How To Keep People Engaged With Your Mobile App

Speed Of App Is In App Planning Stages

App design and app development.  That’s all you need, right?  You just spent a lot of time and money to get an app onto the app stores.  Yet, the people using your app, well, aren’t.  At least not as much as you had thought they would.


“How is that possible?”, you might ask.  People are walking into doors and traffic because their faces are glued to their mobile phone screens.  Obviously, they’re using apps!  “Why aren’t they using mine?!”


Engagement.  It’s the big buzzword these days.  It’s like “cloud”.  It applies even when it doesn’t.  Your coffee order got mixed up with someone else’s?  Engagement.  Need a new battery for your car?  Engagement.  The hairdresser thought you said “buzz cut” when you really said, “Keep it long but give me leopard spots”?  Cloud.


Even though the word “engagement” is way overused these days, the reality is that you want them to be engaged because you want to solve their problem.  Cynically, one might say that you want them engaged because you want to show them more ads.  That’s not necessarily the route we recommend, but you do you.  Still, in the interest of building the best app you can there are some things you can do to keep people more engaged with your app.


One thing to consider is the speed of your app.  How can you solve a problem quickly when your app is slow?  We’re an impatient lot, leading busy lives, so if your app is too slow then your customers are going to move on to a competitor.  Ask your app planning developer to spend a little time with performance optimization which is a process whereby they look for and fix bottlenecks in the code.  But a word of caution is due here: don’t do this too early in the app development process!  There’s a reason “premature optimization” sounds as off-putting as other premature things.


Sometimes not having to use the app at all can be more valuable, so take advantage of Push Notifications if it makes sense.  That last part is key.  Don’t just add Push Notifications for the sake of doing it.  Push Notifications should simply be another tool in your toolbox of ways to solve a problem.


You should also think about how you’re marketing your app.  How are you telling potential customers about what it can do?  One great way to do this is in the app store listing.  Don’t just upload a screenshot or two with a line of text in the description.  Sell your app!  Show what it can do with screenshots and videos.


Have you considered past customers?  You’ve probably added new features since the last time they used it.  There may be new app design ideas that you’ve implemented in recent versions.  Tell people about it!


Does your customer even know how to use your app? Don’t take for granted that they do.  What may seem obvious to you may be very confusing to others.  While you can’t sit next to them and show them how to use it, you can do the next best thing: build an on-boarding experience into the app.  This is usually done with a set of overlays placed on top of your regular graphical user interface that shows all the different features of the app.  The first time they open your app they will see this overlay that will gently walk them through how to use it.  Videos are also a great way of teaching people how to use your app.


Speaking of features; do you have too many?  We often think that we must add every feature we can think of in order to be competitive but in reality, trying to fit everything on such a small screen will usually cause more problems than it solves.  When adding a new feature always ask yourself whether the app simply cannot do without it. Otherwise, put your app on Keto and get rid of the fat!


In the end, building the best app you can, and that solves your customers problems, is one of the best ways to keep them engaged with it.



Courtesy of Darrell Brogdon, CIO of Raika Technologies and


GotAnAppIdea is an app design and app development company, primarily working with new ideas in the earliest stages of incubation. As one of the top app development companies in the Denver, CO, area, we help new start-ups get from idea to execution planning quickly, efficiently and with as little time and money invested up front as possible. Our philosophy is that failing quick and often leads our clients to better outcomes, bigger businesses, and healthier work-life balance. Need Android app development, iOS app development or app design help? Call us today!


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