4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Mobile App

Creating a mobile application that keeps users engaged takes more than just an interesting app idea. Along with having an application that is actually useful to the user, you need to entice the user to interact with the app.

The more engagement you can create around your app, the more users that you could potentially gain. As a Chicago mobile application development company, it is mission-critical for us to understand how to keep users engaged.

Push & Local Notifications

While there are many misconceptions of push notifications, push & local notifications are one of the best ways to boost engagement and overall increase user retention. Notifications like this will allow you to also reach users when they are not only using the application.
A push notification can display any message that you want, play a sound to get the user’s attention, and provide different actions that the user can take, without even opening up the app.

SiriKit

If your iOS mobile app falls into the below categories, then you can use SiriKit to allow your mobile app to converse with your users via Siri.

  • Messaging
  • VoIP Calls
  • Payments
  • Ride Sharing + Ride Booking
  • Workouts
  • Photo Search

Allowing your users to talk to Siri to engage with your app, is just another way to increase overall engagement on your app. Your iOS development company will absolutely be able to assist you in integrating SiriKit with your app.

Social Media

As the years go, social media continues to dominate users time they spend on their smartphones. Embracing the culture of social media in today’s world can only increase engagement, as social shareability is absolutely critical to user engagement.

While you should not be intrusive and should not interfere with the overall user experience, social shareability is important and can bring your business a handful of new users every day. If you’re working with a user experience design agency, they can conduct UX research services to validate the fact that your target users will want to engage on social media websites.

Deep Linking

Another way to increase user engagement is to employ deep linking to your mobile application. This is the practice of using a within-app linking structure to direct your users to a specific screen in the app, instead directing the user to the app’s homepage.

This form of engagement will keep your users in the app for as long as possible. Taking your user to a new page that they may have not seen before will keep them interested and more likely to keep browsing through the app. This is something that your iOS or Android app design company can help you strategize.

What now?

If you need assistance with your mobile app, reach out to Codal to discuss what you may need to do in order to gain more users. Adding a few simple integrations, or redesigning a few new screens can really change the way in which users interact with the app.

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4 Ways to Boost Engagement on Your Mobile App

How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Persona’s have been in place for decades, and are not only used in the user experience design field. A persona is synthesized individual that represents a significant amount of people.

More specifically, a user experience design agency would use a persona in order to focus on the target market that they are designing for. Each persona in UX should represent a user type of the application or web platform and should represent the needs that a larger group of people have. Below is what an example of a persona looks like (created by Chicago UX design company, Codal).

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Most personas will have an image, description of who they are, and most importantly, their frustrations, goals, values, and preferred solutions. Personas are something that is included in most UX design services, and will be conducted by the UX UI research team.
So, where does it belong in the UX process?

Personas are typically created in the very beginning of the user experience design phase, but should be referenced throughout the entire process, even into the mobile app design and development phase.

Finding Focus on the User

When designing a website or mobile application, it can be very easily to get lost in the rut of different, unique concepts. You cannot design something just because you like it as a designer. The platform is likely not being designed for you. Personas will keep you focused on the types of people that you’re designing for.

For an example, an older generation may not understand how to use the gestures on SnapChat, yet every millennial does. When SnapChat was being designed, the target persona was most likely a millennial and not a mother of 5 kids.

Design End Goals

A persona is a very goal-driven tool. The purpose of it is almost to ensure that all of the user goals have been met. Therefore, use your personas to reference check that every goal that was determined in the beginning of the project has been met.

Functionality

It is important for these personas to stay present through the software development cycle, and that your design transfers into the functionality that you were hoping for. If it doesn’t, what was the point of the UX research services that you utilized?

Defend your Decisions

If you’re a designer, I’m sure you have been asked “why does this look like this, why is the button here, why is the navigation menu like this?” Well, personas are a great way to back up the decisions that you make as a designer. You designed it a certain way because that is how “persona X” would expect it to be.

Conclusion

Personas are an extremely effective tool for every stage in the user experience and interface design process. Ensuring that your design is user-centered should be one of your main priorities as a UX designer. Interested in learning more about user-centered design? Contact Codal!

How Does a Persona Fit Into the UX Design Process?

Maximize on the Potential of Your eCommerce Website

Most user experience and visual designers can spot a templated design from a mile away. Surprisingly, a large number of eCommerce websites use templates for their design. Why? Probably because it is cheap, and quick to launch. However, if you really want to maximize the potential for your eCommerce business, hiring a company that offers UX design services would be highly recommended.

Some of the things that matter most on websites that sell products are conversion rates, bounce rates, branding, and seamless path to purchase.

