Enterprise app vs. Consumer app. What’s the difference?

corporate apps
There’s no denying that mobile applications are a big industry. In 2016, 90 billion apps were downloaded for iOS and Android (Google Play Store). It’s overwhelming to think of all the possibilities just a couple of taps away.

But did you know that not all apps are for public download? Enterprise apps are generally not available for public use. What are enterprise apps? Simply, they are apps designed for businesses that make everyday work-related tasks easier for employees.

Many companies use apps for business use downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store, so what’s the difference between enterprise apps and consumer apps? More importantly, what type of application do you need to meet business goals?

Consumer Apps:

  • Generally made for a specific target market but can really be used by anyone.
  • Designed to improve the everyday life of users sometimes for free or for a fee. For example, Whatsapp makes communication easy and free between two or more people.
  • The apps can be downloaded in public app stores like the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Depending on the content, the apps can also be downloaded by anyone in any country. The more downloads the better for the developer.
  • User-centered design should be a priority for consumer apps which can be a challenge as that can mean designing for a massive audience across the globe. The key is that aesthetics and trends need to be considered when designing these types of apps.
  • Inherently fun and pleasing to use in terms of user experience and design.

Enterprise Apps:

  • Tailored-made for businesses. For example, SKY, the largest paid TV broadcaster in the UK, created an internal app so that sales teams could report their results to the rest of the company.
  • Access is – should be – restricted to employees of the company.
  • These apps have the sole focus on productivity and to create efficiencies in business processes. As a general rule, these apps are simple, pragmatic and very utilitarian.
  • Even though the user experience is still important, the fact that an app should be pleasing to the eye is often seen as an unnecessary cost. Corporate apps are often considered to be simply a tool that is more about accomplishing a task and less about an experience.

Bottom Line

The differences between enterprise apps and consumer apps are clear. Consumer apps can be created for a broad range of users and usage contexts in mind – though, a proper consumer app is specific to solving an issue for a target market. Enterprise apps have very specific use cases and a narrow context (when compared to consumer apps). They both value design and the user experience, but, as far as aesthetics and embellishments are concerned enterprise apps are designed to complete tasks quickly and used in a business setting. If an animation takes 200 milliseconds to finish and the user views that animation 1000 times per day that adds up to 2 hours per year. That may not seem like a lot but time is money.

An important thing to bear in mind is that design isn’t only about colors and aesthetics. Design, particularly with mobile apps, is about making the user’s life easier, not more pretty. This is true for enterprise apps as well. Nowadays, companies are able to move into global markets easier. Hiring remote workers may be a way to expand into other markets while keeping overheads down by not opening physical offices. Having an enterprise app will help keep employees unified and by incorporating good design, more employees would be encouraged to use the app to reach company goals.

“Good design is as little design as possible.” Dieter Rams

For this reason, having good design can actually help in saving precious time and effort even when using enterprise apps.

Fortunately enough, Bliss is a user-centered design company, which means that we give as much importance to design as we give to development. We develop solutions for consumers and businesses.