Categories
Apps

App Localization: How To Do It Better

Every mobile app developer wants their app to win the market and reach its maximum potential. The main goal is to get as many new users onboard, by improving the app’s quality, exposure, visibility, and features. But, if you only adapt your app to a certain market, you’re only targeting a limited number of users. That means you can’t go very far. That’s why you should consider app localization.

Localizing your app means making it available in different languages for people from different regions and countries. It also means expanding your reach and going for the global market. This article will break down the process of app localization for you, and help you understand how to conduct it.

Here are 6 tips for proper app localization that you can start applying today.

 

Choose a Target Market

Before you turn to the actual process of localization, you first need to conduct meaningful research. You have to decide which market you wish to target with your app, and base that decision on data. 

To make sure you’re choosing the right language for the localization, you have to:

  • Do market research for potential target countries
  • Learn about your competition and potential users
  • Learn about your current users and which countries do they come from
  • Read your app reviews and feedback  to see what people from different countries have to say

If you’re certain you have a shot at making it work on a target market, you can proceed with app localization.

 

Adjust Your Text

Before you translate the text and entire content of your mobile app, you have to make the right adjustments to it. Localization is not the same as translation.

Localization includes:

  • Paying attention to the customs and habits of the target audience
  • Removing content that could be potentially offensive to a certain nation
  • Using appropriate symbolism and references

What might be funny to an American, could be completely confusing to a German, if translated literally. Although the professional translator should be able to make these adjustments himself, it’s better that you take a look at it yourself.

Once you feel like you’ve made the adjustments with the target audience in mind, you can proceed to hire a translator.

 

Hire a Translator

If you were considering asking your relative who “speaks a bit of French” to translate, or use Google Translate, let us stop you right there.

Without a quality translation, your entire project is worth nothing.

That’s why you need to invest your money into hiring a professional translator who will:

  • Translate your text to make it sound natural to natives of the target language
  • Use appropriate symbolism and structures
  • Find a way to translate the overall tone and style of the original copy

A professional translator is a must s don’t even hesitate for a second. Find someone you know will do a great job and you’ll see it was worth it,” says Marissa Pearson, a localization expert from Studicus.

 

Additional Changes

Apart from translating the content of your app, you also have to pay attention to all the other elements in your app. With the new target market in mind, you have to adjust:

  • Currency
  • Metric system
  • Date and time format
  • Images and app design 
  • Visuals

 

Make sure that everything is right for the target user on the new market and make the app suitable for their ways of functioning. 

Remove images that might be offensive and replace them with something more appropriate for the eyes of your target audience. Here’s an example:

  • You’re targeting the market in India
  • You change dollars to rupees
  • You adjust the images to not offense their culture; a cow is a sacred animal in India so if you have any images portraying cow funnily or offensively, you have to replace it

This way, you go through all the segments of your app until you’re certain you’ve made all the necessary adjustments. Your app engagement will skyrocket. 

 

Conduct App Store Optimization

Don’t forget to translate and optimize the text displayed for your app in the app store. You have to make sure your app is highly visible and easy to find.

Pay attention to:

  • Title of the app
  • Keywords used in the description 
  • Respecting the local SEO

This way, you’ll be certain your app will find its way to the new audience and get more users faster. 

Viber for Serbia, source: Google Play  

 

Check Your Accuracy

Finally, there’s one last thing you need to do before you wrap things up. You have to revise what you’ve written and make sure there are no mistakes.

So, if you want to be a professional, make sure that you:

  • Remove any grammar or spelling errors
  • Follow a meaningful structure
  • Used proper vocabulary

Only once you’re certain you’ve proofread everything can you go ahead and publish it.

In case you need help with the written part of your localized app, here’s a list of useful tools and resources you could use to get some help:

Trust My Paper – Editing can be pretty hard, especially when you’ve written the text. You can send your written content to this service, and they’ll edit it to perfection.
Grammarly – If you want to proofread on your own, but need just a bit of help, this online tool can help you. Just paste your text and revise the highlighted areas.    
WowGrade – You have to proofread before you publish and this online service can do it for you.
Hemingway AppThis app will help you improve your readability and accuracy. It will remove all the mistakes and help you rewrite for a better structure.

 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the process of app localization is more than just translating the content of your app. You need to do proper research, outsource for translation, and get things just right.

The steps above will help you localize your app right and accomplish the goals you’ve set. Soon, your app will have a global outreach and the number of your users will keep growing.

Estelle Liotard is an editor for IsAccurate. She enjoys working on new projects and learning
something exciting every day. In addition, she works as a freelance writer for Best Essay
Education and Grab My Essay. Her passion for innovation is guiding her through all the different
fields of her career.

Categories
Apps

How to Make a Successful Business App

An ecstatic development urge to make business apps is wildly spreading. It is true; preparation meeting opportunity determines the success of a business. Currently, we are indeed in an era where companies are operating using apps. That’s why we are expounding on ways of making successful apps for business

According to McKinsey research, companies have lofty ambitions, and they expect digital initiatives to deliver annual growth and cost efficiencies of 5-10% or even more in the next three to five years to come.

The reason why we move to different levels of marketing is to attract our customers, increase our sales, and expand our target audience — nobody who is in business that does not want to win customers and succeed.

More and more companies are developing mobile applications. Businesses have discovered everything that they do daily, can be simplified in a digital space. Major companies like Amazon, Walmart found their way here, and that’s why we can see their business success is flamboyant. 

The good news is, today, most companies are willing to work more into the digital world of mobile development for businesses that require more. They can do so without breaking their arms. What we are trying to say, unlike years back, this is affordable.

Now that you have decided that you need a successful business app, what should you do? What’s next?

 

Which Application to Consider?

Depending on your business, one thing that you need to find out is the best platform for your niche.

 

Native Application or Cross-platform Application

Using the Native application is the one that most prefer because it’s for a specific platform. The final code is optimal for the selected operating system device. The ability to work with contacts and internal memories makes it possible to personalize the applications specifically assigned to a task. Another advantage of a native app is that there is a possibility of monitoring the application process in different stages.

 

Technology

One thing for sure is, the type of technology applies, how modern is it? You need to be using almost the newest, if not the top-notch.  

Most companies are going through waves of IT transformation and understand the overhauling legacy architecture is a multilayer process. The goal here is to fuel an accelerated development infrastructure that supports near-instant cross-channel continually so that businesses can have a real-time decision-making interaction.

The top brands, like Google and Apple, have to keep updating their applications for better functionality stiffly. Choosing a native app can almost guarantee state-of-the-art products that support your hardware and software device. Such functions shown in applications like HeathKit and API allows implementing the projects in the health Industry. 

 

Design

Whenever we talk of design, it is the visualization of an end product that matters most. For Android and iOS, to make their applications more predictable, user-friendly, and easy to use, they have to take different approaches to make a great personalization.

 

Quality Assurance

A company big or small has (QC) or Quality Control team to ensure the quality of the products is accordingly. In essence, the quality of the product application depends on the credibility of the brand and the mobile app developers. Another critical aspect of QC is; performance, application utilization, usability control, and design. 

A developer focuses on adapting the application for different versions of the system, screen resolutions, to achieve intuitively. The speed of response also allows applications to pass validation.

 

Monetization

Since you want to come up with a successful app for business, then this topic cannot continue without mentioning Monetization. The aim of building the app, it is not only intended to create a more interactive, personalization with our customers. But the ultimate goal is to bring us money and revenue to our business. Many things are involved in making that possible as listed below:

Use the SWOT Analysis: 

Identify the major players in your industry by doing a SWOT analysis report. Understand the methods they apply; find out who the significant players are? Then you will be able to conclude how you can capitalize on available opportunities with fewer threats. 

Other factors to consider are, finding out whether the popular apps in your business interest if, whether they come free or paid. This information will guide you and let you stand out in your invention.

 

Scalability

How responsive, flexible, and adaptive are you to your customers? It comes down to scalability. A question that a company can find an answer; Does it have the ability to handle the market demand in the corporate world? Since the aim is to maximize profit, what is its prowess of maintaining or improving profit margins, while sales volume hit the roof?

 

Problem Solving?

If you have identified a problem or a gap in the business that you have to solve, then your chance of success is way too high. 

Try to understand your customer’s needs. Use the client-oriented strategy to help optimize a business process that will help you to improve your performance. There are so many tools to help with this these days, such as deep q learning

It is sad for a business without an online network representation. Those companies would not reap benefits like those who participate.

 If your client doesn’t get an interactive open conversation, or you are not easily reachable, they quickly turn to other service providers. It negatively affects the image of your company.

 

Another thing that can undermine your brand’s representation in a network is a weak brand representation. You will find that it’s easier to communicate with customers on the web, convenient and time-efficient.

Aim to achieve your business objectives. You can start a partial digital transformation to provide a higher level of service and development. It doesn’t have to be costly. Work with a professional mobile development company. Do not compromise on that. The bottom-line here, coming up with a compelling app that enticingly conveys the value proposition to your clients.

 

Conclusion:

 For you to have a successful app, then you have to do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Start collecting data, receive feedback, and survey about the next versions of the business apps. Read this guide as many times as possible. 

Categories
Apps

CCPA Compliance – How To Prepare Your Mobile App For New Privacy Laws

As of the 1st January 2020, the California consumer privacy act (CCPA) will introduce new rights for every citizen living in the state of California.

These changes will affect the way companies look at privacy. The legislation is currently only applicable to consumers in the state of California. However, as we will discuss, the act will likely have an impact across the US.

Along with the GDPR, which offers consumers similar data and privacy rights in the EU, the CCPA is something that all businesses need to consider. This starts with a brand’s databases, CMP, and website, but it also includes any mobile app.

Apps will be subject to the same scrutiny, and under the regulation, developers will need to find a solution to comply with the legislation fully.

 

What is the CCPA

First, let’s look at the technical side of the new legislation.

The act allows any consumer-based in California access to all information or data that a company has related to them.

The act also states that this information should include a full list of the third-parties that the data is shared with.

It also allows consumers to request that companies delete this data or stop them from sharing it with one or all of the relevant third-parties.

As well as this, the CCPA also means that companies will have to do more to explain to consumers what types of data they are collecting, why they are doing it, and how consumers can opt-out.

 

What does CCPA cover?

The act seems to take a broader approach than GDPR in terms of what constitutes personal information:

  • Any personal identifier such as name, alias, address, unique or online personal identifier, IP address, email, account name, social security number, passport, or driving license number.
  • Commercial data that includes records of property, product or services, or other historical purchase data.
  • Geolocation data
  • Biometric data
  • Professional information or employee data, such as employee time tracking, or employee engagement. You can even use a timeclock calculator to gather this data. 
  • Internet or other electronic network activity information including, but not limited to, browsing history, search history and information regarding a consumer’s interaction with a website, application or advertisement

 

What happens if my mobile app is not compliant?

According to the CCPA, companies will have 30 days to comply with the when regulators notify them of a violation. After this, is there is no resolution, the regulator will issue a fine of up to $7,500 for each record.

