We’re coming to a point in technology and the use of mobile devices that virtually necessitates businesses, websites and bloggers have an app. Apps are one of the most direct ways to reach your audience, and most people prefer being able to access content, and whatever it is you offer in a way that’s optimized for their mobile device.
An app can be a lot easier to use than even a responsive website, but if you create an app and people aren’t engaging with it, it’s useless.
Obviously, everyone’s ultimate goal when creating an app is user engagement, but how do you translate that objective into the design of your app?
Make It Purposeful
There are millions of apps quite literally at the fingertips of users. Standing out is extremely hard, but not impossible. If you want people to like your app and to find it engaging it needs to have a purpose. It needs to be useful.
The best way to make sure your app is useful is to create it with the goal of solving a problem for your targeted customer or user. Before you do anything else with the development of your app, make sure it solves a problem or fills a need. Don’t create an app just for the sake of having one.
Develop a Benefit-Centric Listing
Whether or not people are going to download your app is based primarily on your listing description in the app store, or the information you provide them as part of your marketing.
You need to focus this listing on real, tangible benefits your app will bring to them, not the features.
One of the biggest problems many people have when they’re listing and marketing apps is that they’re too focused on features, not enough on benefits. Make your app user-centric from the very first interaction someone has with it.
Incorporate In-App Messages
When someone is using your app, in-app messages are a really good way to get attention, as long as you make sure they’re something you’re user is actually going to want to read. As an example, if you have a game-based app you could add in-app messages with helpful tips for moving to the next level.
Another example would be if you have an app focused on retail or shopping that you include in-app messages with new deals or coupon options.
Design a Great Experience
Even if you can get beyond the initial hurdle of developing an app, which is getting people to download it, there’s then another potential obstacle, which is getting them to use it again after the initial time.
If you want to improve the first-time user experience after people download your app, provide them with a guided tour. Let them know in a simple, user-friendly way how to use the app, how to maximize it, and again, what the benefits will be for them. Of course, you want your app’s design to be inherently intuitive, but creating a good first-time experience with a quick walkthrough just boosts usability that much more.
To sum up, when you’re conceptualizing your app, always think of the user first, and that general, guiding principle is a good starting point to help you boost engagement.