10 Quick User Experience Fixes To Increase Your App’s Retention Rates

user experience testing

Studies show that companies that invest in User Experience or UX result in a lower cost of customer acquisition, lower support cost, increased customer retention and increased market share.

When compared to their peers, the top 10 companies leading in customer experience outperformed the S&P index with close to triple the returns.

Not only that, on average, every dollar invested in UX brings 100 dollars in return. That’s an ROI of a whopping 9,900%.

So, it is established having a great user experience is absolutely important. Apps must have come a long way, but the importance of a great UI and UX together play the game.

A great user experience is a mix of good design and understanding of users. Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.

how to improve UX of an app

True, organic growth is all about giving your users the best experience possible. So, in order to help you create happy users, we’ve put together quick fixes for common usability issues.

Dedicate 5 minutes to fixing each one and improve the UX for your app:

User Experience Fix #1: Shorter Time to Value (TtV)

app ux design inspiration

An app taking a long time to load!

Too bad!

You hate this, your users hate this too! According to a study, 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.

Time to Value or TtV is a business term that describes the period of time between a request for a specific value and the initial delivery of the value requested.

So, in terms of mobile apps, the user should be able to access the app and its content in the minimum possible time.

Unlike web users, mobile users aren’t looking to explore your brand. They download apps because each one helps them reach a specific goal and perform a very specific task.

Get to that task, ASAP!

So, if you are an Uber, I want you to help me reach from point A to B. Here’s how the first screen looks like, the TtV is bang on:

examples of great app user experience

No jazz, no build-up, get users started in minimum possible time.

If you want to onboard the first-time users, use minimum possible steps and explain the functionality.

In fact, the first-time user experience (FTUE)—is tied to key app success metrics like retention and can boost the lifetime value of a user by up to 500%.

User Experience Fix #2: Don’t request a signup until you absolutely need it

Break that signup wall and go beyond it. Not every app needs a signup.

We know that you’ll say having a signup helps you personalize the user experience. But, consider the fact that many users move away because of the unnecessary signup requirements.

Here’s the scenario, the user downloads the app, opens it, and then gets stuck at a ‘signup or log in’ screen. If it is an unwanted feature, trust me, those users are never coming back.

According to a study by Localytics, 25% of users abandon an app (and never return) after just a single session.

If feasible, give them an option to explore the app as a guest, with certain features locked for only members. If they are pleased, they will take the effort to signup.

ways to improve user experience

Source: Quora

But if your app enables a user to log in, ensure you provide the benefit of a high level of convenience and personalization, derived from their details, behaviours and transaction history.

User Experience Fix #3: Use splash screens for tips/onboarding

Never make users wait.

Use the screen space and time wisely when your app is loading.

A splash screen gives you a short but vital window to engage a user in your proposition. Provide them vital tips/help  in context of the app’s functionality.

Most experts say an onboarding sequence should only be employed if absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you can use splash screens to provide the absolutely vital information.

User Experience Fix #4: Fix spellings or grammar errors and recommending what users meant to search

50% of your users are using your search function as their main point of navigation. So, it is absolutely vital to have a search box on every page of your app.

But let’s be honest, when was the last time you typed something into Google and thought I am 100% sure that’s how it is spelt or what I meant?

Not many times? That’s why Google suggests or even corrects you with right keywords.

Users expect to be corrected if they make a typo or spell a word wrong. It’s crucial to make suggestions as to what you think your users meant to search for.

See how Amazon app suggested me the right keywords when I made a typo:

improve UX for app

Help people out by fixing spelling errors and recommending what they meant to search. Display the results for closely related words, and inform them that results are being displayed for these terms instead.

User Experience Fix #5: Display sample content for first-time users

The first-time user will obviously have no data in the app.

But instead of showing blank screens, make it more realistic by designing sample content for that space (even if it’s just Lorem Ipsum sample text).

This will have two benefits:

  • Another way of user onboarding, teaching the user in a subtle manner how the app can be used
  • Increase retention by leading user to the next step instead of aborting the app.

See how Dropbox displays some sample pictures for the users with no data:

improve app retention

User Experience Fix #6: Use visual calendars instead of manual dates

Users hate long forms where you ask them for tons of information. They are tedious and boring.

So, make this step as easy as possible.

Most of the signups require date of birth. So, instead of asking users to manually enter the dates, use visual calendars instead. Something like iPhone’s calendar:

how to fix app's user experience

Pro-tip: The default year on your visual calendar should be closest to your target user’s birth year. For example: If the target user group for your app are millennials so keep the default year as 1990, so the user has to scroll minimum to saves time.

User Experience Fix #7: Show progress bars for long forms

I will repeat, users don’t like forms. Consider forms as your enemies. Another way to make these forms less-taxing is to show the progress bar.

For forms that are longer than a single screen, it’s good to show users a progress bar indicating how far they’ve come, and more importantly, how close they are to finishing the form.

User Experience Fix #8: Instead of just displaying data, show transitions

When a user move from one screen to another, they shouldn’t feel ‘Where that came from?’

To avoid surprising users with a different interface use transitions between the screens instead of direct data pop-ups.

User Experience Fix #9: Save Form Content If the User Makes an Error

One more point on forms? Yes, because it is absolutely necessary!

Even if your forms are the cleanest and most simple forms around, filling out forms still sucks.

Let’s establish that.

But what turns off a user more is if the form clears out all the typed information because of an error!

For instance: A user spent 3 minutes filling out all details like email, contact, password, etc. but made an error. Let’s say the email address was not correct. But when the page reloads all the other information is also gone!

That’s like a super fail.

Unless the user really wants to use your app, they will be too frustrated to fill out everything again and will just leave.

Make sure that any information that a user fills out doesn’t get erased when they get an error message on submission.

User Experience Fix #10: Use placeholder text in fields

As a user, I don’t want to get stuck or confused about whatever information you’re asking me.

So, a big help here would be to simply enter placeholder text in the empty fields and instruct users what is expected from them.

Something like this:

UI/UX tips

Source: surveygizmo

For example, phone numbers can be written in a variety of formats. They could include brackets around the area code or the country code before the area code. make sure you use placeholder text in such fields to avoid errors.

Final words

Good UX is good business. So, create great user experience for your apps and reap its maximum benefits. To improve the UX of an existing app you should first conduct a usability assessment of your app.

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Nidhi Shah
 

Nidhi is the head of content marketing at Arkenea, a mobile app consultancy building experience rich apps for startups and businesses.