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How can mobile app performance enhance user experience?

By shibi satheesh|26th May 2020
While using a mobile application, all of us would have encountered bad experiences, slow responses to hang ups or even a blank screen at times. All these act as deterring factors in deciding an individual’s fondness for an app.
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A crucial challenge for mobile user experience is discoverability. Today’s app market has numerous apps designed to solve the same problem. The sheer size of the app market simply means that app developers and designers find it difficult to engage and retain their users.


Another interesting aspect to note with regards to mobile application is that a user’s comprehension is 50% less on a mobile device. Simply put, this means that from content to navigation to the design features should be engaging multiple fold and also a surreal user experience is inevitable.

 

Effect Of App’s Performance On UX


There are two basic and trivial aspects that determine a mobile application’s performance. One is the average response time of the app to commands. The response time should be minimum as a slow response time is one of the major reasons for a user to discontinue using an app. A primary criteria for the app users is to be able to launch an app without a cumbersome downloading process.


The second aspect that determines the app performance is the amount of computational power that is required to launch the app and to function. This can be measured at all stages of development of the app. When performance enhancement is done, a lot of redundant code will be removed. This may not bring about notable differences for users of the app, but it sure does enhance the performance of the smartphone. The lesser the capacity that is needed for peak load, the more the number of simultaneous tasks that can be run without hang ups.


Some of the important points that can be considered for app performance are:


  1. User Engagement
  2. Effective Onboarding
  3. Easier Navigation


User Engagement


Any action that takes more than a second is perceived as slow by the human mind according to research. This applies to mobile applications as well. An app should be able to catch the user’s attention in the minimum amount of time possible. So an app that is perceived as slow by users will definitely be put off. The moment an app is launched, it should be able to showcase how quickly and efficiently it can deliver the functions.


Effective Onboarding


This is a crucial step for all applications as it determines how easily can a user get acclimatized to a new app. Within the first few screens, a user decides whether or not to continue using the app. If the onboarding is not smooth, it is very likely that the user would switch to a competitor app. 

Based on what the app is designed for, each app requires specific onboarding steps. If it is an app that involves complex workflow or some not-so-obvious functionalities, then a detailed tutorial about how to use the app could ease the onboarding process. Another point to consider is to reduce the number of steps required to create an account with the app. An easy and popular method is to include multiple registration options like including social media sign in like Facebook or Google.

An app with an effective onboarding does the most in the initial moments- introduce itself quickly, educate the user about the functionalities and provide a sense of satisfaction upon the usage of the app. This would ensure higher retention rate and user lifetime value.


Easier Navigation


The mobile application interface is very different from that of a website. The app users prefer a simple, straightforward approach to handling the functionalities. It is always preferred to avoid unnecessary cluttering of the screens with menu options. The layout of the various elements in the app is crucial in helping users navigate through the app and determine whether it is easy to use or not. There should be consistency with regard to the usage of gestures or placement of buttons. When users navigate through an app, they adapt to the various functionalities much faster. So when there is a pattern that is followed, it definitely helps the user to navigate and come on board faster.


Users in general get frustrated when they are asked to key in information after information while using an app. User input should be minimal and this can be achieved by including auto-fill and prediction text whenever possible. And they should be asked to key in only the most necessary information as users find it extremely frustrating to keep entering information on to their small phone screens. 


Users want their apps to help them find what they are looking for, but at the same time they do not like the idea of being spied on. So the user experience should be personalised in a subtle yet effective manner. The best example for this is the way personalisation is achieved by apps like Netflix, Youtube and Facebook. 


Optimize UX


All mobile applications require constant updations to ensure that user experience is enhanced. User experience optimizations are crucial to keep the users engaged and surprised. They help improve upon user retention. App users are constantly evolving and they are expecting the same from the apps they are using to make their lives easier. And the opportunity to meet these high user expectations are just fractions of a second, as in the case of apps for smart watches. With this ever increasing user demands in place, it is becoming more and more evident that mobile applications should have an end to end monitoring system in place to ensure quality adherence. Continue working on improvisations on the design and offerings of an app to feed the demand frenzy of the user. A user who is ecstatic at every point of touch on the app will remain loyal to your app and can be assured to spread a word of recommendation.

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