user experience

5 user experience considerations that could make or break your app

August 20, 2014
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user experience

Is your company thinking about releasing a mobile app?

You’ll be joining hundreds of thousands of other apps on the marketplace, so you’ll need to set yourself apart. Your organization will also be fighting against the dreaded app deletion. According to Mobilewalla, between 80-90% of downloaded apps are deleted from a user’s mobile device. Here are five user experience elements to test rigorously before your company releases a new app.

Navigation

Can users find the information they want quickly? Gather test users and ask them to navigate your upcoming app while multitasking. While using one hand. While distracted by other activities, such as watching TV. This will simulate the myriad of real-life experiences your app will be exposed to once it hits the market. Menu buttons should be easy to press on the touchscreen. App sections should be intuitive and clear. If your app is a convoluted labyrinth, then users are likely to become frustrated, close the app, and then delete it.

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Size

What happens when mobile users run out of room for their music, photos, or app downloads? The bulkiest apps are usually the first to go. Your app could get the ax if it uses an excessive amount of internal storage space. Work with your app development team to make the installation package as small as possible. Don’t inflate your app with unnecessary coding or multimedia, because these elements can push your app over a fine line, turning it into a capacity hog.

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Crashes

There are few second chances for buggy apps that crash. According to a survey by Compuware, about 79% of respondents report that they willabandon an app that fails the first time. This can severely cut into your loyalty rates and harm your app’s reputation, especially if upset users leave angry reviews about crashes. It is crucial to repeatedly test your app on a wide range of mobile devices, debug code, and ensure that your finished product won’t crash during use.

Compatibility

How well do you know your audience? Are you catering to your customers’ needs by creating apps that are compatible with their current mobile operating systems and hardware? If not, you could be missing out on potential conversions. Use data from your website and app store analytics to identify the mobile platforms your audiences are most likely to use. Ensure that your app is compatible with current and previous generation operating systems (within reason).

Content Updates

Outdated, dusty content can be the death knell for your app. Chances are, users have downloaded your app for increased convenience. However, speedy access means nothing if your app doesn’t have the most current and relevant information. Once users notice aged content on your app, it will be no surprise when they ditch it.

Companies that release mobile apps have a great opportunity to connect with their audiences with interactive features, push notifications, and other engaging app characteristics. However, this experience can be spoiled if your organization does not take the time to test the user experience. Work with your app development teams to conduct rigorous testing and release a polished product.

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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. When he's not consulting, glued to a headset, he's working on one of his many business projects. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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