Increase retention with a UI that is easier to understand

Okay, so I only have 8 seconds before you quit and never come back to my app. Really, I have this little time to tell you what this is all about. Sounds challenging right? So let me show you how we did it.

Our UX company is working on a new application which is a smart mixture of Q&A and videosharing sites. Users ask questions or create challenges. Other users helpfully answer those with videos while they have some fun at the same time . This concept was a novelty for our users so we struggled a lot to make them understand the idea behind it.

There were several steps to reach this goal:

  1. We created many versions of the home screen which we tested, experimented with and successfully refined. Finally we had one at the end where the main concept is straight and clear.
  2. We tested the app as if it would actually exist in the Apple Store. Users are going to install the app from the appstore, so we wanted to sort out a good visual manner that would let users understand the concept.
  3. We get rid of every features or visual elements that would possibly hinder users understanding.
  4. We polished the onboarding process.

1. Home screens

In general it is part of the design process to create different versions (of whatever we are dealing with) to later either dump them or merge two-three of them together. Only these finished versions end up in the testing circle which is reviewed by the client and the designer team as well. During the testing cycle we have to do changes based on the user feedback. Sometimes we switch to a completely new solution.
We test all the versions several times and present the pros and cons for each and one of them.

Look at the versions of home screens from the first test session:

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 15.01.41

After the user tests we enhanced them. These are the versions in the second round. You can read the pros and cons we found in the second test round.
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 15.03.16

The last 2-3 versions had differences in the usage of terms and microcopy too. The main question was how to tell the users that they can ask for videos. We started with the word ‘Quest’ and ended up with ‘Video request’. We tested several other changes in the copy to make sure people will understand everything.

2. Apple store

We started to imitate real circumstances and presumed users will install the app from the appstore. The main goal here was to provide clear, straightforward and catchy messages in the appstore itself to help users get familiar with the concept. We knew well – users usually don’t read and the appstore is no exception.
Here is the very basic appstore version ….
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 15.04.48

..from that we shifted to a more elaborated one. Where we portioned out the description to easily understandable sentences and wrote them on the screenshot pictures. It is called facet and it does it’s job well.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 15.05.43

3. Kill Features

Painful and cruel, however sadly inevitably. Focus on a few but well distinguishable needs and problems of the target audience and solve them properly. Your product won’t be better if you try implementing each and every user wish requested. Rather it will become a huge sluggish monster. It is also essential to identify the core ‘must have’ features during an MVP (minimum valuable product) and not waste money nor energy on something else.

Initially in the case of Quideo users could upload videos without answering a certain question. However this feature provides the free browsing experience amongst the videos. At the same time this resulted in a lot of trouble and delays for the users. Particularly for those who took their time to try and understand the concept. So we removed the option which let users  upload videos independently from questions. With this step we stayed more focused on the core features and necessities.

4. Onboarding

In this case we  added onboarding to the test process, because we encountered that users are still slightly puzzled and this percentage is fairly high. With successive refinement of the onboarding we could eventually reach our goal.

Early version of onboarding (still in progress).

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 16.13.11

In closing, we went through many iterations with this challenge. At the end all the small, fine details came together and we got a well functioning app with a clear message.

Dorottya Molnár

UX researcher, insight hunter, social thinker, scattered energizer bunny, dog person, bookworm.

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