4 Top App Onboarding Essentials

4-top-app-onboarding-essentialsFirst impressions stay forever. In the case of apps, getting the onboarding right is the only  way to get your first impression right.

As per a recent study by Localytics, 20% of the apps are used only once. So, it becomes all the more important to get your onboarding right.  A good onboarding ensures that a first-time user becomes an engaged, active user from the first interaction itself. For this, the onboarding should deliver on various fronts. It should provide the user a basic idea on how the app is going to serve his needs. Plus, the design should be intuitive and simplistic, not to mention visually appealing. Most importantly, the copy, concise and clutter free.

Here a list of features that ensure that your onboarding is right

#1.  Introductory content

App marketers get only a few seconds to impress first-time users. So make sure your app intro covers the core features.

The intro content could run in between first to three screens…and may go up to five screens as well. You can use your own discretion on this.

Nevertheless, keeps these five things in mind while designing your intro content:

# There should be length indicators. Users don’t like the content to drag on forever. So, you need  to provide them with indicators as to how long the content is. This will keep them going no matter what.

# Speak about benefits, not features – Speak about how the app is going to benefit the users and the value they would derive from it.

# Embed brand identifiers: This should include your brand logo and tagline. This would help users identify the brand right away.

# Make it visually appealing: Text should complement with images.

# Keep it short: It’s okay to run your intro from one to five screens. But then, the screen should contain only limited words. Don’t drag. Don’t ramble. No one is interested in reading your long stories.

# Option to opt out: Some users may like to opt out of intro…so make sure you embed that option as well.

#2.  Seek User Permission For Sending Push Notifications

The only way to offer value to your users is through push notifications and location tracking. However, before you send out your push notifications, the user needs to sign up for these features. This is where permissions come into the picture. Nevertheless, you cannot simply go ahead and seek app users’ permission. There’s a proper way do it.
Here are the four ways to seek permissions from users:

#1.  Leverage custom opt-in dialogue: This sort of permission helps you seek permission in your own personal way and at the same time helps you highlight your brand’s personality in the dialogue.

#2. Ensure to embed custom opt-in dialogue before the OS dialogue: This is because once the OS dialogue appears you won’t get a second chance to seek permission.

#3. Your users should know why you are seeking their permission in the first place. So, explain to them the benefits of push notifications and more.

#3. Nail Down User Intuition

User onboarding could be different for different apps. Say, for instance, for some apps, onboarding is straight forward.  Users don’t have to rack their brains to understand the app features and functionalities. However, all apps don’t share a similar onboarding trait. There are apps that come with less intuitive designs. For such apps, some sort of support system has to be put in place. For instance, in the case of gaming apps, the entry-level could serve as user onboarding. For service or eCommerce apps a tutorial could come handy.

Tips to create a perfect onboarding tutorial:

  • Keep it short. Users won’t spend more than a minute on it.
  • It should be easy to locate
  • The final step should ensure that users are still engaged with your app. So lead your users to actionable pages where they could update their status, take photos or something of a similar sort that keeps them hooked.

#4.  Use different color plays to guide users

Obviously, you should stick to the color scheme decided during the app development stages. But then, make sure to use higher contrasting hues and also bright colors to draw attention to where the users should actually navigate. This is one of the best ways to keep users visually engaged. By employing different color plays you could easily suggest users which option they should choose sans any explanation.

Final Thoughts:

User onboarding is not essential for all apps. Some apps are intuitive enough. And so user onboarding could turn out to be a pure nuisance for such apps. But then, some apps simply can’t  do away with them. So leverage the above-mentioned to tips to get started. However, make sure to keep testing your onboarding tactics and also consult some reputed mobile app development companies so to have a clear idea on what works and what is annoying to your users.

6 Things You Must Know About Testing Your Apps

6-things-you-must-know-about-testing-your-appsA buggy app is a recipe for disaster. It is important that you test your app properly before launching. Many mobile app development companies have separate divisions that focus on app testing. If the app does not perform properly on the user’s device after he has put in all the effort in  downloading your app and launching it, he will not hesitate in uninstalling your app and will give you bad reviews too. So what are the important things you should test your app for? Let’s find out.

