Keys to App Experience Design: Hear From 3 Experts

Deidre Wright PR Director Airship

Since last year’s launch of Masters of MAX podcast, Airship has captured dozens of hours of advice from leading brands and experts on creating valuable mobile app experiences. Topics range from enabling personalization at scale to building customer loyalty, integrating accessibility and more. 

Recently, we featured three guest speakers with high-level user experience design expertise: Evidation’s General Manager of the Consumer Business Meg Dryer, Sam’s Club VP Head of Product & Research Martin Granström and Fetch’s CMO Birk Cooper. While their products and services are different, the companies share a reverence for experience design. Following are their key insights on designing effective and customer-centric mobile app experiences. 

User-Centric Design: The Heart of Memorable Apps
The foundation of every successful app is user-centric experience design. Why? It anticipates and drives customer activation, engagement and retention. 

Take inspiration from Fetch, America’s leading rewards app, which provides customers with rewards from 650 brand partners. Its large volume of offerings could initially overwhelm new users, so Fetch intelligently introduces brands to users over time through personalization. In addition, Fetch incorporates fun features, such as gaming and a leaderboard, to quite literally make earning rewards fun and encourage frequent use. 

Evidation, a pioneer in health engagement and rewards, leveraged customer feedback during an app rebrand. This process improved the overall UX and prevented a stylistic faux pas. When evaluating new brand colors, a customer revealed that purple symbolically represented death in their culture. Being a health-focused company, Evidation swiftly removed the color from their palette. This scenario underscores the importance of centering users in all design aspects, from functional to aesthetic. 

Innovative Features for Customer Retention
Customer engagement and retention are essential to brand loyalty. Companies achieve this by proactively identifying user pain points and integrating solutions within apps. After noticing a pattern of dips in user engagement, Evidation designed features to combat “off moments.” They began offering customers the option to switch the app’s focus to a higher priority goal.  For example, customers can shift monitoring from exercise to sleep. Additionally, by connecting to a wearable device, users are rewarded points for actions they do every day, such as walking. Through design strategies that proactively anticipate app disengagement, Evidation retains users long-term.

Infusing Brand DNA through Experimentation
The design and functionality of mobile apps do more than just engage users — they mirror your brand’s heart and soul. Customers want app-enabled conveniences and streamlined services, but you only get one chance to make a first impression. 

Brands forge stronger bonds with users by integrating their mission and values into the app design. A brilliant approach is through creative experimentation. For example, Evidation, engages a community of advisors for beta testing before introducing design changes to all users. This process demonstrates their commitment to trust and transparency and aids in continually upgrading app experiences.

Fetch ingeniously integrates their ethos into design. Their mantra? Make it fun for customers to earn rewards through simple activities like scanning receipts. By consistently iterating ways to embed their brand identity into app experiences, they can retain 74% of new users after month two. 

Retail giant Sam’s Club combines physical and digital design elements for cohesive member experiences. Experimentation in their unique design studio, Clubhouse, helps develop innovative solutions to address member needs across journeys spanning the mobile app, website, and physical stores. By dedicating space and resources to building cohesive experiences, both employees and customers benefit. Customers seamlessly experience the brand, whether it’s through the mobile app, store or gas pump. Associates obtain consumer-grade digital and physical tools that equip them to increase customer satisfaction. 

Elevating App Experiences 
Creating a mobile app that delivers on brand values, addresses customers needs innovatively and offers an ongoing value exchange to become indispensable is key. Take a moment and check out our Masters of MAX podcast for more tips and insights on elevating the app experience, boosting customer engagement and building brand loyalty. Also, the next time you open a favorite app, take a moment to revel in the experiences and functionality that keep you coming back for more.