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How a Better User Experience Can Reduce Uninstalls

abhishek  //  September 8, 2016  //  5 min read

For most app developers, the importance of providing a seamless user experience (UX) cannot be overstated. User experience helps determine the way a user of the app feels, thinks, and responds to the various functions and functionalities, so it’s important the UX is personalized, up-to-date, and easy to use

A whopping 80-90% of all downloaded apps are deleted only after the first use. And for most apps, around 94% of users delete the app within a month of downloading it, 80% of which are in the first three days. However, the same study also found out that a majority of users will give an app a second chance if they found it unimpressive the first time around.

With the ever increasing costs of customer acquisition and the cut throat competition in the apps market, it becomes extremely important to identify and try to eliminate the variables that encourage the app users to delete apps in the first place. Let’s discuss a few common reasons user experience plays a role in app uninstalls, along with tips for how to fix them.

7 reasons people uninstall apps, and solutions to solve them

1. Too many notifications

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One of the strongest points of an app is to have real-time interactions with your customers, without the use of individual log in. However, notifications can also be an app’s reason for an uninstall. Many app publishers go overboard with the notifications and constantly nag their customers to draw attention toward new features an in-app changes. But this strategy is often counterproductive, and many users find intermittent notifications irritating and even offensive as an infringement of their personal space, and choose to delete those apps that they find nagging.

Solution: This problem can be solved by being considerate of customers and giving them the options to choose the notification frequencies, or sending only a handful well-timed notifications. In any case, if the user finds the app useful and wants to remain updated with the latest developments, they will choose to keep the notifications on, rather than miss out on the interesting updates. A well thought-out customer engagement strategy that is subtle yet effective, such as leveraging push permission tools, can greatly enhance the chances of the customers opting for push notification.

2. Operating issues

The main function of an app’s design is to simplify the user experience and customer interactions. An app that is hard to use and complicated to understand and operate will eventually see an uninstall. Apps that are not user-friendly have no place in the fiercely competitive app market.

Solution: Operating issues can be solved by making apps easy and intuitive to use. It is also a good idea to have well-developed user guides that give simple instructions on how to use each feature of the app. Now, many apps come with tutorials for the first time users and that go a long way in app familiarization, which adds to the user experience.

3. Distracting in-app messages

One of the most annoying attributes of an app can be the frequent pop ups that ask for feedback on user experience, calls to upgrade to a new version, or adverts that provide links to other apps or paid/free features within the app. In-app messages are definitely valuable tools in the hands of the app developers to enhance their UX, especially when asking for feedback, but the timing of the in-app message is critical.

Solution: Implementing a subtle and well-researched feedback system through in-app messages (especially where the customer doesn’t feel annoyed) can help. As an app publisher, understand that it is important to have a smart and effective customer feedback system in place, along with a sentiment measuring mechanism that is unobtrusive, yet effective.

4. Invasion of privacy

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-4-52-19-pm

There is already widespread mistrust towards many web applications due to misuse of the private information. Many apps can appear to be overly intrusive or demanding with regards to personal information of their customers, even if what they’re gathering is necessary and valuable to offer a better experience. When perceived in this way, they have high chances of being viewed with suspicion and eventually being deleted.

Solution: Don’t show shady ads or popups within your app, and keep the amount of user information you ask for to a minimum. When you ask for customer information, never ask for anything that is not directly relevant to the app itself. It is also a good idea to reassure your customers that their data will not be misused by your company, and show that you have a solid plan for data protection and privacy. According to a report on Deloitte University Press, more than 80% of consumers indicate they are more likely to patronize brands that ensure the private data of the customers are well protected, and 83% of those customers are aware of data theft practices.

5. Log in difficulty

Many apps ask for a lot of information even before giving a preview access to the intending user. When users are asked for many details before actually experiencing the app, they’re generally not willing to share until they are sure the app has the features they’re looking for. This can be a huge deterrent to many people, leading to uninstalls.

Solution: It is a good idea for app publishers to ask for user details only after having made sure the user is interested in further exploring the app, and will want to use it. Asking for lengthy/invasive customer details during initial registration is quite discouraging, and should definitely be avoided. Only ask for information you truly need upfront; the rest can come later

6. Design issues

The way an app looks is important to initially grab customers and keep them interested in visiting the app again and again. If the app is not attractive looking in terms of overall design, usability, and interface, chances are that it will quickly become a candidate for bouncing, or worse, for an uninstall. According to Shopify, almost 67% of customers abandon their shopping carts before making payments and 1 in 4 shoppers do it because of the complicated navigation. That is a lot of business to lose!

Solution: Design is important, no matter the stage of your app. App publishers should spend a good amount of time planning the app’s design and usability, and make it attractive along with providing a rich, uninterrupted, and useful user experience.

7. Frequent crashing

screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-4-54-26-pm

An app that continuously crashes or freezes intermittently is one of the biggest reasons for app uninstalls. The freezing of an app in the middle of an interaction is incredibly disruptive and distressing to customers, and will certainly create a suspicion towards the app quality and usability.

Solution: App crashes can be effectively controlled by extensive testing and quick bug fixing, as well as upgrading the app with newer and more modern functionalities intermittently. According to Mobile App Review survey as reported by Intel, freezing and crashing apps are the number one reason for users to delete apps, with crashing being reported as one of the biggest downfalls at 71%.

Conclusion

As we can see from the above examples, providing a great user experience should be of paramount importance for all app publishers. It should be well understood that there is no substitute to a refined and well-designed experience that is sure to have your customers returning to your app more often. Similarly, a poor experience is sure to direct customers who have choices to consider deleting your app in no time.

About abhishek

Abhishek Agarwal is CEO and founder of Ohoshop, offering retail mobile apps for ecommerce businesses. Connect with him on Twitter.
View all posts by abhishek >

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