#1 Test Your Device On Different Networks

Mobile apps behave differently in different network environment. It is difficult to achieve seamless connectivity. Sometimes there is lack of bandwidth, drop in packets due to re-routing and other glitches. Some apps crash when they are working from a specific location on a particular network. Testers need to find the vulnerabilities by testing the apps on different parameters like Uplink Bandwidth, Downlink Bandwidth, packet corruption, Loss percentage etc.

#2 Test your UX and UI On Different Screen Sizes

It is important that you test your app on different devices of different sizes. UX and UI of your app should perform well on the devices. All the elements should align perfectly with UI providing the right navigational maneuvering comfort it is designed to provide.

#3 Test on the OS and its Different Versions

Test your app for the operating system it is designed for and make sure you test it with all the versions available in the markets. Once up at the stores, your app is going to be downloaded by users who would have different versions of Android or iOS running on their phones. Make sure the apps follow platform guidelines. You want to make sure everyone who downloads your app has a good experience.

#4 Test Battery Usage

It is important that your app doesn’t drain battery. Many users uninstall apps from their devices because it drains the battery too fast. App developers need to ensure that the app is not too greedy. App testers have this responsibility to check the apps for battery drain.

#5 Test Your App With Different Devices

It is very disappointing when you are in the midst of using an app and you get a call which somehow gets disconnected. Your app should learn to work with different features of different devices. Ensure that the user is able to receive calls and notifications while he is in your app. It should be able to work with other apps in the device. Some apps request for permissions again and again after every update. It can be very irritating for the user. Have a way for your apps to remember the permission it has been granted.

#6 Test for localization

Our world is as diverse as it is alike. When you plan to release your app in different countries, you have to test it for localization. Language , context, images all need to be localized. A good tester ensures that the app is ready for the country it is going to be released in.

These are a few of the things good testers from reputed mobile app development companies take into consideration while testing an app. Openxcell has experienced mobile app testers and can help you with testing your app.

The How and Why of App Referral Marketing

tips-to-leverage-referral-marketing-for-appsLooking forward to higher app downloads and ROI this year? Leverage Referral Marketing.

Referral marketing is an organic form of marketing and it’s considered to be one of the most successful forms of app marketing.  For instance, Uber, Airbnb and Evernote could attribute their success entirely to its referral marketing programs.

Dropbox witnessed 3900% growth, thanks to customer referral marketing programs. The company had 100,000 registered users in 2008, and within fifteen months it touched to a jaw-dropping figure of 4M users. Referral marketing is that powerful when used rightly.

Some facts and figures about App Referral Marketing

  • App Referral Marketing is the best vehicle for word-of-mouth publicity and helps accelerates app downloads. According to a study by appvirality, in-app referrals increase downloads by 36%.
  • According to Journal of Marketing, the lifetime value of referred customers is 16% higher over a non-referred customer.
  • A referred customer tends to spend more than a non-referred customer.  This is great news for cab or ride sharing apps with regard to revenue generation.
  • According to research, 80.59% of the users try a new app if it’s suggested by friends or family.
  • According to a Nielsen survey, word of mouth marketing is 92% more effective than any other form of marketing.

Tips to Leverage Referral Marketing For Apps  

Focus on market segmentation for your referrals

Narrow down your audience to specific segments. Then among them, identify the highest lifetime value influencers, specifically those with highest number of social followings and engaged users.

Segmenting customers will help you build stronger networks for your referral programs.

Offer Reciprocal Incentive for More Referrals

Remember one thing, no matter what, customers would speak good about your company only if they get something back in return.

The very idea of giving your customer something back in return for a positive public referral is called reciprocal incentive.  Say, for instance, Uber offers a powerful reciprocal incentive for its referrals.  It offers both the referrers and the recepients a free ride.

Referral links should be personalised

This is important. That is, the personalization of referral links and codes. Referral links ensure that the user clicks on the link without much ado, thanks to known names referring the program to you. You could even try coming up with a landing page that displays the image of the referrer.  These two simple tricks will add more weight to your app referral program.

In-app referrals should be promoted

Referral programs should be backed by proper promotional campaigns. Without proper promotion of your referrals, things might not work for you. Through push notifications, social media activities, promotion on websites and mobile sites, SMS, email newsletters and all, you could promote your in-app referrals.

