The whole app experience can scare your users off, amuse them or turn them into a loyal customer over time. However, it seems many apps have a UX ‘scary’ enough that according to statistics, one out of four apps is abandoned after one use.
Here are 6 of the most frequently encountered UX mistakes hindering the success of your app from the very outset.
1) “Vague” permissions requests
Requests for in-app permissions are a requirement but immediately raise questions among your users – especially Generation Z’s young technophiles. They are more aware of how companies exploit their personal information and more wary of letting an application have access their contacts, photos or social media profiles.
In order to enter this “private space” without causing frustration, you need to make it clear to your users what this information will be used for. Explanations will encourage them to put their trust in you and accept the request.
However, make sure you really do need the permissions you ask for and explain the reasons why without using technical terms. As in the three examples below, include a button directing the user to the phone’s settings in case any of the required features are not enabled.
Shazam treats the permission request as a status report, clearly informing the user that without access to the microphone the app will not be able to fully function. Nike+ asks the user to directly activate their GPS settings but still explains the benefit doing so. Finally, WhatsApp uses a mixture of these two methods and lets the user know it needs to access the contacts list.
2) Too many features
You frequently hear that users like to have access to a large number of features within the same app. You’d logically think the more it has, the happier and freer the user would feel. The reality is quite different. Too many different features can lead the user to get lost while browsing and feel frustrated at not being able to access what they are looking for and subsequently link your application to these negative emotions.
For example, according to the Pareto principle 20% of the actions you do each day account for 80% of your overall results. When you apply this principle to UX and creating mobile apps, you realize that only a small part of your app is responsible for almost all of its success. So, focus on improving the existing features that your users like the most and leave out any unnecessary features cluttering up your app.
3) Forgetting micro-interactions
Micro-interactions are crucial for UX apps but are often overlooked by most app building brands. A simple tap on a button, an icon that changes colour or a custom text are among hundreds of other examples of “micro” possibilities, interactions between the app and the user. Pay attention to your user’s reactions; try to give a human touch to your interfaces and build more unique connections compared to other apps on the market.
Here are 3 examples of simple micro-interactions :
- Greet users by name as the application opens.
- Add animations to basic interface elements, such as buttons, progress bars or text boxes.
- Disable sending push messages after a certain period of inactivity.
4) Ineffective signup screens
One of the first experiences a user has when launching your app is without doubt the signup stage. Even if they’ve made it this far you can’t take signing up as a given.
If your potential client feels they will have to spend time registering at the start then expect them to instinctively give up.
One way to scare off your prospects is to devise a lengthy form with many optional fields. In fact, every added non-mandatory field increases the risk of losing the user. You must make certain this step is completed as quickly as possible so that they can access the app’s content.
Remember to bear in mind that some of your users are browsing on devices with smaller screens. In spite of this, they must be able to easily complete the forms without endlessly scrolling. So you should come up with a simple registration process (username/password) and ask the user to complete their details on an intra-application space or by email.
AirBnB offers a simplified signup form divided into 5 steps. The style and micro-interactions make the journey smoother and the task less tedious.
5) Unsuitable onboarding
Onboarding is one of the most effective UX tools and easy to set up. However, you have to know the different styles and use one best suited to your target audience.
Depending on your onboarding process, users may not stick it out and immediately get a bad impression of the rest of the app. It’s not just a matter of inserting sidebars to the right and left of each screen, but of pushing information to the user when they need it. Try to anticipate their needs. For example, if you detect that the user has not interacted for a short period of time, send a suggestion to carry out a particular action.
After choosing from three existing techniques, you can test and adjust your onboarding until it maximizes user retention and reduces the abandonment rate. You can also decide not to use onboarding but it would be better if your application is designed to be fully understood.
6) Copy your competition’s UX
Each app is unique and has its own marketing message, target audience and value proposition. What appears to work for your competitors won’t necessarily work for you.
You should rather be inspired by what they do, understand their approach and remind yourself that they don’t necessarily have all the right answers. Try A/B testing to find out what works or what doesn’t work. Only your users will be able to steer you in the right direction because they are the ones who will use the app. Provide practical solutions to their needs and don’t simply adapt apps in the same market as your own.
These UX mistakes are found far too often in many mobile applications. The goal is to learn how to pre-empt these issues and factor them directly into the mobile application creation process. Use them to make your mark and offer an attractive, useful and well-designed app to your users.
BASED ON HANNAH LEVENSON’S ORIGINAL ARTICLE