Swrve’s Top 5 Dos and Don’ts of Mobile User Experience

Experience really is the best teacher. Since Swrve opened its doors, we’ve worked with the pioneers of great mobile user experiences to develop successful techniques for lifting engagement. Now, we work with the world’s largest brands to ensure they get it right across mobile and other devices for audiences that span across operating systems, locations, and time zones. So, we know great mobile user journeys when we see them.

And, on the flip side, we can spot exactly when and why certain experiences miss the mark with mobile audiences. We still see well-known apps and brands making the same mistakes, again and again. The really frustrating thing is that most of them are easily avoidable using simple solutions. Implementing them makes a substantial difference to the metrics that matter.  

So let’s take a look at our top 5 dos and don’ts of mobile user experience:

Welcome Tours

Don’t:

Don’t overload new users with too much information the first time they open the app. Attention spans are short, and combined with the initial excitement and curiosity of opening an app for the first time, as well as the inherent impatience of modern life, too many screens will most likely lead to welcome tours being skipped. Too much information on one screen is also going to be daunting; avoid that. This has a hugely negative effect on retention, as confused users are much more likely to churn.

Do:

Keep the first-time user experience succinct, and use welcome tours only for the most important aspects of onboarding. After all,  Content obviously changes depending on your app, but often contains permission requests, account log-in/registration, and core features. This gives the opportunity to help users discover other features within the context of the app at a later stage. It's important to A/B test different welcome tour lengths as well, to see which version is skipped the least. A leading games company saw a massive boost in retention by doing just that.

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Asking for Permissions

Don’t:

It still flabbergasts us when we open an app for the first time, and before we even get to the welcome tour, a default system prompt interrupts, asking us to allow push and location permissions. There’s no context, no explanation of why we should allow it, and as a result, no desire to allow it. It can be hard to get users to reverse their decision, although iOS 12 has made it slightly easier for brands. Opt-in rates suffer, leaving businesses with far less of a reach when it comes to communicating with customers outside of their app.

Do:

The best way to ask users for permissions is to demonstrate the value of opting in. This is typically during onboarding, with an explanation of the benefits user will receive from opting in for push or location permissions. Using a tool like Swrve enables brands to ask users, without committing to serving the system prompt. So if a user agrees to allow permissions, you can serve the prompt, and if they decline, you can try again at a later date when they might be more obliging. A global publisher we work with implemented a similar campaign using Swrve. They saw a 45% increase in opt-ins using this tactic alone.

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Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Don’t:

Relying on the tired customer satisfaction survey methods that you’ve been using for the last decade or more is no longer good enough. The truth is that the completion rates for email and in-store surveys are miniscule in comparison to mobile app surveys, and are often less than 1%. That’s a lot of valuable customer insight you are missing out on.

Do:

Customer satisfaction surveys delivered through a mobile app have revolutionized engagement and completion rates in comparison to older methods. How? They’re incredibly easy to participate in and complete, and are delivered to the right people at the right time—simple as that! They can be served while a user is already in the app, triggered when they’ve completed a significant event. Or sent through a push notification delivered at an optimal time, which opens the app and serves an in-app survey. Take it from Ryanair—their timely use of customer satisfaction surveys alone helped them raise their rating in the app store from 3 stars to 4!

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Push Notifications

Don’t:

Oh boy, where to begin? Don’t send at an inconvenient time; don’t send a message in a user’s non-default language; don’t say ‘hi there’; don’t flood users with a barrage of unnecessary messages; don’t send them a message they’ve already received on another channel (and vice-versa). I really could go on.

Do:

Using a tool like Swrve helps to mitigate the above ‘dont’s’. The optimal time delivery feature ensures messages aren’t delivered at a time that doesn’t suit each individual user. Our localization feature sends messages in the user’s default language as defined by their device setting. Frequency and recency capping avoids too many messages. And our platform syncs data between channels, allowing careful orchestration of messages across all your channels. If you don’t believe me, take a look at what a popular luxury retailer was able to accomplish with Swrve here.

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Audience Building

Don’t:

Perhaps the single biggest faux pas in 21st century marketing is treating all your users, customers, or prospects as being a homogenous mass. If you broadcast the same message to all of your users, it simply isn’t going to be relevant to most of them. And with 84% of consumers finding brand messages irrelevant to them, something clearly has to change.

Do:

Deliver messages that make your users feel like what they receive was created especially for them. Up until recently this just plain wasn’t possible. With Swrve’s granular segmentation and, crucially, ability to target audiences based on their historic payload data, you can truly create campaigns that feel like ‘segments-of-one’. It’s the kind of relevancy marketers have been dreaming about, and it’s available now.  

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If you'd like to talk with one of our mobile user experience experts, please feel free to get in touch with us.