The Importance of Design Thinking in Enterprise App Development

Design Thinking in Enterprise App Development

According to a study, over 70 percent of employees spend two hours or even more in a week’s time to access company information using their mobile devices. This itself proves the rising need for enterprise-centric apps.

Where many businesses are already investing in enterprise app development, there are not many that are successful. The reason being the lack of design thinking, i.e., designing an app while focusing on the people they are creating for.

To be precise, design thinking puts focus on the user, making Discovery, Ideation, and Innovation the hallmarks of this process. Done right, it establishes overall direction and vision for the project.

Thus as an enterprise, you need to connect with your employees and indulge in joint efforts. Because, when you sit together, analyze the problems, and come up with solutions; innovation is inevitable!

Here is a detailed analysis that highlights the importance of design thinking when developing an enterprise-level app.

The Established Approach to Implement Design Thinking

There are five major steps that help implement design thinking at the enterprise level.

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Now, apply the above design thinking principles to your enterprise mobile app development effort as such a practice will lead to a positive user experience.

Understanding Design Thinking in Enterprise Mobile App Development

Here comes a reference to Norman Doors. These are the doors that do not have an indication for how the door works, i.e., you get confused on whether to push the door inwards or outwards.

Imagine that you have a “Norman Door” at the entry gate of your organization. It would be a usability glitch for your employees and will only add to frustrations and bad employee experiences. Now, apply the same concept to your enterprise-level app.

You have the answer! To put it in the right words, if you do not build an app that accommodates usability and intuitiveness, you will never be able to meet the end-user expectations.

This video explains how the Norman door concept is interrelated with design thinking.

Importance of Design Thinking in Enterprise Mobile Apps

1. Meeting the Unmet Needs of the Employees

Solving real problems for real people should be the ultimate motive of your enterprise app development endeavor. This can be achieved gracefully with the help of the “Empathize” phase of the design thinking process.

To be precise, you need to communicate with the employees to understand their pain points and frustrations. The findings are likely to surprise you as you might have not even realized how your “thought-to-be perfect” app is not that perfect after all.

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2. Boosts Productivity of the Workforce

Whether you believe it or not; increased communication is directly proportional to productivity. First of all, you are involving your employees through the app’s production phase, and secondly, are giving them the right platform to communicate.

Also, an enterprise app helps connect directly with the employees, eliminating hesitation in the process. The simple fact is when you give your employees the authority to come up and speak, they feel valued. In short, you give them priority, they give you productivity!

3. Noteworthy Upsurge in the Team Spirit

The design thinking process encourages in-house employees to participate actively throughout. That is, when you involve your employees in the empathizing phase and value their opinions, you stir a great level of enthusiasm followed by productivity.

No matter what the department, a design thinking encouraged app will bridge the gap like never before. The best part is that the employee who was thought to be less creative could also surprise you. You only need to start breaking the ice with an integrated design thinking approach!

Noteworthy Upsurge in the Team Spirit

4. Wide Adoption of the Enterprise App

Information sharing is the core principle of enterprise design thinking. The people who actually use the app hold the answer to what it should be like. If you are building a fresh app, identifying the expectations should start with the employees. On the other hand, if you are redesigning an already existing app, employees can help figure out where it falls short.

Once the issues at the end-user level are addressed, nothing can stop the enterprise app from being a success. Because you are working in alignment with the teams, not against them!

5. A Solution that Gives UI/UX a Priority

Different employees have different perceptions and expectations, and giving weight to every user request will damage the user to experience big time. But, with design thinking, one can easily figure out what to keep and what to discard.

Thus, cross-organizational efforts to build a meaningful product help create an interactive interface that leads to incredible user experience. Coming to technical terms, the specific design thinking stages help with prioritizing features when building the very first prototype.

UX vs UI

6. Allows to Follow a Focused Approach

Taken the size of your organization, it becomes challenging to build enterprise-level apps. The reason being the variance in employee expectations, their different roles, and department diversity. But, that does not mean you need to give up on the app development process.

Every decision should be made by consulting the employees and figuring out their pain-points. If you get it right, they’ll buy the idea and adopt the app without any second thoughts. All thanks to design thinking product development approach and its emphasis on human needs.


So, now that you know the importance, next comes the strategy to implement design thinking. Refer to this one of the most successful design thinking workshops run by Salesforce.

To conclude it all, the importance of design thinking is indispensable when building enterprise apps. Here’s a simple fact; your app should cover the expectations of people you are building it for.

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Abhay Vohra

About the Author

Abhay Vohra has 15+ years of experience in the IT industry. Abhay started out with us as a Quality Analyst and moved onto the Business Analysis team, where he discovered his passion for Information Architecture, Wireframes, and User Experience. Now, he possesses an impressive experience in UX and has delved into User Research and Service Design. Abhay also happens to be a culture enthusiast and takes a keen interest in world cinema and literature.

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