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The State of Mobile User Experience
 

The State of Mobile User Experience

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As mobile apps grow in popularity, Thmbstrk and UX Labs take a look at how these apps stack up from a user experience point of view. Are they easy to use? Do they provide the experience the owners set ...

As mobile apps grow in popularity, Thmbstrk and UX Labs take a look at how these apps stack up from a user experience point of view. Are they easy to use? Do they provide the experience the owners set out to?

The first in the series of these reviews looks at what's on offer from the Insurance industry.

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  • Don't most of the apps reviewed here score very low on 'repeat usage value'. In fact shouldn't that also be an important scoring criteria?

    Would have also been good to see some insights in to the review ratings and download numbers for the selected apps.

    Also, is it a good idea to have multiple apps for multiple products/campaigns? Basically what does an app work better for, tactical or strategic planning?
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The State of Mobile User Experience The State of Mobile User Experience Presentation Transcript

  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIO July 2012
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAbout the Report Smartphones are not just the flavour of the day, they are fundamentally changing the landscape of information, communication and entertainment, much like Television and PCs did in the 70s. It‟s no wonder then, that marketers across industries are exploring ways to use the medium to acquire new customers and engage existing ones. And the centerpiece of this revolution is the world of Apps. Apple is soon about to hit 25Bn downloads from its app store. And that‟s just one platform. Apps are versatile and can serve different needs – entertainment, business, education, information, relationships – there are even apps that purport to read your mind.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAbout the Report However, the one thing that does not change through all the technological innovation is the importance of User Experience. No matter how sophisticated a solution is, if users find it difficult to use, it will at best enjoy a grudging acceptance. The State of Mobile UX is a review of how mobile apps put out by brands for their consumers fare in terms of content, features & usability from the end user’s perspective. It also evaluates how the apps stack up against each other.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAbout the Report The State of Mobile UX Report, presented jointly by UX Labs and Thmbstrk, seeks to help a brand manager / marketer, or indeed an app developer to understand the ‘dos & don’ts’ when developing a mobile application. For the purpose of the report, we consider apps available on the Indian app stores of Apple, Android, Blackberry & Nokia. The purpose of the report however is not to provide a comprehensive list of all applications in a given industry vertical. The first report in the series focuses on the Insurance industry.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIO Insurance (Life & General)
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIONationwide Mobile About the app The Nationwide app is built to guide consumers through the next steps after an accident. It provides emergency help information & lets consumers file claims inside the app itself. It‟s present on iPhone & Android platforms but the features & user interface are similar. The app reviewed here is the iPhone App. Find app at http://goo.gl/07QQX
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIONationwide Mobile What we loved Content & Features • Content is comprehensive, useful and relevant (claims, find a repair shop) and supports customer needs. • Clear upfront instructions. App Structure & Usability • Easy and upfront login. • Navigation and interaction within the app is very intuitive, simple and clear. Users would mostly be in no doubt as to what to do next. • Accurate, descriptive labels for icons, links, entry fields etc. help users feel confident while using the app. • Maintains a „flow‟, helps users clearly understand what to do next. Their attention to detail goes a long way in error prevention. • Several „shortcuts‟ make the process much easier for the user. Ex: Location detector within forms auto-fills address fields, “Login” to automatically pull in user details. • Clean, bold layout aids scanning and interaction.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIONationwide Mobile What could have been better App Structure & Usability • The claims form is a few too many levels deep. • Form interactions can sometimes be tedious. Ex: clicking to select date / time takes one to a new screen. • Disabled „Continue‟ button coupled with absence of instructions about required information could confuse users. • Does not ask permission before cancelling filled-in forms.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOPrudential’s ‘What’s Your Number’ About the app The „What‟s Your Number?‟ retirement calculator helps consumers calculate the investments they need to make today for the type of retirement they want. It is present on iPhone, Android & Blackberry platforms but the features & user interface are similar. The app reviewed here is the iPhone App. Find app at http://goo.gl/QibKz
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOPrudential’s ‘What’s Your Number’ What we loved Content & Features • Content reduces the user‟s load by allowing them to start with what they know and then providing them with helpful answers/ranges. • Straightforward, easy to understand content. • Provides clear calls to action, next steps for users. App Structure & Usability • Clean, simple, easy-to-follow application. • Slider navigation well executed, creates a feeling of play. • Clean presentation, great visual design. Presentation is used effectively to guide eye to most important content. • Interaction and transitions are smooth, works very well in conjunction with the iPhone UI.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOPrudential’s ‘What’s Your Number’ What could have been better App Structure & Usability • The slider interaction though very well executed, does not cater to the context. Sliders do not support cases where the entry is based on binary choices or specific numbers. • Lack of input field, restricts users in cases where they may want to enter specific numbers, requiring too much precision and control. • Lack of tool tips or other help for users who may need support.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAviva’s ‘Time To Act’ About the app „Time to Act‟ is a pension app for iPhone that that calculates the value of any employer contributions to pension, and tax savings as a result of paying into one‟s pension. It also demonstrates how retirement income can be affected by various factors, and the important role investment style plays. Find app at http://goo.gl/HunmX