Despite this initial fine, companies are under threat from another area that is covered in the act. The bill allows an individual to sue a company. This occurs if a consumer gives written notice to a company that they have had their privacy rights violated. If the company cannot find a resolution, then the consumer can bring a class-action suit against the company.

 

How to become compliant

For mobile apps, it can be more challenging to become compliant with privacy laws. Many tools for manage consumer privacy preferences are web first, and there aren’t a lot of tools that exist for developers to manage consent and comply with the regulation.

Under CCPA, apps will need to understand the data that they have on all of their users. This needs to be attached to a single consumer to provide information about the data that the company has on an individual. This means a centralized location is needed that can access this information.

As well as this, how the data is used will need to be communicated to the user, including third-party uses.

Lastly, consumers need to be able to access this, manage their choices, and request that this information be deleted.

So, many dedicated nodeJS developers need an interface that clearly explains which data is being collected and why. It will also need to allow users to opt-out and define which third-parties can access this data.

Sound complicated? Well, luckily, there is a solution.

 

Tamoco’s mobile-first CMP

A CMP is a powerful tool that should be implemented anywhere where consumer data is being processed or stored. For these reasons, it makes sense to have a CMP that can cope with large amounts of consumer preferences and can manage these in several different locations and platforms.

The Tamoco CMP collects user preferences in applications. It allows consumers to collect and manage use preference for data collection and data use.

Our CMP is the world’s first mobile CMP that allows developers to comply with data privacy legislation such as the GDPR and the CCPA.

With a straightforward integration app developers can take control of their app and deliver privacy management at scale for all of their users.

 

What is the CCPA?

The act allows any consumer-based in California access to all information or data that a company has related to them. The act also states that this information should include a full list of the third-parties that the data is shared with. It also allows consumers to request that companies delete this data or stop them from sharing it with one or all of the relevant third-parties. As well as this, the CCPA also means that companies will have to do more to explain to consumers what types of data they are collecting, why they are doing it, and how consumers can opt-out.

Categories
Apps Marketing & Advertising

What Is A Consent Management Platform? All You Need To Know 2020

Introduction

Since the introduction of more detailed privacy regulations, such as the GDPR and the CCPA, businesses have started to take consumer consent and data privacy seriously.

Consumer data comes in multiple forms, and it’s used for many different purposes, from advertising personalization to monetization.

Because of this, collecting and managing consumer preferences on how all of their data is used across these different use cases is not exactly the simplest of tasks.

Privacy laws have meant that businesses need a robust solution that provides consumers with this choice. Enter the consent management platform (CPM) – a toolkit that is designed to do just this.

 

What is a CMP

For consumer-facing publishers, there is a huge issue here. These businesses work with multiple partners across the advertising ecosystem. Each partner has numerous uses for consumer data, from advertising to personalization. Asking and managing this consent across an entire user base is a daunting task.

This is where a consent management platform comes in. By collecting user preferences for different data types and different uses and various partners, CMPs provide this functionality.

Think of a CMP of something that sits between the publisher and the user. It informs users about the type of data that the publisher will collect, whether through forms, or another method, and what this data will be used for. It allows consumers to modify these settings, stores this, and gives consumers a chance to opt-out and change these settings.

What this looks like for the consumer is usually a simple dialogue. This dialogue allows them to choose how their data is used. These preferences are stored and ultimately control of how user data moves between the publisher and the broader advertising ecosystem.

As a lot of new privacy regulations require businesses to offer this level of functionality to consumers, consent management software is a vital tool for any modern company.

 

Why do you need a CPM?

To give users the option to take control of their data.

CPMs provide the consumer with the opportunity to control their data and how it is used. They allow consumers to understand who is using their data and for what for.

CPMs give consumers the ability to revoke this access and update these preferences at any time. The tools then automatically communicate these consumer requests throughout the data supply chain.

This proves detailed control of personal data at an end-user level. This level of functionality puts the user in control and increases trust between a publisher, app, or other consumer-facing platform and the users that ultimately bring them revenue.

 

To comply with privacy regulation

The main reason that you need a CMP is to comply with relevant privacy laws and regulations. These tools are useful because they can be universally integrated across every consumer-facing platform, allowing companies to comply instantly.

Regardless of whether you’re an EU based business or not, correctly managing user preferences should be a priority. For website owners and publishers, offering users the choice and allowing them to achieve these at any point is fundamental to how regulators see the data-driven world.

 

To deliver better experiences, improve personalization or monetize user data

First-party data uses still require the same level of opt-in as data that is sent on to third-party solutions.

That means if you are using customer or user data for analytics or insights, you’ll need to implement the choice controls that come with a CPM.

This also applies for personalization, whether first-party page personalization or passing data onto third-parties to deliver personalized ads on your inventory.

As well as this, CPM functionality is required for data monetization or other activities where a user’s personal data is used for monetization purposes.

 

Are all consent management platforms compliant with GDPR and CCPA?

Well, no. You’ll have to check with the current privacy laws to be 100% sure. An excellent way to understand which CPMs are is to check to see if they use the IAB framework.

 

IAB transparency and consent framework

The IAB GDPR transparency and consent framework was built to understand what is needed from a CPM from a technical standpoint to comply with the GDPR. If that sounds like a mouthful of acronyms, then don’t worry, it can be a little confusing.

What this does in practice is sets several hoops for CMPs to jump through for their consent management platforms to be GDPR compliant. So, look out for this term when choosing a CPM as it means they have taken the time to verify that they are following best practices according to the leading industry body.

At the time of writing, there is currently no equivalent for the CCPA.

 

The Tamoco consent platform + SDK

A CMP is a powerful tool that should be implemented anywhere where consumer data is being processed or stored. For these reasons, it makes sense to have a CMP that can cope with large amounts of consumer preferences and can manage these in several different locations and platforms.

The Tamoco CMP collects user preferences in applications. It allows consumers to collect and manage use preference for data collection and data use.

Our CMP is the world’s first mobile-first CMP that allows developers to comply with data privacy legislation such as the GDPR and the CCPA.

With a straightforward integration app developers can take control of their app and deliver privacy management at scale for all of their users.

Categories
Apps

Best App Revenue Calculator – Calculate Ad Revenue 2020

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Our new tool allows you to calculate how much revenue you can make from your app. For a detailed breakdown of how the calculator works, please scroll down.

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About the app revenue calculator

This tool allows you to understand how much revenue you can make from different monetization strategies. The tool will tell you the monetization potential of your app across different monetization strategies.

The calculator focuses on two monetization strategies – advertising and data monetization.

 

What the results mean – how the ad revenue calculator works

In-app ads

To calculate app revenue for advertising the calculator needs the following input:

  • Average daily sessions
  • Session duration
  • Ads delivered per minute
  • OS breakdown – this is because CPM can vary significantly on each OS

We have researched each ad monetization platform to create an average CPM for each OS on each platform. Based on this, we can calculate roughly how much your app can make from both iOS and Android users on each ad monetization network.

Of course, these revenue estimates are a general guide. You might have an app that is more effective at delivering ads. You might also try another type of ad format, or receive payments on a conversion basis. This calculator considers cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) on a display ad inside a mobile app on a specific operating system.

The average CPMs for each mobile advertising network are Applovin, AdColony, Admob, InMobi, and Chartboost. The CPM of each network is visualized below

 

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What is CPM?

CPM means cost-per-mille or cost per thousand. This essentially means how much you’ll earn from a thousand ad impressions.

Data monetization/Location monetization

The other type of monetization that this calculator looks at is data monetization. To achieve this, it requires some similar user metrics. It also requires the general breakdown of where your users are in the world.

As location monetization requires user opt-in, you’ll also need to estimate the number of app users that opt-in to location permissions on your app.

The calculator works by using Tamoco’s CPM range by country (what we already pay our app partners) and uses this to project what your app could earn.

This method of monetization can be used alongside advertising to supplement advertising revenue.

What is app monetization

App ad monetization

In-app advertising is one of the most common forms of app revenue. Publishers allow networks to deliver ads to their users for a share of the revenue from advertisers.

As the industry has developed many different ad forms are appearing. From interstitial to gamification, there are now hundreds of app formats in mobile applications. For a full breakdown, check out this guide.

 

Location monetization

Large app audiences can be valuable for many different reasons. One of these is that whenever a user interacts with your app, they generate a form of data.

This information can be anonymized and then quantified. It can then provides valuable insights into customer behavior. This is known as big data. It is used for many things – from how to build smart cities to deliver better and more personalized advertising to users.

Again, the following guide is the best place to understand app monetization.

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Bonus: If you’re a freelancer or a solopreneur who manages and monetizes his/her own app, you can use this hourly rate calculator to get a better understanding of how much your earnings should be compared to your expenses.

Categories
Apps

4 App Development Tips That Only The Best Know

There are approximately 4 million apps available for download today—and that’s just in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

It’s no longer cool to have an app—these days, CEOs and business owners know that this sort of value-add is becoming downright necessary if they want to stand a chance against the competition.

Of course, as mobile app developers, we’re here to help with that. We guide our clients to bring to market an app that matches their business needs and that their customers will love.

But what will their customers love?

App standards vary greatly—you can see that just by taking a look at what’s out there today. The thing is, it’s all about the preference of those building it. Is the goal to develop and launch quickly? Is the goal to provide the most innovative, mind-blowing experience? Is the goal to reach as many people as possible?

While there are many ways you can go about building a great app, the best developers know a few simple truths that will give you the best shot at success with custom software development.

 

A Great App Takes Time To Build

How does the saying go—”Nothing great comes easy”?

Or perhaps “Slow and steady wins the race”?

Or maybe you can hear your mother saying, * “If you did it right the first time, you wouldn’t have to do it again!”*

Whichever phrase you prefer, they all mean the same thing: It’s better to take your time than to work too hastily. This certainly rings true when you’re building an app, and great developers know it.

Being able to build and launch an app quickly is the ideal situation and it’s real when you use visual programming tools. However, if you choose traditional developing in most cases, it’s not realistic, and it’s not smart.

Your goal shouldn’t be to throw an app together in record time; it should be to build the best app you possibly can with the time, budget, and objectives that you have. And you can’t design, build and launch an app without some strategic planning to get you off on the right foot. Mobile app development for real estate, for example, is especially good at this.

In the initial conversations with your client, you need to determine a few things; mainly: What is the purpose of your app? Who is it meant for? Is there a demand for it? How will your users respond to this or that feature? There are so many questions that must be answered before you can even consider inputting your first line of code.

Put in the work upfront—do the proper brainstorming, mock up your ideas, and conduct in-depth user testing. This will give you time and flexibility on the other end to make final tweaks and give your app the launch it deserves.

For more tips on the app development process visit Sunlight Media – https://sunlightmedia.org/improve-app-development-process

 

Apps Shouldn’t Be Complicated

Great developers know that you can’t build a winning app without the partnership of a great designer or design team. And a great designer knows that the simpler an app, the better it will be received.

That’s not to say your app should be dull or boring—but you don’t need all the features.

