With an ever growing market of mobile applications, user expectations for apps are at all time high right now. Apps are required to perform at very fast speed with high quality in order for the user to keep using those apps. There are three main types of application that get used most frequently: e-commerce apps, social media apps, and gaming apps.
Today, the majority of mobile users have used their phones or tablet to purchase something online. The demographic for retail shopping is quite large, with an age group of 18-54. In this demographic, the user is most concerned with load times. Every second counts, and the longer a page takes to load, the more likely the user will abandon the page. For retailers, this leads to lost sales and higher abandoned cart percentages. The data on how the performance of a shopping application affects shopper’s behavior is fascinating:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
- 79% of shoppers who are a dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy from same site again.
- 52% of online shoppes state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
- As little as 1 second of delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16% – every second counts.
- 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online.
A large number of users use their mobile devices for social media. These are apps that have solidified their place in the daily, sometimes hourly, routine of mobile users. They aren’t going away anytime soon. For a new social app competing against the giants of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, it’s really crucial that the app perform at a fast pace without sacrificing quality. For example, users that use chatting apps expect that sending and receiving messages be just as fast as if they were chatting in person. Here are some recent trends that might make you rethink user experience when it comes to social media:
- The fastest growing demographic on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ is the 55-64 age bracket. Your social app is no longer built for a young, mobile familiar crowd. To keep an older user in mind, the layout must be simple and easy to navigate.
- 189 million of Facebook’s users are mobile only. This is probably a surprising number to some, but proves that you must consider how content displays on mobile devices. If users are not happy with the look and feel of an app, they will stop using it. Younger audiences, in particular, are not loyal to any one product and will switch to the newest, best, fastest product.
The largest category of apps is games, and the majority of users are casual gamers. They want their game to be very easy to play, not too complicated, with rich graphics.
- Casual gaming is the fastest growing category. This is evident if you look at top grossing games in Apple’s App Store.
- Social is beginning to play a large role in games as users want to play with friends. The majority of the top apps have a social media component. The most popular games are ones that allow you to play against others – think Words With Friends and Candy Crush. These are easy to play whenever a user has a bit of downtime, and can be played with one finger, on the go.
The success of e-commerce, social, and gaming apps all rely on user experience. If you build an app and ignore these basic principles, you’re likely to experience high abandonment rates.
The good thing is that user experience is something that can easily be achieved by spending some time and effort on your testing approach. Speed issues can easily be identified by doing load and performance testing on apps. Testing should also be multi-device, ensuring consistent layout and navigation across all devices.
Remember: it’s not enough to just build your app and put it out there. Regular testing of the user expectations outlined above will not only help you create a better quality app, but will help you retain long term, happy users.