How to Secure your Products with DevSecOps and Beyond in 2021?

IT Security was always a significant concern in the tech environment. Security breaches during the pandemic have brought securing tech products to the top of the priority list.

What are the top trends defining Software Product Security?

  • Building Security into the Development Ecosystem from the Beginning

This ensures that during the entire development process, security remains a core concern. Integration of data protection mechanisms from the initial stages is made mandatory by the Data Protection Regulation in Europe. Experts are considering similar measures for Asia and North America as well.

  • DevOps is now DevSecOps.

DevSecOps is the term given to the attitude, processes, technology, and operations during the development of an app, tool, or software. It aims at building security into the development from the very beginning. So the Development, Security, and Operations teams work in tandem all through the product development cycle. 

What’s the DevSecOps Workflow?

  • The code written by one developer is checked for possible security-related weaknesses and issues by another coder.
  • The application is brought into play with Infrastructure-as-Code tools.
  • Security configurations are activated into the Control Management System.
  • The application is tested through the Testing Automation. This includes all aspects such as UI, Back-end, separate security tests, API, and overall integration.
  • If the application clears all the testing procedures, it is progressed to the production stage.
  • Intense monitoring comes into play to check operational security risks.

Tools for DevSecOps 

The top tools for managing DevSecOps during the CI/CD are the following:

  • Static Application Security Testing Tools
    These tools check the code for problems that may lead to security risks in the future. They are used up to the development phase.

Examples: GitLab, HCL AppScan, Coverity, CodeScan, etc.

  • Software Composition Analysis Tools

They are employed for finding weaknesses in the third-party and open-source components. Covering the license risks as well for timely identification and solution is essential for them. Accelerating the DevSecOps process is their concern.

Examples: WhiteSource, FlexNet Code Insight, Black Duck, JFrog Xray, etc.

  • Interactive Application Security Testing Tools

They are deployed to monitor and analyze the behavior of the application during the run-time. By identifying the run-time level susceptibilities, it allows the developers to find the flaws in the code. The coders can then address the issues in the code to strengthen the security.

Examples: Parasoft, Veracode, Checkmarx, SonarQube, etc.

  • Dynamic Application Security Testing Tools

They are designed to carry out simulation exercises to protect the product from hackers. They work through the network and do not require code access.

Examples: Appknox, Netsparker, GitLab, HCL AppScan, etc.

  • Security Reassessment at each Stage

The strong beginning requires sustenance. At each stage of development, the risks are weighed for the necessary immediate steps. Each stage of development is often broken into smaller stages for denser, more in-depth, and detailed checks.

  • Innovation and Improvements in the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

The SDL is now emphasizing on:

  • Continuous upgrading of the skills of coders with the protection of code in the center.
  • Ensuring that all teams and each member are at the same level of security training and awareness.
  • Regulatory requirements are no more considered frictional to development but as a firm foundation for smoother progress.

What are the crucial Product Security Practices for 2021? 

  1. Segmentation

Segmentation has to do with data, storage, and capabilities. By clearly segmenting, the team can ensure that the data is managed appropriately. In case of unwanted access, it would be easier to carry out security checks and measures. For storage, determining the right choices between physical or cloud storage is essential. Finally, segmentation in capabilities ensures a faster development pace and easier optimization. Overall, it’s about the better organization of the most fundamental aspects.

  1. Automation

Automation can tackle many of the expected threats. So can the various probable ones. Automation can be attached to the auto-remedy tasks. It requires analysis of firewalls and security configurations. It saves the experts’ energy and time, which they can devote to novel security threats and strategic measures.

  1. Ensuring Security from Design and Architecture Perspective 

Threat modeling at the initial stage of designing will save a lot of time and effort in the later stages. It will alert the team to attacks. When they know about such threats in the back of their minds, the alertness will improve. Design documents will draw the boundaries for development level updates to avoid errors mid-way on the development course. Third-party component tracking is crucial in figuring out weaker components and fixing them promptly.

  1. Sustained Patching 

Continuous patching ensures that your product does not suffer because of old software. With about 80% of the components being open-source, security and licensing risks increase. Maintaining elaborate version details and not missing the latest patches enhances product security.

  1. Least Privilege Principle 

This means granting only the necessary and minimum privileges to systems and users. Conscious or inadvertent compromises to security are thwarted by ensuring the least privilege. Timely canceling the accesses no longer needed and changing the access level according to the duty change is essential.

  1. Mapping the Data Processing

Data processing map helps in determining the types of data the product will deal with. It also outlines the use of each type of data and the processes it will involve into. When an elaborate data plan is created in advance, the security team can prepare security controls in advance. It also helps allocate data to appropriate systems, define privileges, and control and process sensitive and personal data.

  1. Greater Encryption

Well, there’s a lot of talk about the end of encryption with the coming of Quantum Computing. However, the Tech giants investing billions into Quantum Computing have already ensured that its uses will be constructive. So there’s no reason for losing interest in encryption. No point in taking FIPS 140-2 lightly. It would be better to take the Application-level encryption a notch higher. 

  1. Securing All Storage Systems

Keep all the bases covered. There’s no point in believing that if strong security measures are implemented for the internal storage, then networks and OS can be ignored. Strengthening critical storage is the key to securing the product.

  1. Dynamic Testing

Dynamic testing does not just have to do with continuous and variegated testing to check risks. It’s also about constructing scenarios and conducting simulation exercises. Companies have hired expert hackers to help their teams with the process. They can find ever ingenious ways of causing trouble and breaching the security of the product. This is an innovative way of testing the team’s imagination and intelligence. Mature teams can rely upon the updates of latest forms and modes of threats and test the product more often and from different angles.

  1. Quicker Incident Response Planning

Incident response is rooted in threat modeling. However, it has to look beyond that too. It cannot be caught in a frozen mold. Prompt action against potential breaches can be laid out in steps. What’s more important is the right anticipation of the threat that’s not been planned for or remains unseen. 

Swift planning and execution at the moment of attack is the challenge that tech product security experts will have to take up. These are the ten effective practices that will remain central to securing products in their development and performance phases. However, securing products is not just about putting the right systems, procedures, and practices in place. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com. Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

10 Steps for Managing Your Software Product after its Launch

A product is an embodiment of your brand values and your customers’ faith. Launching a software product is not enough to make it successful. Tracking its performance, understanding user behavior, their needs, and channeling the changes through an iterative cycle with the right strategies to create engagement and drive value for the customer is critical. Re-strategizing product features as per the evolving user behavior must ensure your software product’s stickiness. A software product should be seen as a continuous process of improvement. 

It cannot end at a product launch. Product lifecycle management, user behavior & user engagement with exemplary marketing efforts to find the right product-market fit for your software product is key that needs to be unlocked post-launch.

Why is Post-Launch Software Product Management Important?

Post-launch product management is crucial for many reasons.

  • Digital users have near to zero tolerance. Imperfections, bugs, clumsiness, lags could dishearten the users of your software product.  
  • Setting the ship on the sail is not enough. Knowing its coordinates and directions is more important. Meaning you need to understand and track your user’s journey and behaviour of users using your software product. 
  • Post-launch, monitoring your software product’s performance is very important to see that there are no lags, performance issues created due to an increase in daily active users.
  • The various parameters that define user behavior are tracked and studied, for example, the click rate, the acquisition rate, bounce rate, and conversion rate. This improves your understanding of  users and can redefine strategies around it.
  • Depending upon the overall user metrics, adjustments in marketing strategies improve product performance in the market.

