There is a strong demand for new mobile apps. Smartphone penetration in the US has reached half of the U.S. population. Smartphones have also penetrated into virtually every aspect of daily life. An average smart phone user is said to have 41 apps on their phone, according to Nielsen. However, this does not necessarily mean that people are now spending more time on the apps than they used to in previous years. Research has shown that the duration people spend on their apps in a day has remained significantly constant over the past four years.
Any professional app developer will be quick to tell you that a mobile app needs something more than just creativity to succeed. You must have the users in mind. You do not want to build an app that is not user-friendly. To achieve this, you should familiarize yourself with the challenges your app’s potential users may face while using your app. Most mobile apps have a particular group of users that make up the target audience, with their own tastes and preferences. You should evaluate how your app will perform for that group.
Before setting out to develop a mobile app, you should also assess the feedback of similar apps that have already reached the target group. This way you get to understand the areas of weakness and make improvements.
The following statistics – as published by Dynatrace – may be worth knowing before you decide to develop a mobile app:
- Over 85% of the people would prefer use mobile apps instead of mobile websites, mainly because apps are fast, convenient and easy to navigate.
- Most users have experienced challenges with their apps. Among users who have experienced a problem: 40% have tried an app that would not launch, 47% experienced slow launch times and 62% reported a crash, error, or freeze.
- Over 79% of users will not tolerate problematic mobile applications, and will retry an app just once or twice if it fails to work the first time.
- The vast majority of users expect that the mobile apps should launch within five seconds. Nobody likes to wait. And users expect from mobile apps to have the same or faster performance than a mobile website.
- Almost 84% of users will always rely on the app’s rating to decide on whether to download it or not.
- Most unhappy and dissatisfied users are going to switch to another competitive app. In addition, they will leave negative reviews and they will continue to spread negative word of mouth. Almost 50% of users will not feel persuaded to try an app again once they have given up on it.
Let us now look at what consumers want to find in an app. There are a few basic features that an app should have if you want it to gain popularity among the users. Consumers across the board generally will want:
- Easy access to information
- A convenient user interface
- The ability to communicate with you
Apart from these three basic requirements, the following items will also influence a user to use your app:
It brings out the element of pictorial communication. Colors have got their ways of evoking emotions. Therefore, one can use different types of colors to draw the user’s attention and also to perform other functions. When used properly, one can use color to enhance user interaction and user experience and help you reach targeted users. App users will find your app easier to use. A flat design approach to apps will need colors to make it look more interesting.
With well-defined meanings, images can also communicate just like colors. They make the app more user- friendly. Images that have particular meanings are referred to as Icons. Most app developers use them so as to show certain functions in the app. Commonly used icons include: gearwheels, which stands for settings; an envelope which means email and an trash bin which means delete.
It is true that most people would not just stick to one app forever. They will always want to explore new apps that have just come into the market. However, it is also an obvious truth that nobody would want to keep learning new functionalities every time he or she tries to download a new mobile application. Always try to ensure that the user interface of your app is common and therefore easy to understand. Being unique will remain to be a good thing, but just make sure that your app is not so different that it leaves users trying to look for meanings and unable to use it. This will inevitably push them away.
Informative, clear and concise text is good. Your physical address should be easy to find for your users. Those things that need emphasis should be written in bold to make them easy for your user to find.
There are also undesirable attributes in mobile apps. Some attributes do not sit well with the users and they may end up making the app not get the expected reception. These attributes should be eliminated if your app is going to be successful. For instance, slow loading speed. No user wants to use an app that takes forever to launch. Most users expect that an app should have loaded within five seconds. A progress bar can always be installed to show the user how much time is still left before the loading is complete. As the app loads, let is show certain images to give the user a clue as to its contents.
Regardless of the industry your app is related to, or whatever tasks it takes over, users have the same general expectations of what they call a good mobile app. You are a user as well. So think what you would expect from a great mobile application, apart from looking cool and stylish. This could be the first step in building the loyalty of your future users.
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