Tag Archives: usability

3 Hot Ideas to Improve Your Mobile User Experience

App design has become more and more customer focused since the mobile app first came out. Consequently customer experience is king when it comes to mobile apps and rightly so.  Before you start your next mobile app development project make sure you think about how you will be collecting data, what data you will be collecting and how you can use it to benefit your app’s user experience.

Make sure you think about how you will be collecting data

Make sure you think about how you will be collecting data | Photo: TechStage (Flikr)

Here are three hot ideas on how to improve your app’s user experience using data:


The modern shopper and app user wants a personalized experience. Your users will expect you to not only understand their needs but also be able to deliver messaging based on those needs.  Businesses that are able to do this will be able to build a more personal connection with their customers.  Using data such as a users name, age, gender or location in your messaging can help improve response. Simply using a customer’s name puts your message in a more conversational tone that customers respond to and by developing a full plan based on delivering personalized information you can use your apps to build customer relationships.

Keep a sharp eye on privacy

I think we have all experienced marketing that is so targeted that it comes across as creepy. One day I was buying a pair of boots for my daughter at Journeys and came home to find my Facebook feed full of Journeys ads, I have to admit I felt fairly creeped out at that moment. You need to respect your customers desire for privacy and not step over boundaries. Customer’s respond favorably to ads that are relevant and interesting but will be put off if they feel you are going too deep into their personal lives. You need to be strategic with what data you collect and how you use it.

Be data savvy

Be collecting and analyzing the right data you will be one step closer to a great user experience, but remember the experience is only as good as you data. A quality data analyst or architect can be very useful in helping you with this stage and you will probably realize it is easier than you think it will be if you talk to the right data analyst. Focus on the information that is important to your customers.  What is their purchase history? What is their behavior while using your app? What demographic data have they given per their profile? Once you have this data you can use it to personalize your messaging to customers.

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Start With Your Customers for Powerful Mobile Application Development

The mobile application market’s growth has been tremendous over the past several years and it is only expected to keep right on growing.

While this is good news for businesses that have embraced mobile, other businesses run the risk of slipping even further behind the curve. The fact of the matter is that not all apps are equal.

Developing a mobile strategy is essential to succeeding in the modern application landscape

Developing a mobile strategy is essential to succeeding in the modern application landscape | Photo: Jorge Quinteros (Flikr)

Some businesses have worked out a winning formula, while others are trying to figure out the right strategy, others are simply tossing darts into the dark and others haven’t acted at all. Regardless of where your business sits on that spectrum, it is clear that developing a mobile strategy is essential to succeeding in the modern application landscape.

Consumer’s expectations are changing as they are more fully integrating mobile applications into their lifestyle and businesses need to be able to understand consumer behavior to fulfill their expectations. It is important to develop a strategy before you start your mobile application development, a key ingredient to this is understanding your customers.

Consumers have become proficient with applications and expect apps that not only fulfill a need but that allow them to do so rapidly. Great user experiences are essential, otherwise users become frustrated and delete applications.

To avoid being one of the apps that is used once and deleted you must first start but understanding your customer’s expectations. Beyond that you must also understand the mobile medium and blend together a user experience that addresses the consumer’s needs with a tool that leverages that power of mobile.

Businesses that are not working towards this run the risk of being left behind as apps are becoming increasingly more important to business and are flirting with taking over first screen status. According to Gartner, “by 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe.”

Many businesses site down and develop and agenda of what they want their mobile application to do without ever stopping to consider the customer. If your mobile application does not address the needs of your consumers, it won’t spark their interest and will most likely be deleted quickly.

Key to this is engagement. For years we heard this word with social media and its just as important or maybe more so with mobile applications. Part of this is providing relevant information. Mobile is wonderful in its ability to allow you to personalize messaging and to make it as relevant as possible. Working with a user experience designer can help you provide an intuitive interface that helps increase adoption and loyalty. UI | UX design is more important than ever and crucial to mobile application success.

Try to keep an eye on the future too. If you release an app that was dated before it even made it to the app store you are not doing your business any favors. Consumers are tech savvy and up on the latest trends.

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How to Improve the Stickiness of Your Mobile Application

It is not enough to merely have a mobile app for your business. Just as with your web site and other aspects of your business, you want your mobile applications to get results.

One of the key metrics of success with mobile applications is “stickiness” and according to a recent study by Localytics, stickiness is improving for apps across the board due to improvements in engagement.

App stickiness is the average of the percent of frequent users and the percent of users who return within three months after using the app.  According to Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics, “app engagement is at an all-time high and is likely to only continue increasing.”

But how do you increase stickiness for your application?

Place a Premium on User Experience

Place a Premium on User Experience

Place a Premium on User Experience | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flickr)

Key to mobile application stickiness is its user experience. Since mobile devices are smaller, applications have less screen to work with and space is at a premium. When you combine smaller screens with the fact that app users usually download applications on impulse, user interfaces become even more important.

Make sure you don’t rush the design phase of your project and don’t be afraid to contact a mobile user interface specialist that can help you get the results you want. Minimalistic UI design works well in the mobile environment and is what end users expect in 2015. Resist the urges to add irrelevant 3D images with textures, shadows and beveled edges, rather, follow what works and suggest a minimal UI design to your mobile application developer.

Today’s mobile users want apps that are easy to use and not packed with clutter on the screens. Beyond being easier to use, minimal design makes content easier for users to read and retain.

But simple, intuitive design on its own is not a guarantee for success.