Nail down the influencer for your referral programs

Nailing down the key influencer and then rewarding them in a huge way would give a definite boost to your in-app referral program. Take the help of known mobile app marketing/mobile app development companies to help you identify a key influencer for your app referral programs.

Nail down In-app analytics

In the case of in-app referrals, some metrics hold more weight over others. These could include invites sent by the referrer, clicks, installs, revenue generated and more could be tracked with the help of an app marketing agency.

Optimize your App for All Devices

A developer should ensure to optimize their app for all devices.  More important than that, ensure that their feature is visible on the app’s home page as well.

Match your Referral Marketing with Industry Data  

Mobile app trends keep changing at a significant pace. According to an Econsultancy post, ‘How consumers behave on ecommerce apps,’ higher chances of conversion for iOS apps is on Friday, while for Android apps it’s on Saturdays. This data should be borne in mind while promoting apps through different channels, be it through push notifications, emails, sms among many others.

Wrapping Up

Apps are the new website. Nearly 85% of shoppers choose an app over a website. Meaning, even your competitor is focussed on developing an app. So, the only way for your business to survive and thrive is to focus on the app and its promotion. And app referral marketing is one of the proven ways to promote your app and boost app downloads. It’s one of the crucial cogs of the app promotion and retention wheel.

IoT Is an Integral Component of our Future Growth – Flow with the Change

iot

As we stand at the verge of finishing all our tasks for 2016, it is totally understandable that many have promptly and ritually started gathering brand new resolutions and few ambitious challenges to take on at the beginning of a new year. Predictions on how the coming year is going to be keep racing through our mind. One thing that is surely going to attain new levels of efficiency in all spheres related to human life is IoT – Internet of Things. Not just transitional, but sensing the momentum, it is going to create transformational waves. Future generation is going to see a change in human life, in all respects. Yes, the emergence of IoT is going to be the evolution of a new God of all things.

“Worldwide Internet of Things forecast from IDC indicates that by 2020, there will be a projected 30 billion connected things and a revenue opportunity of nearly $1.7T for the ecosystem.

# Factors contributing to the growth of IoT

Increased efficiency and lower costs are the two major factors contributing towards the growth of Internet of Things.

Hardware, software and other support systems working on IoT will enable deployment of applications that can connect anything within scope of internet of things. Connected devices will have huge role as they will be the heart of IoT. Smartphones, wearables, M2M devices etc will have a greater role to play. We have already started seeing the upsurge of Mobile App Developers working on all possibilities towards connecting the internet of things.

“The world is being re-shaped by the convergence of social, mobile, cloud, big data, community and other powerful forces. The combination of these technologies unlocks an incredible opportunity to connect everything together in a new way and is dramatically transforming the way we live and work,” mentioned Marc Benioff, the very famous internet entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

# IoT will be Pervasive. Be Ready

IoT is growing big. Predictions indicate that by 2020, nearly 6% of the economy is going to get directly affected by this growth. We can see objects communicating with each other automatically; we can see digital identity for each of us; we can see more of a transparent environment where everything works fast, direct and in real-time; we can see a unified approach towards everything – fusion of analog and digital world. Overall, we can see development of the economy in every sector. Prepare yourself and make full use of this development.

# Hip Hip, Hooray for Hybrid Mobile App Developers

Mobile connectivity is expanding its arms towards this new dimension and Mobile apps developers are going to hit sixes as they have bigger roles to play in helping people to stay connected in the IoT era. Apps bridge the gap between IoT devices and IoT ecosystem.  Hybrid apps are going to dominate the market as they are capable of delivering cross-platform functionality.

Experimentation is On…

Embrace this new change. Internet of Things is in the development stage. Experts are still working in this model to ensure that everything is connected and working together. Smart homes, wearables, smart cities, connected cars are the existing trend. More surprises to come in the future days. Soon you will wake up to check that your coffee percolator has ordered coffee powder on its own, washing machine has sensed its duty, your car has gone to pick up your child and many more. Surprise yourself with the new wish fulfilment fantasy!!!

5 Top Tips To Build a Mobile-first Workplace Culture

Thanks to the growing mobile force culture, employees can be at home at the office at the same time.