How to Manage a Product Post-launch & find out whether you have a market for your product?

Step 1: Understand the importance of data analysis 

World-class marketing strategies are not enough to make a product successful in the digital space. One should also have an analytical mindset required to track the customers’ end-to-end experience. If you have all your tracking mechanisms in place, the parameters which will help you to gauge if the product is a perfect market fit or not are: 

– Click rate

– Acquisition rate 

– Engagement rate 

– Retention rate

Step 2: Take proper customer feedback 

We’ll see that ensuring customer satisfaction with the new product is more than a mere formality. Send messages, call, shoot emails …

– Check with them how they feel about the product?

– Ask them if the product met their expectations?

– Try to gauge if they are feeling under-rewarded for their excitement and confidence in your brand.

– Emphasize the features and benefits of the products they may be missing putting to use. Train them for product use if required. 

– Keep a measure of Customer Support Ticket issued for future analysis. Encourage them to post reviews, testimonials, and feedback

Step 3: Checking for imperfections, bugs, problems, shortcomings, etc.

This is where serious work begins. You may receive some less positive news while checking customer satisfaction. However, checking for lags, bugs, defects, and reasons for dissatisfaction should be a separate managerial exercise as well. QA testing should be continued even after the product is launched because there is always a scope for improvement. Gathering positive and negative feedback should be done separately, if not from different sets of buyers. The sooner you begin gathering negative feedback, the better as you improve faster.

Step 4: Planning to address the shortcomings

It has to be a quick, competent, and prompt process; else your product might lose the fizz. It can be done in the following ways.

– Making strategies for minimizing the harm to the customer relationship.

– Sending the details of severe flaws to the senior management so that timely steps can be taken to address the issues. This will minimize the harm.

– Pre-determining the possible market underperformance of the product and making adjustments.

– Even if the customers are satisfied with the product, try to push them to get fruitful feedback for attaining perfection in the next model or version.

Step 5: Find out your Product-Market Fit

Preparing a Product-Market Fit report can also give actionable insights to optimize the post-launch strategies. To check the product-market fit, you will need the following:

  • Customer satisfaction data
  • Customers’ understanding of the unique value proposition of your product in the market. How many of them understand why your product is unique and different from your competitors?
  • How likely are the customers of your competitors to try your product after learning about its benefits?
  • How likely is the user-generated content to influence those who are yet to make their mind for buying your product?
  • How many new users have your product won by building the positive image with the initial buyers and through their feedback and testimonials?

Besides these, you’ll need many other metrics for correct decision-making.

  • Comparative data around the cost of acquisition, adoption, and conversion of leads into customers. 
  • Customer lifetime value: CLV the most important calculation you can make if you are into SaaS. It helps in re-orienting marketing and development tasks according to the broader strategy of the organization. Keeping a smaller set of loyal customers happy could be more profitable than acquiring new ones and losing them in a short time. 
  • Churn Rate: This gives you an idea of the proportion of customers you are losing. To reduce it, you’ll have to keep a wider variety of users happy. You would not want to do it if acquiring and trying new users is cheaper than keeping everyone satisfied.
  • Promoter Score: It’s about the number or proportion of users recommending your product to others. This can be measured either from the total or against the number of users making no contribution to expanding your market.

Step 6: Gathering User Generated Content

Positive reviews, testimonials, and feedback are a dividend for the hard-work gone into product design and launch. These can be in the form of raw data, videos, audio or text. These dividends have to be re-invested. Pump them into your marketing strategy. Let the world know how your product is performing in the initial stages.

There’s nothing better than the prospective customers getting to know about it in the words of those who have already fallen in love with it. User-generated content is amongst the top digital marketing content strategies for 2021. It’s original, diverse, carries passion, honesty, and impeccable power to attract.

Step 7: Strike the Right Balance between In-bound and Out-bound Marketing Efforts

Many managers ignore balancing the in-bound and outbound marketing if the product is doing well. They don’t realize that post-launch product management is not just about the current product. It’s equally as much about the future coming model/version of the similar product, other products, and the brand overall. Here are a few examples of adjustments you can make:

  • Case 1- There are serious issues worth addressing: They may be hindering the market performance. Buyers could be getting doubtful about your product. Push the positive reviews and feedback into the outbound channels. Try to divert or slow the purchase path from in-bound channels until the next batch arrives.
  • Case 2 – Huge inflow of positive feedback, and inbound traffic. Use this opportunity to build relationships. Start planning for the future without losing sight of the present. Try to build a strategy to promote the brand overall. Announce schemes to clear underperforming products.
  • Case 3 – Everything seems in balance. This situation can be used to focus on the competitors and the external market. With timely improvisations and adjustments in emphasis on inbound/outbound efforts, you can try to gain a competitive advantage by eating into the rival product’s market.

Step 8: Customer Retention Strategy

After a few rounds of Product Performance Reports, you will have a fair idea of how the product is performing. Before planning ahead, make sure to draw a strategy to ensure customer retention.

If the product carries the scope of the repeated purchase, inaugurate offers.

Lay emphasis on converting the first-time buyers into loyal customers through loyalty marketing efforts. Design discount offers, reward-points schemes, etc.

Step 9: Drawing the In-market Product Life Cycle for Better Decision Making

In-market Product Life Cycle curve is graphed around:

  • Profit and revenue
  • Percentage of sales from the existing stock
  • Bookings and orders placed

A freshly launched product would give a rising curve. The declining curve means that the product is losing popularity. A flat curve calls for extra marketing efforts. It allows a dynamic picture of how the product is actually doing in the market.Sometimes it can provide seasonal insights as well, besides the quarterly performance reviews. Overall, it hastens smart post-launch product management decision making.

 
Step 10: Create the Financial Scorecard

For whatever actions and improvements the post-launch campaigns call for, funds are needed. Every company allocates funds for R&D, Marketing, Sales, and Management, etc. much before the launch. However, as the actual performance of the product unfolds, these funds have to be relocated. It depends upon the immediate measures decided and the adjustments in the long-term strategy in the product life cycle.

The post-launch Financial Scorecard should include weekly, monthly, and quarterly analysis of gross profit, profit percentage, sales figures, post-launch marketing campaign related statistics etc. Variance from planned outcomes, performance insights, customer data, and key business indicators, allow extracting the future opportunity plans.

We are sure that with these steps you will not be in dark, and drive your products towards great in-market performance. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Why, When & How should You Migrate a Native App to a Cross-Platform App?

One of the leading markets right now is mobile app development. According to a Business of Apps, it is estimated that the global number of smartphone users will increase to 3.5 billion by 2020. There are more than 4 million apps on both the Apple store and Android Playstore, which targets an audience of more than 2 billion. However, App development is not what it used to be. It has become more challenging to develop a functioning application these days.

The options that are available for app developers are myriad these days. App developers face the dilemma as to which is the platform they shall use for app development. Either they can choose to make a native app or a cross-platform app. This blog will explore more about how and when an app developer can transform a native app into a cross platform app. What is the benefit of such transformation? Before answering these crucial questions, let us have a quick look at what are these types of applications and what are the differences that exist between them.

Native App

A native application is specifically designed to run on a single platform. It will not run on other platforms. For instance , if an application is developed to run on an android, it would run on other platforms like Windows or IoS. You can use app development tools like Java or Kotlin to develop apps exclusively for android and applications like Swift and Objective C for IoS apps. 