Have a Strategy to Engage Your Users

One of the best ways to do that is to give them a little reminder that your application is there once in a while. Push notifications are a perfect way to do this and if you pay attention you will see that successful apps focus on engagement strategies utilizing tools such as personalized push messaging.

It’s no surprise why so many successful apps use this tool. On mobile applications where users enable push notifications there are an average of 88% more launches than by the users who disable push notifications (Localytics). Additionally, a very solid 62% of users who enable push notifications return to the app the month after installation if messaged (compared with 32% for users who have disabled notifications).

When it comes to push notifications, you want to take the time to craft your messages so your users will find them valuable. How often you send them out will depend on your audience and applications purpose, but be careful not to send them out too often or for no good reason or you will find your users will uninstall your app.

Create Engaging Content

While users are within your application, engaging content is an important aspect of not only developing a following but creating more regular usage of your app.  Engaging content can draw your users in.

When developing a content strategy for your application, remember that the goal is to match the right message to your visitor’s intent while simultaneously meeting your business goals. From there it is important to consider the smaller format of mobile devices and usage patterns of your customers.

People like to digest mobile content in nice easy, bite-size pieces. Research has shown that people tend to be task oriented on their mobile phones. Keep this in mind as you format your content. Make it easy on your visitor’s by using big fonts that are easy to read. You will also want to give your audience the most important pieces of information first and use bullet points and sub-headers so they can scan your content.

Finally don’t be afraid to use plain language. Most businesses are shifting to a conversational tone for their mobile communications. A conversational tone is simply writing like you speak. Keep your sentences short and work in those action verbs and you will find audiences more likely to engage.

Photo: http://bit.ly/1FvxurK

It’s Time for a Mobile First Approach

Every year we see stories about how mobile marketing is the next big thing. It’s time for businesses to realize that mobile is here and that it should be the first part of your advertising program that you look at rather than being an afterthought.

A strategy to leverage the power of mobile applications is critical

A strategy to leverage the power of mobile applications is critical | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flickr)

If you need convincing just take a look at the people around you and watch how often they look at their mobile phone – or these days, watch and see if they stop looking at their smart phones.  Smart phones and tablets are a way of life now, as users spend much of their time on mobile applications and the mobile web.

According to eMarketer the average American spends more time on digital media than any other format. That same study points out that an astounding 5+ hours per day is spent by Americans on digital devices with the majority of that time spent on mobile devices. Of the time spent on mobile devices, the bulk of that is spent on mobile applications (80% according to Flurry).

Clearly developing a strategy for how to leverage the power of mobile applications is critical to most businesses and there are many fine iPhone application developers and Android application developers that can help you do that.

But how do you take a mobile first approach and succeed?

You must start with a mobile strategy.

Crucial to that strategy is a plan for a great UX (user experience). If you don’t understand why user experience is important to your mobile application strategy then your application will be headed nowhere.

Don’t inflate your application down with unnecessary features. You should understand the goals of your software and eliminate unneeded features that just get in the way of a good UX. Unnecessary features only serve to  confuse users and you will end up with an app that is quickly deleted by users.

One thing that is common to all of the highly popular apps is that they all offer great UX. These popular apps do more than just accomplish their goal, they allow users to do it in a way that is intuitive and doesn’t require guessing. UX is about creating a highly functional layout where each item is placed exactly where it should be in a way that allows the user to naturally flow through the app.

Once you have developed a strategy you must be able to translate it into an interface with which users interact with your application.

When it comes to user interface design, make sure you understand the industry trends.

You can’t design a great app if you don’t know what is going on in the industry. Pay attention to the trends you see and what users are looking for in applications. Users get used to doing things in a certain way and you should take advantage their muscle memory in your mobile application rather than trying to fight it.

Design is of paramount importance with mobile user interfaces (UI) and a focus should be on letting a user easily find immediate solutions on a smaller screen.

If you adopt an approach where you create your applications specifically for the mobile environment that utilize the strengths of the environment, rather than trying to shoe horn in your web site or print materials, your mobile applications can help you see the results so many others are enjoying from this medium.

Photo: http://bit.ly/1DSWEnK

4 Key Trends for Mobile App Design

As 2015 is underway and certain trends are clearly standing out in mobile application design. iPhone application designers and Android application designers are both capitalizing on these trends and using them to improve user experiences.

Businesses that fail to pay attention to trends risk releasing an application that looks dated before it is even approved for publications. This is a key reason that it is so important to work with a professional UI design firm when starting your mobile application.

Following are the trends that will influence the forward thinking designers and developers over the coming year:


Mobile and minimal were made for each other. Minimalism is perfect when user experience is at a premium and nowhere is user experience more important than on the small screens of mobile devices. Minimalism is an essential style for designers to master that can produce remarkable results when utilized with mobile application interfaces.

Hidden Menus

While screens on mobile devices are larger, they still offer a limited workspace. In response to that clever designers hide app functionality until needed. A common example of this is a navigation drawer that slide out when required. Another example are functions that are displayed when swiped, such as deleting posts on some social sites. As app users continue to grow more and more familiar with applications we will see this trend grow to maximize a user’s workspace.


Typography is crucial in the mobile environments and when properly done can greatly improve a user’s experience. It’s key to make the typography work together with the design elements in the application and remain legible to readers. Poor typography can be distracting or unreadable and turn users away.


With the introduction of Apple’s iOS 7 software interfaces went flat. The past couple of years focused on flat design. While that will continue and designs on screen will still look flat, clever designers are finding ways to give them depth in the flat environment. A common tool for giving depth is using transparency and layers.