Everyone can agree that mobile has dramatically changed the world – the way we work, communicate, and do our business. It also goes without saying that your small business must be “mobile first” to compete in the digital marketplace. The impacts of all this are significant as end users expect the same level of 24/7 performance and availability on mobile devices as they get on desktops. The art and science of keeping customers happy really starts with ensuring that your mobile apps are running smoothly and that there are no performance bottlenecks.
While it’s true that the desktop environment is still the framework for most monitoring efforts, this is changing rapidly. More and more vendors have started to offer mAPM or mobile application performance monitoring platforms to deal with the rapid changes and increasing complexity of managing business-critical applications running on mobile, virtual, and physical devices. But this is just the beginning! Gartner predicts UEM, or Unified Endpoint Management, as the future of IT device and application management when wearables, Internet of Things, and smartphones become addressed as endpoints. The bottom line is this: smaller and more dynamic form factors and device sizes will require innovative ways to ensure that APM (or mAPM!) keeps end-user experience front and center as the central business goal.
In order to deliver the best overall customer experience, your small business needs to be crystal clear about mobile application performance strategies. In the following, we list out 7 quick performance tips, or best practices, to adopt in order to ensure that your existing mobile strategy is firing on all cylinders.
1. Know your target audience
The importance of knowing your customer sounds like a well-worn cliché by now, but it needs to be emphasized more and more – especially in the mobile era. If you’re not tracking the behavior of your mobile visitors with metrics then you’re leaving money on the table. There are many web and mobile app analytics tools on the market that can teach you about your customer’s online behaviors. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will help ensure that your brand is most suited to their needs.
2. Remember the 3’s: simple, short, and sweet!
Science tells us that people prefer the path of least resistance to their end-goal. Think of it in terms of the “economy of action” and the balance of benefits vs. costs. Think clearly about how much effort it’ll take for your visitors to get to your website, get what they need, and get out? One site sums it up best: “On mobile, perception is everything. And if you consistently make it easy for a user to seamlessly complete their tasks, your site will be perceived as fast and efficient – key mobile benchmarks. Successful mobile journeys need to be short and sweet.”
3. Reduce initial page load time
4. Leverage mobile testing
Just as you would with any website, it’s important to test your mobile applications and infrastructure. Testing is an important way to mitigate risk. It provides insurance for your customer’s happiness, not to mention your own sanity and business bottom-line. Putting your applications through the paces with large sets of test data will help to continually improve overall mobile performance.
5. Don’t let third party providers ruin your user experience
Websites and apps today are increasingly integrated with third party content: social media, chat features, commenting services, information feeds, payment services, and more. In the event the third-party crashes you don’t want your application held up trying to load that resource. Therefore, monitoring of Third Party Content (TPC) is a necessary part of a robust mobile application performance management (mAPM) strategy.
6. Make redirects cacheable
Caching is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web pages in order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. When a visitor arrives at your website the cached version will be served up unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves server time and makes things altogether faster. Mobile pages rely on a lot of redirects from one URL to another, replacing “www” with “m.” To avoid getting bogged down and speed up the page load time, caching will be your best friend. But also keep in mind that caching storage on mobile devices is much less than on desktops, so ultimately it’s best to keep redirects to a minimum and serve up pages to the user directly.