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17 Things Users Expect an App to Do

Updated on August 4, 2016

Mobile App: Usage Overview & Barrier

An average mobile consumer owns 36 apps. He or she spends 30 hours/month with them. But, only 9 apps or so of the total stay in use on regular basis. The rest stay idle or swing rarely in action. Of the various factors influencing app usage, app retention and customer’s loyalty, UI (User-Interface) is, unarguably, the most important one as it contributes significantly to the user experience (UX). Apps that don’t possess easy-to-use UI or fail to deliver seamless UX are often deleted or uninstalled. Thus, UI and UX are inter-connected aspects and, together, they decide the success of an app.

No Less Responsible Job

Designing mobile UI-UX is a responsible job as it’s about connecting the user with the app or brand and developing the app is a more responsible task as it’s corroborating the design with the functionality. And when done for renowned platforms, like Android and iOS (the duo occupies the 96.7% of the mobile operating system market share), the sense of responsibility automatically touches a new high.

But taking the ownership of the app and making it available for your prospects/customers is the most responsible job as it’s about telling them what you are good at. Remember, today, an app is no less than a brand ambassador.

So, either you are associated with the app design, development, and testing or you are the publisher or owner of the app, you must understand what users expect from you or your app. Continue reading to have the much-needed insight.

Wow Me

Wow Users with Apps
Wow Users with Apps | Source

Enchant Users in More Ways

1. Delight me in surprising ways
Whether it’s a background, animation on it or a sound tuned with the animation, everything should entice users and compel him or her to do more and stay engaged with the app. The design elements should strike a chord with the user and allow him or her to have the impression that they are at the right place.

2. Let me stay in real world
Users love tangible experience. They want to touch objects that are real in nature. Hence, designers should prefer real objects in their works over buttons and menus. Real objects connect with users in a better way and help them do more without putting a stress on their grey cortex. This improves engagement and the retention rate and makes users more loyal towards a business.

3. Let me make it mine
From kitchen to dress, today everything is personalized. Is your app following the suit? Let users have the maximum say in how an app looks and behaves on their device. Being a designer, read the interests and preferences of users and provide tools and features to let users customize your apps the way they want. However, this should in no way hamper the usability and performance of the app.

4. Get to know me
Focus on designing and building cognitive apps that remember and understand what users are interested in, what their preferences are and deliver the right experience to users. This will make your client earn the loyalty of its audience or customers and, you, in turn, to earn that of your client’s. Thus, it’s about building a win-win strategy for one and all.

Simplify My Life


Simplify the User's Life

5. Keep it brief

Simplicity is an attribute of beauty. Users love short phrases and simple words. Don’t expect them to spend time and interpret your bombastic words. Convey what you want in a quick and easy manner.

6. Pictures are faster than words

A picture speaks a thousand words. This cliche term rules the arena of Android apps development as well. It’s easier for you to gain the attention of your audience with a picture than using words and sentences. I won’t write much, I know you are no different.

7. Decide for me but let me have the final say

It’s good to offer users with suggestions or options, but bad to compel them to chose one particular. Even if they have selected an option, they should have a way to make a U-turn the moment they want.

8. Only show what I need when I need it

Users are not computers, perhaps, they are living computers. Don’t bombard them with too much of information, picture, suggestion, ideas or anything. Let them find it in small, digestible chunks. Keep options that are less relevant out of their eyes and let them reveal one by one.

9. I should always know where I am

Let users have a clear understanding of their whereabouts. The choice of forward and backward options should be clearly visible on every section of an app to let users have more control on what they do.

10. Never lose my stuff

Remember, you were submitting your tax details using your phone, but just a second before when you were about to submit it finally for the assessment, you received a notification on your messenger or FB, and couldn’t hold yourself from visiting the page. But when you returned, you found your tax form expired, and information that you entered lost. Would you like your app users to go through the same trauma? Certainly not. Hence, let users retrieve information what they save with your app in a quick and easy manner.

11. If it looks the same, it should act the same

Don’t play gimmick with users. Let them see no difference in what your app says in terms of design and how it behaves. Correlate visuals with functionality and let users move within an app in a seamless manner.

12. Only interrupt me if it's important

Let your app work as a good personal assistant, allowing users to do what they want and suggesting them with the right steps and tools when required. Don’t let your app make unnecessary interruption, it would only contribute to their frustration, which is neither good for your client, nor for you.

I'm the Boss

Make App User Feel Like a Boss
Make App User Feel Like a Boss | Source

Let the User Feels Being the Boss

13. Give me tricks that work everywhere

People love shortcuts that do wonder. Hence, let your users leverage such tricks to browse your app, seek information that they need and take actions that they want. Providing them with universal shortcuts like swipe and tap gestures is one such way. In addition, visual patterns of the app should explain a lot to users as how to use an app.

14. It's not my fault

Remember, the school day’s dictum: to err is human, to forgive is divine. Yes, it does make a sense here. Guide users when they go wrong. Let them have a clear understanding of the recovery options as well. Avoid using technical jargons in the instructions.

15. Sprinkle encouragement

Encourage them and let them accomplish their jobs in a quick and easy manner. If a task is complex, consider breaking it into smaller sections. Providing feedbacks to users is a good way to let them be on the right track.

16. Do the heavy lifting for me

With complete simplicity let novices obtain amazing results from what they do. Make them feel like a veteran. This experience would make them a loyal customer.

17. Make important things fast

Actions required in using an app has to be prioritized and should be made it easier for users to take or manage actions that are most vital. For instance, if you have built a media player, it must give play and pause option on the front.

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