While developing a native application certainly has its pros, it is not without its shortcomings. Let us dig a little deeper into these-

  • Pros 
    • Wider Functionality

Developing a native app offers seamless options to app developers to access all API and tools provided by the platform.

  • Better Support

You will get support from the app store if you have a native app. Additionally, it has more possibility for being rated as a top application in the app store as it also offers faster and much more efficient performance.

  • Better Performance

 A native app may offer better performance as there is a direct interaction between the code and underlying resources. It also offers device-specific features and a consistent UI.

  • Cons
    • Costly

Developing a native application can prove too much costlier than a cross platform application. You will have to constitute two different teams who will work on app development on two different platforms.

  • Less value for time

Time devoted to development of native apps can prove to be of lesser value, as it will only run on a single platform. ‘

  • Less Opportunity for growth

A native application can prove to give lesser returns for your time and money as it is bound to run on a single platform. It has much lesser Opportunity for growth as it will be available only on a single platform.

  • Lower Reach

Native apps can only reach out to a lesser number of people, as their usage is limited to only one single platform.

Cross-Platform Application

These applications are designed to run on multiple platforms like IOS and android. Various tools like ReactNative, Xamarin, and Flutter are used to achieve this. While the Cross-Platform application certainly has its shortcomings, like it compromises performance, its benefits outweigh them. It saves a lot of your precious time while offering a better return for your investment. So, if you have developed a native application, you would want to transform it to a cross-platform. 

Why should you migrate your native app to the Cross-platform?

  • Reusable Code: A cross-platform apps code is used to develop a single application on multiple platforms. This helps to save up time and effort for the development team 
  • Broader Reach: Your cross-platform application will reach out to a larger audience, which will in turn, prove to be a better return for your investment. 
  • Customization: A cross-platform application is customizable according to each platform. You do not need to devote extra time to customize the application separately for each application.  
  • Easier Maintenance: It is easier to maintain a cross-platform application as errors are rectifiable through a single code rather than working on the application on different platforms. 
  • Cloud Integration – Cross Platform apps come equipped with plugins and extensions, facilitating their integration with the cloud system.

When should you migrate your native app to a cross-platform app?

Well, it depends upon a lot of factors. As mentioned above, there are various shortcomings for a native application. There are various advantages associated with a cross-platform application. However, making the final decision lies squarely upon your shoulders; there are various factors that you must consider before making the final decision. Let us have a look at a few of them –

  • Nature of the Application: If you want to develop an application that involves complex tools and functions, you should probably stick to a native application. Some of these complexities in a native mobile application includes certain advanced features like real-time sync, media processing and custom animation. However, if your app uses basic features, then you could look for a cross-platform application.
  • Cost: As mentioned above, developing a native application could prove to be a costly affair, As you will have to develop two different teams working on app development for different platforms making a cross-platform is undoubtedly cost-effective.
  • UI/UX – If you are making an application that wishes to deliver breathtaking visuals and a much more enhanced application, you should opt for a native application as it would allow you to exploit UI/UX to deliver optimum experience fully.

How should you migrate your native app to a cross-platform app?

  • STEP 1

Selecting tool: The first step towards migrating your app to a cross-platform requires selecting an app development tool. There are various tools which you can use for this. A few of these are React Native, Flutter and Ionic. React Native is an open source programming language which supports both iOS and Android with a seamless UI/UX interface whereas Ionic is an open-source SDK for cross-platform mobile app development. Flutter on the other hand is the latest technology by Google which enables app developers to use a single codebase. 

  • STEP 2

UI/UX Design – App developers must abide by UI guidelines while simultaneously addressing the design needs for different platforms. Before, the proceeding must ensure that the app developer knows these design needs for different platforms.

  • STEP 3

Selecting App Modules – Another crucial aspect of cross-platform application development is selecting an app module for cross-platform app development. It significantly reduces the time for app development and helps give adequate exposure to native SDKs.

  • STEP 4

Choosing a dedicated library for both Android and iOS – When you are migrating your native mobile app to a cross-platform mobile application, you should have a dedicated library which is compatible in both Android and iOS. There are also several issues related to deployment and packing too. To avoid these, you should incrementally test your mobile application in both Android and iOS so that there no bugs are present during deployment. 

  • STEP 5

Accommodating features for different platforms – So, when you develop a cross-platform application the difference between different platforms is not limited to the programming language or operating system. There are numerous features in different platforms that might differ significantly from each other, like camera, geolocation, gyroscope, compass, Twitter, etc. Besides these, certain attributes could be specific to a device like a screen layout, keyboard layout, push notifications, touch, and gestures, etc.

  • STEP 6

App testing and App Store Approval –The last part of migrating your application to a cross-platform is perhaps the most critical one. It would help if you aimed for a rigorous process review for your application, as there is some margin for error after your app development. Make sure you thoroughly test your app before the final launch date.

In a nutshell, you should keep the factors in mind while you are migrating a native application to a cross-platform application. Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email at info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Era of Live Video Streaming Apps Post Covid World

How to Create a Live-Streaming Mobile App?

The live streaming market is projected to reach $78 billion by 2021. Through live streaming, businesses can reach a broader market, engage live audiences, and build brand loyalty.  It’s no wonder that live-streaming apps have flooded the market and overtaken social media and blogs in consumption market share.

And want to know the best part about live streaming apps? They can be developed brands and organizations from most domains, industries, scales, and sizes. As long as you have interesting content to serve and a ready-made audience, you can build a live-streaming mobile app and earn a fortune.

Sounds cool, right?

It is. So let’s learn about the process and tools required to build great live-streaming mobile apps. But first, let us take a look at the basic features every robust live-streaming app needs to possess. 

What Are the Most Important Elements of a Live-Streaming App?

There are numerous live-streaming mobile apps out there, but not all of them are successful. The best apps need to have the following elements/features:

  • An intuitive interface that is easy to use.
  • Native integration with a robust video player so that viewers get uninterrupted video quality. According to research, 90% of Facebook Live viewers rate video quality as the most important factor governing their choice of apps.
  • Adaptive streaming (bitrate) so that your live streams can adjust to each user’s CPU capacity.
  • Scalable cloud hosting so that your app can accommodate mass user volumes with ease.
  • A flexible structure so that the app can handle video-on-demand (VoD) as well as live streaming.
  • Responsive design so that your live streams can be viewed on varied screen sizes and devices, from smartphones to home theatre systems.
  • Download feature so that viewers can watch your content offline as well.
  • Robust security so that your content is protected from hackers and malware.
  • Essential features, such as profile creation, follow users, and account registration.
  • Advanced search and filter options so that users can search for content by location, creator, etc.
  • Monetization features so that content creators can make money from their activities.

If your live-streaming app contains all of the above features and capabilities, it has a better chance of beating the competition and meeting user expectations. Now, let’s talk about how to build your first live-streaming mobile app.

How to Develop a Great Live-Streaming App

There are many platforms to create a live streaming mobile app for first-time creators. But creating an app is not exactly a DIY project. It requires a fair bit of coding and designing experience, which means you should hire professional mobile app development teams for the task.

The process to build a live-streaming mobile app covers these main steps:

1. Validate Your Plan

Before you embark on live streaming, think if you really need to develop a mobile app. Consider the benefits you can derive through an app, and weigh them against risks and investment. The pay-off should be justified.

If you’re unsure about your app’s fate, answer the following questions as objectively as possible:

  • Is your target audience looking for live content? 