A UX design agency that also offers web and app development services is probably just what you need. Here’s how a UX design agency can help you optimize your site for maximum conversions.

Analysis of Current Customer Data

Many UX research services begin with an in-depth audit of the typical buying journey, from the customer’s first visit to the checkout process. By dissecting the current conversion funnel, a design agency can identify areas for improvement in the process, and leverage research-driven design strategies to make improvements on the website.

Seamless Path to Purchase

All businesses have a unique path to purchase.The buyer’s journey should be as simple as possible. By reducing the overall number of steps it takes for the user to make a purchase, your eCommerce will most likely see a reduction of drop-off rates. Many templates path-to-purchase is already completed, and was not thought through for your specific, unique business needs.

Journey Map All User Types

Chances are that your business has multiple buyer personas. It is important that each of those buyer personas are accounted for. A UX design agency will map out every user type to ensure that the website is user-friendly and seamless for all user’s to use.

Marketing Driven Conversion Testing

Before launching any website, it is important to test it first, before it’s live in the market. This is especially true for eCommerce websites, where the website itself generates money without the help of a sales team or outside personnel.

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Testing an eCommerce website focuses on the checkout process, product pages, cross selling, up selling, navigation and product search-ability. Here at Codal, our conversion testing strategies are designed to mitigate shopping cart abandonment and decrease bounce rate.

So What?

Using a template will not fix current pain points of the website, it also will not take into considering your unique business needs, and all of your different customer types. If you hire a UX and UI design agency, they will take the time to understand your business and make recommendations based on that. One template does not fit all!

Maximize on the Potential of Your eCommerce Website

Google Play Versus Apple’s App Store

As a mobile application design company offering iOS development services, it is critical to stay on top of trends and statistics on both Apple’s app store and Google Play.

Apple App Store: The Numbers

appleIn 2008, when Apple’s app store was launched, here were only 500 mobile applications available. Within 5 years, the number of apps in the store skyrocketed to a million. Just this past January, the app store reached 2.2 million apps.

In 2016, the app store recorded a bit over 25 billion downloads. In quarter 4 of 2016, the App store reported that they generated $5.4 billion.

Google Play: The Numbers

androidThe Google Play store was also launched in 2008, the same time as Apple’s App Store. However, this past January the total number of apps in the store was over 2.7 million.

In 2016, the Google Play store recorded over 75 billion mobile app downloads.

So, while there are more downloads and more apps in the Google Play Store than Apple’s App Store, Apple was still able to generate more money from mobile applications within that time period.

But, Why?

Are there more Android app design companies than iOS development firms? Do more people have Android phones than iPhones? Are Android app development services less expensive than iOS?

Not particularly. One large factor of this is that Apple has a lot larger of a quality control process than Google does. A mobile app development company that releases both an iOS and Android app will have two different waiting periods to get approved. Typically, Android approves their apps a lot quicker than Apple does.

While it completely depends on the features of an app, an Android app can be approved within a day of being sent for review. This is rarely the case with Apple, as it seems that they spend more time reviewing the app’s and have completely different guidelines than Google.

Apple is all about quality and quality control. They are much stricter about what types of mobile app’s are allowed to be available to download, and they have a lot more guidelines for approval/rejection. For example, if your app needs a code update, Apple will let you know; and if you don’t update it, they’ll take control of the situation and remove it from the app store.

If you’re looking for an agency that offers iOS development services or Android app development services, get in contact with Codal, and let the UX design and development agency bring your idea to life!

Google Play Versus Apple’s App Store

How do you know if your website is effective?

Essentially, your website works as you virtual landscape. Your website visitors want your website to be easy to find, engaging, and informational. Don’t you want users to return to your website, for some reason or another? Without having purpose behind your website, it can be quite useless to a consumer. As a web development agency in Chicago, we know what you should be evaluating to understand the effectiveness of your website.

Do people know what you do?

If a user cannot tell what products or services the company offers within the first few seconds of being on the website, it is probably not effective. Users do not want to navigate through multiple pages to find out what the company does. Using Codal, UX Design Agency’s website as an example:

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As soon as you land on the homepage, it tells you exactly what Codal does; UX + UI design, and mobile app development.

Can users find what they need?

If a user cannot find it, they cannot buy it. Your navigation should be clear and concise, and should know exactly what they are going to get when they click on a menu item. This is an easy thing to test; sit down with a few friends or coworkers, and ask them to complete a task. It can be as simple as “Change your account settings to private.”

