4 best practices for creating a stellar mobile experience

With so many businesses hopping on the mobile bandwagon, it’s no longer enough just to create an app. Companies also have to create an engaging, user-friendly mobile experience

By Liz Bauer

Published June 2, 2020
Last modified June 10, 2020

In an increasingly mobile-centric world, more and more consumers are using apps. In 2019 alone, 204 billion mobile apps were downloaded worldwide — a 45% increase from 2016.

In response, companies are scrambling to serve their customers on mobile. With so many businesses hopping on this bandwagon, it’s no longer enough just to create an app. Companies also have to create an engaging, user-friendly mobile experience. Their apps must be easy to navigate and pleasant to look at, and most importantly, offer value to the user.

Hoping to create a strong mobile experience for your app? Keep users coming back by following these four best practices.

  1. Create an onboarding flow (but keep it optional)

    Users will likely get more out of your app if they learn how to use its features. With that said, people don’t always want to complete this introductory training. In fact, many first-time users will abandon an app if they’re forced to complete an onboarding flow.

    To retain more users, keep introductory messaging and tutorials optional. One solution is to add a carousel menu to your login or signup menu. Users can learn about the app’s features by swiping through the images, or they can ignore the prompts altogether and continue the signup process without interruption. Another option is to create a full-screen modal tutorial in which users can choose to read the modal, or they can easily bypass it by clicking the “Try Later” button.

    Avoid losing users early on by keeping onboarding optional. Even if consumers don’t have the time right now, there will always be more opportunities to engage with them about new features as they become regular users.

  2. Simplify navigation

    Create an effortless mobile experience by limiting the number of steps users have to take to complete key tasks within the app.

    Alaska Airlines’ mobile app, for example, keeps users engaged with simple navigation. From the home screen, users can complete the most popular app tasks—such as checking into a flight—in just one click. Look at your mobile app’s usage data to find out which features and functions your users engage with most. Consider adding a navigation button— accessible from anywhere in the app— that takes users to those features in a single click. Keep your customers engaged by making it effortless to accomplish the tasks your app was designed to do.

  3. Provide in-app support

    Offer support resources directly from the app so users can receive assistance the moment they experience an issue. Embedded FAQs and knowledge-base resources help users solve simple problems on their own. This is particularly valuable for any support team feeling overwhelmed by the volume of tickets they’re receiving.

    Virtual keyboard app SwiftKey, for example, struggled to provide one-to-one support as their company grew. By embedding Zendesk Guide’s knowledge-base tool within their app, they were able to achieve a self-service ratio of 70:1. That means for every 70 views of SwiftKey’s mobile help center, only one support ticket is created. This allows support agents to focus on more complex user issues that might require troubleshooting to resolve.

    And when those complex issues do arise, embed a live chat box in-app to connect users with support agents directly.

    Zendesk Embeddables is a mobile software development kit (SDK) that adds live chat natively inside your app. Not only is it easy to set up, but it also automatically detects which iOS or Android version the user is operating. This information can then be passed to support via the in-app chat, giving agents the context they need to resolve user issues faster.

  4. Encourage users to give feedback

    Give your users the option to provide real-time feedback the moment they experience an issue. Instabug, for example, is a bug-reporting tool that can be added to your product’s app. It allows users to quickly report an issue without needing to contact an actual support agent or interrupt their workflow. When you give users the option to provide real-time, in-app feedback, you make it possible for developers to instantly identify issues with the mobile experience—and make adjustments accordingly.

Creating a stellar mobile experience for every user

Consumers look to brands who can serve them wherever they are, whenever they need it. And in today’s smartphone-obsessed world, the most effective way to meet this expectation is to offer your company’s services in your apps, where your customers already are.

The four best practices above are designed to help you stand out from the competition. Use them to create a valuable, efficient, and convenient mobile experience that will keep your users engaged.

Implement a world-class customer service solution

It takes less time than it does to nurture a sourdough starter. If you’re excited about dressing up your mobile apps with the latest CX technology, check out this guide to creating a holistic customer service strategy.