Gerry McGovern's research posted on CMSwire found that that 70% of people start activities by clicking on links while 30% began by using search options. However, McGovern also reported that navigation and search quality are closely correlated and intertwined throughout the user experience. This means you can't have one without the other and you should ensure your employee app is good at both.
Smart search and navigation play a crucial role in driving user adoption of your employee app, and ensuring an excellent user experience is essential for adoption and retention rates. In turn, making it easy for employees to find what they are looking for quickly and easily is one of the most important aspects of the user experience.
Internal communications can keep on creating great content, but if nobody can find what they're looking for, it’s all a waste. Discover key search and navigation features that will play a crucial role in the success of your employee app.
Key search features
Having powerful search features will help attract users and encourage them to stay in the app, thus improving user adoption. For organizations with large amounts of information, search quality is particularly important. Here are some search features every employee app should offer to make employees' lives easier:
Universal category search
A successful search feature allows users to quickly and easily search not only for information but also for people, keywords and articles. The results should be displayed in categories so the user can search for everything from one place instead of having to first select categories or find separate search buttons within different parts of the app..
A great deal of knowledge and expertise is frequently locked away in the minds of individual employees. To create synergies and make sure these special skills are fully utilized, employees need a search tool that helps them identify which of their colleagues have certain profiles and skillsets.
Key navigation features and considerations
Smart navigation features help users find what they want but also encourage them to effectively explore content and materials. This is key for building knowledge, adding value and improving user adoption and employee app retention in the long term. Smart navigation requires a compromise between a neat, orderly interface and easily accessible menu items. Consider the following key features and considerations when shaping your employee app's navigation:
Quick menu options
Administrators should be able to set up their menu systems inside directories and organize their content efficiently. Warning bubbles should be shown in files or spaces that hold new content along with relevant notifications to ensure employees do not miss anything important.
Bottom navigation bar
Bottom navigation allows quick access to the smartphone app's most essential features. Research by Steven Hoober reveals that 49 percent of people use their thumb on one hand to operate their smartphone screens, and the controls at the bottom of the screen are more comfortable to reach with one hand.
Keep it simple
Navigation should start off as straightforward as possible. In the early stages of rolling out an employee app, one common mistake is to add too much structure. Even if structures are for the organization's sake, users could be overwhelmed by too much detail. Furthermore, companies often do not have enough content in the early stages of rolling out an app to fill all these structures. You can always add more later if you have a flexible employee app platform.
Discover employee apps with search and navigation on your terms
Smart search and navigation are essential features of a modern employee app for driving user adoption and retention. No one wants to sift through dozens of pages to find something and no one has the patience to stick with an app that is not intuitive. Empower your employees to be more efficient, knowledgeable and engaged with smart search and navigation features tailored to your specific business needs.
Learn how Teamvate's employee app platform delivers UX-optimized search and navigation features out of the box and enables you to customize them.