Watch how the user interacts with the platform. Did they easily find their account settings? Could they easily change them? Observing how users interact with your digital product will ensure that all user types will be able to find what they are looking for. If you hire a company that specializes in UX design services, they should be able to hand this for you.

Is your website visually pleasing to the eye?

While user experience and user-centered design is absolutely critical, the graphical and visual design has to also be aesthetically pleasing as well. The look and feel of a website is just as important, as if a user lands on the page and it’s extremely outdated, chances are they will consider your website to be untrustable, and bounce off the site.

Are you keeping your CTA’s Straight to the Point?

Great websites need solid call-to-actions. Even if you have amazing content, you need to tell the user what their next steps should be.

The call-to-actions should also reflect the content on the page. If the content is about mobile app design and development, than the CTA about that, and not UX design services.

Just these four steps alone, should allow you to understand how effective your website is. The more effective your website is, the more visitors you can attract, and convert to help build up your business. Need help with the design of your website? Check out Codal’s website, an agency that can help you with UX , UI design services, or mobile application development.

How do you know if your website is effective?

Minimalism in Mobile App Design: Part 1

As a mobile app development company, we always have to stay on top of industry trends, and consider what users and consumers actually want while they are using their mobile applications on their smartphone.

In a recent survey that we conducted (part of our ux services), we found that users want minimalism. They want a simple, easy-to-use interface that doesn’t include anything besides what it needs to. Of course the design always needs to be usable, but being consistent and clear is sometimes just as important.

Below are a few simple ways that you can design your mobile application taking a minimalistic approach.

Typography

I great rule of thumb when designing a mobile application, is to stick with one font. Using different fonts can make the application’s interface look confusing and sloppy. Just from a quick glance at the two screens below, it is obvious that the screen to the right looks cleaner and more usable.

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Instead of playing around with the different fonts, play with the weight of the font. This can add more detail to the design, while not completely ruining it. The size of the font can also be changed to make certain text appear more important (or less) than other content.

Apple and Google both do this on their platforms, which also means it is a proven method that works, and all mobile app design companies should follow.

Whitespace

Many people assume that too much whitespace is a bad thing; it get’s criticized quite often. However, what people don’t understand is that whitespace is actually a powerful tool that can control what a user looks at on a website or app.

It can bring focus to a certain element on a screen, and can even organize a screen into different sections or elements. If you need to empasize something on a screen, you can use whitespace to do so.

Using whitespace also means you can take a minimal approach to the design on your app; and it is not a bad strategy.

Conclusion

When seeking out UI design services, you should keep some of these factors in mind while going through the UX design agency’s portfolio.

The fonts should stay consistent throughout the entire interface of an application, while you should utilize more white space than you may think. In part 2 of this article, we will explore different factors of minimalism in mobile app design.

Minimalism in Mobile App Design: Part 1

Introducing Innovation Days to Your Project

The mobile app development agency that I work for, Codal, recently introduced a new project exercise called iDays (or Innovation Days).

An Innovation Day is an extremely collaboaration ideation session that takes place in the discovery phase of a project. However, it is different than just any brainstorming session mostly because of who is involved. Typically, we will involve our ux ui research team, chicago app developers, visual designers, and even the clients.

The ideas that come from these Innovation Days are diverse in a sense, the approaches that a developer, versus the end user or the designer may take could all be different. However, it’s good to receive perspectives of all parties in order to come up with the best, most usable ideas.

How do you run an iDay?

Once the team that is participating has been assembles, it’s time to collect your materials. You’ll need post it’s (as a UX design company, we go through tons of post it’s per week), questions, prompts, and a timer.

The prompts are usually kept general and open ended. An example prompt could be “what do you think about the menu?”

On the other hand, some prompts can be much more detailed. When an iDay is conducted after a research phase, questions will be much more specific. For example, in a dating app project at Codal, research found that user’s may sometimes feel unsafe while using any type of dating app. A great prompt after this research could be “how can we make the user feel safe while using the app?”

Once a prompt is posed, everyone has “X” amount of seconds to write down as many ideas as they can on post it notes. Once the timer is up, each iDay participant goes around and discusses their ideas. Typically these ideas spark a meaningful conversation about their ideas and solutions.

The leader of the iDay then takes the post it note and places it in a category on the whiteboard. Once everyone has shared their ideas,another prompt is given, and the cycle starts again.

Once an iDay is completed, the room is completely filled with sticky notes.

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It is then the UX designers job to break down the data that was received from the iDay. Both qualitative and quantitative data are usually collected.

Introducing iDays into our Software Development Lifecycle has allowed Codal to come up with very scalable and innovative solutions.

Introducing Innovation Days to Your Project