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAviva’s ‘Time To Act’ What we loved Content & Features • Uses the capabilities of the phone to the maximum. • Auto correction of errors (putting alphabetical words instead of numerical value, field not taking it.) • Copy with a clear mood and tone keeps users engaged. App Structure & Usability • Use of bold colours and bold graphics makes the experience engaging and enjoyable. • Use of graphics to communicate numeric concepts aids users in processing information.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAviva’s ‘Time To Act’ What could have been better App Structure & Usability • Having engaged and convinced users, it unfortunately leaves users without any call to action or options for next steps. • Repeat users get taken to the last screen they were at, which could be disorienting they land on a different page each time. Home-screens are typically used by users to orient themselves. • Requires focus and entails a bit of a learning curve. Not necessarily intuitive the first time. • The flow and interaction for creating and saving a plan does not match interaction conventions. • Other interaction mechanisms (like Edit) are not always obvious. • The label plan may not be understood by users or create the right expectation on what maybe coming next. • Small font size impacts readability.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOFireman’s Fund Mobile About the app Fireman‟s Fund‟s mobile app is designed for policyholders to store their insurance information, to notify Fireman‟s Fund of accidents and losses and to submit information about them. It is present on iPhone & Android platforms but the features & user interface are similar. The app reviewed here is the Android App. Find app at http://goo.gl/bnp9b
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOFireman’s Fund Mobile What we loved Content & Features • Start screen - good in terms of steps/copy - tone is steady, good for emergency situations. • Well written, descriptive copy creates a positive brand personality. • Caters to various user needs and scenarios at the scene of an accident. • Offers some great content/features in the accident help section ex: find a locksmith, find a glass shop, find a tow truck. App Structure & Usability • The inclusion of the loading symbol provides users with reassuring feedback while waiting. • The scroll wheel date choosing mechanism works well. • Creates a sense of safety by informing users that they could lose their data if they choose to navigate away from a form.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOFireman’s Fund Mobile What could have been better App Structure & Usability • The current structure does not allow users to select the purpose of the claim (ex: auto, jewellery) before getting into the claiming process. • Start up screen navigation labels are unclear so the user might not know what to expect. • The visual flow of content on the first screen for the claims process causes confusion. • App description does not clearly indicate it can be used to submit a claim. • Interaction design is not economical: requires additional taps to input data rather than just allowing entry on tapping the field itself
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOICICI Pru Life TaxCulator About the app An Income Tax Calculator app by ICICI Pru Life. It is available for iPhone, Android, Nokia & Blackberry phones but the features & user interface are similar. The app reviewed here is the Android app. Find app at http://goo.gl/bz0kY
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOICICI Pru Life TaxCulator What we loved Content & Features • Comprehensive calculator, which takes into account all the various factors that might influence tax calculation.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOICICI Pru Life TaxCulator What could have been better App Structure & Usability • Start screens do not guide users about how to get started/where to click. • Number of steps involved in the calculation not indicated upfront. • Required fields not indicated. • Error messages not displayed in the context of the relevant field. • Spelling errors/typos impact credibility. • Incorrect use of conventional form interactions. Ex: Clicking inside an input field opens a form in a pop-up. • Absence of contextual help, explanations for technical finance terms. • Unclear labels e.g. income from salary – Is it monthly or annually? • Ineffective calls to action – not in the user‟s typical path.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOICICI Prudential Future Calculator About the App Future Planner is a collection of 6 insurance calculators for various purposes, including education, retirement, wealth, and health insurance calculators. It is available for iPhone & Nokia phones but the features & user interface are identical. The app reviewed here is the Nokia app. Find app at http://goo.gl/GyG9b
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOICICI Prudential Future Calculator What we loved App Structure & Usability • Interactions are tailor made for the device & platform. • Clear instructions for the user on what to do next.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOICICI Prudential Future Calculator What could have been better App Structure & Usability • Does not include any explanation or ground setting content to set expectations on what the application will let you do. • Navigation is confusing as all links lead to content contrary to the expectation set by labels. • The use of phone‟s native UI for entering data into the calculators makes it very confusing for the user to enter the data. A new user is never sure of where he/she is inside the app. The random selection of options in drop downs & missing units also adds to the confusion. • Interacting with the app does not lead the user (or ICICI) anywhere. No calls to action or conclusions are provided. Most importantly, does not help ICICI leverage any interaction/customer data. • Overall the interaction is very clumsy, does not follow standard norms, requires extra effort on the user‟s part to understand the navigation as well as the flow of the app. • The content does not have any repeat value.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAegon Religare’s iTerm Calculator About the app „iTerm Calculator‟ is an app created to inform users about the iTerm plan. It contains a premium calculator and information about the plan, with various contact options. It is available for iPhone & Nokia phones but the features & user interface are identical. The app reviewed here is the Nokia app. Find app at http://goo.gl/H5mFh
