How to Create a Frictionless User Experience Across All Devices

“With the rise of mobility and the proliferation of new devices and interaction channels, customers expect an experience that’s efficient, accessible, and that moves along with them as they change devices and context. ”

Kim Flaherty, UX Specialist, Nielsen Norman Group, “Seamlessness in the Omni-channel User Experience“, March 2017

The rise of mobile has fundamentally transformed how we work.

With consumer user experience (UX) influencing expectations in enterprise apps, it’s no longer enough to offer users a good experience that’s limited to a single device.

There is a new challenge for enterprise apps: How can we ensure users have a frictionless experience across all devices (mobile, tablet, and web)?

Let’s explore what this looks like and learn what it takes to deliver a frictionless cross-device experience.

Any Device at Any Time Without Disruption

The Goal: The flow of the user experience should not be hindered if a user wants to move between multiple devices.

What does this mean? The user should be able to move between multiple devices without any interruption to the user experience.

To make this possible, there are several factors that must be considered, including:

Use Cases

What are the specific ways the app will be used? What kind of functionality needs to be included for each use case?

A department manager will need a set of UIs and tools that are very different from what her employees will need.

End Users

Each type of end user must be defined in detail, including what they will use the app for, what devices they will use the app on, when they will use it, and how they will use it.

Larger companies may find that dividing end users into communities by department may make defining personas for end users easier.

User Authentication

To make a frictionless, cross-device UX possible, user authentication must be possible from multiple devices without the inconvenience of physical or soft tokens.

A physical token is a device that is scanned in addition to entering a password or providing biometric information. A soft token is a kind of two-factor authentication method that can be used to manage access to devices.

Other authentication options that are frictionless and secure are clientless security and unique device IDs. Both provide a convenient way to authenticate a user with virtually no effort from the user.

Clientless security is one option. User permissions are encoded in the certificate, allowing instant access to authorized corporate apps and tools once the user is logged in. If the user cannot log in, the device cannot access corporate apps or portals.

What makes this an attractive option is that it requires no installation of software on the client device. The security certificate is automatically generated and installed on the user’s device as soon as she logs in for the first time.

Unique device IDs are another option that can be deployed for a single user across multiple devices. This approach also allows the user to login and access corporate apps from any device with a corporate issued device ID.

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3 Phase liftoff: Before, during, and after

Before App Launch

Conduct research to understand who your end users will be. Craft engaging, informative app content that targets each group of end users.

Conduct user testing to find any rough spots in the UX. Smooth them out and test again until the UX is consistent and frictionless across devices.

Make sure that all security and authentication works as intended. Add fail-safes to block devices should they be lost, stolen, or hacked.

Launch the App

Once the app is launched, monitor and maintain it like any other asset. Use analytics software to help you get a clear picture of how much the app is being downloaded and how many active users it has.

Keep an eye out for pain points in the user experience — watch for page bounces and short session times. Check app feedback often to learn what people have to say about the app.

Closely monitor cross-device usage of the app to discover pain points and possible bugs that may be impacting users’ ability to have a frictionless cross-device experience of the app.

Post-launch

The app needs to be maintained like any other app or website. To ensure its success, frequently publish new content to keep the app fresh. Continuously improve the UX to deliver an optimal experience to all of your end users.

Experiment with content that doesn’t perform as well; conduct A/B testing to find the winning combination of color, imagery, and text.

Convert your native mobile app into a web app

Native mobile apps are great for a look and feel consistent with the device. Native apps also have great performance characteristics, too.

However, native apps cannot be accessed across multiple devices. For some enterprises, this is a serious drawback.

To give your employees and/or customers the most flexibility possible, convert your native mobile app to a web app that will work on any device. Fliplet allows you to do just that and gain a huge benefit in the process: automatic adaptation to laptop and desktop screens that are not touch enabled.

How e-commerce revolutionized mobile UX

Mobile has revolutionized a lot of technologies over the last few years, but e-commerce has also revolutionized mobile UX. Amazon made it possible to make purchases with a single click:

“…the instantaneous nature of Amazon’s process coupled with that urgent tone of voice plays straight into the hands of that very human need to eat the marshmallow right now.”

Katie Mellor, UX Designer, Medium, “Amazon’s Frictionless UX“, May 2015

Apple Pay and Android Pay both make contactless purchases possible. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, they allow you to make a purchase at WalMart by simply swiping your phone near the device where you normally swipe your credit card.

Benefits of frictionless cross-device UX

The frictionless cross-device user experience allows users to complete complex, multi-faceted tasks using multiple devices, which saves a lot of time that would be spent trying to do everything on a single device.

For other tasks, the user has the flexibility to switch between devices until he finds the one most suited for the task. Perhaps there is a task that must be completed on a company-issued iPhone — frictionless cross-device UX allows the user to complete the task on the required device.

The flexibility available to the user through frictionless cross-device UX allows her to make choices in the moment that will help her complete tasks in the most efficient way possible. This boosts efficiency and productivity while reducing user frustration and stress.

Putting it all together

There are multiple challenges to creating a truly frictionless cross-device UX for end users. Much of the work that goes into creating this type of user experience goes far beyond a well-designed front end. You should consider:

  • Can the back end of the app handle a high volume of users on multiple devices?
  • How to manage security and authentication effectively to avoid disrupting the UX
  • How to integrate the app with other business system that doesn’t interfere with UX
  • The creation of a frictionless cross-device experience:
    • research
    • planning
    • building
    • testing
  • understanding of each use case:
    • the user community
    • the user expectation

If you’re ready to learn more about how Fliplet can help you achieve a frictionless user experience across all your user’s device, you can find out more about the platform here.