Almost all companies in the US are pulling down their shutters on their brick-and-mortar offices and trusting their virtual workforce to do all the work for them.

Nope, I am not kidding. Nevertheless, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Here’s some metrics by Telework Coalition that suggest the same:

  • 89% of the top 100 U.S. companies allow telecommuting
  • 58% has already declared themselves as virtual workplaces
  • 9% of employees work at the headquarters
  • 67% of all workers use mobile and wireless computing

All these developments point toward the fact that mobile work culture is gaining ground in a colossal way, specifically in the U.S. marketplace.

But then, for all the efforts you are putting in to make your company culture mobile-friendly, things could backfire if a certain set of process and policies are not put in place.

The framing of certain rules and regulations and also making sure that they are strictly followed would ensure that your new workplace culture thrives much less survives.

Here are some top strategies to sustain and promote your mobile workforce culture:

#1. Craft A Set of Standards and Goals to Make Ensure They Are Strictly Followed  

Unlike offices, where it’s  easier to implement standards, sustaining mobile workforce culture is a different ball game altogether. Here the employees are living and working in isolated environments unbeknownst to each other, which makes it all the more difficult to enforce anything, let alone rules.

So, it crucial for companies to come up with certain set standards and goals that are exclusively meant for your mobile teams. As in, the login and log off timings should be strictly followed. Likewise, there should be scheduled times for breaks. Even a holiday calendar would help.

But then don’t leave it at that.  Request your employees to share their points of views as well. In short, how do they feel about the new regulations?  All the same, measure your standards and goals, time and time again, to make sure it’s not impeding employee productivity instead of improving it.

Reviewing your company standards and goals,  again and again, makes sure that the culture that you’ve so painstakingly build over the years doesn’t get lost among the spasm of technological changes.

#2. Get Employees to Adapt Apps like Slack and Trello

It ensures that all your virtual employees are on the same page on their projects, encourages your  employees to use team collaboration apps like Trello, Workhive and Slack. Trello is a team collaboration tool that creates boards for all your projects, which allows the employees to have the latest updates on their projects, be at home or office.

Slack and Workhive, on the other hand, are cloud-based apps that allow real-time messaging, and most importantly, all project documents are shared at one particular place.  You can even get a customized team collaboration app developed if you want from mobile app development companies like OpenXcell.

#3. One-on-one Regular Meetings to Establish a Personal Rapport     

No doubt tools such as Slack and Trello are a must for team collaboration and communications. Nevertheless, the companies need to look beyond group communication tools and establish a one-on-one relationship with employees. This will help companies nurture personal rapport with employees. Say, for instance, you could delve upon touchy topics such as the progress and promotion and also communicate their expectations from their employees.  On the other hand, employees are free to express their concerns, which wouldn’t have possible in the presence of their peers.

#4. Use more Visuals  for Communication

In the mobile-first era, communication through visuals, colors, pictograms, etc,  are more popular than words. This would help you connect with your mobile workforce better says Lee Coomber, creative director for Europe and the Middle East, Creative Consultancy, Lippincott.

#5. Reward Employees – Not Much Financially

Sticking motivational quotes on your cubicle walls and all works fine. However, what indeed motivates an employee is a hand-written note from CEO directly appreciating an employee for his excellent efforts. If that’s asking for too much, the HR could also initiate excellent performer awards. Such type of rewards could really motivate an employee for a repeat performance.

Other best practices that promote mobile work culture

  • Make a conscious effort to tie in apps into your business environment and at the same time make sure your employees are comfortable using it.
  • Zero down on apps or mobility platforms that address security issues. About 70 percent of employees who resist mobility because of privacy concerns.
  • Go go for systems that offer dynamic multichannel support. This will help confront technical issues that confuses users who employ different device types and operation systems. In addition, it helps cut down overhead expenses drastically as employees would be using their own devices.

Final thoughts

To ensure that your mobile workforce culture sustains in the long run, follow the above best practices, and most importantly, hold one on one communication with your employees. Could you think of any other strategy that could help companies sustain their mobile-first culture? Go ahead, put them down in the comment box below.

Source: 5 Top Tips To Build a Mobile-first Workplace Culture