when multitasking or when we’re in transit and using our mobile devices. How many times have you emailed yourself an article to read later on a larger screen? Modern mobile business apps must have easy interoperability between mobile and desktop. Look to Microsoft Teams’ “transfer devices” feature for inspiration. – David Glazer, Kroll

4. A Recommendations Engine

Discoverability and recommendations are must-haves for today’s users when they engage with mobile apps. Respecting your customers’ time and value to your business and making it seamless for them to find whatever they are looking for is the key to adoption and retention. A good example would be Amazon, which has a great recommendation engine anchored on various signals such as usage, preference and so on. – Poorvi Shrivastav, HubSpot

5. A Conversation Feature

Every native mobile app should include a conversation-focused way for consumers to engage with the company or brand. Native apps such as Apple’s Messages for Businesses and Google’s Business Messages can integrate seamlessly and easily with a company’s own app. Integrating such features makes a tremendous difference when it comes to the overall customer experience. – Mike Myer, Quiq Inc.

6. Referral And Sharing Features

Putting your business directly in the hands of consumers for constant use is nothing new. The question you should really ask yourself is, “What features build recurring revenue, retain consumers and keep the cycle going—without added effort?” The answer is referral features and sharing features. Use your consumers as natural sales funnels. Virality and word of mouth are valuable outcomes that are highly underrated. – Jonathan Cardella, Ventive, LLC

7. Parity With Web Functionality

As an end user, there isn’t anything more irritating than trying to utilize a mobile app and finding that there isn’t parity in core features when compared with the business’ website. If you currently have a Web app, make sure your critical features are covered in your mobile app right out of the gate, or risk getting deleted. – Mihaela Mazzenga, Valtech

8. Security Maintenance 

While it’s not a UX feature, an essential consideration when building any mobile app is a comprehensive and ongoing plan for security maintenance, which includes testing, code updates and patches. Mobile app development is not a “one and done” situation, and the security risks need attention throughout the entire time the app is in production. – Robert Napoli, Planned Parenthood of Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky

9. A ‘Focus’-Like Feature

One of the best things I’ve seen recently is Apple’s “Focus” feature. We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed with digital distractions and the accompanying inability to focus. More businesses should follow Apple’s lead and give users the option to “prioritize” current engagement over other background app notifications and interruptions. – Rita Selvaggi, ActivTrak

10. Biometric Login

Include biometric login—remembering passwords is so 2000s! The work-from-home-induced rise in cybercrime has made security paramount in 2021, so face or fingerprint login is a must for business users on the go. Biometric authentication is also well-supported by major mobile development platforms and is beneficial for data management and user experience. There is no reason not to have it in your app. – Alex Kalinovsky, AgileEngine LLC

11. Easy But Strong Authentication

Mobile apps need convenient and strong authentication along with account registration and recovery flows. Even with Face ID or a similar feature enabled, other interactions may not go as smoothly, such as recovery when a customer loses their phone. Consider dynamic fraud detection too; during business spikes such as holiday shopping, you can mix in transactional decisions based on detecting compromised devices and other risk factors. – Eve Maler, ForgeRock

12. Accessibility Features

Accessibility is often an afterthought, but it must be an important part of development for applications that are meant for the masses. Use contrasting colors so text and images can be seen by people who are colorblind. Use alternative text for images, and place text in a logical order so that screen readers can give people who are visually impaired a comparable experience. Accessibility is essential. – Maddison Long, CloudOps

13. Transparency Regarding Privacy And Data Use

In their mobile apps, businesses must ensure transparency when it comes to consumer privacy and the use of personal information. Consumers are hyper-focused on privacy and understanding how organizations are using the information and the data consumers provide within these mobile applications. Everything—including our facial recognition, financial information, PINs and passwords—is stored on our devices. Privacy transparency is key. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB

14. App Analytics

App analytics tools are table stakes now. These are tools that analyze, in real time, the usability and performance of your mobile app. You can gain deep insights into how your users are behaving and how your app can be optimized to improve reach, reduce churn, increase engagement and provide a better experience. It is a crucial feedback loop from your customers. It can only pay to listen well. – William Diggin, Accenture

15. Single-Hand Navigation

Every app should be easily usable with one hand. Mobile apps are important because they’re mobile—and that means they require ease of use. If your mobile app is labor-intensive and time-consuming, it’s likely not designed as efficiently as it could be. A rule of thumb I stick with is that a mobile app should be usable with one hand by someone who is using the other hand for eating. – Noah Mitsuhashi, noahmitsuhashi.io