How Keep People Using Your app with Strong User Experience (UX)
- What does user experience (UX) for mobile apps mean?
- Why is good UX important for my app?
- How can I make sure my app's UX is working the right way?
Mobile app UX. Sounds like something only design wizards and tech gurus need to know, right? Actually, marketers should be familiar with it, too.
Why? Because unlike books, people judge apps not only by their cover but also by their navigation and pages...and colour schemes...and fonts...and how simple they are to use.
Even if your app is built with great technology and has engaging content, usability and design play a big part in forming people's impressions of it.
The version that works better is well-designed, has clear directions, is easy to use, and is intuitive. In short, it has a good UX.
UX is all about making complex processes easy and intuitive for users.
Think about going for a walk. Each step requires complex interactions between nerves, muscles, tendons, and more. But when you're strolling through the park, you don't have to think about all of that - you just walk.
In the same way, good UX makes sure that people don't have to think about all of the things that go into their journey through the app, like the font or colour choice, scrolling speed, and more.
UX also affects how people use your product, and it's a key factor in determining whether they use it at all.
Good UX can increase conversion rates and keep people coming back for more. That's because it makes it easy for them to achieve their goals - from buying a shirt to learning a new language.
Bad UX can make people unhappy. And when people are unhappy, they uninstall.
UX isn't just the duty of developers and designers. Your app's UX must meet your goals, be true to your brand identity, and be right for your audience.
Before you start building your app, ask yourself: "Why am I making an app?" "What kind of app is it?" and "Who am I making it for?"
Answering these questions will help you design a mobile experience that's right for both your brand and your target audience's goals. You will also have a better idea of what resources you'll need to build your UX.
There are plenty of ways to create the best experience for people and to help them discover information in your app, but it all depends on your app's goals.
To make people's mobile experience better, you can allow them to navigate through your app in nonlinear ways. Let them skip to different sections or features without starting over or losing unsaved data.
You could also build an in-app search feature or set up predictive text, root word recognition, or autocorrection to make it easier for people to find what they're looking for.
Only ask people to register for your app if it's necessary or relevant. After people register, minimize the amount of times they need to enter their password.
If someone forgets their password, make it easy for them to sign back in. You could email them a link to reset their password or have them set up touch ID for easier sign-in.
When asking for information from people, like location, always explain why you need it. This lets them know how the information will make their experience better and will make you seem less like Big Brother and more like a helpful friend.
Good UX allows people to complete their goals easily, and without having to leave your app.
Make sure your app's features (like the keyboard) work with different mobile screen sizes and allow people to zoom in to see images and text better.
Entry forms should be easy to use: Enable auto-capitalization and autofill, have relevant keys like “.com," and automatically advance people once they finish a section. Also, show them any errors they made right away.
To make your app human and approachable, avoid using jargon and check your content for technical and complex terminology. Also, consider providing confirmation when a user completes an action by showing visual feedback.
Prevent people from leaving your app too soon by keeping all relevant features in-app. For example, if a customer is looking at movie showtimes on a ticketing app, a calendar should pop up with screening times and dates.
Lastly, before you finish up, test every feature in your app to see if you can accomplish what you wanted - first as a marketer, and then as a user. This will ensure that your app allows both your brand and your users to fulfil their goals.
Now that you've seen how good UX keeps people engaged, let's do a no-pressure exercise to evaluate the UX of your app or a competitor's app.
- Are the app’s functions intuitive and easy to use? Yes/No/I don’t know
- Can actions be completed end-to-end without leaving the app?
- Does the app allow for in-app searches?
- Does a keyboard pop up when you fill out entry forms?
- Can you leave and come back to the app without having to start over?
- Does the app use simple language?
- Does the app minimize the number of times you need to enter your password?
If you are evaluating your own app, start by thinking about what new elements could make the app even more user-friendly.
References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer