Mobile UI/UX Flaws That Can Sabotage Retention
Watching your user retention rates plummet after the initial few days or months makes even the most thick-skinned design and development teams start to feel a little uneasy. But it’s not always easy to know what the causes are.
Your UI/UX is always a useful place to start from because even addressing the most minor design flaws can reap massive benefits. Here are a few of the most common UI/UX flaws we have seen over the years since launching our QA testing platform.
Flaw #1: Ward off customers permanently with scary permissions
The stoic text that flashes in front of customers’ eyes once they start using an app for the first time may seem like something that simply needs to be accepted as part of an app’s standard UI/UX but doing so without reflection can come at a high cost.
Scaring users with permission settings, including asking for permission too early and asking them to provide access to too many pieces of their devices, are common mistakes in developing a positive user experience and ultimately, building long-term retention. When users open a new application, you don’t want them to question downloading your app by bombarding them with invasive questions to expose their personal data particularly if there is no immediate benefit in sight.
‘Scary’ permissions can include:
- App would like to access your locations
- App would like to access your camera
- App would like to send you push notifications
- App would like to access your contacts
If getting your user’s permission is critical, find the right time to ask it. This is usually the moment at which they need to use a feature that involves them giving access or permission. Then, let the user know why you need access to that specific data. This way, the user can understand the benefit of giving you access, and it’s more of a win-win for both sides.
Cluster is a great example of a company that has successfully employed user permissions in a way that’s relevant, timely and highly strategic:
The key is not to think of permissions as a mere afterthought—many apps require user data to provide an optimal experience, and when a user declines access due to a lack of information, the user’s experience of the app falls way below the originally intended experience.
Many times, even making a minor, yet thoughtful and incentivized, change to the permissions UI of an app can make a big difference in creating an optimal user experience.
In Cluster’s case, asking users for access to photos right after they tapped the camera icon and navigated over to “Choose Photos” increased the acceptance rate from 67 percent to 89 percent. Other examples of intelligently designed permissions UI concepts include the hint and the checklist.
Flaw #2: No hint
The permissions dialogue box is decidedly stark and uninviting but having a visual prompt to guide the user humanizes the dialogue box and if done successfully, is more apt to get the user to permit access. Lyft is a great example of this type of dialogue box:
Flaw #3: Leaving out a checklist
If your user needs to give you access to multiple types of data to have an optimal experience, consider an attractively designed checklist. Periscope provides a great example of a checklist-based user permissions UI concept. In the case below, it pops up when a user tries to broadcast their video for the first time.
Flaw #4: Not taking advantage of the customer’s excitement pre-conversion
Kiip’s engagement of data scientists at IPG Media Lab demonstrated some very interesting findings on how users feel before performing a conversion or achieving something that usually takes some time to do, like finding shoes from an obscure label at 40% off.
The data revealed that during moments of achievement, users experienced 40% more excitement than usual. Furthermore, the research data also found that the excitement of landing on a desired product (e.g. the achievement) translated into a 82% lift in purchase intent when paired with a reward.
The excitement of landing on the right product can easily be capitalized upon through a simple reward system and UI but rarely is.
For instance, once a user has landed on a single page displaying a product and just before a critical conversion, present a time-sensitive reward in the form of a 10% discount toward the product that the user is interested in.
Completing these extra moves repeatedly is often what is needed to take users over the edge and create positive reinforcement through your app experience. Ultimately, this will support long-term user retention and even user dependence on your app.
Flaw #5: Not creating daily dependency on your app
The numbers on user retention are brutal: Within 30 days, most apps lose 90 percent of their initial users and within 90 days, 95 percent of users are gone.
Retention is as much about creating a positive and consistent user experience — complete with thoughtful and relevant rewards and notifications—as it is about creating an app that is designed to build strong user dependance.
Apps that make actions users take on a daily basis easier, such as talking with family and friends (e.g. Skype) and getting from place to place (e.g. Uber), are obvious examples of apps that have hit two nails on the head. First, they build dependency by making something ubiquitous more enjoyable, rewarding and functional than the alternative and second, the become the leader in their segment due to an exceptional app model, UI/UX experience and superior user acquisition strategy.
Wrapping it up
When designing an app model or even features, too many teams fail by not being ambitious enough and not thinking of where an app truly fits into a user’s life. The main question to ask is, “How can we be the number one app in the app marketplace and create an app that users are dependent on daily?” In essence, all development, UI/UX and marketing decisions should stem from this vision.
Once you have your core vision and strategy in place to be the leading app in a key market, the next steps are ensuring that your app has an exceptional UI/UX experience, a superior user acquisition strategy and has undergone a thorough QA testing process.