Key Steps To Creating A User-Friendly App

How to create an app that sticks around beyond the typical delete date.

It’s fair to say that the global app market has become fiercely competitive. Google Play and the Apple App Store each contain around two million apps. Gartner recently predicted there will be 268 billion app downloads this year worth a remarkable $77 billion. Yet, one industry survey suggested 90% of people stop using an app within a month of downloading it, which is a remarkable attrition rate for these specialized software programs.

Why do apps get deleted?

People may stop using an app because it was only relevant to them in a particular situation, or because a free trial has ended. They might decide it’s not interesting enough, or discover a rival product that performs more favorably. However, since apps are designed to be effortlessly easy, an un-intuitive or confusing interface can also deter people from loading it more than once. Creating a user-friendly app is therefore essential to maximize the product’s lifespan, as well as the potential for up selling/advertising/brand-building.

Creating A Keeper

Here, we consider 10 key steps underpinning user-friendly app development:

#1. Research your competitors.

Don’t just investigate whether there’s a gap in the market. Experiment with existing content providers and see where their products fall short from a user’s perspective. What could your app do better than theirs?

#2. Make sure your app has a purpose.

Don’t just create an app for the sake of it if a website or chatbot can provide comparable functionality. Every app should make people’s lives easier or more enjoyable – and ideally both.

#3. Decide what services the app will deliver.

It’s critical from the design stage onwards to consider what the app will do, and to make sure that this functionality is prioritized for ease of operation.

#4. Create route maps.

Consider how the app can guide audiences to each identified objective – what information will be requested, how it’s processed, and so forth.

#5. Simplify security.

Few people will tolerate 2FA authentication outside of banking or finance apps. Use randomly chosen password letters or memorable answers as identification fields, and avoid those awful “click the squares” filters.

#6. Focus on the UX.

User experience is a hot topic in 2017. If an app loads slowly, the coding needs to be streamlined. If beta testing reveals ambiguities in navigation, clarify them. Put customer satisfaction ahead of noble intentions or desirable features.

#7. Take advantage of Location Based Services.

LBS utilizes a mobile device’s GPS, pre-populating geographic data fields and ensuring that services like “find my nearest” are presented as intuitively as possible.

#8. Use color effectively.

Monochrome backgrounds with contrasting menu buttons will maximize ease of navigation. Colorful logos can also act as shorthand for text, streamlining an interface and simplifying its usage.

#9. Test, test and test again.

Bugs are the antithesis of a user-friendly app. Eliminating software glitches or conflicts on different devices is vital for ensuring people have faith in the product, and for encouraging them to use it on a regular basis.

#10. Solicit feedback.

Even extensive beta testing won’t completely prepare your app for real-world usage. Encourage users to provide feedback with discounts and incentives, and build two-way communication with customers via social media.

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