7 Mobile UX Strategies That Build Engagement
User Experience, in general, and mobile user experience, in particular, is not static. As mobile technologies, interfaces, and user behaviors change, the UX also evolves. With an ever-increasing population having access to smartphones, the importance of mobile UX today is paramount. The design of mobile interactions needs to be flawless for an app to succeed in building a lasting engagement with users.
This article aims to help mobile app developers and designers improve their app’s user experience. It not only sheds light on how UX is changing in the context of mobile apps but also shares some best practices to create app experiences for better engagement with users.
1. Begin with Understanding Your Users
Defining the types of user persona(s) that you are designing for, decides the context and content of your mobile app. User research is the ideal means to help you get there. A good understanding of what kind of features will be useful for your target audience, and what content resonates with them, will set you on the right path.
Here is how you can translate your intentions into actions:
- Conduct qualitative user research to understand the contexts around users experience of an app or a feature.
- Leverage available analytics to learn about your target users’ goals, browsing patterns etc.
- Use the understanding gained from both qualitative and quantitative research to define user persona(s).
2. Prioritize Simplicity
Always prioritize ease of use over adding more features. The best apps have the simplest interfaces and focus on a limited, but important set of features. The navigation process should be easy to follow. A finding from Nielson Norman Group suggests a page has just 10 seconds to communicate its value proposition. Any screen that takes longer risks loss of attention.
Here’s how to make your design simple yet effective:
- Focus on the perfecting the experience around the core features. Don’t add features that may not be frequently used.
- Make navigation self-evident and consistent, so that the user is shown a clear path on each screen.
- Prioritize one call-to-action per screen. Too many calls-to-action on one screen add clutter.
- Pass the temptation of using small fonts to accommodate more content. Go easy on fonts and be frugal with content.
3. Obsess over Speed for Better Responsiveness
A 2018 report from Google reveals that as page load time goes from 1s to 10s, the probability of bounce increases to 123%. Mobile experience seems to magnify the slightest of delay in an apps responsiveness as the user is usually on the move. If your app is not quick, it risks losing the user to their competitors. For interactions that have a lag, find ways to engage your user to keep them from losing interest.
Here are some practical ways to achieve this:
- Design the app architecture to lessen the need for frequent and ‘heavy’ data responses from servers.
- Keep the user engaged by showing animation (GIFs) while the data downloads in the background, so that they feel that you are with them throughout.
- Design form elements that can save user’s time.
- Avoid ‘dead-end’ screens. Always guide users to further action.
4. Personalize the Experience
The user’s attention span is shortening constantly. You need to save their time. Creating personalized experience reassures the users that you (the designer) are there to simplify their lives. Personalized experience engages the user. It has been seen that sales and subscriptions improve with personalized experiences.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Use data from customers’ past interactions on your app or website to tailor timely interactions.
- Use real-time data like location, device type, and context of use to craft personalized interventions.
- Suggest actions based on the users’ context.
5. Decide which Platform Works Best for Your App
What devices are your users most likely to access your app on? Are you expecting to offer the same experience across platforms? The top mobile app development companies focus on the answers of the aforementioned questions to decide what frameworks you should deploy - native or hybrid, depending on your requirements. To a great extent, it depends on the performance needs of your app and your target audience.
Listed below are the aspects you should focus on for choosing the apt platform:
- Use analytics to understand user demographics like age group, social milieu, spending patterns, device histories, etc. to zero down on the apt platform.
- Take into consideration the features of your app. Does the OS Platform that you wish to launch it on, support it?
- Native and hybrid frameworks both have their pros and cons. The decision to go with one or the other should be decided on business goals and user needs.
6. Enable Seamless Transition between Different Channels
Customers are no longer restricted to using one device. Going by trends, an average user may access up to three devices (including desktops, laptops, mobile devices, etc.) in a day. It is important that digital channels must synchronize and supplement one another. There must be a seamless transition from the web browser to a mobile app and vice versa. For example, customers may begin a purchase on mobile but complete it over a laptop.
Here are a few things that need to be kept in mind to design seamless transitions:
- While offering the exact same experience over different channels is neither possible nor recommended, user data should be synchronized.
- An app that captures user data on one platform should make the transition seamless when the user switches to a different platform.
- For some shared features, use an in-app browser to make it seem seamless on different platforms.
7. Test and Keep Testing
Usability testing, as well as A/B testing, should be a staple part of your mobile UX drill. Even the apps designed by experienced designers may end up having flaws that they may not have seen coming. What may look exceptionally well designed on a high-resolution screen of a designer, could end up behaving not so well on a low-resolution device of the user. Prototype testing, Pre-launch usability testing, and user feedback help you to up your mobile UX game.
Here’s how you may implement testing:
- Test at the prototype stage to determine the viability of your app’s value proposition, as well as its technical feasibility.
- Before the launch, test with real users who are absolutely new to the app.
- Post-launch, listen to the user feedback because users are the best judge of what is best for them.
- As the mobile environments(s) evolve, accordingly your app will need to adapt, so keep analyzing and improving the user experience.
User experience is clearly paramount for mobile apps and it can be a tricky thing to master. Nonetheless, the user experience can make a difference in the success or failure of an app. Following these mobile UX suggestions validated by the top mobile app design companies can help you build apps that not only engage your users but also establish a niche for themselves.