In general, live video consumption has increased exponentially in the last few years, especially in the 18-34 age bracket (millennials). So, if your buyer persona is aged as such, you are assured of demand.

  • Do you have products/processes that can benefit from live content? 

Research shows that there is a huge demand for live explainer videos. For industries revolving around complex processes and products, live streaming apps are a great option.

  • Can your business profit from audience engagement?

Live streaming is a great marketing tool since it lets brands build a direct connection with their audience. A recent study proves that 83% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog post from brands while shopping. If you leverage influencers and bloggers to spread your messaging, live streaming apps can widen their reach. 

Once you are convinced that live streaming apps are essential for you, it’s time to proceed with the next steps.

2. Determine the KInd of App Your Need

The kind of app you build determines the tech stack and platform you will use for app development. There are three main kinds of live-streaming apps. Let’s learn about them in detail.

Live Video Broadcasting Apps:  YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Periscope are some of the most popular video broadcasting apps. Through them, users can watch live video content while they are being recorded.

Live Audio Streaming Apps: Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify are a few of the reputable live audio streaming apps. When users want to listen to live audio content or podcasts, they can use these kinds of apps.

Video-on-Demand Apps (VoD): Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix allow viewers to watch TV series and movies on demand via an internet connection. 

3.  Outline the Basic App Features

As explained before, your live streaming app needs to have some essential features, such as:

  • Sign In: Users should be able to register to your app and save their credentials in a safe location. To make onboarding easier, you can allow users to sign up through Facebook and other social networks.
  • Profile and Settings: After signing up, users should be able to check their profile and change the settings as needed. 
  • Notifications: Content creators should be able to notify followers of new uploaded content and live streams. They should be able to organize their notifications.
  • Social Media Sharing: To reach more people, you need to incorporate social sharing handles/buttons in your app. Using those, your followers will be able to share your content or their feedback in their social feeds, which helps attract new followers.
  • In-App Storage: While “in-the-moment” content is the essence of live streaming, your app should offer storage space to content creators as well. This way, they can save pre-recorded content (like tutorials) which can be embedded in live streams later.
  • Auto Quality: For seamless streaming, it’s important to use the adaptive bitrate system that compresses bits according to device and internet bandwidth. 
  • Interactive Elements: To make your live sessions interesting, you need to engage users with comments and interactivities.

4. Design the UI/UX

The user interface of an app should be pleasant and intuitive. Users judge apps based on the kind of interface and experience it provides. With UI/UX so critical to your app’s success. It’s important that you get it right in the first go. Here are the four principles you should follow while designing it:

  • Structure

Your app’s design elements should be placed in a clean and coherent architecture. You can take guidance from Information Architecture to design your app.

  • Simplicity

For new apps, it’s essential that the design is so simple that even first-time users can navigate it with ease. 

  • Visibility

Your app might be having numerous wonderful elements but placing them all together in one screen can overwhelm new users. That’s why you should show only the important elements and leave the rest for later.

  • Reuse

By maintaining consistency in design for both internal and external app elements, users can reuse your app time and again without any hassle.

5. Identify the Right Tech Stack

Once your design is finalized, you need to decide on the framework to be used for app building. When it comes to frameworks, developers are spoilt for choice. But they must select their framework keeping their design, features, and users in mind. 

Regardless of the framework you select, pay special attention to data security and scalability. Since live streaming apps expand their user base rather fast, it’s important that your app storage, streaming, and architecture accommodates the growing user base without a glitch.

7. Use Bonus Features

Since the competition in the app space is very stiff, your app needs standout features like AI integration and serverless architecture. By adding these capabilities to your app, you can make it more appealing to users and stride ahead of the competition. Also, keep an eye on changing trends in your domain and incorporate them in your app as quickly as possible.

Are You Ready to Create Your Live Streaming App?

The live streaming domain is here to stay. So, don’t hesitate before jumping into the fray with a powerful app. At the same time, plan and design your app with a lot of thought since there are too many competitors in the market.

To start with, you can use the above steps as a compass to guide your app development. We have tried to cover all the main processes and principles required to risk-proof your app.

Do you have any questions about the described process? Leave them in the comments below. We will get back to you with the answers soon.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

Steps to Build Your IoT Prototype

The Internet of Things or IoT has taken over every major facet of our lives. From research labs, the path-breaking technology has moved out and found a place in our homes, kitchens, offices, gardens, and roads. 

Shortly, connected devices are poised to become more accessible and affordable than ever before. Needless to say, their demand is going to surpass all limits, and businesses dealing in the niche can literally mint money riding the wave. So, if you haven’t yet jumped on to the IoT bandwagon, now’s a good time to do so and understand how this disruptive technology works.

Just like all software solutions, IoT projects also start with prototyping. Your IoT prototype outlines all the required parameters of your IoT deployment. It binds together all the elements of your project- device, user, cloud, and enterprise. But creating a perfect prototype is easier said than done.

In this post, we will be discussing the main steps involved in IoT prototyping. But first, let’s understand how IoT prototyping is challenging.

How Is IoT Prototyping Unique and Challenging?

Prototyping for an IoT product will be different than for other software. When your team first forays into IoT, here are some things they might find disconcerting:

The prototype will not be production-ready: When you prototype for non-IoT solutions, whatever you include in their prototypes reflect in the final products as well. This is not the same with IoT products. The hardware and software in their prototypes and final products may vary widely. Moreover, there are many third-party integrations that are not included in prototypes.

Few ready-to-use components: Unlike other software prototypes, IoT ones don’t have the advantage of readymade components. Your development team will have to start from scratch, building components one by one. Feedback and testing cycles will be longer and usage instructions will need to be more in-depth since users are not very familiar with connected devices as yet.

Software occupies center-stage: IoT hardware takes time to master. But if your software facilitates user onboarding, the user experience can be seamless and smooth. In order to overcome friction, IoT prototypes need to lay special emphasis on user experience.

Products should be high on usability: Sticking a chip into a device and connecting to the web does not comprise IoT. A real IoT product delivers value from the get-go, even if it doesn’t look too pretty. It is made after tracking consumer behavior and action. It doesn’t overpromise and underdeliver, rather vice versa.

5 Steps to Create Your First IoT Prototype

Building your first IoT prototype can be challenging and exciting at the same time. A typical prototyping process consists of four major stages. Let’s take a deeper look at them.

Stage 1: Identify the Goals of Your IoT Prototype

When prototyping an IoT product, it’s essential to drill down into its objectives first. 

For instance, if you anticipate glitches in how your device will interact with real users, tackle that first. Keep it at the focal point of your development process and plan your hardware, software, and other requirements around it.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What will the IoT prototype achieve?
  • What kinds of data do you need to capture for the prototype?
  • Where will the captured data be logged?
  • Where will you put all the UI elements (wireframing)?
  • What kind of discussions do you want to have with your developer teams?

By keeping your end goals in sight, your project will get direction and momentum. Plus, it makes sense to work on these assumptions right away rather than when you’re well into the process and down thousands of dollars already.

Stage 2: Research on IoT Hardware and Components

Once you have identified the pain points that your product will address, it’s time to dig into the hardware components and technologies that will help you achieve the end goal. 

Hardware for prototyping will be very different from production hardware. 

How, you wonder?

Prototyping hardware will be:

  • Flexible: It will be breadboard-friendly.
  • Affordable: It will be low-cost.
  • Modular: It will be compatible with multiple hardware ecosystems.
  • Usable: It can be set up in a short time and comes with built-in tools.
  • Simplistic: It can easily be used by beginners.

As against this, production hardware is more reliable, manufacture-ready, and advanced.

While deciding on your IoT prototype’s hardware, find answers to questions like:

  • Does the hardware have a consistent firmware, platform, infrastructure, and development tools?
  • Is there sufficient resources and domain support around your chosen hardware?
  • How easy are the components to deploy? Can you get your prototype up and running with the components or do you have to go hunting for installation guides and experts?

Be aware that there is a lot of experimentation involved in this step of hardware selection. 

It’s likely that you will create a solution, test it, and end up scrapping it multiple times. Sometimes, it might seem akin to searching for a needle in a haystack, but pursue till you zero into the perfect strategies for your product.

For example, if your IoT product is Bluetooth-based and requires many connections to transfer data simultaneously, you may need to experiment with different Bluetooth devices to find the best connection. 

Front-end and backend functionalities may need to be synced over and over again through different technologies until everything works in tandem. If you give up after a few fails in the initial stages, you may never find your ideal technology and solution.

Stage 3: Design and Acquire the IoT Components

And now, we come to the most exciting stage of prototyping – product creation. We recommend that you start building early so as to spot discrepancies and fix bugs without affecting your delivery schedule. 

There are four basic components of an IoT prototype:

  1. Devices/Sensors 

Sensors and devices collect data from the product’s surroundings. These sensors come in varying degrees of complexity- from basic temperature monitors to complicated video feeds. You need to either acquire or design your own sensors for your IoT product.

  1. Connectivity

There needs to be a channel for the senor-collected data to be transported to the cloud infrastructure of IoT devices. These networks can be cellular, satellite, Bluetooth, WiFi, Wide Area Networks (WAN), or any other type. Whatever be your network choice, ensure that it is leakproof and secure.

  1. Data Processor

Once data reaches the cloud, it needs to be processed to generate some output. The data processing can range from simple (checking temperature range on your smart AC) to complex (scanning the area for unknown intruders). 

Sometimes, the user’s intervention is required for the data processing to complete. That’s where the next IoT component, user interface, comes into the picture.

  1. User Interface

There needs to be an interface through which users can interact with the IoT system. The user interface, users can check into their devices, provide inputs, and extract output. The UI can be a simple touch screen or a complex video feed, depending on the device and requirements.

While designing/acquiring IoT components, keep your end goals in sight. Ensure that the hardware and software components are compatible with each other. During the prototyping, it’s okay to encounter some glitches and failed iterations. Don’t lose heart and keep persevering until you have a full, working prototype in your hands.

Stage 4: Define Data Streams

To take advantage of the massive volumes of live data collected by your IoT device, you need to set up secure data streams. 

There are a number of caveats to defying data streams:

  1.  They should be secure and tamper-proof.
  2. They should be able to collect and tramt millions of data points simultaneously.
  3. They should be equipped to acquire, manipulate, collate, combine, and discard data as programmed.

One of the biggest challenges you’re likely to face is the distributed nature of data. Your data streams will have to collect and assimilate data from varied data sources – sensors, cloud, user interface, and others. 

If your data streams don’t configure data lineage accurately, data processing will take a hit. To do so, you can define data clusters using Apache frameworks. If your data streams are more complex, I recommend you use Kafka or Spark Streaming. 

Stage 5: Integrate with App

Integrating IoT with mobile apps is the last but most critical step of prototype development. Mobile IoT solutions can have unidirectional or bi-directional data transmission/communication between users and the device in question. Whatever be your development model, ensure that the integration is smooth and seamless.

IoT-powered smartphone apps can be of many kinds, ranging from wearable devices (like smartwatches and heat rate monitors), industrial plant monitors (to keep tabs on plant vitals), agro apps (to regulate irrigation rates, etc.) or traffic moderators (for decongesting traffic, assisted parking, etc.).

After you’ve got your IoT product up and running, the next step is to fix the bugs. These errors might be software-related like broken features or code issues, or hardware-related like patchy connectivity or skewed interface. 

Whatever the issues are, take the time to recode, retest, and eliminate each and every bug. Ensure the product holds up to scrutiny by experts and real users alike. If there is a flaw in the core design and coding, you may need to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. 

Sounds overwhelming?

It can be. Coders and developers often like to share a joke that this stage typically called “the last 20%” ends up consuming 80% of the entire bandwidth. 

It’s fair to assume that unexpected twists will crop up during this troubleshooting stage. But since you’re so close to the final prototype, you need to keep the momentum going even if there are a few roadblocks. At the end, you should have a bug-free, full-featured prototype that meets its objectives.

Ready to Build Your IoT Prototype?

Prototyping is non-negotiable when it comes to IoT products. Clearly-defined goals, robust technologies, and rigorous testing can ease prototyping to a great degree. The approach described above can be your compass through the entire process.

Do you have any questions about IoT or prototyping? Leave them in the comments below. For more helpful and insightful information in this space, stay tuned in.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

What Are the Key Digitization & Automation Practices in Financial Services?

As the world gets used to the “new normal” induced by COVID-19, most consumer services have taken the digital route. Among them, financial services have been the top adopters of digitization. With people relying more and more on online banking apps and portals, financial institutions have no choice but to digitize their processes end to end.

While changed consumer behaviour presents a huge business opportunity to the financial sector, it is not devoid of challenges. In an ideal state, the growing demand for digital products, applications, and services would mean increased revenue and market share for the traditional finance industry. 

But the truth is far from it. 

While core financial services have been digitized, there are many back- and mid-end services that are still stuck in a rut. From account opening to loan approval, there are many processes that start off at digital touchpoints but culminate with manual, pen-and-paper processing.

This way, the digital chain in financial services gets disrupted. The “right here, right now” advantage of digitization loses significance when consumers have to wait for facetime with financial advisors. 

To be fair, banks and FIs are working overtime to meet evolved customer demands and needs. In this post, we will talk about financial services that have been the focus area of digitization and automation.

Let’s get started.

1. Commercial and Small-Scale Business Lending

All over the world, governments are offering stimulus packages to businesses affected by the economic slowdown. Many businesses have had to revamp their infrastructure and systems to make way for the changing ecosystem. They need funds promptly without too much paperwork. That’s where digitized financial institutions can expedite the lending process.

For instance, the Office of Management and Budget in the US has allowed e-signatures in the loan application step. They have, in fact, taken out official orders to encourage staff to use e-signatures as much as possible to simplify processes.

At the same time, there is a spurt in the number of financial frauds where miscreants assume fake identities and siphon funds as loans. To avoid these pitfalls, a double line of defence is recommended.  Double authentication in the form of facial recognition with document verification can fail-proof your systems.

2. Consumer Lending

There is a global recession in the making. Household budgets are in the red after layoffs and pay cuts. That’s why global banks like Goldman Sachs have allowed their consumer borrowers to delay their loan instalments.

According to American Banker, “Many banks are also working to identify emergency borrowing needs – and using digital platforms to provide advice and process loan applications.” Despite all these empathetic steps, financial pressure on solopreneurs, workers, and small businesses is going to mount. The number of personal loans, debt consolidation loans, and bridge loans are multiplying.

Digital-savvy lenders and financiers are reprioritizing their processes by focusing on mobile channels. In this area, two new developments are visible on the horizon – mobile e-signatures and mobile shielding. Since many consumers have started banking and borrowing through phones and tablets, mobile-first lending can make their transactions seamless and painless.

