The development and launch of an app is no easy endeavour which is why we encourage our clients to think on hard metrics that they can use to monitor and measure success. These key performance indicators provide all the stakeholders with a goal to strive towards and could be in the form of income earned, the number of user, session length, app reviews, retention rate and/or churn rate.
The most worrying indicator of success (or rather a lack of it) is the rate of uninstalls on your app. This rate, as per the below chart changes depending on the industry but should be taken note of, analysed and improved upon.
One key reason for app uninstallation in our experience is a lack of design thinking in its development and is why we decided to pen this blog post. Such design is pivotal to the success of an app and is akin to a heart that pumps enjoyment, usefulness, and uniqueness into the product’s veins (pardon our poetic licence!). But, don’t take our word for it, keep on reading.
1. Your end-users eat with their eyes
The UX of an app as you might find us harping on about (quite a lot) is wrapped in how the app is presented. The aim of any product design, therefore, is to let the end-user achieve his goal in the most pleasant manner that is possible.
Imagine you’d like to develop an app that promises to help its users lose weight via a structured training and nutrition guide. Would this app contain a boring barebone interface that allows users to see only what they need to see? If you answered yes here, you will be in trouble.
What you need to do is create an app that makes following your structured training and nutrition guide more enjoyable during its use. Add some animations and interactions that make the journey to losing those extra kilos a fun and satisfying experience.
2. The users expect an intuitive experience
Users seek apps to fulfil a particular need and an app that is confusing in itself, will not be useful. The UI you have on your app helps the user communicate with it and should create an intuitive UX that keeps the user engaged with the app for as long as possible.
This intuitive experience cannot be standardised and requires a different user-oriented design for every product we work on. Take a look at the UI we designed for State Forests with different contrast features to help users identify trees in the bright outdoors, versus the one for Flashka, an indoor app that allows users to share their music and have a flash party.
3. Your competition is working as hard or harder
With 2018 seeing 194 billion worldwide app downloads, driving a consumer spend of $101 billion, the App/Play Store will not get any less crowded and is why the first impression of your app is important. It’s for this reason that we ensure all our clients are provided with screenshots that are reflective of the experience users can expect whilst using it. These screenshots are inspired by those offered by rivals, current trends and aimed at promising individual value to the app’s users, in order to encourage downloads.
4. Small design changes make big results
Finalising the design of a product involves a sizable amount of lean UX assumptions, test sessions with users and decision making on our part. This, however, isn’t the end as there is always room for improvement and is why we keep a constant eye on anonymous data and feedback from users. Such feedback allows us to see what’s working, what is not and what we can do better in the updates we roll out.
Don’t believe us? See how a change in the microcopy increased the engagement on Google’s hotel searches
5. Help make data-driven optimisations
Real-world users do not use apps in the controlled environments they are built-in and is why we reiterate the importance of listening to the data on the app’s usage with all the clients we work with. Such qualitative and quantitative data can help identify sticking points in the app that can and must be fixed to provide your users with an ever-increasing UX. A lack of such iterative improvements can have your hard-earned users being frustrated and abandoning your app for your rivals.
Remember, the development of the app doesn’t end with its release. Its a journey of monitoring and optimisation.
6. It represents your brand
The app you release to the public and intend to be looked at multiple times is a reflection of you. Done right, it could be a brand asset. Do it wrong and you’d have a liability.
Do you want to seem more classic or modern? Playful or sophisticated? Mature or youthful?
The definition you pick for your brand should remain consistent throughout the app and is why we create design guidelines before we even start work. Such effective designs evoke trust and help make a mark in the crowded marketplace.
7. Help create carefully crafted products
Carefully crafted products are vital as anything less than the best can have your users migrating to the many apps that are a tap away on the App/Play Store. This is why we at Mood Up insist on asking numerous questions from the client as it is only by asking the tough questions that we can create great, carefully crafted products that provide new and returning users with a superb experience.
To summarise, product design plays a pivotal role in the success of your product and should be given the attention it deserves. What is important to remember however is that this importance does not diminish upon the app’s deployment, as a top-notch app such as yours should be listening to its users and making continuous improvements.
Remember, customer acquisition is only half the battle; the real challenge is holding onto them.