Mobile devices such as smartphones are modern conveniences that people have grown accustomed to, and have become dependent on using. Studies indicate that the average user takes a brief glance at their mobile device approximately 110 times each day.
Other than providing a means for users to communicate with the rest of the world, apps allow people to perform a variety of tasks. App developers can design and develop apps that allow people to browse the web, play video games, download files, purchase items and more.
The challenge for businesses and mobile app developers is to create an app that people will continually enjoy using. Video games and social media apps are some of the most popular forms of apps on the market today. By using the same concepts used to create these types of apps, you too can also develop a fun and engaging app for your brand.
Keep It Simple
Limit the amount of menu items, buttons, features and content on your app. The goal is to create an app that even a nine-year-old can use. People don’t like working hard to access what they want or need.
By placing too many options, you may end up confusing the user or making the person feel frustrated. This will result in discouraging the individual from using your app again.
Allow For Distractions
A mobile device user’s attention is constantly divided. They may be ordering an item using their mobile phone while watching a movie on their TV sets.
When designing a fun app, you need to keep in mind that that your user may be doing something else at the same time. Video games such Angry Birds and Candy Crush are addicting because they allow players to play the game with one hand without the need to devote their full attention on it.
The goal to developing an engaging app is to create one that is devoid of bugs and delivers the desired results in the shortest possible time. This app must allow for distractions and allow users to complete tasks without the need to devote all of their attention.
Offer User Control
People love to be in control. In video games, this is evident in the user’s desire to customize their characters. You may find players who regularly change their character’s clothes, what items they bring and even facial features, if possible.
These may be seem like insignificant aspects of an app but offering this ability for control and self-expression provides users with a level of satisfaction.
Offer The Risk Of Loss
Some video games discourage players from stopping by offering the illusion of losing something in the game. It could be in the form of an item or game currency.
Take Farmville for example. If a player missed the harvest period, they won’t be able to get money for the dead plants on the field. For some people, the loss encourages them to play more. Their belief is that if they invested more time in the game then they will regain what they initially lost.
If you do it right, your app can create the same effect on users. Your app could provide rewards to users who complete certain tasks or spend more time using your app. By doing so, people will be discouraged to put it down or stop using your app.
Update Content With Caution
Mobile device users are constantly on the lookout for something new with the apps that they use. Otherwise, they lose interest and might eventually stop using the app. To keep them interested, you need to continue to innovate and develop your app. The goal is to create an experience that is different from the previous one.
There are several ways to do this:
Adding new features – Your app may initially have simple features and limited content but you can use updates to add new functions.
Replace content that is obsolete or no longer applicable. If your app allows people to order clothes from your shop, you can add, modify or replace the content on your app to reflect new items added or deals being offered by your business.
Use updates to improve the overall experience – For instance, the next update could fix a bug that some of your users have encountered while using your app.
Keep in mind that this may not apply to all industries and types of apps. An app that allows people to hire a plumber, for example, may not require a lot of updates. You should also avoid frequently making any major changes to the design and functionality of your app. Adapting to the change requires time and effort. People can get used to certain aspects of your app. By introducing too many major changes in just a short period of time, your users may get confused and frustrated. As a result, some may stop using your app altogether.
There may be no magic formula in creating an addictive app but there are ways of encouraging people to spend more time on it. The previously mentioned tips can help improve the look and feel of your app. By incorporating these aspects, you can create an app that delights customers and garners loyalty.
Author Bio: Ayham Gorani
Director, Alpha-Apps FZ LLC
Fueled by the firm belief that the Arab World has great potential and great content, Ayham founded AlphaApps in 2011 in Abu Dhabi. His goal is to bring the Arabic apps industry and content forward to an international and competitive level. He is also a start-up mentor, helping entrepreneurs launch successful app projects and investing in app companies in the region.