Mobile e-signature, as the name implies, creates a digital trail for tracking signatures while maintaining compliance. Mobile shielding covers due diligence to protect banking applications from tampering, instructions, and breaches. By these two advancements, banks and FIs can ensure data security and compliance without disrupting the user experience.

3. Account Opening

Even in this crisis period, banks have reported a 300% increase in account-opening numbers. The increment is primarily because of increased loan applicants. 

To accommodate the heightened demand for new accounts, banks and FIs have transitioned to online mechanisms. According to American Banker, Citi’s commercial clients have “strongly gravitated toward digital onboarding.” 

While techno-savvy banks and FIs are making hay while the sun shines, their technically-challenged peers are in for serious troubles. According to a Litico survey from mid-March 2020, 82% of people are hesitant to visit bank branches during the outbreak. However, the same survey reveals that 63% are more inclined to try an app. 

This is good news for FIs that already own mobile apps or are in the process of building one. They are poised to earn a competitive advantage and increase their market share. 

In a recent ISMG banking industry survey, 68% of FI respondents have identified digital account opening as a priority initiative for their institution this year. To make room for greater customer volumes, they have expanded budgets for tech stacks like ID verification, machine learning, and digital signature.

To prevent fraudsters from intercepting security, banks and FIs are exploring safeguards like two-factor authentication and biometric scanning. Using these next-generation methods of identity verification, these institutions are able to offer mobile banking to customers without compromising on their security.

4. Account Maintenance

Customers need to maintain or update their account from time to time. Priorly, they would have to visit their bank to create fixed deposits or add nominees to their accounts. Most procedures were incomplete without hard copy documents and signatures.

But with banks opening for limited hours and people hesitant to visit banks for health concerns or restrictions, digital services have come in handy. With e-forms and digital ID verifications, banks and FIs are well-equipped to serve customers in the comfort of their homes.

Fraud prevention in the form of account takeovers has emerged as the biggest threat during this time. In this kind of cyber attack, unauthorized users permeate bank security and infiltrate accounts. Once there, they can easily siphon funds, change account settings, and block payments, much like the real owner. 

Fraud prevention platforms have cropped up to safeguard FIs against such threats. They closely monitor suspicious account activities and take necessary preventive action timely. 

Ready to Go Digital?

Apart from the above use cases, digitization is also being abundantly applied to employee-facing processes. From payroll to attendance, everything is recorded and tracked without human intervention. 

The best part is that these systems can be tailored to suit your organization’s specific needs. Another great thing is that they can be scaled up with ease to accommodate more data and user volume. This can help you save a lot of time, effort, and resources, keeping the quality and output intact.

Still, there’s a lot that needs to be done with regards to personalization of financial services. Currently, only 52% of banks offer personalized services in digital formats. This is a huge turn-off for discerning customers with high standards of customer service and support.

Another area where digitized services are falling short is the speed of transactions. Presently, too many regulatory stipulations are  bogging down the speed at which financial transactions come through. For click-happy customers, slow speed is a reason enough to abandon the transaction altogether.

However, there’s a lot going on in digitization and financial services are bound to catch up with other more digital-savvy business areas soon.

Can you think of other applications of digitization in financial services? Share your thoughts in the comments below. And state tuned for more cutting-edge information.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

5 Steps to Improve Your KYC with Biometrics

KYC stands for “Know Your Customer.” It refers to the process where a business verifies the credentials and information of its potential and existing customers.

KYC is an essential step to prevent hijacking and tampering of sensitive customer data. It also helps businesses verify customers’ identities and assess their risk quotient.

Traditional KYC verification has many downsides, including restricted data portability and high costs. At the same time, vendors can’t exactly ignore KYC, especially as online transactions become rampant during COVID-19. 

To overcome the limitations of pen-and-paper identity verification, businesses have started leveraging next-gen solutions like biometrics. Let us talk about the advantages and best practices of using biometrics to streamline KYC. But first, let us understand why KYC is important and what are the issues with conventional KYC.

Why is KYC Important for Businesses?

Businesses, especially banks and financiers, rely on KYC for many reasons. A robust KYC system helps them to:

  • Thoroughly investigate new customers and verify their identities.
  • Prevent money-laundering and identity theft.
  • Assess the loan-repayment capability of clients.
  • Minimize potential security risks.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements.

Companies that don’t follow a stringent KYC procedure can expose themselves to fraudulent customers, insolvency, and reputation damage.

What Are the Drawbacks of Traditional KYC for Businesses and Customers?

Banks and financial institution have eliminated outdated KYC verification systems because of the following reasons:

1. Too Much Customer Friction

Customer-onboarding time has increased considerably ever since laws made KYC mandatory. According to a Thompson Reuters study, a simple account-opening process took 18% more time in 2018 as compared to 2017 since the verification time has stretched. 12% of customers say they got frustrated and switched banks when their bank asked for additional documents to complete complicated KYC.

Not only do customers have to wait longer for basic work, but they also resent the level of documentation they are asked to furnish. Privacy intrusion issues can arise when companies request for personal customer details.

2. High Compliance Costs

Companies are spending too much on legal fees and labor that are required to complete customer due diligence. Every week, 50% of bankers spend 1.5 days on onboarding new clients. The global compliance costs amount to $500 million annually for banks and finance-related businesses. If companies spend 15% to 20% of the total “bank-running” costs on compliance, risk, and governance, their profit margins dip.

3. Variable Data Rules

The list of permissible KYC documents varies from nation to nation. For example, Cyprus has recently updated their KYC requirements. They now demand an in-person meeting with each account holder. 

On top of that, there is no cognizance between companies when it comes to KYC rules. Different banks can ask for different verification documents from different clients. For instance, corporations may have to provide the director’s tax and legal papers. LLCs may be asked to furnish the Articles of Organization, etc. 

Compliance requirements depend on the Central Bank’s dictates. Plus, banks might formulate their own compliance policies. With such fluid rules, it becomes difficult for customers to keep documents handy.

For all of the above reasons, biometric verification for KYC has become popular.

Biometric-based KYC is scalable, company-agnostic, and standardized. The collection of user data is fast, simple, and portable. Moreover, biometric provides more precise and reliable MFA multi-factor authentication) than knowledge-based authentication (KBA) like passwords or PINs. 

Last, biometrics can be based on facial-recognition, voice ID, or fingerprints. By disallowing shared user credentials, biometrics is the most secure authentication system for KYC and AML (anti-money laundering). 

5 Biometric Best Practices You Need to Follow

There’s no denying that biometric KYC is the way forward. However, to use this cutting-edge technology in the best way, you need to follow the tips below.

1. Allow Single-Sign-On (SSO)

Often, users find it challenging to remember multiple passwords. Biometric-enabled SSO enables users who fail to recall passwords, to sign in. Busy, multi-taskers enjoy the convenience and time-saving of SSO. Intel has already leveraged SSO to allow users to log in to multiple systems securely using a single username and password.

2. Integrate Anti-Spoofing features

The biometric system should include built-in security systems that risk-proof your KYC from imposters. Fingerprint scanners require a live finger not recorded finger pictures to complete the scan. Similarly, liveness detection ensures that the customer is a live one. Iris-pattern scanners may require you to move your eyeball or blink to pass the due diligence routine.

