How do you ensure a winning strategy when designing a mobile app?
The Apple App store offers users nearly 2 million apps, and Google Play has more than 2.2 million. According to a GO-Globe report, 52 percent of the time users spend viewing digital media are accessing it through mobile apps.
Users appreciate when they can download an app that makes their life more comfortable, but if it does not perform as intended, they are quick to uninstall it. Designers can study current app use to implement solutions that are intriguing and indispensable for their users.
Review Mobile Apps Statistics and Trends
People download apps because they are useful, and businesses design them because they make money. Here are some of the latest statistics.
- 89% of mobile media time comes from mobile app usage.
- The leading 500 merchants report 42% of mobile sales came from apps.
- Revenue continues to grow every year. In 2015, $45 billion came from mobile apps. In 2016, it was $58 billion. By the end of 2017, that number is forecast to be $77 billion.
- Games are the most frequently used type of app, followed by social networking apps. Music is the fastest growing category.
- 85% of users prefer mobile apps over mobile websites.
Apps encourage user engagement and improve conversion rates.
People in their late teens and early 20’s are most likely to use them, but the numbers are not that different for users in their 50’s and 60’s.
However, not all apps are successful. Gartner predicts that through 2018, less than 0.01 percent of apps will successfully bring revenue to their developers. When users have millions of choices, it is vital to develop UX strategy that works.
Track What is Trending
In 1998, Nokia mobile phones came preloaded with the game “Snake.” It was a variant of an arcade game from 1976. Nokia took something popular from years before and reinvented it to change the way users think of their phones. This move was a game-changer. Up till that point, people were using devices for calls and text messaging – now, they were also handheld entertainment devices.
Competitors quickly developed their own games. The original Nokia 3310 was one of the best-selling phones ever. This year, Nokia re-released the classic, again with “Snake”.
Track what has been effective in the past and design your mobile app around what is already successful. Create a sense of familiarity, either by reinventing old favourites or by connecting your app to current trends.
Simple and Fresh
Prioritise a user interface (UI) that feels clean and open. Plan every decision around the fact that it will be viewed on a screen between five and six inches tall. Analyse how it re-sizes on different-sized mobile devices and opt for a minimal UI design.
Users will only install and keep your app if it is the most effective and engaging they can find. Other businesses like yours offer apps to the same demographic. If their apps failed, it is likely because they were too complicated. Grab attention immediately by making it clear what the app does. Help users accomplish that goal in as few steps as possible. IntuitiveUX design groups content in chunks; make each step easy to follow with clearly marked choices.
Make screen elements large. When designers shrink elements to put as much as possible on a smartphone screen, the user is overwhelmed, and each element is harder to interact with. Seventy-five percent of phone interaction is done with the thumb. Make as many steps as possible able to be completed with just that digit.
Users access mobile apps when they are moving. Test ease of use when walking, eating, and in poor lighting. The harder it is to operate while moving, the more using the app seems like work. Clutter makes it more likely users will accidentally choose something they did not intend to and abandon their visit.
Instead of requiring users to type their login on their small smartphone keyboard, allow them to sign in with large buttons that use Facebook or Google. Reduce the possibility of error and the resulting frustration that could cause them to abandon your app.
If your app requires users to enter personal information, use auto-complete to reduce the number of times they have to enter it. Auto-populate city and state based on zip code, store credit card information for easier use next time and auto-select the most popular options, like free shipping.
Design for Your Users
Do not start your design with business goals. Plan mobile app design around your user. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recommends standard ISO 13407, which has the following steps:
- Identify user need.
- Define the context of use and specific requirements within that context.
- Execute design.
- Evaluate user satisfaction.
If the system satisfies all the user’s objectives and requirements, it is a success. If not, designers should start the process again.
Once users install your app, you do not have long to convince them to keep it. If you waste valuable seconds with multiple permissions or start with a difficult-to-read font, they may decide your app is not worth the effort.
Use Mobile App UX Analytics
Just like you would use analytics to design a website, evaluate your app’s strengths and weaknesses by gathering data. Touch heatmaps create a visual representation of how customers interact with the app, how far down the screen they scroll, etc.
Use UX analytics to find friction points. Find out where they stopped in the registration process and see if you can refine elements to improve success rates. If they scrolled all the way to your call to action, did they stop because the CTA button was too small, or too far down the page?
Choose the Best Color Palette
Colour is tied to emotion. In China, the color red is associated with happiness. Middle Eastern users most prefer emerald green. Know your audience to use colour schemes to drive response and improve conversions.
For example, some research shows people associate the colour orange with something that is inexpensive. It creates feelings of excitement or enthusiasm. On its mobile app, Amazon announces free delivery and returns on an orange field with corresponding orange checkout buttons. The user feels like they are getting an exciting bargain, so they should go ahead and complete the transaction.
Give Users Progressive Onboarding
If users have to complete a series of steps to start using your app, do not make them figure it out on their own. Add prompts that show users what to select and where to enter information one step at a time. It should feel to the user like the app is being magically revealed, and each step they complete unlocks something useful.
Another onboarding option involves showing users the app’s best features or briefly describing its functions. Keep in mind that some users would instead start using the app without interruptions. Allow them to opt out of the onboarding process.
Create an app that records user behaviour and preferences and adjusts to become even more engaging. Record user choices and adjust for taste, interests, and preferences. As always, offer unique, high-quality content that is consistently updated.
A winning UX strategy is designed for the user, finds the right balance between collecting information and providing useful content, and delivers what it promises from the first impression through continual use. Successful designers include UX strategies for captivating apps that bring their businesses more considerable financial success.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in mobile UX, then taking the course on Mobile User Experience, which includes templates you can use in your own projects. If, on the other hand, you’d like to…
- learn all the details of Usability Testing
- get easy-to-use templates
- learn how to properly quantify the usability of a system/service/product/app/etc
- learn how to communicate the result to your management
… then consider to take the online course Conducting Usability Testing.
Lastly, if you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, the online course on User Experience could provide you with the necessary knowledge. Good luck on your learning journey!
(Lead image: Depositphotos – affiliate link)