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Christine Kern
November 01, 2016

What You Can Learn from the Best Consumer Grade Applications


Consumer grade is the new enterprise grade, according to a recent survey that revealed that consumer apps are faster and more reliable than enterprise apps. The study also found that consumer apps provide greater visibility.“It is clear that consumer grade is the new enterprise grade,” said Justin Barney, president and CEO of ScaleArc. “IT decision-makers who build enterprise apps recognize that they, and the general public, have a better experience on their personal apps than their work apps. We’ve all lost patience with websites and apps that don’t offer optimal performance.”

The ScaleArc survey of nearly 600 IT decision makers found that 78 percent of those polled agree that consumer grade is the new standard for apps, providing better user interface, less downtime, less sluggishness, and less likelihood of crashing. In fact,  IT decision makers say that performance requirements are higher for consumer apps than for enterprise apps.

From Lightweight to Heavyweight

One reason for this shift is the emergence of the Cloud era of technology. The use of new data fabrics with custom-built infrastructure means that businesses ca now give customer what they want, when they want it, where they want it. While “enterprise-grade” traditionally was associated with heavy-duty, industrial settings and “consumer-grade” was associated with lightweight technology not suited for a professional, high-performance environment, current capabilities of today’s technology have turned those definitions on their heads.  As Paul Maritz asserts, “the former lightweight is the new heavyweight. Consumer-grade will become the new benchmark.”

Best Practices

Modern enterprise apps are leveraging the best practices of consumer-grade mobile apps by including functionality such as recommendations (like Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora), easily adding or integrating additional data (like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn) and crowdsourcing the validation of existing data (like Innocentive, iStockphoto and Mechanical Turk).

“By the very nature of the mobile app delivery platform, the best apps:  1) clearly and concisely present the information you need to complete transactions, and 2) optimize the engagement process to make completing the transaction as easy and natural as possible. There just isn’t a lot of extra real estate on your mobile device for any of the extraneous stuff,” asserted Chief Technology Officer of EMC2 Bill Schmarzo.

Giving Consumers What They Want

Businesses need to turn to consumer grade apps to answer the demands of today’s consumers.

According to InFlight, they want:

  • Mobile access to everything.
  • Simple, online self-service at work or play.
  • Elegant, effective apps for all the things they do online.
  • Engaging, user-friend interfaces that offer a modern UX and a clean, task-oriented focus.
  • Apps that require the smallest number of clicks and the least amount of data entry as      possible with no extraneous data on screens to accomplish the desired task.
  • An optimized experience across all devices, from desktop to tablet to smartphone.

Popular Apps With Attractive Features

The Chipotle app is appealing to the eye with clear colors, fonts, and an uncluttered interface and includes a productive use of maps and other mashups to make information more actionable.

    chipotleappimage1.jpeg       chipotleappimage2.jpeg


Starbucks has combined their loyalty program with their convenient mobile order and pay capabilities. The app is attractive and easy to use, and uses some gamification techniques that allow users to track their status and unlock new levels of benefits.

   starbucksappimage1.jpeg       starbucksappimage2.jpeg     


Concur provides a simple format to easily complete necessary functions to keep track of travel expenses and expense reports. It also is appealing to the eye and is easy to learn, use, and navigate.

   concurappimage1.jpeg       concurappimage2.jpeg


Whether your business is large or small, you need to make your systems easy to use on a personal phone in order to compete in a consumerized environment. Consumer grade apps should be easy to use, appealing to the eye, and functional. AppSheet can help your company create user-friendly, consumer grade apps to meet your unique needs, keep your customers happy, and boost revenue.

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