3. Include Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

To prevent data breaches, add a security layer by using MFA. It has two components—a custom pin that is system-generated, and personal authentication data (fingerprint, voice ID, iris pattern, geolocation, etc.). Mastercard’s “selfie pay” biometric system double-checks users’ identities by asking them to upload an instant selfie.

4. Take Advantage of Multi-Modal Biometrics

Typically, a single biometric data point is used to authenticate users. But background disturbances can distort voice tags and lighting can impact facial recognition. In such scenarios, authentic users can be locked out of systems. Also, a single data point is relatively easy to penetrate. That’s why some banks use multi-modal biometric KYCs that combine the results of more than one biometric. 

Your access control machines can be equipped with geolocation tracking and face scanners. Your bank locker systems can ask for voice identification along with eye patterns. This way, you can prevent spoofing even if one of your data points is compromised.

5. Be on Top of Trends

Identity verification is a fast-evolving space. Why so? That’s because fraudsters are always one step ahead of the legal system. As new ways of data leaks, account takeovers, and credit card frauds crop up, authentication systems also revamp. So, it is essential that you be abreast of trends in data security domains. 

If you use outdated, weak protocols, you are risking your customers’ financial and personal information. You are culpable for damages that your customers incur for your negligence and incompetence. Apart from the huge legal costs, you can also damage your business reputation and goodwill in the market.

Are You Ready to Improve Your KYC with Biometrics?

With SSN and KBA systems phasing out, biometrics-based KYC is the need of the hour. Since your customer relationships and business reputation are at stake, leave no stone unturned to master biometrics KYC. They offer convenience, cost-savings, and security to you and your customers. 

Leverage all the tips mentioned above and keep a lookout for changing trends. Subscribe to our blog to get free, monthly updates on the latest developments in product development, software innovation, design, and more.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

How to Simplify User Onboarding for Product Development?

Imagine you are thrust into a new work environment, with no instructions or orientation. Everything, from colleagues to equipment, is unfamiliar. How will you feel? Lost in the woods, disoriented, overwhelmed? 

That’s exactly how a new user feels when he opens a new app or digital product for the first time and finds it bereft of proper onboarding. It’s no wonder that 25% of people abandon an app after the first use itself.

Source: Localytics

Now, envisage this situation: 

You enter an app, you are greeted by a warm welcome. Then you are explained how to set up the app’s features and hand-held through the registration process. You tend to feel confident at having hit the ground running. You are eager to explore the app and you may come back to it again and again. That’s how user onboarding helps in boosting user retention.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. What is user onboarding
  2. Why is it essential
  3. How to simplify it

Let’s get started.

What is User Onboarding?

User onboarding is a process where new users are instructed or guided through the product experience. It can be as simple as a greeting pop-up or as complex as configuration workflows.  The aim is to deliver value to users from the get-go and reduce drop-offs.

For instance, take a look at Hopper’s onboarding interface. Through a series of clean screens, the flight-booking app conveys its value proposition to first-time users.

Image via Hopper

A super-smooth onboarding experience sets up users for success. Users understand how to apply a product in order to extract maximum value. Let’s understand the other benefits of user onboarding.

Why Is Onboarding Your Users Necessary?

With countless apps available for every possible use case, it’s imperative that your app proves its worth from the outset. Seamless onboarding is one factor that keeps users hooked to your product lest they abandon you in favor of competitors.

Plus, it renders a favorable first impression. It’s likely that users considered your product useful when they first installed it. The onus to prove them right lies on you. If your product’s orientation is rough, customers feel disappointed and dejected. They pre-empt that the future journey will also be bumpy. In anticipation, they leave prematurely, even if your product holds promise.

Last, modern customers like to share their reviews on social media, which has become a conversation driver of sorts. Don’t be surprised if you find your app’s ratings falling and sign-ups dwindling. It’s quite possible customers frustrated by your onboarding ran on aggregator websites. And don’t count on word-of-mouth publicity or referrals at all.

To save yourself from all that trouble, follow the best practices of designing a pleasant onboarding experience.

Tips to Simplify the User OnBoarding Process

The right onboarding experience can boost your revenue, referrals, and customer lifetime value in the long-term. Take a look at some hacks that can simplify your onboarding strategy.

1. Design with a Customer-First Mindset

Getting a user to sign-up doesn’t qualify as a success from a business point of view. What good is earning a sign-up if the user doesn’t eventually convert? For converting people, keep an eye on the right metrics.

Don’t obsess over counting conversions or subscriptions. Focus on nurturing customer relationships. Equip users with tools and knowledge they would need to use your product efficiently. Make everything so simple and painless that they naturally glide towards check-out.

Some onboarding processes end with feedback, which serves no real purpose. The users have barely started using your product. It’s advisable to ask for a product review after they complete one whole app session. This way, they can provide more actionable perspectives.

2. Minimize User Fatigue

The drop-off rate among new users is almost directly proportional to user fatigue that cumbersome onboardings induce. If you ask too much personal data from new customers, they are bound to leave in a huff. You will naturally inject friction into their journeys. 

At the same time, gathering customer data is unavoidable to set up processes and preferences. To overcome the hurdle, track usage metrics and collate the findings to draw pertinent insights. Metrics like NPS (net promoter score) can be calibrated later, during product reviews. 

To keep onboarding seamless, don’t overwhelm new users with too many questions. Complying with regulatory protocols like GDPR can be attributed to complicated orientation. So, minimize data collection and let users in on the action as soon as possible.

3. Keep Onboarding Flexible

Some users are impatient to start their product journeys right after installation. For them, allow a “skip intro” option. But if your onboarding covers vital product features that all users should be aware of, keep popping reminders to get users to resume the intro.

Break user journeys into small, manageable sprints and guide users to where they are headed. Keep user resources and tools handy in plain sight. Nothing frustrates new users more than if they have to dig through an incomprehensible UX for transactional information. 

4. Optimize the Process Consistently

Onboarding should not be an afterthought. You need to plan for it during the product-ideation stage itself. Also, it is not a one-time deal. Depending on the user response to your onboarding mechanism, keep optimizing the process for the best results.

Once customers start using your product regularly, ask them for feedback through email or in-app surveys. You should also solicit improvement suggestions and try to incorporate them into your process on priority. Don’t forget: your products are successful only if they satisfy user intent and expectations. 

Ready to Nail Your User Onboarding?

User onboarding is critical to foster customer loyalty, conversions, and retention. Your onboarding needs to be simple and anchored around customer needs. Keep your mantra straightforward: sign up users easily, deliver value quickly. 

Are you looking for more tidbits on product development and strategy? Stay tuned to this blog.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

How Cloud Applications Can Help Bring Mobility and Agility

“Cloud hosting” is no more a buzzword or a passing trend. It’s truly come of age, with Gartner predicting the public cloud market to grow by 6.3% in 2020. But why this sudden craze for cloud hosting, have you wondered?

It’s quite understandable. Cloud hosting provides agility and mobility to businesses. It enables companies to adapt and respond faster to evolving market conditions and customer behaviors. By harnessing cloud-power, businesses can gain a competitive advantage, which is so essential today.

Apart from that, here are the main advantages of being an “agile” business:

  • Revenue grows faster
  • Business costs reduce
  • Reputation management becomes effective

In this post, we will discuss why businesses need to be “agile” and how the cloud helps them to ace this area.

Top Ways How Cloud Applications Make Businesses Agile?

Take a look at the main benefits of cloud applications to businesses.