This mistake is so common and so widely discussed in the industry; it’s hard to believe the concept is so difficult to grasp. Many of us know what needs to be done, but the true skill is in the execution – and not many developers can master lean design.

Bottom line: ** Don’t overwhelm your users.**

You don’t need to overload the first iteration with every cool, innovative feature in an attempt to attract and impress people. In fact, doing so has the opposite effect and makes users run for the hills.

 

Native Is Where It’s At

Yes, web-based apps have their time, and hybrid apps have their place, but at the end of the day, there’s a lot more you can do with a native mobile app.

Apps were designed primarily for use on smartphones. Building for an app’s intended purpose, on its intended platform, can make the difference between an app that’s well-designed, high-performing and widely loved, and an app that works OK.

The benefits of building natively include faster speed, more reliability, and better overall user experience. App stores cater to apps created for their platform, which means superior promotion and support as well.

While progressive web apps are blurring the line between native and web-based functionality, the user experience you get with a native app is still unmatched.

And yes, while native apps may take more time and money to build, there are some things you can’t skimp on if quality is what you’re after.

 

Apps Don’t Sell Themselves

Like any new product brought to market, an app won’t do much good just sitting there waiting for people to stumble upon it.

To attract new users and to keep past users returning for more, you have to be strategic about marketing your app, as well as optimizing your app for future changes in user preferences.

The best developers don’t leave their clients hanging when the app is launched. Educating your clients on the importance of branding and marketing should be part of the conversation, even if you don’t provide those services yourself.

Introduce them to another team you trust to continue from where you let off, ensuring a seamless experience that your clients will remember for years to come.

 

Wrapping Things Up

So there you have it.

With so many apps vying for users’ attention, how do you ensure that you’re building something people will love?

There are endless reasons an app may ultimately fail—but with the right preparation, you can prevent a fatal outcome (or at least lessen its impact).

The truth is, the market can still be unpredictable no matter how much you prepare, but not preparing at all will guarantee your app doesn’t make it off the ground.

 

Categories
Apps

Best Guide To Mobile App Engagement And User Retention

Improve user retention, boost app engagement metrics, and improve your bottom line. 

Simply put – mobile app engagement is providing your users with a reason to keep coming back to your mobile app or open your mobile app and perform the desired action.

You must create an engagement strategy that boasts high-quality communication.

As well as this, you must use the data, analytics, and insights from your users in a business dashboard to help you to learn which part of your app engagement strategy is working the best.

App engagement is all about putting the user needs first. There’s no quick fix. It involves defining your essential app metrics and KPIs. Then creating an app communication strategy that is relevant to your mobile audience.

 

What are the most common mobile app engagement metrics and KPIs?

If you’re looking at how to improve your mobile app engagement, then you’ll be looking at developing these specific mobile application metrics.

 

Active users

This is a crucial metric for app developers, and it’s kind of the going currency in the world of apps.

This metric will help you to understand how useful and important your app is by identifying how many users come back to your app.

This can be done on a daily basis or a monthly basis. Both are, but daily active users is a sign of a genuinely engaging app.

DAU = the number of users who opened your app in a single day

MAU = the number of users who opened your app in a month-long period

 

Retention rate

This metric tells you, as an app developer, what percentage of customers are coming back to your app. On the flipside, you’ll be able to see how many users you are letting go.

The periods that you are comparing will be dependant on the insights that you want. Should you compare MAUs to last month’s active users, or should you compare to the previous year?

With retention rate calculations, it’s essential to look at the metric you are measuring. For some apps, it will make more sense to measure logins rather than only app usage.

Retention rate = the number of users that use your app within a set time/ the number of users in the same group that uses your app in a previous time.

 

Churn rate

This is a simple one – it’s used to identify the percentage of your users that are lost.

Churn rate = 1 – your app’s retention rate

Session length

This metric is the amount of time that a user spends in your app each time they open it. This is an excellent indicator of app engagement as time spends in each app is one of the key ways to tell how useful your app is to a user.

Depending on your app, it might make sense to focus on this metric rather than DAUs.

Session length = time opened the app – time closed the app

In general, the more time your active users spend in your app and the more screens that they interact with, the more engaged your mobile users are.

That’s why focusing on experience, rather than just individual features, is critical. Let’s look at how you can increase these key app metrics.

 

Push notifications

Push notifications are one of the most effective ways to engage your app users. But, if misused, they are one of the quickest methods to app deletion. The truth is that many mobile apps seeking to engage their users fall into the second category.

So how often should you send push notifications to your users?

With push notifications, it’s about providing the most value to your app audience. If your mobile users are getting value from your app, then they are going to be more engaged.

That sounds obvious, yet so many app engagement strategies fail to consider it. There are so many push notification services that claim that quantity is key to boosting engagement. But, this will very quickly have a negative effect if you don’t consider personalization and relevancy in your push notification strategy.

It’s also vital to understand push notification statistics when trying to engage your audience.

So, let’s look at how you can engage your mobile app users by building a push notification strategy.

 

Only send push notifications when it’s relevant to do so

If you look at your phone right now, you’ll probably see an extensive list of notifications sitting there, unanswered. Never swiped and hardly even read. If you want to engage your mobile app users, you need to create a positive impression of your app in the minds of your users.

Spamming your users with push notifications isn’t the way to engage your users. You need your users to enjoy reading that notification when it comes. You need to provide them with value.

 

Content is key

The first step is thinking about the content. Just because it’s the latest app feature your team created, doesn’t mean that your app users will engage with countless notifications about it.

You need to think like an app user. What do app users engage with? What do you, as an app user, engage with most? Which apps on your phone are doing this best? If you can think like your users, then you’ll start to get on track with your app engagement strategy.

This involves clearly defining the instance in which your mobile audience wants you to speak to them. This may require in-app analytics and feedback tools, but we’ll get onto that in good time, don’t worry.

If you have a mobile restaurant application, for example, why would you send them notifications when they are in the bank. Why would you remind them to make dinner at 11 pm? Why would you ask them to choose their perfect recipes when they are on holiday? If you have an instant messaging app you don’t want to set any limitations. 

Highly targeted push notifications can increase response rates by up to 7x and will dramatically increase your app engagement rates.

But how do you control how, when why and what push notifications your mobile app users receive?

 

Location-based push notifications

That’s right; get yourself a platform or a service that lets you control when your users receive push notifications.

It’s simple – if your users are in highly essential moments, then send them highly relevant communication. That’s it.

Let’s look at the example from above. What a difference it would make to have a recipe app that suggested you make a saved recipe when you were in the store, and lacking recipe inspiration.

That’s what your app was supposed to do, yet you aren’t giving it the change to help users in the right moment.

This is where location comes in. By predefining several supermarkets using a simple online platform, you can ensure that push notifications are only delivered at relevant times.

The application applies to all apps looking to implement a successful mobile app engagement strategy. Define the optimal moment for your mobile users to use your app. Send them optimal notifications ONLY in these moments. Improve engagement. Get insights and use this to inform your engagement strategy and fine-tune.

 

What makes an excellent push notification?

Let’s look at some examples of good push notifications that will keep your app users engaged.

For this, I’ve imagined some generic apps rather than real ones. Although we’d be happy to give you a specific demo for your mobile app.

 

App with a physical location or venue

If your app has a real-world counterpart that was supposed to benefit from your app. Then location-based push is perfect. You probably have a good idea of how your audience uses your products or services.

A good engagement boosting example for this kind of app would be:

Of course, in this example, the user receives the notification just as they enter the restaurant. 

 

Stand-alone discovery apps

Okay, so you don’t have a retail store, just an app. That’s fine. You might need to spend some time learning how your users get the most value from your app. But that’s fine, that’s one of the most critical aspects of this kind of engagement strategy (again more on that in a short while)

In this example, you’ll need to understand what engages your users best, look at the data, and then rinse and repeat. An example:

In this case, the micro-moment could be as they are leaving another nightlife venue. Thus avoiding spamming all the users that have decided to spend a Friday night in.

 

Apps with a specific function

What if your app provides a vital service? Location-based notifications can help to engage users by bringing this function to them at the best possible moment. 

Here the user would be notified when they land at an airport. Those eagle-eyed amongst you might ask – how would you ensure that the user doesn’t get the notification on the outbound part of the trip? Well, triggers can be based on complex location signals; in this case, the second time they are seen inside the airport within a certain period.

 

Some homework (spoiler – it’s much easier with insights)

What micro-moment should trigger notification delivery?

What is the best way that you can personalize the notification based on this micro-moment?

What is the desired goal of the push notification?

What are the critical engagement KPIs that this campaign should improve?

 

Re-engaging your mobile app users

One of the most effective ways that apps can improve their user retention rate is to re-engage and retain their mobile app users.

Often many apps neglect the customers that they have spent countless mobile app marketing dollars on acquiring.

After 24 hours, an apps retention rate falls to 21%. By day ten, this figure drops to 7.5%. After 90 days, it’s a measly 1.89%.

Therefore a significant increase in retention rate can be the most important strategy for app owners. Rather than placing your entire budget into acquiring new users, you should be focusing on re-engaging your users. Just a small rise in app retention rates can have a huge effect on your bottom line.

 

Fixing your app on-boarding process

You need to ensure that the basics are in place for you to keep engaging your app audience. This means that your onboarding process should be seamless, provide value, and explain exactly what it is that your app does.

Think of these as the perfect blocks to build your app user experience. The engagement strategy is the cement that fine-tunes it and links it all together.

For a more detailed list of app onboarding best practices check out this.

 

Deep linking from push to relevant in-app location

So you crafted the perfect notification. Congratulations. Your users clicked it. And it directed them to…

The app home screen.

Again it seems obvious, but many apps get this completely wrong. Choose a push notification service that lets you link to highly relevant app experiences.

They probably exist in your app. So make sure you are improving the mobile app experience by allowing your users to get to it quickly.

If you want to improve app re-engagement then getting your users to notice your app is just the beginning. You’ll want to ensure that your personalized notification takes the user to the right place.

With many location-based push notification services, it’s possible to deep link to the right content based on the user’s current location.

That could be the most recent content to keep delivering your users a fresh experience and keep them engaged.

 

Think about your app experience

A note on personalization – ultimately, your app engagement metrics will improve if you place personalization at the heart of your app engagement strategy.

This means that you need to think of the user at every point in the user journey. If you want to take your app engagement to new heights, then you’ll have to personalize the user experience, clearly define your app’s KPIs and learn how your users want to engage with your app.

But that’s only the first part. How do you keep learning what your app users are engaging with and what elements of your strategy in performing best? Well, that leads me nicely onto…

 

In-app analytics and insights

None of the above will matter if you don’t commit to learning what works best with your users. Every app is different with different app engagement KPIs.

Analyzing your engagement data is key to building an effective app engagement strategy.

Push notifications give you valuable insights around your users. If you want to know how to improve your app user engagement, then you need to understand mobile app analytics.

The feedback from your push campaigns helps you to understand what engages your mobile users.

I’m not just talking about the age, time, gender, and device type of your users although those can sometimes be helpful.

I’m talking about understanding in which micro-moment your users are most likely to engage with your app.

 

Understand your app’s micro-moments

This is such valuable information. Many apps have an idea of what this moment might be. But often, their idea of what this is is quite different from what the insights say. Data should be everything for your mobile engagement strategy. And it’s time to take this data to the next level.

When you send a push notification to users, and you know that your users are opening them in a particular context, this is valuable information.

These insights even go beyond your app engagement. They can help fundamentally to inform everything to do with your app growth strategy. From most crucial new app features to UX and monetization.

If you know that more of your users are engaging with your notifications in a certain location, then you get a better idea of your app audience. You can understand them better and hypothesize the specifics that will help to improve app engagement.

 

Location-based insights

In a world with over a million apps, it’s important that you leverage every piece of data that you can around app engagement. You need to make data, your best friend if you want to keep developing your app engagement strategy.

If you can get data around your app users that the majority of apps can’t get access to then your onto a winner.

The truth is that many app engagement strategies fail to understand where their users go and how they behave.

 

Beyond basic engagement insights

For example, you might get feedback around how your users are opening your push notification, using specific in-app features, or even just opening the app.

These insights might be based on time of day, or maybe you can even get a breakdown of this data based on audience type (depending on which service you use).

But what if you could get a better insight into the mind of your user at that time? Basic insights are great, but it doesn’t always paint the perfect picture. You need to get as much data as possible if you are going to keep engaging your app users.

Location insights around app users can help drive mobile app engagement KPIs. If you can understand exactly where your users go and how they behave, then you can create a better idea of how to engage them.

 

Engagement data that retains users

For example, let’s say you have a sports app and you might send a re-engagement notification that performs reasonably well. You look at the data available to you, and you see that a sizeable chunk of these notifications was opened between 12-3pm. Now that is a great insight, but what if you could learn more?

If you layer location insights around that data, you might see a more useful pattern emerge. You could see that the majority of these notifications are opened in bars, and even more, specifically sports bars.

Now you can begin to hypothesize and fine tune your value proposition. You can see that the majority of your users are using your scores app while they are watching a game in a bar or sports venue.

This all links back to your app engagement strategy. You have a better idea of how and where your users get the most value from your mobile app, and this helps you to develop your app engagement strategy.

By understanding your user’s behavior, you are much better placed to say which factors are most likely to boosts your app engagement KPIs.

 

Make sure you choose the right app engagement platform

Choose mobile app analytics and communication platform that works for your app. You need a mobile engagement platform that allows you to reach your app users in the best possible moment and understand how your users respond and behave.

 

Conclusion

Think about which app engagement metric is most important to you.

Clearly define which aspects of your app engage your users.

Place the user first. Think about providing value to your users rather than communicating with them for the sake of it.

Use highly personalized notification to engage your users in the best in-app micro-moment.

Re-engagement can be the most effective way to improve your app revenue or bottom line.

Take a data centric approach to engagement.

Always be ready to hypothesize and learn from your engagement data.

Follow these rules and you’ll be well on your way to creating a mobile app engagement strategy that works for your app.

 

Faq’s

What is app engagement?

App engagement is used to refer to a number of metrics that measure how users are engaged with your app. These can give developers better insights into how their apps are being used.

What is app retention?

App retention is a metric which is esentially the percentage of people who continue to use your app over a given period of time

How do I boost app engagement?

A combination of good onboarding, active engagement such as push notifications and delivering personlised app experiences.

 

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Categories
Apps

Best Guide To Mobile App Monetization 2020 – Stats, Strategies & Insight

The ultimate guide to app monetization

This guide is everything you need to know about app monetization. We’ll breakdown different strategies and look at the pros and cons of each. You’ll learn how to optimize and generate impressive revenue from your app.

We’ll also look at app revenue trends as well as hybrid monetization. So strap in and get ready to monetize your mobile app audience.

This is a full-length guide and therefore, will take a while to get through. Luckily we’ve added some useful links throughout to help you navigate to the relevant sections.

This guide is relevant to all app owners and developers. Whether you have a free app or a paid app, some of you will be in the early stages of app monetization journey. Some will be experienced hybrid app monetization experts. This guide is for anyone who wants to generate revenue from their mobile app.

Either way, we hope this guide leaves no stone unturned in your quest to understand what is app monetization. You’ll learn how it works and how to make sure that you get the best revenue from your mobile app.

 

First of all a definition – what is app monetization?

In one sentence – app monetization is the process of converting your app users into revenue.

This process involves multiple strategies. Some categories of apps are more suited to specific app monetization models than others. Some apps focus on one particular area of app monetization, and others incorporate multiple aspects.

As a developer, you’ll need to generate revenue from your app. In the app economy, it can be challenging to stay afloat. Unless you have secured a nice amount of funding, it’s essential to read the advice in this post.

Follow our implementing guide and make sure that you ask any comments at the very bottom.

 

Why is app monetization important?

App monetization is crucial because it has become more common to find that apps are free at the point of install. The app business model, therefore, needs to be adjusted to account for this.

Developers must shift their revenue model to generate cash after download. This is where your strategy comes in. It’s crucial to take the time to make one that ensures these two things happen:

  • Your app generates growing revenue.
  • You keep your users and the user experience relatively intact.

A lot of people forget about the second point. It’s just as important to look at how mobile monetization affects the app experience as it is to maximize revenue.

 

Why is user experience important?

Experience is crucial to a successful app monetization strategy because revenue requires happy users.

Monetization mostly harms the app user experience. This can be mitigated and reduced, but it is still there. Lowering the user experience causes some users to be turned off.

Monetization revenue is generally calculated based on the number of active users. As this figure is directly affected by user experience, it’s crucial for developers to consider this when deciding an app monetization strategy.

 

Stats and figures around app monetization

There’s one stat that shows the importance of app monetization in today’s mobile world.

In 2015 global app revenues reached $70 billion. By the end of 2016, this had risen to $88 billion.

That’s a significant rise in a single year. But if we look at predictions, by 2020, the global revenue from mobile apps is set to hit $190 billion.

Now that’s a significant market for developers to tap into. But let’s dig deeper into app monetization.

App monetization strategies are still dominated by in-app advertising. Ad formats are indeed getting better – incentivized advertising is driving app monetization, and app revenue models are increasingly packed with advertising. Native ads are popular as well – something that the app ad space loves to point to as progressive in-app advertising.

Paid apps are still prevalent in both app stores, with 20% of apps adopting these app revenue models. As an app revenue model, this is remaining steady – but the growth of subscription models are becoming more popular as the idea of recurring income seems attractive to developers.

But what can you learn about your app revenue model by looking at these statistics around mobile app monetization?

App ads are on the rise. But will developers see the bubble burst? There could be a reward on offer for apps that steer away from the advertising app revenue strategy in the future. And this is entirely possible with the growth of alternative app monetization methods.

 

What can we learn from this?

Advertising is still the most popular app monetization strategy. But it’s interesting to see that it is decreasing per user. The main reasons for this could be the fact that revenue per user is declining as more apps look to get into advertising. This causes a race to the bottom in terms of revenue per user. But more on that later.

Another point to make is that pay per download is on the decrease. As more and more apps look to monetize after the point of purchase.

Finally, subscription models are becoming more popular. Pay monthly models are working in so many other industries. Look at Netflix, Spotify, etc. App developers are catching on and realizing that a subscribing, engaged user is worth more than a single paid user.

We’ll discuss all of these points in more detail as we look at the different app monetization strategies. We’ll also talk about the issues and patterns that occur in the app monetization world in the later ‘trends section.

 

The app monetization strategies – a complete overview – how will your app make money?

Now for the part where we get down to it. What app monetization strategies are there? Which ones are most effective? Which generate the most revenue for your app?

App monetization strategies can be complicated, and it can be very different from monetizing templates or courses. There are many different ways that you can generate revenue from your app. Some developers focus on one, and others take a hybrid approach. Or you can even make a best Notion templates guide, for example.

Take the time to familiarise yourself with all of these methods. We’ve tried to include which app categories work best for each monetization method.

 

In-app advertising

As we previously noted, this is still the most popular amongst app owners. It generally generates a lot of discussions. There is no simple one size fits all approach to in-app adverts. Each app implements advertising differently. But there are some general tips for advertising in apps.

  • Benefits – quick to implement, simple app monetization process.
  • Concerns – can affect the app experience, only generates significant figures if you have a broad app audience.

The short truth is this – without in-app advertising and mobile ad networks, a lot of apps wouldn’t exist.

So let’s look at the different types of in-app adverts that are common.

 

Banner Ads

These are the original app advert. These were more common when apps had a free and paid version. A quick way to generate revenue was to have an ad-free version. But, the fact that people were happy to pay not to see any banner ads illustrates the problems.

What’s so bad about app banner ads?

Let’s focus on the UX. They are ugly and intrusive. They divert the user’s attention from the app experience.

I could go on about how damaging the look of banner ads are for your app. But there are more negatives I’m afraid.

The ads are generally so small on a mobile screen that the advertiser doesn’t get much value from using the space. This means that they are usually not willing to pay much for the privilege. They have low engagement rates. For these reasons, the CPM is pretty bad.

The short of in-app banner ads – people don’t interact with them. They annoy the user, and you won’t even get paid much for using them.

Well, perhaps that’s why they are dying out then.

 

Interstitial Ads

Developers are looking at alternatives to bad in-app advertising, such as banner ads.

The main problems with banner ads are the size and the fact that they are intrusive. One potential solution to this problem is to take the same advertisements and show them as a full-screen ad to the user. This occurs between separate user flows. Hence the name interstitial.

To get the most out of this strategy requires you to fully understand your app users and how they use your app. Make sure that you don’t inadvertently ruin the user experience.

The best time to deliver an interstitial ad is at the end of a flow. For example, when a level is complete in a game app. It’s also a good idea to utilize interstitial ads when the app is loading. This gives the user time to understand the ad and think about its content.

 

Native Ads

Native ads are mostly ads that have been adapted to the feel of an app. The ads integrate seamlessly into the app. This usually involves a feed of some sort, where the ad looks like another post in the timeline.

More common amongst publishers as well, native ads are a step in the right direction. They do little to affect the user experience when applied correctly.

Native ads have a higher engagement rate. This is probably since they ‘blend in’ with the app features. This does raise some questions about the effectiveness of the ads. If the ad is essentially tricking the user into clicking as they think it is an organic part of the app, this will harm the user experience.

The key is to make the native ad look and feel ‘native’ while also providing a clear indication to the user that the content they will land on is an advert. Twitter does this well on mobile.

 

Affiliate Ads

Affiliate ads are a method of app monetization that allows apps to generate commission from other apps, products, and services by advertising them through your app.

Affiliate ads work because people like to be referred to something. If they trust the source, then this method can be quite useful in converting.

Again the key thing to remember is the experience. Try and link the advert to appear at relevant points in the user journey. Perhaps when the user is in between levels, the ad could suggest an app that is similar to the situation the user finds themselves in.

