27 May 2016

Top Tips to Help Your App Make an Impact

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Josh Carson

Building a mobile app that takes off and continues to build momentum is no easy feat. There is a lot to think about in order to build an app that is successful. Recent studies have shown that the average app loses up to 80% of it’s users within the first 3 days after install. With such drastic odds, how can you make sure your app stands the test of time and retains users? Here are just a few tips on how we advise our clients to build impactful and “sticky” apps.

What are micro-interactions?

User experience is a crucial aspect of this app in order to encourage engagement from existing customers In order to make customers feel engaged with the app, as part of the app development process we suggest taking time to develop micro-interactions. These are small details, or contained product moments, within an app that provide delightful feedback for users as they complete a task. This attention to detail and micro animations will help the user understand any processes involved and make completing small tasks enjoyable to complete.

An Example:

Twitter used micro interactions when designing the ‘like’ button on their app (and website) Geek.com had this to say

The new symbol doesn’t just change color when you press it, but does a whole animated explosion of happiness when you click the button. It’s like a confetti explosion of love. A Japanese magical girl transformation of emotion. When you say you like something on Twitter now, you really, really like it.

micro interaction 1 1

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the concept of incentivizing an app to encouraging users retention. There are a number of ways to achieve this depending on your goals for the app. In this instance the goal is to encourage users to keep using the app, and to get talking about it. One way to incentivise this for customers would be to award points continued use of the app/certain actions, and awards badges or status based on their number of points. This could include any of the following for example:

  • Sharing on social media
  • Rating the app
  • Continued app use

Different badges can be mapped out visually (see image below) and inject more personality into the app.

An Example:

Starbucks used Gamification techniques to create a rewards system and saw fantastic results with user retention. This was evaluated by appmakr.com:

“Starbucks employs a solid set of incentives for end users to continuously access their app by means of free downloads, product giveaways, and interactive gift features. The main lesson here is that if the user is not presented with a reason to keep using the app, they won’t.”

gamification 1

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding is a vital aspect when it comes to user retention rates on mobile. This is the first impression the users have of your app, and essentially an introduction or walk through of the app. This will ease your customers into the app and excite them about some of the key benefits that this will bring them


There are many great examples of good onboarding processes, however the following examples show how you can inject personality and the brand into these steps to create that all important first impression and help guide the user through the process:

onboarding 1


Feedback on your product, service and your app is invaluable, and encouraging this through the app is important. You can reward users for their reviews in points or badges (see Gamification above). By allowing users to leave feedback and reviews, this creates a fantastic feedback loop with your customers.

What is accessible mobile app design?

Many mobile apps can often suffer due to issues with accessibility. In order to ensure an app is accessible for users who are blind/have low vision, it’s important that the app is compatible with device accessibility features. These features include VoiceOver/Google Voice, screen readers that speak everything on your phone out loud, and dynamic fonts, that allow users to enlarge text automatically based on their phone settings.

An Example:

We worked with GoodFoodTalks to provide a completely accessible mobile app for blind users, which is now being used by many popular restaurants, including Nando’s and Prêt a Manger. Read more here.

These are just a few areas that we encourage our clients to think about and develop further, over and above the minimum requirements. With the right balance and this extra attention to detail, it’s possible to build a mobile app that excites your audience and generates the retention you need.

Get in touch today if you think we can help you build an app that packs a punch.