There are countless mobile apps out there and increasing in number by the day. But not all apps are successful. An article by Geckoboard explains that the retention rate for mobile apps on average, after the first 90 days is around 25%.
What decides the success and retention of the app is user experience.
This article highlights the key elements that contribute to positive user experience at various stages of the app lifecycle.
1. A simple design is user-friendly
Mobile applications need to be convenient and fast. Although attractive visuals are appealing to the users, anything unnecessary can make it troublesome for them to use the app and put them off. So, during the mobile app development process, incorporate only that is essential and keep the navigation as simple as possible.
While designing the app, one of the most important considerations should be to have a minimalistic design which is meant to meet the key purpose of the users.
The layout of content, design and visual should be such that users can be quickly educated on how to use the app. They should be able to easily find which icons to select or tap to perform desired actions. Also, the icons should have sufficient space between them so as to prevent a wrong selection. Besides this, there should be a gesture consistency throughout the app.
It’s important to remember here that if users have to spend more time on the app than they expect, it may frustrate them and encourage them to disown the app. App usability is surely the key to user retention.
2. App onboarding needs to be easy and effective
Many users abandon the app within a short time after downloading it. More often than not, a poor onboarding happens to be the reason behind that.
A user tries an app with certain expectations and doesn’t mind uninstalling it if it starts to appear confusing or showing challenges on the first few pages.
That’s why you need to make an efficient onboarding plan by demonstrating what value the app offers and how they can achieve it quickly and conveniently. In case your app has complex functionalities, which may require users to spend some time to gain familiarity, you may want to leverage UX optimally to provide users with a multi-stage tutorial. This can also encourage them to visit the app frequently.
An effective app onboarding will determine whether or not the app will be successful. It will pave the way to increased adoption as well as retention, thus contributing to a longer user lifetime.
3. Too much input can lead to a negative user experience
Depending on the nature of the app, it may require users to input various pieces of information such as name, email, age, contact, billing details etc. While it’s fair to collect certain data to deliver a personalized user experience, setting a limit to what all to collect is highly advisable. Having to enter too many details can lead to drop-offs.
To ensure minimal user input, the sign-up has to be quick. As much as users are required to register, make sure that the process is simple. You may consider allowing them to log in using their Facebook or Google accounts.
Also, if possible, let them use their emails as usernames. This way, they will not have to struggle to remember a complex username and chances of them not using the app due to lost credentials will be eliminated.
Secondly, keep the number of field minimum and only collect information which is required to serve the purpose of the app. Features like text-prediction and spell-check can be a great help here.
4. Make search easy
Users visit your app to find a product, service or information and they want it quickly. If it delivers unsatisfactory navigation or the useful content in the app are difficult to search for, users get disappointed.
Therefore, make sure the relevant links in your app are easily discoverable. In addition to providing a simple navigation design, you can also consider introducing an in-app search engine. You can also add filters for more precise guidance to the desired information.
5. Have transparent permission policies
There seems to be a flurry of intrusive app these days that require you to accept permissions when you can start using them.
Many of such apps are immediately rejected by users because of the irrelevance of permissions leading to the fear of malware or privacy violation. This isn’t surprising. We’re likely to get suspicious if a jogging app wants access to our photo gallery.
In order for users to adopt an app, they need to have trust in it to use it comfortably. Hence, ensure that you maintain transparency in terms of permission so that users can see for themselves the relevance. Enable them to control how the app collects and uses their personal data.
6. Offer a personalized experience
Personalization not only offers relevant experience to a user, but it also leads to user delight. During the designing phase of the app, make provisions for recording user behaviour.
This will give you important insights into app use-pattern and the needs and preferences of users. Using this information, you can enhance the app to deliver superior value to them.
You can utilize these insights to display useful content in the app by personalizing the UX. Additionally, including the name of the user will further improve the personalized touch.
However, personalization strictly means relevance to the individual user. If there are unnecessarily many push notifications on the app screen or the displayed content isn’t relevant, it may not go well the user.
7. Perform remote testing
It can be detrimental to the fate of the app if there are serious concerns with respect to its use after it has been launched. Therefore, you need to run a beta test on it before it is officially launched in the market.
One of the most effective ways to do it is remote testing. Let the participants test the app in a real-world scenario and share their observations pertaining to its use.
Remote user testing is an excellent exercise to get your app reviewed by users, only with no risk element involved. Once you have the feedback from the participants, your quality assurance team can go ahead and fix any bugs they come across.
8. Assistance should be accessible to users
Although the virtual marketplace has brought a great degree of convenience, a few things remain unchanged. One of them is a customer’s need for assistance. It’s no different in case of a mobile app.
However, fool proof you believe your app is, strong consideration for possible pain-points of users is crucial while designing it. You can use several support mediums to cater to user concerns including FAQs, tap-to-call option and even live chat assistance.
It’s not only about whether you’re solving the problems of users, but it’s also about whether you’re solving them as and when they’re occurring. This is a determining factor for user retention.
And leveraging user feedback to improve the app can work wonders.
Author BIO –
Karan works as a mobile app developer in a reputed mobile app development company based in India. Karan spends his leisure time in writing articles on topics including software’s, technology, gadgets, etc.