The mobile app world moves fast. When business operations and bottom lines are deeply intertwined with mobile apps, it can be especially difficult to keep up with frequently updated platform guidelines and constantly changing table stakes. Understanding the unique expectations users have for mobile experience can tip the scales from good to great, ensuring users don’t abandon your app. Interactions should adapt seamlessly to user preferences while complementing their larger tech environment. Features like dark mode for instance, are no longer nice-to-haves — they are indispensable.
Research shows that after mobile users download an application, 80% of them churn within three months. What updates can you make to your mobile user experience to keep your business from falling victim to this statistic? Especially if your app is integral to running your business, it’s crucial to deliver on your users’ core expectations — like the event attendee app Nerdery helped Google Cloud develop for their annual Next conference. Fortunately, mobile users have the same expectations across apps, so more reason to ensure your mobile apps cover the must-haves.
Let’s consider some key system functionalities and look at changing user expectations, so we can lay the foundation for the continuous improvement needed to create dynamic mobile experiences.
Let the system do the heavy lifting to make your app feel familiar to your users (and make less work for you).
Consider thoughtful system integrations, so your app is connected to the larger digital ecosystem with which your users are familiar.
Users expect to be able to view basic content and perform key functions within apps. Don’t make users switch to the “right” channel to do something.
Use primers before displaying permission dialogs. What’s the first thing your users see when they download and open your app? Is it a prompt to allow your app to use their location, allow notifications, etc.? What privacy are you asking users to give up? Why should they? Simply tell users why you’re asking before you prompt them, in a way they can easily understand. Make interactions feel mutually beneficial, for example, a fair exchange of information. Explain how information will be used in order to build trust. If you don’t, it feels one-sided or spammy.
Don’t skip the last layer of polish. Include this in the visual QA process.
Applying these table stakes and following a user-centric process puts your users at the core of every mobile app experience decision. And when users feel taken care of and their expectations and needs are met, they will continue to use your app.
If the path to realizing your ultimate mobile app experience vision still is not clear, that’s okay. We can help. At Nerdery, we’ve been developing mobile apps with iOS and Android standards and capabilities since smartphones came on the market. (See our work in transforming M Health Fairview’s patient experience through an improved digital ecosystem of mobile and web properties.) In response to the challenge of always adapting to ever-changing standards, we’ve built a specialized cross-functional team of mobile designers and developers to work collaboratively with business stakeholders throughout the mobile development process to ensure business objectives and user expectations are met.