Consider this: 70% of app users abandon apps that take too long to load. And if your app crashes even once, 71% of them are likely to just uninstall it!
These numbers are not isolated facts. They are part of a general trend. Mobile users demand a high-quality user experience from mobile apps, and if you fail to offer it, they’ll likely switch to a competitor. What’s worse, 13% of them will share their bad experience with 15 or more people, while 72% will share it with 6 or more others.
Once again, these numbers reinforce something that mobile app developers have known for quite some time – user experience plays a critical role in your users’ brand perception and loyalty.
So, you give them a great mobile experience and the users will flock to you, right?
Well, that’s easier said than done.
For one, how do you even begin to define “great user experience (UX)”? Is it the same for everyone? What specific elements should you improve to give your users delightful app experiences?
Let’s tackle the first question. For most users, a fast, fluid-smooth, immersive, intuitive, error-free, and consistent app experience together create an outstanding UX. The minutiae of great UX – loading speed, animations, etc. – vary from one user group to another. Therefore, a strong understanding of user needs is critical for creating UX that meets those needs and makes them happy. So, always begin your app development process with user research.
Here are some other things you can do to give your users a satisfying user experience.
1.Conduct a UX Test
Despite the vital role played by UX in the success of mobile apps, only 55% of the companies perform UX tests. This is particularly disheartening because 85% of UX issues can be detected simply by testing the UX on a group of mere 5 people. So, it makes sense for businesses and app developers of all sizes to invest in UX testing. It’s affordable and can be a gamechanger for your app’s future as well as your brand.
Ideally, businesses should subject their app to UX testing even before they roll it out to their audiences. Also, every time they make an update to their UX, they must test it before publishing.
The cost of bad UX is exorbitantly high, so UX testing should be an integral step in every app development and update process.
2. Monitor Usage Behavior
Dynatrace recommends tracking and monitoring 500 key user actions to get insights into their user experience and identify areas for improvement. It helps you understand how your users interact with the app, which tasks take them longer than ideal, and at what step they abandon their tasks.
By obsessively gathering these details, you can proactively identify UX issues as fast as they crop up, even without your users reporting them. This is critical because most users do not bother to report bugs and issues; they just migrate to your competitors.
3. Periodic Updates
It’s impossible to make your app 100% error-free, but you can drastically reduce the errors. Despite thorough QA testing, mobile apps tend to have some errors, and they pop up from time to time. When they do, you must be prepared to address them with timely fixes. Regular maintenance keeps your app updated, error-free, and performing at its best.
4. Use Native Functionalities
Here’s an important question to ask yourself when designing your app: why should your customers use your app instead of the website?
If your app offers the same features and functionalities as your website, then there’s really no reason for users to give your app dedicated space on their phone, is there?
Think of ways to use native functionalities in creative ways to provide them additional value. Smartphones are loaded with powerful native functionalities – GPS, accelerometer, camera, proximity sensors, calling, microphones, calendar, and so on. Use them to offer your users a seamless mobile experience that they cannot get anywhere else, including your website. Fitness apps, for instance, are utilizing these resources to track users’ workouts in real-time, something that websites cannot do.
5. Use Native UI Elements
The easier you make your app to use, the more user loyalty you win. One way to achieve this is by employing native UI elements. Your users are already accustomed to their smartphone’s native interface. If your app uses the same familiar UI elements, users can start using your app with little difficulty. They don’t have to learn new gestures, buttons, and icons. They will interact with your app intuitively and “feel” that the app offers an outstanding user experience.
6. Gather User Feedback
Only 1 in 26 dissatisfied customers are likely to post a complaint. Most of them just quit. And, the one highly disgruntled customer is likely to take their complaint to app store reviews, social media platforms, and even to people in their offline life. So, make it easier for your app users to share their dissatisfaction with you before they do it with the world.
Easy access to feedback surveys, swift resolution of their complaints and issues, and follow-up of bug reports with fixes as part of periodic updates go a long way in winning over dissatisfied app users. What’s more, responding to user-reported bugs with fixes improves the overall app UX for all app users.
7. Personalize the UX
Whenever possible, customized your users’ screens with personalized data, suggestions, and content. You can leverage user data to offer them an increasingly tailored user experience. The more they use your app, the more accurate and tailored experience they should get from it. If possible, allow users to customize app UI and UX to suit their needs and preferences.
Personalization forms habits. Personalized experiences bind your app users to you. They forge strong customer loyalty. In time, users will love interacting with your app every day and keep coming back to it.
8. Invest in UX Development
Consumer perception of what constitutes great app experience is continuously evolving. Good UX from a year ago may barely be satisfying to the same users today. With iOS and Android releasing new versions of their OSes every year, they keep improving user experiences in many impactful ways. Then there are the most commonly used apps like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail, and others that push UX to new heights every few months.
Mobile users quickly get attuned to these enhancements and begin to expect the same or similar quality UX from other apps too. So, keep in touch with the emerging trends in mobile UX and ensure that your app users are getting the most modern UX.
9. Animate Your Transitions
It’s a simple but remarkably effective way of improving your app UX. Employ delightful animations to provide users a seamless app experience when they transition between pages or when they perform in-app actions. Just remember to not overdo it.
App animations should follow user actions every time. They should not precede user actions, as that can feel gimmicky and unnecessary.
10. Limit User Input
We cannot stress this enough: the more complicated you make your app to use, the more users you lose. App users hate inputting too much data on their smartphones. It leads to a frustrating experience on small screens and they’ll resent you for it.
To limit user attrition, only include essential input fields and keep input fields as few as possible. Use autocomplete, text predictions, dropdown menus, spell-check, and other features to minimize your users’ effort. Less effort translates to a satisfying app user experience.
Satisfying app experiences do not always require you to spend a fortune on your app. It takes a deeper understanding of your user needs and skillfully meeting them with the right choice of technology. You don’t even have to create a complex design for your app. Keep it simple, straightforward, and easy to use.
Vitec GmbH offers a 360-degree approach to app development, which puts app UX at the left, right, and center of your app strategy. We’ll develop a comprehensive app evolution strategy and explain to you how we can take your app from A (present state) to Z (awesome UX state) and offer consistently superior UX to your users over time.
To discuss the possibilities for your app, get in touch.
Marc Roset is an expert in digital concept strategies, a passionate blog writer and CEO at Vitec GmbH. He brings his experience and knowledge of the last decade in software development and outsourcing strategies to creative blogs, e-books and more.