How to Keep Your Mobile App on Users’ Home Screens
Think about your phone’s home screen for a minute. Other than social media, messaging, and pre-installed applications (such as local weather or a compass), how many apps do you own that are absolute mainstays? Which services are you unwilling to uninstall because you use them weekly, or even daily?
The Starbucks, Nike+ Training Club, and Uber apps are popular, but a recent Forrester report states that the average US and UK mobile user has twenty-four different apps on his device at a given time. However, this user spends more than 80 percent of his time on just five of them, which commonly include messaging and social media options.
So, what can you do to not only get people to download your app, but also keep them interested for more than just a few hours? It’s not an easy task, but there are proven methods for making your mobile app more likely to remain on someone’s home screen for the foreseeable future.
Make it viral: One dedicated user is great, but four is even better. By embedding different means to make an app viral—such as Trivia Crack’s invite system and link to Facebook—apps can grow in popularity without users having to do much legwork. A simple “share your score” or social media button can go a long way.
Keep it simple: A Mobile App Survey Report states that the average smartphone user expects apps to open in less than two seconds. If your app is slow or takes its sweet time loading, you might lose a big portion of your audience before they hit the menu. Optimize your code, reduce the graphics, and just make sure that what you’re presenting is up and running before people find an excuse to move on.
Don’t be afraid of change: I was about to delete a mobile game from my phone the other day, but I noticed it had a new icon. The stylistic difference grabbed my attention, so I tapped the button and saw a new menu screen and fresh font. The game was similar, if not the same, but even minor aesthetic touches can bring your audience back into the fold.
Do something different: This might be the most important point. If you’re planning on building an app with features and functionality done elsewhere, you’re already fighting an uphill battle. In this case, you have to prove to the world that what you’re building is bigger and better than what they already have, and that’s no easy task. Instead, break new ground. Present ideas in fresh ways. One of the best ways to get people talking about your app, as well as encouraging them to stick with it, is by presenting something unique.
App development is a tough market to break into, but it’s even more difficult to maintain relevance. Thankfully, there are different factors we can point to that have led to a great deal of success in this new mobile world.