10 Mobile Design Tips To Make Your App Sticky

mobile design tips to make your app sticky

When you design and develop a mobile app, one of your goals should be stickiness. What is that? Stickiness is anything about a mobile app that encourages the user to remain engaged and stay longer. Designing mobile app stickiness is all about functional simplicity. And it’s a tough job to capture a mobile users attention and keep it. Read on for 10 mobile design tips.

According to a 2015 survey by Forrester Research (paid report), US and UK smartphone owners use an average of 24 apps per month, but spend more than 80 percent of their in-app time on just five apps. On top of that, most users abandon an app within just 30 days of download.

Instagram offers one of the most engaging user experiences in the industry. An impressive 35% of Instagram’s 300 Million active users check Instagram multiple times a day and use the app for approximately 21 minutes every day. Want to see what your mobile app can learn from Instagram’s success? We analyzed the success of Instagram and then distilled 3 lessons every mobile app can learn from this sticky mobile app unicorn. Download our new report – it’s a quick and worthwhile read.

So how can your app generate happy, engaged users? Here’s a checklist of 10 design tips to make your mobile app sticky.

  1. Self-explanatory with No Learning Curve: Use familiar visual metaphors and familiar behaviors.
  2. Friendly Language: Limit the number of clear calls to action.
  3. Instant Gratification: Balance freedom to explore and guidance to reach the workflow goal as efficiently as possible
  4. Good Perceived Performance: Minimize load times and “trick” users by designing workflows that conceal delays.
  5. “Golden Nuggets”: Provide small and delightful mobile interactions that surprise and delight users. They aren’t functionally essential, but are crucial to great user experience.
  6. User Value Proposition: When asking for information about the user, offer a positive exchange in functionality. For example, If users wants to send an in-app message they need to share their email address to create an account.
  7. Transparent User Interface: Eliminate perceived barriers between the user and the content. When the Interface achieves this level of transparency the UI begins to fade away for the user.
  8. Effortless Navigation: Create a flow that requires just 1-2 touches to get to relevant content – anything more than that and the user will give up.
  9. Rewarding Behaviors: When the user completes an important action, have the app deliver visual, aural or tactile responses to confirm success.
  10. Strategic Alerts & Notifications: Provide a sense of urgency to open the app or take an action. But be careful with the tone and frequency – too many notifications can scare users away.

Another Handy Design Resource

David Forgash, Sourcebits Senior Creative Director, compiled a list of 7 deadly mobile app design sins that he often sees in apps, and tips on how you can avoid them. Check out the list.

Have a mobile app idea, or need help improving one currently on the market? Sourcebits has designed and developed more than 600 mobile solutions, including 30+ that have hit the top 10 in their category.

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Piotr Gajos, Chief Innovation Officer

Piotr is Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer. A 2006 Apple Design Award winner, Piotr draws much of his inspiration from film and music, and focuses on leading our Innovation Strategy Workshops, generating new ideas for Sourcebits, and consulting on projects.