 

Reward ads

App reward ads are popular, where users spend a lot of time in the app, such as games. In this scenario, users are offered a reward to engage with content.

So for example, in a game, you may be offered an extra life if you watch a 30-second advert.

For this to work, you have to get the ad and the reward right. Try and keep the content relevant to your user base. Make sure the reward is delivered at the right moment and is valuable for the user.

 

Summary of ads

Generally, more developers are becoming concerned about how advertising affects the app experience. A broader conversation is emerging. Developers are asking – which is the best ad format to protect the UX?

We’ve come a long way since the early days of mobile banner ads. Mobile app advertisers have realized that protecting the user experience is vital to ensure the survival of apps.

 

Subscription and the freemium model

Many apps are now looking at subscription models as a way to generate app revenue. It’s becoming more popular amongst developers for a variety of reasons. Again, we have the fact that users are more used to not paying to download apps as the reason for this.

A subscription model means that the user can download the app for free. They then get access to all or some features of the app for a specific time. Once this period is over, they will need to pay a recurring fee to keep using the app.

It’s easy to see why this app monetization model is becoming so popular. The developer gets a constant stream of revenue. It’s easy to predict. In some cases, it can bring in much more significant revenues than other strategies.

This is because once a user pays to use your app service, they will invest time in the app. If this requires input, they are unlikely to want to stop paying for access.

The app subscription model works best alongside a compelling app with a clear function and user experience.

  • Benefits – steady, reliable income. Little effect on the user experience. Can significantly drive engagement.
  • Concerns – requires a lot of investment to create a great product and a seamless experience to get users to part with cash.

 

Apple loves subscriptions

Apple realized the benefits of apps that keep the customer for more extended periods. They have offered developers on the app store a better revenue share on the income from the subscription apps.

The standard split is 70/30 (Apple takes 30% of app earnings, the developer takes 70%). But Apple now offered an 85/15 split for subscriptions that last over a year.

This is now common in both app stores. It is fuelling the drive toward subscription models for app developers.

 

Data monetization

We talk about user experience a lot when talking about app monetization. That’s because it’s crucial to keeping your app audience engaged with your app. Without an engaged audience, it’s impossible to sustain effective app monetization.

That’s why data monetization can be one of the most effective methods of app monetization.

 

What is data monetization

Large app audiences can be valuable for many different reasons. One of these is that whenever a user interacts with your app, they generate a form of data.

This information can be anonymized and then quantified. It can then provides valuable insights into customer behavior. This is known as big data. It is used for many things – from how to build smart cities to deliver better and more personalized advertising to users.

 

Why data monetization?

The app experience is becoming less important for developers as they look to implement as many app monetization strategies as possible. Have we forgotten about user experience?

Many mobile app monetization strategies are based on delivering an advert to the end user. While these can generate app revenue, little attention is given to the effect that this will have on the user experience.

Many mobile ad networks are making a lot of noise about native ads as a method of app monetization, but is this the experience that users want from mobile. App revenue is growing, but surely the messy in-app ad bubble will burst when developers realize there are alternative app monetization options that are big app revenue generators, without negatively affecting the user experience.

These strategies exist, and more developers are adopting these app monetization strategies.

 

Data as a useful app monetization strategy

Revenue from customer data has been commonplace in other industries for a while now. This can and should be extended to mobile app monetization. With CPMs that are much higher than advertising app monetization models, it makes more sense for developers to try generating app revenue from user data. Along with the bonus that apps can hold on to their beautiful user experience as this app monetization model operated in the background.

Of course, many are quick to criticize this method of app monetization. But the issue demonstrates a broader problem that is prevailing around app monetization in general. Users are so used to apps operating on some free app monetization model that they generally forget that are paying with something other than money.

It can be flashing adverts, or it can be data app monetization. Either way, the conversation around app monetization needs to be more explicit. Users need to understand precisely why apps are free. Data collection process need to happen securely, and they need to have a transparent opt-in process, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a viable app business model.

 

Powerful, first-party data

Data that you collect directly from your app is called first-party data. Many apps are not doing this, and they are sitting on a pretty large, untapped pile of app revenue. And that’s fine – but in this competitive arena of app monetization, and along with the development of secure, non-identifiable data collection methods – apps should no longer be afraid of leveraging this data.

The data can be used for a developer’s own needs – understanding user behavior and interactions with app/features is one. By leveraging robust and accurate user data, developers can understand how their app is used, where users get the most from their app and where to improve.

The data can also be used in tandem with an apps current advertising inventory to boost ad price. If you use data to trigger in-app advertising, then you create more relevant adverts. This means higher inventory price.

Data should underpin everything that you do in your app, from app engagement to app monetization. With the development of advanced audience SDKs, developers should no longer be afraid of leveraging data from their app audience.

A clearer conversation needs to be had around why apps are free at the point of use – a data monetization model is no different from a subscription, freemium, or ad monetization method. Stress needs to be applied around clearly communicating what it is that the user gets in return and providing clear opt-out channels for those who don’t wish to share their data.

Aside from these main two benefits, it also means that you are not held to account financially by the platform that your app exists on. The revenue is generated externally. That means that there’s no commission with the app stores. There’s no worrying about which platform your app is most prominent on.

How to get started – make sure you find yourself a valuable monetization partner. Ensure that they can abide by the relevant opt-in processes. Privacy and security are essential without a data monetization strategy.

 

In-app purchases, virtual goods and currency

This is a method that has become more popular with games apps in recent times. Apps generate money by selling virtual or physical goods from within the app.

 

Virtual currency

One way in which app developers have cleverly tapped into new revenue streams is to allow the user access to virtual currency. Users purchase this currency with real cash, and it used for various means within the app.

Usually, this currency is used to get ahead in the game or redeem certain features and services that would usually take a long period of time to unlock.

There’s a balance to strike here. The user must feel that they are getting value for their hard-earned cash. But they must also keep playing the game to pay more money. That’s why it’s essential to keep the game or app interesting for non-paying users as well. If other users that aren’t willing to get their wallet out stop playing, then paying users will also decrease if there’s no one to play with.

 

Physical product or service

There’s a lot of variety in-app monetization. If your app us a subset of your business then in-app purchases are going to be a large part of your app income. In exchange for your physical product or service, users can pay quickly and using the build in payment structure.

There’s not much to say about this strategy apart from that your physical good or service must be top quality if you want to increase your revenue.

 

The commission

Apple and Google both take 30% of every in-app purchase through your app.

That must make you wonder how the large service apps like Uber and Airbnb manage to make a profit on the back of that 30%. Well, they don’t pay 30%. If you’re big enough, you have the power to negotiate individual commission rates with the app stores. Unfortunately, for most apps, this isn’t possible, and you’ll have to abide by the rules.

 

Transaction fees

This method is kind of a pivot of existing marketplace methods. For apps that have a marketplace or if they include audience transactions of a significant kind, this is an excellent way to monetize app users.

The main benefits of this method are scale. If you can keep growing your audience and the audience activity within your app, then this app monetization method will scale alongside this growth.

 

User marketplace

The idea is that you take a percentage of a transaction between two users on your app. For example, when someone sells an item, you take a percentage of the amount. This is communicated upfront, but the difference to traditional marketplaces is that the seller doesn’t pay a listing fee. This encourages users to use your service.

 

Transactional apps

An emerging breed of mobile apps that use transaction fees to monetize is financial apps, or invoicing apps. These often offer the conversion of currency (think Bitcoin) or the option to trade in shares or other markets. Every time the user makes a transaction, the app makes revenue. An excellent example of this is the Bux app, where they take a percentage of each sale that occurs in the app.

This app monetization strategy provides scalability. It also gives developers the ability to accurately predict revenues based on users and numbers of active users. You can also increase revenue directly by investing in engagement and new users. This gives you better and more stable metrics to manage your app business.

 

Best practices for app monetization – how to improve the bank balance

It’s all about the experience

Protect the user experience at all costs. You’ll do more damage to your monetization by damaging the user experience. There’s a two-pronged approach to this. Keep your experience clean and ensure that app monetization does not harm your app experience. If you have to alter the experience in some way (ads etc.), then manage this so that the impact is minimal.

The other side of this involves actively increasing engagement. Improving app engagement ensures more time spent on your mobile app. This leads to greater monetization.

 

Keep bringing in new users

To scale monetization, you’ll need to keep investing in user acquisition. Don’t take your foot off the pedal here. You’ll always have user churn. This requires you to seek new users to grow monetization actively.

 

Hybrid app monetization

It’s perfectly fine to adopt multiple app monetization methods. It’s recommended. App monetization methods can be implemented alongside each other. Just b sure that doing too much won’t negatively affect the user experience.

 

Measurement and analytics

Measure your monetization, optimize and adapt – an important part of any app monetization strategy. Ensure that your monetization partner can provide in-depth insights on revenue, users, and geography. Always be on the alert to fine-tune your strategy using data.

 

Keep up to date

Keep on the lookout for changes in policy from the major app platforms. This is important as it could change your strategy overnight.

For example, the decision to reduce the commission on app subscriptions changed many app’s approaches to monetization. Keep up to date with the latest blogs and resources.

 

Your app is unique

Don’t take other developers use cases as proof that it will work for your app. Every app is unique. Just because something works for another app, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work in the same way for your app.

Test methods before fully implementing them and always focus on the differences between apps when looking at other use cases and statistics.

If you do go down the ad route consider placement and timing

The ad route is entirely viable for many apps. In-app adverts can be successful, but make sure that you invest the time to consider the placement and timing of these ads. One wrong decision can cause you to lose a lot of users, so be completely sure that you get it right.

 

Are you missing out on data monetization

We’re always amazed at how many app developers are unaware of some of the different monetization strategies out there. There’s a massive drive towards in-app ads, and little alternative is presented to developers when they begin on their app journey. They are missing out on vast amounts of app revenue.

What I’m saying is – you could say goodbye to the wave of ads that you’ve been thrusting into the faces of your users.

But what if I told you there’s a better way to monetize your app. One that means that you won’t have to sacrifice your app experience. And one that can make you more money than your current monetization strategy.

Well, there is a solution, it’s called app data monetization.

 

How to monetize an app with revenue from data

There are a few different types of data app monetization, and it’s pretty specific to the app in question. But there’s a better way for developers to generate consistent app revenue. Better yet, you can do this while prioritizing the app user experience.

One of the most effective includes identifying precise location data from mobile apps to understand consumer habits or behavior better.

 

What are the benefits of app revenue data as a monetization strategy?

The potential for no in-app ads – you heard me right. This means that you can stop delivering those annoying banner ads to your users. Or don’t. DO both if you’d like. Data app monetization works in the background, so you don’t have to worry about it affecting your app experience at all.

Higher CPMs – That data is extremely valuable if it’s precise. Your partners are an essential thing to consider with this kind of monetization strategy. You must communicate with your users, and it’s essential to do this properly. Being upfront with your users on why they are receiving a free service is something that all developers can improve.

