These days, many apps are designed to fit a mobile phone screen before anything else. For a lot of developers, this is because it is easier to design for a smaller screen first. For the audience, many are already used to only using their phone without ever getting on a desktop.
However, this does not mean that every app will work smoothly on a phone, or that every website will load without error on any device. In fact, many websites are only just starting to convert their websites into apps. Overall, the rate at which apps have taken over has been steadily climbing since the smartphone became more commonplace.
So what does this mean when it comes to managing employees? When deciding on what portal to use, there are countless things to consider. The first priority should be what devices it will be compatible with. Naturally, you will want this to be compatible with as many devices as possible to ensure functionality. Therefore, the first step is to find an app that was designed for mobile first.
Mobile First is when an app was designed for a device like a smartphone before desktop computers. There are a lot of reasons why this is important. Here are a few reasons why a company should keep mobile in mind first and foremost when designing or deciding on a company portal:
The concept of designing for a mobile device first is a much easier approach when it comes to app design. Accounting for smaller screens makes designing any websites simple by comparison. This further ensures that the mobile app will be smooth, since it was made for that purpose before anything else.
On the contrary, for those websites that still have not yet converted to app form, it may be difficult to get the page to load properly on a mobile device. The risk of error increases for those who need to access the portal from anywhere other than a desktop or laptop computer.
The usability of apps is substantially higher than websites. Think about a time where you tried to load a website on your phone, only to be frustrated when the page didn’t fit the screen or certain buttons didn’t work. Likewise, you may have experienced clicking on a link to a site page, only to have a pop up appear at the bottom of your phone screen asking if you want to continue on the web browser, or if you would rather download the app.
This doesn’t happen without reason. It is likely that the app was optimized for your device, and thus, runs much faster and smoother than the web version. This also means that the website is still highly likely to retain all the functions that the app does, with minimal room for user error. It’s easy to see that smart design keeps the user in mind.
More Accessible Portal Experience
While we’ve established that smartphones are more commonplace these days, this does not guarantee that everyone will have one. This is further compounded by the variety of devices providing people with different performance levels.
Personal preferences also bring another major effect. In 2022, the average person has 80 apps on their phone, the majority of which are not regularly used. This means their phones could be slowed down by all the space these unused apps are taking up.
If an app is designed for mobile use first, the likelihood of it working in scenarios in which a user will have a slow phone, or no mobile device at all, increases significantly. In this way, those employees who may not have access to a mobile device can still use the portal to the fullest extent on a web browser, while those who don’t have access to a computer will not be stuck with trying to load a website on their low performance smartphones.
Overall, it lowers friction in having an employee self service model. This way, they are more self sufficient and can cut down on support needed from your HR team.
Building Employee Connections
So, you’ve made sure that all your staff will have access to the employee portal. Now it’s time to make sure it works. You optimized it for all the different devices, but what about the practical functionality of using an app in the workplace?
With more and more jobs being tailored to a remote setting, it’s easy to see why many companies are using apps as a way to stay connected. Many internal employee communication functions utilize platforms that are modeled after social media sites, enabling things like push notifications and the use of emojis.
There are countless other benefits to using mobile apps in general, but when it comes to functionality, choosing a portal with mobile first in mind is undoubtedly the best option.
Let’s not forget about the content creators such as the employer, or the HR team and other managers. Mobile apps make those jobs much easier, as well. Having a single place to send info to all employees is better than using a company bulletin board that may or may not be falling off the wall at this point.
Being able to access important job functions from a remote setting is becoming commonplace. Giving employees the ability to participate in job functions via their mobile device also increases the encouragement of self reliance. As always, this eases the burden on managers too.
Once you make the decision to choose a mobile first platform, the results will speak for themselves.