UI/UX Flaws That Can Sabotage User Retention


Since July 2008, when Apple’s App Store went live, apps have become an integral part of almost all gadgets.Today a well-designed app can provide a better user experience than a well-made website. During the initial years, most mobile and app marketers felt that the number of installs for a particular determined its success and acquisition of customers became the highest priority.But today, the scenario has changed completely.With our 1.5 million apps in both App Store and Play store the cost of acquiring customers has risen drastically.

According to eMarketer, the cost for an app install ad is going to increase by 80% year by year.

The number of installs of an app is a false indicator of the total app audience.A survey conducted by the mobile intelligence company indicates that an average Android app loses 90% of its daily users by the end of the first month.As most mobile users are remaining volatile, User retention has become the most important objective for any business organisation.Retaining customers not only costs less than acquisition it also builds a trusted relationship with the consumer base.

Harvard Business review published a study which suggests that by increasing customer retention rates by 5%, profits can rise to 25% to 90%.

There are many ways through which mobile retention rates could be increased. Some of the few basic metrics to be considered for a mobile app user retention are:

1) Push notifications

2) Gamification

3) Conversion funnels

4) Crash recordings

5) VIP programs

6) UI/UX design

Although there are millions of apps in Appstore today, only a few actually make it to regularly used app list. Even among them, only a few apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have safeguarded their spots. So, if you want your app to secure that handful of places, you will need a consistent user base.Your UI/UX design is one of the most important key metric in determining your user retention rate. User retention cannot happen if the user finds your user interface (UI) to be too usual or lethargic.

It is easy to convince your users to install the app but for persuading them to use the app for an extended period of time an excellent UI/UX design is highly significant.

A good play between UI and UX can result in

  • lower customer acquisition costs
  • increased conversions
  • increased market share
  • in-app monetization

If you want your app to stand out among the thousands of apps available today, it is essential to address each and every minor flaw in your UI/UX design. Here are few notable design flaws which are most commonly overlooked in most of the mobile apps and are responsible for a sabotaged user retention.

Complicated UI Design

It is highly essential to push the boundaries when it comes to design; it is important to consider the persona of the target audience and design patterns which are customary to them.Any UI designer should keep the MAYA principle in mind.MAYA is the abbreviation for “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable.’’ It is terrific to create a design, knowledgeable users love, but it is far more vital to be useful and visceral. A sweet spot should be determined which is both novel and familiar.

To know more about the MAYA principle check out this document

Wrong timing when asking for permissions

It is very critical to ask for the required permissions from the users to help them in providing a personalized experience. Many apps today require a lot of user data to ensure an optimal engagement. But if a user is bombarded with a lot of permissions as soon as he installs, he/she might lose the trust and can end up uninstalling it. It is crucial to ask for the right amount of permissions at the right time. Educating the user about the permission and gaining the trust factor before asking for it can boost the acceptance rate.

Still unsure of the timing? Check out this TechCrunch article.

No User Onboarding

A good UX designer should never assume that he/she knows everything that the user knows. Onboarding is a vital tool to increase the consumer accessibility and make sure that the user is informed about all the features of the app. Many companies often include a tutorial about the app that pops up as soon as a user installs the app.

Check out this post to know more about user on-boarding

Incorrect usage of notifications

Notifications are a great way to increase the engagement with users and retaining them for a long time. Users might forget to open an app after a certain time. It is important to trigger a user’s mind after a certain time of inactivity to make them consistently connect with the app. However, an excessive number of push notifications frequently will irritate the client leading to the uninstallation of the app.

An optimal UX design should be able to determine the right number of notifications at the right time.

Not informing the circumstances to a user

Whenever users take a particular action or click something, it is crucial to educate them about the possible consequences that can occur so that they can make a better and informed activity.A personal and straightforward message without many technical aspects will help to connect better with your user base and gain their faith.

Redesigning without a proper evaluation of feedbacks
Updating the app at a regular basis is vital due to the increase of competition in the design field. The primary goal of any designer should be conversions but not looks and aesthetics. It is important to check the comments and feedbacks given by the user base to enhance and update the app in a better way.It is impossible to take back an update after it is rolled out so gambling with changes should be avoided as much as possible.


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