  1. They Facilitate Easy Scale-Up and Down

There are times when your business may need to scale operations and resources on-demand. By hosting your software on the cloud, you ensure that you are paying only for the resources that you are actually utilizing. In this way, cloud apps minimize wastage and overheads in a big way.

On the other hand, if you maintain huge infrastructures on-premise, there arises a problem of redundancy when you have to scale down operations. You not only lock a lot of capital in procuring extra resources that are no more productive but also incur maintenance costs to keep them running.

  1. They Make Business Data Available Anywhere, Any Time

With the cloud housing all your business data, your teams can work remotely from any location. Internal and external collaboration on projects is possible when data is decentralized as with cloud applications.

Your time-sensitive work can go on uninterrupted since all related information is available in the cloud. Inter-departmental projects can run seamlessly if project managers configure data-access permissions correctly.

Compare this with in-house data hosting. A lot of additional work and time gets wasted in getting access to siloed data. Plus, changes and updates done to data do not get reflected instantly and universally, which can be a problem, especially for projects spread across different departments or time zones.

  1. They Ease Testing and Updation

Updating systems becomes easier with cloud applications. This is especially true for managed cloud services. When a cloud service provider looks after the updation part of your business, your teams are free to invest their time and expertise in productive tasks. This improves the overall productivity of your business.

Testing is also a breeze when it comes to cloud applications. First, you can reduce capital expenditure (CAPEX) since you don’t have to buy or maintain costly testing equipment. Second, tested solutions can be quickly deployed since the cloud manages them. Last, your entire testing environment becomes more responsive and cost-efficient.

  1. They Reduce Complexity of Business

In a survey of business executives, 66% of respondents said that cloud applications reduce business complexity. But how does that exactly happen? Cloud makes your business processes simple, improves the distribution of resources, facilitates collaboration between teams, speeds up rollouts of complex business processes, and boosts the ability to access and share business data.

  1. They Optimize IT Budgets

Since cloud applications run on the pay-per-resource model, they are more economical for budgeted organizations. You can control capital expenditures on resources and limit usage to stay within your set budget.

Plus, you can easily allocate budget for resource expenditures and do financial planning more efficiently. In this way, you can keep a margin for unexpected expenditures and avoid cash crunch.

  1. They Help in Long-Term Strategizing

IT teams are not burdened with maintaining resources and infrastructure. They have the bandwidth to devote energy to customer communications and business planning. In this way, you can meet organizational goals more efficiently.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the cloud boosts business agility and mobility in many ways. That’s why many businesses are moving their operations from on-premise to in-cloud. By doing this, they gain a competitive edge, reduce capital investment, allow teams to collaborate better, facilitate proactive decision making, and plan business processes with ease.

Are you thinking about migrating to the cloud as well? If you need assistance or guidance for the big move, feel free to reach out through the comments section. We are always happy to help our readers. Rest, watch this space for more ground-breaking posts on cloud computing and other IT aspects.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

5 Tips for Easy User Onboarding

So you built a software application successfully? Great, that’s good news. But are you confident that you can convert sign-ups into active users? Are you sure your app can onboard users smoothly, convince them of its unique value proposition (UVP), and get them to start using it from the get-go?

Before you answer those questions, take a look at the stats on user onboarding:

  • 25% of apps are abandoned by users after the first use itself. 
  • 77% of people uninstall an app within 72 hours of installing it.

We don’t want to sound negative but the truth is that user onboarding is a sore point with app vendors. They often find it challenging to retain and turn first-time users into loyal users. 

That’s why, in this post, we will explain 5 effective tips for user onboarding, with relevant examples from super-successful apps.

Let’s get started.

How Can You Onboard Users Successfully: 5 Tips

Here are the best practices of user onboarding that every app developer should follow:

  1. Keep Things Simple

In a Clutch survey of 501 app users, 72% of respondents said that a quick and simple onboarding process plays an important role in their decision to keep using the program. 

Keep the onboarding steps to a minimum and ensure that they can be completed within a minute. Ask for personal contact details (mentioning reasons why they are needed) and show only essential UI elements in the first use. Try not to overwhelm new users by asking them for unnecessary permissions. 

For instance, a movie-booking app needs only location-access and SMS-sending permission. They should skip requesting permissions for contacts or camera. Those can come at later stages once users are comfortable and confident of the app.

Example: WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s user base is unbeatable. According to their CEO, Jan Koum, one of the biggest reasons for the app’s success is its simplistic onboarding process.

The app self-detects the SMS with the verification code that is sent to first-time users. This means users need not leave the app interface and dig through their inbox for the SMS.

  1. Allow Skipping Steps

Many tech-savvy users don’t like to be hand-held through the onboarding steps. They like to explore their new installs themselves. To such users, give the option to skip whole or part of the onboarding process. There is no burning need to take them through the grand tour when they are impatient to try the app for themselves.

Vevo, the popular music-streaming app, found that logins increased by 10% when they included the “Skip” button in their app. If you’re not clear about your users’ preferences, conduct usability testing with different variants of the onboarding flow. Then, deploy the variant that works best for your users.

Example: Slack

Slack puts users in the driver’s seat by giving them a “Skip the Tour” option in every screen of the onboarding stage. Users can move to the main interface as soon as they feel confident enough to start using the app. 

  1. Ask for Permission

It’s a good practice to ask permission before sending push notifications to new users. 

The Clutch survey we cited earlier found that 4 out of 5 users like to know why an app needs to know their personal details, payment preferences, or device permissions. In fact, this small step can improve opt-in rates in a big way.

Example: Letgo

Letgo is a reputable portal for buyers and sellers of used items. Instead of accessing users’ inboxes directly, they send notifications to them every time a customer expresses interest in their listed items. In this way, users feel they are in control of their app engagement.

  1. Demonstrate Value Instantly

People install your apps for a reason. They have certain expectations from your app. If the app is unable to fulfill these expectations promptly, customers churn quickly.

So, think of an efficient way to demonstrate value to new on boarders: set up a features carousel, product walkthrough, or new-user registration. Just focus on showing what benefits uses derive from the app.

Example: Venmo

Venmo is a payment wallet with social-sharing capabilities. It lets users share their payment histories with friends. To reinforce their app’s credibility, on the first screen itself, Venmo shows social proof about how popular and reliable their platform is. This inspires confidence from new users who are apprehensive about sharing their payment info with a new app.

  1. Provide Incentive for First Conversions

Encourage users to keep using your apps, give them incentives to convert for the first time. 

For example, you can provide exclusive features or promo codes to users who fill out the registration form or make their first purchase. Other incentives can be loyalty points or in-app credit.

Example: UberEats

Uber’s food-delivery brand, UberEats, make the onboarding process really frictionless for new users. 

As soon as users register, they are welcomed with a coupon for a $20 discount on the first order. If that’s not enough to entice users to order, a list of nearby restaurants displays on multiple screens.

Conclusion

We can not help but emphasize how critical your user onboarding process is. If you’re able to onboard users painlessly, take it as a big win. With the app space getting crowded and apps competing for user attention, your onboarding process can help you get a competitive edge.

So, think up an efficient process to onboard new users. A/B test your onboarding models to find the best fit for your users and apps. Don’t hesitate to steal your competitors’ onboarding model if it’s good. You need a proven onboarding strategy to get your app up and running in no time.

Do you have any questions about any of the above strategies? Drop them in the comments and we’ll answer soon. Watch this space for more revelations about app development and onboarding.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on info@iviewlabs.com and sales@iviewlabs.com.

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.