Have you ever started using a mobile app habitually, but then all of a sudden you just stop using it? For whatever reason, the app just doesn’t grab you anymore. Believe it or not, this happens to just about everyone. While the mobile app design might have gotten your attention at the beginning, soon you might forget why you even downloaded it in the first place.

For mobile app design companies, churn rate has become a serious problem. Not only does it reflect poorly on their app, but it also limits the possibility of extra revenue from micro-transactions and in-app purchases. For some, simply fixing bugs and making some tweaks will be enough to bring their churn rate down. For others, the mobile app design itself is what is causing this loss of customers.

In this article, we are not only going to take a look at the reason why customers are churning in the first place, but what steps can be taken to improve the design of the mobile app to reduce your churn rate and keep those clients around much, much longer.

Common Mistakes

The first thing we are going to look at is some common mistakes made in mobile app design. While most of these mistakes are small, they actually have a large effect on the usability and lasting power of your app. By making these small improvements, you will have laid the foundation you need to reduce your churn rate and retain more users.

Complicating the onboarding process

The Right Mobile App Design

One of the largest areas of opportunities for most mobile apps to improve is with the onboarding process. Whether experiencing some form of buyer’s remorse or simply getting confused by the process, 77% of users get lost somewhere in the first 3 days of using the app.

What this means is that those first 3 days are the most important part of the process. By complicating the onboarding process, you might be giving these users who are on the fence about your app an easy out. Simplify the process and get your clients onboard as quickly and painlessly as possible.

No clear action

When users enter the app, they should have a clear action in mind of how they are going to utilize your application. As you work on your mobile app design, make sure that the path to the desired action is the one with the least resistance.

A great way to clarify what action should be taken, use actionable cues or CTAs (calls to action) for each page of the app. As the user moves through each page of the app, it should be obvious what their next step will be.

Android vs. iOS

One of the most obvious and unfortunately common mistakes of mobile app design is to not understand the difference between working with Android vs. iOS. There are different requirements for each and unless they are met, your entire design can be thrown off.

Make sure that both you and your team fully understand these differences so that you don’t make this mistake!

Designing poor touch targets

mobile app design - touch targets

If you have ever entered an app and clicked on something multiple times before it worked, you understand how annoying poorly designed touch targets can be. Inability to navigate your app will be one of the biggest turn-offs for your customers, so when you are designing, make sure to focus on your touch targets.

Test the design repeatedly until you find the right balance. You will also want to have your targets big enough to work with ALL finger sizes. Trust us when we say that mastering touch targets early will save you a lot of strife in the long run.

Track Everything

mobile app design - track everything

Once you have worked on these common mistakes and made the proper changes, you might still be experiencing high churn rates and loss of users. If this happens, don’t fret! There is more to mobile app design than what we have already covered.

The next thing to do is look at your mobile app analytics for insights. If you aren’t already tracking user progress at every level, you need to start. Here are a few good places to look to make sure you don’t miss anything.

In-app events

In-app events are users’ actions which describe their activity inside the app. Tracking basics like number of opens, registrations, or purchases can help for baseline issues. More advanced measures like tutorial completion, achieved level, and social sharing are where you should look for more advanced ideas. By optimizing these areas, you will improve the user experience and help to counter common problems.

Engagement rates

You have probably invested a lot into keeping your users engaged, so make sure that you are taking notes on valuable engagement metrics. For instance, if you see that certain customers are disengaging at certain points, try your best to improve that area or reroute the user to a different, more engaging point.

User segments

Segmenting your audience will allow you to determine the best strategy for every group of users. Since no two users are alike, you will have to find solutions to avoid churn for many different kinds of users. Segmentation will help with this.

Reducing Churn

Now that you have a better grasp on common mistakes and how to measure your users, let’s talk about a few ways to reduce churn through mobile app design and user engagement.

Identify and re-engage users who are slipping away

Use your app analytics to identify customers who are on the verge of churning and work on re-engaging them before it is too late. By pinpointing specific behaviors of users who are about to slip away, you will have the game plan needed to win them back.

This is where mobile app design will come into play. Work with your developers on improving these areas where users are getting frustrated and make them aware of it. Give them an alert about improvements made to the app when they are functioning. Hopefully, previously frustrated clients will see that your app is improving and think twice before uninstalling.

Personalize it!

personalizing mobile app design

Now that you have identified your most at-risk users, now it is time to turn your attention to the rest of your audience that for one reason or another just has not been engaging with your app. Personalization and location-based mobile marketing will be the key to re-energizing these clients.

Your mobile app design challenge here will mainly be getting the right content to the right users. Work with your development team to ensure that the proper channels are available to achieve this end. Once that is done, you can start doing what is known as location-based mobile marketing, which consists of the following three components.

  •      Contextual Marketing: Providing the correct context for your customer to succeed is key to retaining them for longer. Serve the right ads to the right users at the right moment and you will be on your way to victory.
  •      Location-based Marketing: Alert your clients to events or offers available in their physical location. By notifying them of these things, you will tack on an additional benefit of your app and give them one more reason to keep you around.
  •      Push Notifications: Push notifications have become a must-have in every customer retention strategy. The engaging characteristics of push notifications alone will bring more users back to your app, but if done correctly, they can also convert more users in a shorter period of time. For more on user engagement platforms for this very purpose, click here.

Revisit your value proposition

Your value proposition, or, the reason why people use your app is the best defense against rising churn rates. Use analytics and data that you collect from your users to make sure they are using the app for its designed purpose.

Often, companies will not be able to understand why their churn numbers are so out of wack when in reality the users are not receiving the value they had expected. Either change up your strategy or start leading your clients down the designed path toward your app’s actual purpose.

Use predictive analytics

Our final word of advice is to use predictive analytics and your own intuition to cut churn rates before they become an issue. While there will always be users that, for whatever reason, don’t find value in your app, there will be plenty more who want to actively engage but get tripped up by easily avoidable mistakes.

Use the tools at your disposal to find those areas that need improvement and target at-risk users. Work with your mobile app design team and blow your users out of the water with added value. Hopefully, by taking into account these tips and working on your design, worries about churn rate will become a thing of the past!

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