The platform becomes less relevant – tired of thinking of android app monetization strategies vs. iOS monetization? Well, data app monetization is a way to level the playing field. You’ll get a much more consistent income across your audience, regardless of platform.

It’s ultimately one of the best app monetization strategies out there. It’s a great way to monetize your app without passing on the cost to your audience. Keep your app engagement and monetize at the same time.

We’re not saying that you should cancel your previous app monetization strategy. There are always app monetization challenges for developers, and data monetization isn’t the solution to all of those problems. However, it can still be tested in a wider app monetization strategy. This way you’ll learn if it’s right for your app.

 

A note on user privacy and opt-in services

It’s important to educate your users on app monetization. All users should realize that the reason their app is free is due to the monetization of themselves.

That’s why it’s important to be up front. Have the conversation with your users as a part of your onboarding process. The best kinds of app monetization strategy clearly explain to users why the app is free and how you ensure that it will be using monetization.

Building trust with your users is key to this kind of monetization strategy.

 

Trends in app monetization

App experience > app monetization

In-app ads remain a popular method of app monetization for developers. Despite them having obvious drawbacks when applied poorly.

A common trend that we see emerging is that more developers are focusing on experience rather than pure revenue.

In 2020 app advertising will be all about the user experience. Developers must strike a balance between the number of ads, where they appear and how the user interacts with them. This will be pivotal to app monetization success. App owners will also have to consider how these changes will affect their users in 2020. Too many ads will negatively impact the user experience. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to provide value while delivering in-app ads.

Don’t expect revenue from app ads to jump to new heights anytime soon if anything expects app ad revenue to decrease as more apps adopt in-app advertising. Perhaps 2019 could be the year to supplement your app revenue with another method.

Mobile app advertising is maturing quickly. Make sure you look for a network that uses safe brands, smart ad targeting, and provides support for interactive ads.

When integrating an app advertising strategy, you may find a trade-off between ease of integration and spamminess of ads. In 2019 it might be worth taking the time to focus on putting user experience first.

It’s clear that keeping people engaged with your app will have a better effect on monetization. App owners will need to get balance right. More importance is being placed on experience with revenue from ads not going up anytime soon.

We see this in our research. Our survey of app developers showed that two-thirds of developers now think that focusing on the app experience or improving the app experience is more important than monetization.

 

Say goodbye to paid apps

Freemium and subscription-based apps are here to stay. Offering apps free at the point of purchase allows developers to get downloads easier. They can then educate the user on the benefits of upgrading or paying for premium features.

Freemium is allowing app owners to increase session length and generate engaged users. This is a great place from which to convert users into healthy revenue. After a positive app experience app users are more likely to opt-in for premium features. Having the chance to nurture and educate your users before this has a positive effect on your app monetization strategy.

Try not to appear like you are cheating your users. Make it clear that your app is a freemium app from the very beginning. They won’t want to invest a lot of time in a game or app to realize that they have to pay to use some features.

It seems that freemium is here to stay. With users finding it standard practice to not pay for an app at the point of purchase. Because of this, developers are finding it harder to justify an upfront fee. The freemium app monetization model is an excellent opportunity to engage and nurture audiences for app monetization.

 

Users will become dissatisfied if they have to spend a lot of money to get features

In-app purchases as a method of app monetization are still experiencing healthy growth. This may be slightly overstated due to the inclusion of ‘services’ as purchases (think Uber, etc.).

One of the main trends well see in 2019 is that app developers will need to focus more on engagement rather than only increasing app monetization.

Once a user has purchased in-app content, then they are more likely to come back and spend more time in the app. This translates to better engagement and retention and in turn, better monetization.

No category has benefited from in-app purchases more than the gaming category. Here, developers are helping by placing engagement first. The user now has the option to pay to advance through the game quicker or access powerups and features.

Developers need to make sure they are getting this balance right. In-app purchases are useful because a few users spend a lot. There will always be users who only want to play your game for free. True these users don’t generate revenue, but they are still important for your app to exist.

While not being a mobile app, developers can still learn a lot from the EA debacle in the new Battlefront game. Users quickly noticed that to unlock some of the features they would have to play the game for 1000 hours. Alternatively, they could pay to unlock them. This seemed somewhat unfair, especially when they had purchased the game upfront.

To keep users happy, developers will need to strike the right balance between monetization and experience.

In 2019 more and more users will become aware of how apps monetize their users. That’s why app monetization methods must be transparent and fair; in the long term, it will benefit you.

 

App subscriptions will look more like SaaS products

The subscription model is one that looks to remain popular in 2018. Again, users are used to trialing an app and its features before parting with any cash

Subscription models are becoming more complicated than a simple buy or don’t buy. Many pricing structures now more closely resemble a SAAS model. It’s common to see several pricing tiers with many different features.

This allows app developers to persuade users who would previously not part with any cash to subscribe to a lower tier of membership. This method of app monetization is still the best fit for service apps.

A side effect of this is that developers will need to help users understand the benefits of upgrading. More tiers and features mean a better explanation is required.

 

A conversation will need to be had with users about monetization of data and opt-out methods.

Users are more aware than ever of the need for developers to monetize their app audience. The conversation around app monetization is shifting to help users understand why apps are free.

In 2018 consumer personalization will be a high priority for brands. They will achieve this by using consumer first-party data to help provide an improved user experience.

Mobile app owners are sitting on a lot of behavioral data around their users. This is of value to those who wish to improve personalization for their customers.

Data monetization is secure, private, and becoming more popular amongst developers. Users are more likely to understand that this data will help to generate improved personalization. By communicating the benefits and education users about opt-in developers can monetize their app in this way.

A benefit of app data monetization is that the user experience remains intact. There are no intrusive adverts or the need for the user to pay anything upfront. This means that the user will spend more time in the app and engage with the app’s features. The app monetization strategy can be adopted alongside other methods of monetization.

Data monetization allows developers to monetize a much higher percentage of users. The users don’t need to be engaged for it to work. The revenue that you generate from each user will also be higher. This means you don’t have to worry about monetization in relation to the platform. It’s the same regardless of the device.

Expect revenue from data monetization to increase from a high starting point with better technology. 2018 will see the consumer become more aware of the power of big data and better educated on how it affects them.

 

Thoughts on these trends

Developers will continue to benefit from the app economy with revenue from app monetization set to grow throughout 2018. Free apps will become the new normal, compared to previously where single pay purchases were the most popular. This will allow developers to generate more revenue over a more extended period of time.

Developers will need to place more emphasis on the monetization experience. This means that the developers are more likely to miss out on revenue from app monetization if the app experience is not up to scratch. Due to the free to download culture, more emphasis on experience and education is needed. This will help to persuade users to enter into premium models and subscriptions or to engage with in-app purchases.

More and more developers will need to adopt hybrid monetization strategies. Developers should not rely on a single method of app monetization. Instead, spreading monetization across multiple strategies will provide stability, especially in a market that can change quickly. The preference of app users is volatile. The changing platform rules around app monetization may also affect developers in 2018. It’s crucial to stay one step ahead!

 

Useful app monetization links and resources

Mobile development digest – provides a great roundup of the latest information for developers, especially around monetization.

[iOS dev weekly](http://iosdevweekly.com/](http://iosdevweekly.com/) – another fabulous newsletter that often discussed app monetization.

Developers alliance blog – some interesting information for developers, and they regularly post around app monetization.

Developer slack communities – there’s a variety of slack groups that are incredibly useful to developers. Some have dedicated channels for app monetization.

Check out this course that helps developers to create viable app businesses. With tips on monetization and more, it’s quite useful.

Of course, always keep an eye on our blog for everything mobile apps.

 

Mobile app monetization summary

  • In-app ads are still a viable method of app monetization. However, more focus needs to be placed on the user experience.
  • Users expect to get an app for free at the point of download.
  • Subscription models are becoming more popular as the big app stores offer reduced commission rates
  • Data monetization is a powerful way to generate revenue without affecting the user experience.
  • Always plan – it’s never too early to think up your mobile app monetization strategy.
  • Hybrid app monetization strategies are effective – understand your audience and strike the right balance.
  • Use data to inform your monetization. Keep learning, keep tweaking, and generate money from your app audience effectively.

In-app purchases as a method of app monetization are still experiencing healthy growth. This may be slightly overstated due to the inclusion of ‘services’ as purchases (think Uber, etc.).

One of the main trends well see in 2018 is that app developers will need to focus more on engagement rather than only increasing app monetization.

Once a user has purchased in-app content, then they are more likely to come back and spend more time in the app. This translates to better engagement and retention and in turn, better monetization.

No category has benefited from in-app purchases more than the gaming category. Here, developers are helping by placing engagement first. The user now has the option to pay to advance through the game quicker or access powerups and features.

Developers need to make sure they are getting this balance right. In-app purchases are effective because a few users spend a lot. There will always be users who only want to play your game for free. True these users don’t generate revenue, but they are still important for your app to exist.

While not being a mobile app, developers can still learn a lot from the EA debacle in the new Battlefront game. Users quickly noticed that to unlock some of the features they would have to play the game for 1000 hours. Alternatively, they could pay to unlock them. This seemed somewhat unfair, especially when they had purchased the game upfront.

To keep users happy, developers will need to strike the right balance between monetization and experience.

In 2018 more and more users will become aware of how apps monetize their users. That’s why app monetization methods must be transparent and fair. In the long term, it will benefit you.

 

What is app monetization?

App monetization is the process of converting your app users into revenue. Publishers need to create revenue in order to offer free apps to users.

How do I monetize my mobile app?

There are many different forms of app monetization. The main ones are through advertising, in-app purchases, and data monetization.

How much money can an app make?

The amount of money that a publisher can make from their app varies based on the number of daily active users they have. It also depends on the type of monetizaiton but publishers can earn tens of thousands of dollars a month in some cases.

Categories
Apps

Best Guide To App Design, Mobile UX, UI and Engagement 2020

Mobile app design

 

Principles of good mobile app UI

Consistency

A key component of good mobile UI is consistency. Designing an intuitive experience is fundamental to creating an engaging app.

 

Familiarity

Keep an app consistent requires the right balance of familiar screens and using known experiences to reduce the learning curve required to use your app.

For example, a newsfeed is a screen that can be extremely complex. However, many users are familiar with a newsfeed. They are used to using this kind of screen on desktop and mobile. This means that users are probably primed to use a newsfeed at a reasonably high capacity, even without being exposed to it before.

As an app designer, it’s important to embrace these familiar screens and create a design which is familiar to your users.

You can view more examples of this concept in action by heading to the screens section of this article.

 

Intuitive design

Similar to familiarity is intuitive design. Where familiarity focuses on using established design trends to drive app engagement, intuitively is slightly different.

When a user interacts with your mobile app, they should not have to think about the process.

The user experience should be intuitive – it should allow them to achieve their desired goal without dedicating too much time to the process.

To achieve this, designers must get into the right mindset and understand how users will interact with their app. This involves defining the user’s flow and focusing on minimising the amount of time it will take for users to understand and complete the steps between these.

Getting the intuitive design right is a crucial part of the mobile UI design process. Without it abandonment rates will be higher, engagement stifled, and churn rate will increase.

 

Minimalism and simplicity

Functional minimalism

Designing a mobile experience means understanding the concept of minimalism and applying it to your app’s experience. Simplicity is critical on mobile devices. There’s a small margin for error, so it’s best not to overwhelm your users.

Decluttering is a great example or minimalism in action. As a rule of thumb, if the information is not needed, then don’t include it. This rule doesn’t just apply to content, but menus and other functional sections of your app.

Overloading the user with too much at once is another no-no. An excellent solution to this is collapsible elements or progressive disclosure. That might sound complicated, but it’s a simple concept which allows the user to control the amount of information on the screen.

 

Towards a simple navigation

Minimalism should apply to user navigation as well as content and elements. You are helping your users to navigate your app in a simple and time efficient manner.

You will lose users if your app’s navigation is too complicated, takes too long or isn’t consistent with other elements.

To counter this, there are a few tips to follow when thinking about navigation:

  • Keep the navigation visible at all times.
  • Using standard components in navigation – this means on Android using the navigation drawer or utilising the tab bar for iOS.
  • Keep it consistent – don’t mix different patterns and keep a single navigation pattern across your app.
  • Allow the user to understand where they are. Achieving this means having the current place in the navigation visible at all times.

 

Minimising user input

Typing on a mobile screen is never going to be as comfortable as using a larger keyboard. Many issues with user input occur when the user is using a form. These are common in mobile apps and often can’t be avoided.

A common mistake is to take a form that was designed to appear on a desktop or laptop and repurpose it for mobile. This quick solution is not good practice – and in the mobile-first world we find ourselves, it’s vital to think mobile-first when designing these.

Some fundamental principles to stick to when user input is required:

  • Less is more – fields that are not 100% necessary can be removed. They are blockers and should be left out.
  • Autocomplete is a designers best friend when it comes to user input.
  • Dynamic validation is critical for mobile. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for a page to refresh before being told a field was incorrect. Perhaps a user will not bother going through the process a second time.

 

Control (put the user in control)

To create a great mobile UX the user must feel in control of their app experience. To achieve this, the app should deliver an element of control to the user, through consistent design and predictability.

 

Keeping elements consistent and predictive

If a user predicts how to use an app and this turns out to be true, then this gives the feeling that the user is in control. Creating this experience is a fundamental part of mobile UI and UX design service.

On mobile, users are not afforded the luxury of hovering over elements to see the kind of interactivity each element offers. That means it’s our job to create components that are consistent and help the user to understand what they want to do quickly.

The way that an element looks should inform the user what will happen when they use, tap, swipe or interact with it. Don’t cross over designs with interaction. Not doing this will lead to confusion and will quickly annoy your users.

 

We all make mistakes – addressing errors

It would be futile to suggest that apps should avoid errors. Eliminating all errors is impossible. Errors exist and mitigating these are a crucial part of mobile design.

Sometimes errors occur because of a failure in the app itself. Other times it may be the user. Whatever happened the experience is ruined if these aren’t handled in the right way.

The best thing to do is to explicitly state what went wrong and indicate what the user could do to stop the error from occurring again.

 

Back to where exactly?

A common mistake as apps grow and the number of screens and flows increase involves the back button. A poorly designed back button can severely hamper the flow of an app.

Poorly designed experience involves taking the user back to a home screen. Try and ensure that this process takes users back incrementally.

This rule ensures that users can navigate backwards to check inputted information or verify other content without having to navigate the entirety of the flow again.

 

Text, images, video and other technical mobile design tips

Text design

Text is the primary way that you will communicate information to your users. Therefore, it’s crucial that you get it right. The typography in your app should be easy to read and legible.

The following guidelines are a great start when considering a typeface to use in your mobile app:

  • Font family – remember when we talked about familiarity? This concept also applies when choosing your font family. Google uses Roboto and iOS uses San Fransisco. You’d do well to continue this into your app.
  • Font size – I would recommend 16px. This size may change slightly depending on your typeface.
  • Contrast – It’s important that the contrast between your app’s typeface and the page contrast enough to make your content readable. Some like the idea of a lighter font on a grey background, but these are hard to read. Also, as many devices are used outdoors, screen glare may make low contrast content difficult or impossible to read.

In individual instances, the following will help you to keep your text legible:

  • Limit line length – this provides your user with the luxury of not having to pinch zoom while reading.
  • Capitalisation – is most cases it is better to avoid this.
  • Line spacing – getting this right creates a better reading experience. Too little and it appears squished, too big, and it feels expansive.

 

Side note – Be a jargon buster

Jargon busting is more of a design choice, but I guess it’s relevant here. Don’t create smart terms for regular expressions. Your users will get confused. Stick to home, buy or profile instead of new words that your users will have to learn to use your app.

 

Images

Mobile screens are now some of the most advanced and offer high quality, high-resolution displays.

To do these screens justice images must retain the aspect ratio. Stretched images are a real turn off.

The best solution is to have an adaptive solution. This process will detect the display size and adjust the resolution of the images in your app accordingly.

With new devices taking new shapes and the potential for foldable devices and other weird and wonderful innovations it will be more important to have an adaptive solution.

The iPhone X is probably the best example of this. The device utilises a different resolution to most other devices and part of this is hidden behind a bezel, making it technically dead space.

 

Video

Video is fast becoming one the of the most important mediums, especially on mobile. It’s pivotal that you get this right in your app.

Research shows that many users like to watch videos in portrait mode. This preference means that you will have to think about how your videos appear both in landscape and portrait mode.

Facebook live and youtube are probably the best examples of this.

 

Other mobile app design and development tips

Thumb zone

This concept helps designers to think about how devices are used practically. Thinking about this allows us to understand how the device is held and how this affects our design.

Many users hold their device in one hand. Sometimes this is in the left, sometimes the right. This choice means that only some of the screen is easy to reach with the thumb when the device is held in one hand.

This area is called the thumb zone. It changes between devices, based on the screen size.

Based on the image below try and stick to the following guidelines.

  • The green area is where navigation and other frequently used actions should be.
  • The reg area is where options that could cause damage to the user experience if incorrectly pressed should be.

 

Responsiveness and speed

With every advance in technology, we get more impatient. Loading time is therefore significant for user experience.

The longer your app takes to load a page the more likely you are to lose users. Now sometimes this is unavoidable. Luckily some tricks will allow you to create the illusion that your app is loading quickly.

Keep the following tips in mind if you can’ decrease the load time any more:

  • Clearly demonstrate when something is loading – blank screens will make the user think that the app is broken. The least that you can do is include a spinning animation or something similar. If anything routinely takes longer than 5 seconds to load, then opt for a progress bar instead.
  • Prioritise the visible area of the device – focus on loading the initial content that appears in the view when entering a page. The rest can load on scroll or in the background. This trick creates the illusion that the entire page has loaded quickly.
  • Other methods exist to help build the illusion of quick loading – an example is to provide an animation that also acts as a distraction.
  • Skeleton screens are understood by users to load quicker than a blank screen. Implementing them into your app design will help to improve the user experience.

 

Personalisation

There are countless ways to personalise your app experience and boost app engagement. It’s a fantastic way to connect with your users.

 

Push

Aim to keep your communication via push notifications personal. To create a great UX there are a few different methods you can employ to ensure your app push notification strategy stays personal.

 

Location

Using location wisely is another way to provide a valuable user experience to users. Contextual experiences can be added by understanding the device location. Adding location support to your app can fuel personalisation of everything from push notifications to in-app content. All of this contributes to improving the app experience.

 

Accessibility

Designing for everybody

Considered design should allow users of all kinds to use your app. Consider how trouble hearing, seeing and other disabilities can affect the usability for your mobile app.

The following are things that you should consider when designing your app:

  • Colour blindness – around 5% of the world’s population are colour blind to some extent. The most common form is the inability to distinguish between red and green. Unfortunately, these are the most common colours to use for error and success messages. Adding a separate icon that indicates this will avoid the issue.
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Screen and app examples

In this section, we will look at specific screens. Drawing on everything we have learned in the above sections we’ll focus on examples where designers have done a great job on these particular screens.

 

Splash screen

Remember what your mother told you about first impressions? Well, unfortunately, she was right. At least in terms of mobile UX.

Creating a positive impression on the first use of your app is incredibly important. Churn rate is highest in the initial days after downloading, suggesting that first impressions are crucial in boosting retention.

Enter the splash screen – the first screen that a user will see when opening an app. They are minimalistic and usually consist of a name or logo. These can help with loading times of the home screen.

Try and keep these screens to less than 5 seconds. A nice idea is to keep everything centred so that it looks great on all screens.

 

Onboarding

Onboarding is a significant screen (or set of screens) for your users. When a first-time user opens an app, they will usually be presented with an on-boarding journey. This screen will educate the user on how to use the app and get the most from the features.

The aim here is to demonstrate that the app is useful for the user. It’s crucial that your onboarding process is simple, effective and not too long or short. Here are some tips:

  • Custom illustrations are a good idea. They help to explain specific features and help users to remember them.
  • Many apps use a mascot to guide the user through the on-boarding process. Remember the duo-lingo owl before it begins sending you annoying notifications?
  • The copy is everything. Clear, concise copy is the most important thing to get right in an onboarding process. It should be helpful, short and easily readable.

 

Log in and profile

To create highly personalised apps requires that users make an account. Most user’s response to seeing a sign-up screen isn’t positive, so it’s important to get it right.

  • Keep the number of fields short
  • Offer simple, one-click logins (such as Google and Facebook login)
  • Remember that on log-in pages to include an option to sign up

At the heart of the highly personalised app is the profile screen. This screen allows the user to interact with your app in a customised way. The profile must be clear. It must profile personalised information related to the app. However, it’s important not to include too much information.

Working on the navigation system here is important. Make sure that the profile page is part of any tabbed menus. Researching your users and most common functions can help you to understand the best information to prioritise in a profile view.

 

Home screens (menus)

The home screen is potentially one of the most important screens in your app. It’s the go-to screen for your users to navigate. It’s where they will go to instantly perform critical tasks and interact with the essential parts of the application.

Because of this, the home screen will look entirely different between apps. Some key elements remain the same, however.

  • Many home screens contain a search bar or a search function to immediately let users get the right content or the right page. This search function should be placed clearly and centrally.
  • The home screen must contain clear navigational elements which allow the user to get the most important pages within your app quickly. These should be simple and easy to understand. Users don’t want to spend time figuring out what each term means.
  • Many home screens surface these selections in the content itself. Sometimes this is in the form of cards. If doing this, it’s important only to include the most important options. Too many can confuse the user.

 

Permissions

Permissions are important for many apps. However, designers must strike the right balance between asking for permissions and negatively affecting the user experience.

We’ve all opened a new app and have been bombarded with permission requests. This a quick way to increase user churn and hamper UX.

There are some toolkits to help with this that allow multiple preferences to be collected. They also will enable the developer to pre-determine situations where it is acceptable to ask for user permissions.

