Why understanding mobile behavior using mobile analytics is vital for app optimization
The key to understanding behavior in any practice is paramount to refining it. If you are a public speaker and use a coach sometimes to study your delivery, appearance and body language, you are doing so in order to analyze, learn and refine your craft.
When it comes to user behavior in the context of mobile app use, it really is no different. When you release a mobile app, you need to gain an understanding of the why behind every user action. Traditional analytics is great in giving you a lot of the key metrics, such as number of active users, drop-off rates, demographic breakdown, etc.
You want more meat than just numbers – you want the WHY behind the numbers. Visual mobile analytics goes beyond traditional analytics, which is static, by telling you the complete story in realtime. It places its analytical focus on the WHY instead of just the WHAT and the associated key metric numbers. Seeing visually how users use your app will allow you to see the why. This is essential for app optimization.
Take a good look at your audience. They could be a very diverse bunch. You need start to know them way before you launch. You have your work from home dads, soccer moms, single working mothers, you even have some mature teenagers. Once your app is launched discovering insights into their user behavior will allow you to smooth and refine their mobile user experience.
I’ll just give an example here – they say that users in the higher age bracket prefer bigger buttons. By being able to monitor all user gestures in real time you are tracking their behavior at a particular point within your app. These insights will help you drill down on the buttons people tap, pinch and swipe most and adjust as needed in your efforts to smooth the mobile user experience.
The Challenge: Bringing them On Board
You designed what you thought was an amazing onboarding experience. You already have your first 1,000 downloads only a few days into your campaign. You must be doing something right from an ASO (App Store Optimization) perspective. But, now you want to bring them on as returning and active users. You want to increase your app’s retention rate.
Upon looking at traditional analytics, you noticed after a full week, only 3% of your entire user base which now runs about 3,000 ever comes back. Out of those 3% only 0.5% convert on your call-to-action, which is to sign up for a new scheduling app with built in photo sharing. What is going wrong?
What actions are users taking in your funnel? You’ve seen the numbers. They weren’t good. Now it’s time to dig deeper. By digging deep I mean seeing how your app is being used through your user’s eyes. I’m talking visual mobile app analytics.
Value Added Analytics
Let’s touch on three key features that will allow you to do this. The screenshots below are taken from Appsee mobile app analytics.
1. User Recordings
This feature lets you take a deep dive into user behavior by allowing you to see the app being used through the users’ eyes. When every gesture (tap, swipe, pinch, drag) is captured, you can see firsthand where users are getting stuck and what their behavior in your funnel is like and whether they are converting, this feature lets you adjust your app as needed and relaunch.
2. Touch Heatmaps
An aggregated report of touch heatmaps gives you a breakdown of each gesture used throughout your app. For example, people may be tapping on images, expecting the image to take them somewhere and then just dropping out when it doesn’t. Perhaps the image looks too much like a call to action. The heatmap report will indicate this by showing that there are a massive amount of taps on one screen of your app that don’t cause an action. These unresponsive gestures should be telling you to change your UI, before more people get frustrated and just drop out. This is such a simple yet critical fix to make to improve your users’ experience.
You can delve into user behavior and see why they do the things they do by seeing where they focus on an app’s screen before converting, before they drop out, before they abandon their cart. You might see that there is absolutely no heatmap action for a specific screen. You do away with it, thinking it just brings unneeded friction to the user experience.
3. Realtime In-App Analytics
This is a visual report that provides insights into your users’ behavior and presents you with a detailed breakdown of all actions performed per screen. You can gain an understanding of the user’s behavior by seeing the answers to questions such as:
- Where do your users spend the most time?
- What is the screen flow users follow?
- Why screens present a friction-causing UI?
- Which screens are the ones where users just drop out?
By knowing from which screens the majority of your users drop out, you can gain an understanding as to why and optimize that screen to make it more inviting, hence reducing the drop off rate. For example, a UI element that causes the user friction confuses users on where to go next within the app, this may inspire you to try new UI elements, colors, sizes, etc.
I hope this article brought you some insight into monitoring user behavior and why it is an essential element when looking to make the mobile user experience the best that it can be.
I went over the importance of knowing your user’s behavior, understanding your audience and keeping them engaged. Keeping them engaged and active is the trickiest and it’s why you should use mobile app analytics to monitor your onboarding success and failures. Analytics will help you throughout the life of your app in understanding the why of user behavior and empowering you to give your audience what they need.