What is mobile UX and how it can make or break your app

28 July 2017 • 4 min read
What is mobile UX and how it can make or break your app
Andrii Horiachko
Written by Andrii Horiachko
Co-Founder and CTO at Softermii

Your business customers conduct a large portion of their day-to-day business online. With the advances in technology, users are critical as to the services offered. They require a digital user experience that is seamless and frictionless. Getting an optimal UX is a basic requirement these days, and without it, even the best app ideas won’t make it into the users’ smartphones.

Creating and implementing a UX strategy across all supported mobile devices requires a clear-cut understanding of what your customers need and why they want to use your app. The end goal of having a well-balanced mobile UX is to provide brands’ customers with the best experience to make them come back to buy or use your services in the future.

Offering such an experience requires you to count in an extensive number of factors to ensure an optimal UX. Many companies understand that UX design is the face of their business, but they may need a fresh perspective from outside UX professionals to provide clarification on the latest trends, as well as some hard facts to update the digital environment they are offering.


Making The Case

Is UX that important? What is the real cost/benefit of UX? How can we measure its ROI? Many similar questions can come to your mind when UX designers push their message to you. UX can actually prove beneficial when you compare before-and-after results and take into account the key mobile app performance indicators.

The great reference to measuring UX can be found in a Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach book by Robert Pressman that is hard to argue with. He says that every dollar not spent on resolving design issues during product design will cost you tenfold during development. You can multiply that by ten once again if the problem with UX is found and resolve after the app release.

The best way to proceed with mobile UX design is to stick to the best industry practices and take note of the current trends so that your UX feels up-to-date in years to come. Applying for help with UX design with a respected company will let positively guide your app user behavior.


UI design as a starting point

A major thing you have to factor in your application’s user experience is the user interface. UI is an essential part of UX, and it takes care of screen sizes, device compatibility, keyboards and pop ups, and so on.

Regarding UI, your business has to account for mobile platforms. Both iOS and Android release updates and upgraded versions of their software on a constant basis. They can dramatically change your UI design, and accounting for the previous versions is even more burdensome. Your mobile UI developers should follow the latest platform changes very closely to be among the first ones to take advantage of new features and have the app that is still operating, when, for example, iOS 11 is released. So the UI support is as essential as proper UI design to keep competitive and have a killer app.


Don’t customize but rather personalize UX

Before we could access the world wide and have apps on handy devices, the only option was using desktop sites that customized user experience based on cookies. In the early days this customization went on to continue on mobile, but the hassle was too much to handle. So a UX personalization came about, where the personal user data is recorded by an app. Using such large swathes of Big Data, you have a lot of options to improve the mobile UX. Your app can boost your revenue by offering your users unique and up-to-the-point personalized offers.

A great example of a great UX personalization strategy is a Starbucks mobile app. The primary goal of its UX is to engage with their customers to a greater extent. Another point is to record and remind about customer rewards and incentives as well as to push promotions. Have a look at the chart below to see how a great mobile UX strategy is helping Starbucks improve their revenue.

diagram 1

As you can see the personalization strategy pays off as a quarter of Starbucks customers, use mobile to order and pay for their coffee. An app with a great UX can bring you an endless revenue stream if done correctly.


Measure your mobile UX through qualitative data

Success should be measured. Your app’s UX should be monitored from the start. Having data is not enough though. You should employ UX professionals that understand the underlying results of a good UX and the key metrics behind it. The insights you can gain from analyzing your app’s UX will let you better position and improve your app, to stay one step ahead of your competition in UX optimization.

For instance, having analyzed data on your new UX, you are faced with a sharp decline in the registration on the very first screen. This shouldn’t happen in the first place, but you have to understand what is the cause for it. Through proper data analysis, you may come to know of a bug that does not let users create an account through Facebook, which is one of the most popular options on mobile these days. This way you can easily change the drop off rate by mending a basic flaw in the UX of your app.


Employ push notifications only when needed

You should think twice before sending a push message

Bombarding your app users with useless notifications is one of the worst things you can do to kill your retention rate. Creating distractions from daily activities and work process is annoying. And such notifications are the main reason 71% of your customers will uninstall your app with a single click.

diagram 2

Mobile is all about making every message count.

The rule of thumb is “Don’t constantly send push notifications just to try and engage people without a clear cut strategy.” Push notifications can be used only from time to time and only if you are offering good value or vital information that your users would be grateful for. Look at the chart below where we have made a clear separation of message types and channels that are best suited for them depending on urgency and content.




Your app’s success is based on a number of factors, like the idea behind it, your marketing and development efforts, but the importance of mobile UX, we believe, is the most important one. When your app’s design stands out thanks to a flawless design and great usability, your customers are satisfied. Simple as that.

Finally, creating a great UX is just a first step. There are many strategies and ways to boost your UX and provide the best UX experience. Refining and updating your mobile app’s UX is vital to retain your edge and provide quality experiences to your customers.

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