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Designing For the Customer Not the Device

· VipeCloud Mobile,All In One CRM

Design is a topic on which many people have strong opinions. Several start ups out of Silicon Valley that became anomalous successes give a lot of credit to the nuances of their design perspectives. Here's ours:

We recently released our mobile apps, which means we now offer VipeCloud users an All-In-One CRM experience on the web, inside Gmail, and on their mobile phones. As usual, we did things differently that it seems how most popular CRMs did them.

Interviewing several sales people about what they like and dislike about accessing their CRM on their phones, themes quickly arose:

  • Having access to a CRM on the go is hugely helpful. [makes sense]
  • Inevitably every now and then circumstances required them to use their CRM on the web. [makes sense]
  • Sales people who learned how to use the CRM via the mobile app, were completely lost when trying to use the same CRM on the web, and vice versa. The web and mobile apps were completely different experiences. [aha!]

As it turns out, popular CRM mobile apps follow the design theme of traditional mobile apps. We can imagine their thinking being that a CRM app will be easiest to learn if it is like other apps the user has on their phones.

From our customer research, it turns out the opposite is true. CRM apps are easiest to learn if they offer similar experiences across all devices. Similar iconography, workflows, etcetera. It seems that opening an app triggers user recall to experiences with the brand, not the device.

It seems that opening an app triggers user recall to experiences with the brand, not the device.

We ran with that, and another significant benefit surfaced. CRMs are constantly evolving to keep up with the newest technologies. Turns out, when designing a similar experience across all user interfaces, it becomes much easier (read: faster) to add new features to all experiences. The primary experience of any new capability only has to be designed once, with only minor details changing due to the device.

The net result of fast development cycles paired with device-agnostic experience is happy customers.

We enjoy designing for our customers :).

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