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAegon Religare’s iTerm Calculator What we liked App Structure & Usability • Clean, simple, easy to follow application. • Slider navigation well executed, creates a feeling of play. • Accurate, descriptive labels, entry fields etc. help users feel confident while using the app. • Provides clear calls to action, next steps for users on the calculator output page. • Provides easy ways to get in touch with the company regarding the output the user has achieved. Ex: click to call, SMS to express interest. • Good use of error messages.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAegon Religare’s iTerm Calculator What could have been better App Structure & Usability • Does not give users any key information about the plan upfront. • Lack of input field along with sliders, restricts users in cases where they may want to enter specific numbers, requiring too much precision and control. • Direct calls to action missing on product details page. • Contextual help missing. Ex: Explanation of technical terms like „sum assured‟. • Vanilla look and feel.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOHow they stack up
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIO Learning & Trends
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOKey Learnings App Content & Features • The app generates face time with the customer for your brand. Leverage this to position your brand strongly in the mind of the consumer, visually and also through copy and tone. If possible, create the connect with visible offline activities/campaigns. • When planning the app, keep in mind how to enable repeat usage. Most apps are used once & forgotten/deleted if they do not have repeat usage value. • Go beyond the business functionality & provide relevant helping content to help users in the context that they are in. This helps create an emotional „connect‟ with the consumer. • Wherever possible, leverage the customer behavior information generated by the app to provide a personalized deal/offer. Provide clear next steps & relevant calls to action to increase the ROI from the app.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOKey Learnings App Structure & Usability • Keep in mind the fact that your users are used to the platforms/phones and so have some typical learned behaviors. Do not make them unlearn. • Play/interaction are important to keep the users engaged. Hence design the app to ensure that the app experience is ‘interactive’. • Provide options that cater to multiple user scenarios. Broad categories maybe better than specific. Being too specific may end up leading to excluding some scenarios. App Marketing • To ensure that your brand gets the best results from the mobile app, ensure there is sufficient marketing push to get the app to reach maximum customers. • Ensure that multiple actions such as App SEO, App Seeding, submission to relevant 3rd party app stores & app marketing campaigns are carried out.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOMethodology Selection of Apps • To create the initial list of apps, we searched for apps in the Insurance sector available on the Indian app Stores of Apple, Android, Blackberry & Nokia using popular keywords (such as insurance, ULIP etc). • Apps from brands operating in the Indian market as well as brands not currently present in the Indian market were considered. • Final selection for review was based on app rank for popular keywords (thus defining ease of discovery), the idea behind the app & how good or bad the execution was.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOMethodology Scoring Criteria •Strategy (30 points): App concept and implementation, communication strategy and fulfillment of business objectives and user goals, and repeat usage value. •Navigation (20 points): Intuitiveness of structure and task flow, contextual awareness, categorization & labeling and ease of access to frequent tasks. •Interaction (20 points): Control selection, affordance and behavior, interaction functions, errors and feedback mechanisms •Presentation (20 points): Look and feel, visual hierarchy, consistency, alignment and grouping of layout, usage of graphics and color to support content and aid comprehension. •Content (10 points): Crisp yet effective copy, readability and ease of scanning, conversational style & tone of copy in sync with app objectives.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAbout thmbstrk Thmbstrk, a division of Indigo Consulting, is a 360 full service mobile marketing agency which delivers experiences that capture consumer attention by breaking through the media clutter. Our services include: • Mobile Site Design & Development • Mobile App Design & Development • Mobile Augmented Reality based Marketing Solutions • QR Code based Marketing Solutions • App Discovery Services • Mobile Media Campaigns Thmbstrk has worked with some of the leading brands such as HDFC Bank, Asian Paints, Kolkata Knight Riders, South Australia Tourism Commission, Loop Mobile amongst others.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIOAbout UX Labs UX Labs is an independent division of Indigo Consulting, which specializes in understanding user behavior and needs and converting them into superior user experiences. We believe that User Experience is not just about simplicity, but also about innovation and creating the right experience at the right time. Our services across web & mobile include: • User Research • Usability Testing • Expert UX Evaluation • Navigation and Interaction Design Some of our clients are: HDFC Bank, ADCB, ICICI Prudential Life, NSE, UTI MF, Thomas Cook, Kerala Holiday Mart, Kalpataru, Mahindra & Mahindra amongst others.
  • WAP 2.0 – AN INTRODUCTION, BEST PRACTICES AND BUSINESS SCENARIO enquiry@thmbstrk.co.in uxperts@uxlabs.co.in +91-22-43110303 / 04 +91-22-43110303 / 04