 

Ecommerce

An e-commerce app’s primary function is to entice users to buy and a product and close the purchase. There are a few screens that are unique to this kind of app, and there are some critical UI tips to consider when designing them.

 

Catalogue screen

The catalogue is the home of the e-commerce app. It can look slightly different from app to app.

Generally, in these screens products are arranged in columns (sometimes single columns), and the user will scroll through them. It’s the designer’s task to create a view that prioritises certain items and provide a quick and simple way for users to navigate multiple products.

More advanced catalogue pages display items horizontally with the user input being a swipe gesture left or right. This design works best when there are fewer items as the user can only navigate through one at a time. Adding separate navigation can help in this instance.

Some critical rules for this kind of screen are:

  • Photos and illustrations should be high quality
  • CTA (call to actions) should be present and easy to identify
  • The catalogue screen should have the CTA as well as inside the product page. This way users can add items to basket directly from the catalogue screen.

 

Product screen

This screen will educate users in more detail on the product. A product screen is important because it allows users to dig into the product, answer any questions they may have, and provide more information on the product to close the sale.

Key elements include:

  • High-quality feature image
  • The detailed description that’s easy to read
  • Product specifications
  • Reviews

 

Checkout screen

Mobile is quickly becoming the primary way that users make purchases. Mobile UX should make the process as simple and pain-free as possible. The checkout is the final stage in this process and should feel comfortable for the user.

  • Include visual elements that indicate that important personal information is secure.
  • Supporting quick checkout options can be an excellent way of keeping the experience pain-free

 

Newsfeed

The newsfeed is a crucial element to many social apps. However, many other categories of apps now use a newsfeed to convey changing content to users. You can prioritise a specific kind of content (such as new posts) to the top.

Some guidelines for these:

  • try to keep 1-2 items on the screen to avoid over-cluttering
  • A new trend in newsfeeds is to have two columns, but this can be very easy to get wrong.
  • Swiping horizontally to reveal different local feeds is a better way to include extra information. Think of how Instagram hashtags and previously Snapchat’s UI worked (before they changed it).

 

Testing and feedback

Designing great mobile UI and understanding UX involves testing and routinely updating your design based on user feedback and user behaviour.

Everything that we have discussed will help you to design a better mobile app experience. They won’t replace the need for robust testing and user feedback.

Testing your UX with real users in real-world situations is a must if you want to create a UI that keeps users engaged.

 

Feedback loops

User feedback is incredibly important for UX design. To get it in reliable quantities you must design the feedback product into your app.

There are countless ways to do this; the most important thing is that it works. It can be anything from a form to background analytics that records how users are interacting with your app.

 

Tools

A poor craftsman always blames their tools. However, with app design and development, it’s important to have the right set of tools to develop, implement and test your app’s UX. Although, you might think of hiring a UX agency that will give you all-around UX design services.

 

Prototyping and planning

Sketch

The place where most UX designers start. Many prototyping solutions offer direct plugins.

Zeplin

A powerful prototyping integration that allows you to go from design to code quickly.

Framer

An interactive and quick prototyping solution

Proto.io

Highly realistic prototype creator.

Origami Studio

A free prototyping tool designed by Facebook and used to create some of their apps.

 

Testing and feedback

UX testing

An all in one solution for user testing

Smartlook

User recording which helps you to understand how your users use your app

UX cam

Another tool which allows you to record user interactions.

Apptimise

UX testing based on quantitative data

 

Courses and resources

UX companion

An app for Android that gives you detailed definitions of every term associated with app UX design.

Fake it till you make it

An in-depth e-book for newbies to the UX world.

UX timeline

An excellent site which lets you view how some of the world’s best apps and products have adapted their over time.

Principles of UX design

A fantastic newsletter course which guides you through the guiding principles of mobile UX

UX quotes

A chrome addon which displays you a new UX related quote every time you open a new window.

 

Design tools

Iconjar

Enables quick access to your app’s logos and design collateral.

Material design

Ultimate guide with tools to help you get your design right.

 

Other tools

Design to get more leads on mobile

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Categories
Apps

Using ASO to Grow Your Mobile App Audience

Your mobile app has launched or is getting close to it. This is excellent news, but the work doesn’t end there. Teams must also find ways to grow the app’s visibility and get users. The key to growing a mobile app’s audience is through App Store Optimization (ASO). When putting together an ASO strategy, it’s critical that teams remember several key points, including:

  • Using mobile data
  • Understanding how the algorithms work
  • Selecting relevant and high-volume keywords
  • Developing appealing creatives
  • Testing their app pages
  • Launching paid campaigns

 

The Importance of Using Mobile Data

Mobile data is essential when putting together a solid ASO strategy. This is because there is only a 20% overlap between web and mobile keyword volume estimates. What this means is that using web data to guide an ASO campaign can sabotage it, leading to wasted resources and efforts.

Developers may be tempted to use free tools that look similar to Google keyword planners, but many of these use web keyword scores, which don’t translate well for discoverability in the app stores.

 

What Users Search For

Users search differently on the web than they do on the app stores. App store search is feature-driven, rather than research-based. For example, while a user might search for “How to edit a PDF?” on the web, they would instead search “PDF converter app” on the app stores.

When you prepare an ASO strategy, you’ll need mobile data from an ASO platform like DATACUBE. Otherwise, your data will not correctly reflect the terms users are searching for, misguiding your strategy.

With the right mobile data, you can target the proper terms that will help your app’s audience grow.

 

How Each Stores’ Algorithm Works

Mobile data is only a piece of the ASO puzzle. Understanding how the app store algorithms work is also necessary. This is because the Apple App Store and Google Play Store crawl metadata differently, requiring different approaches. One thing they do have in common is that they both look at an app’s click-through-rate (CTR) when determining rankings.

How the Stores Index Your App

On iOS, Apple’s algorithm will crawl your app based on keywords in the:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Keyword Bank

Apple merchandises apps based on their targeted keywords when determining what phrases to index it for.

For Google Play, the algorithm looks at the:

  • Title
  • Short Description
  • Long Description

There is no declared keyword bank on Google Play. Instead, Google Play’s algorithm examines the metadata fields from left to right, top to bottom and pulls keywords and phrases from there. The closer a keyword is to the front of a line or sentence, the easier it is for Google’s algorithm to pick it up.

Including keywords in prime areas will help with indexing on the Google Play. This will then increase your chances of reaching your audience who is searching for apps just like yours. This is what makes understanding stores useful to app growth.

 

Setting Up Your App’s Metadata

Once you have access to mobile data and have an understanding of how each app store works, you’ll then want to start researching the app’s space. When getting started, it’s essential to determine what keywords are high-volume and relevant. DATACUBE is an ASO platform that can help you research the keywords you want to target and decide if they’re aligned with your target market.

You’ll also want to research your competitors and see what keywords they rank well for, find related keywords you can target and see what performs best for other apps in your field.

 

The Metadata Fields

Apple provides users with the title and subtitle at 30 characters each, plus a keyword bank of 100 characters. It’s vital to use as much of that space as possible to have the maximised number of keywords.

Google Play has no keyword bank so that an app will rank for the keywords included in within its title, short description and long description. It’s essential to enter the keywords and phrases precisely as you want to target them, as the algorithm does not account for variations of keywords.

Make sure the title, subtitle and descriptions are readable and not keyword-stuffed as this could hurt conversion. If your app uses the right keywords correctly, you’ll have a higher chance at reaching and converting more users, ultimately growing your audience.

 

Designing Creative That is Optimized for Conversion

Click-through-rate is also crucial for improving an app’s keyword rankings as well as measuring conversion. Given that 70 per cent of installs come directly from search, an app’s search presentation should be appealing, helping encourage users to install it.

Screenshot Best Practices

An app’s screenshots should include call-to-actions that utilises high-volume keywords to inform users of the app’s features. The text should be concise and digestible, quickly getting to the core message while using popular keywords.

The screenshots should be up to date and optimised for the devices they’re viewed on. Outdated screenshots can look poor when viewed on devices with better image quality, turning potential users away and hurting conversion.

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Screenshot Guidelines

Apple allows up to ten screenshots, while Google Play allows up to eight. The app’s listing should utilise each of them to provide as much information about the app and its features as possible. The screenshots on iOS can also be used for Search Ads A/B Testing to determine which creative elements convert best. By launching two search Ads campaigns with different creative sets, you can compare the results to determine how well each set drove conversions and apply that information to the app’s live listing.

Preview videos are another way to help increase conversion. Apple and Google Play each allow videos, although the guidelines are different for each store.

Videos on the Apple App Store can:

  • Only show in-app footage
  • Must be between 15 to 30 seconds long.

The Google Play Store’s videos can:

  • Link directly to YouTube
  • Run any length, but should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long
  • Show content from outside the app

 

A/B Testing

A/B testing is important for determining how effective creatives and metadata are. ASO is an iterative process, and to continue growing, it’s critical to understand that what worked a year ago, may not work today. A/B testing can help your team find what’s working now, helping it stay relevant and grow.

Splitcube is an app A/B testing that emulates the app stores, allowing teams to test creative and keywords. Splitcube can also heat-map user behaviour, tracking how users search and which apps, and elements, they are most likely to click on. As your creatives are important for converting users, testing them before deployment helps ensure the ones you use will help grow your mobile audience best.

 

Paid Campaigns

Reaching as many users as possible is key to increasing your audience. Paid marketing campaigns help a wider audience see your app through advertisements and paid placement in the search results.

Paid campaigns can include:

  • Search Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Social media marketing

To improve your audience within the App Store, Search Ads is essential.

Utilising a paid campaign like Search Ads will place your app at the top of certain search results. You can select the keywords and demographics you’re targeting to help your app reach the audience you want to see it. Targeted advertisements can help put your app front and centre before users who are most likely to be interested, which can be made even more effective with the use of creative sets.

The first three apps in search results receive about 41% of the clicks from those searches, making them valuable spots to be placed in. With paid campaigns, your app can appear in that top spot, which can help increase the number of users that view your app and convert. Search Ads boasted a 50% conversion rate and average CPI of $1 in 2017, making it an affordable and efficient form of paid marketing.

Paid marketing campaigns also help improve your organic indexation. Running campaigns such as Search Ads can increase your click-through-rate, which will help improve your app’s rankings within the store to reach and convert even more users.

 

Conclusion

App Store Optimization makes it possible to grow an app’s audience continually. This involves:

  • Using mobile data
  • Understanding how each stores’ algorithm works
  • Researching metadata
  • Designing optimised creatives
  • A/B testing
  • Utilising paid campaigns

By taking this approach, teams can help their app consistently grow and thrive.

This is of course only the tip of the iceberg for App Store Optimization. ASO is an iterative process, one that requires consistent upkeep and revisions to keep up with changing consumer trends and developments.

To continually expand a mobile app’s audience, one must revisit their ASO strategy on an ongoing basis. By continuing to iterate while using best practices, teams can ensure they are providing the best outcome for their app’s growth.