Successful iPhone app developers know that getting people to install an app is only one step in the direction of success. If people uninstall your app after only using it once or barely using it at all, you should consider that a failure. 

Retention is a real problem for many developers. If you look at recent app retention numbers, users uninstall about one out of three apps they download within thirty days. If you go to ninety days, less than half of all apps make it that far.

What’s the problem for apps that have retention issues? People were interested enough to download and install, but they didn’t like the app enough to keep it on their device. For most apps, low retention numbers are a result of mistakes in UX design. 

Read on to learn about UX design tips that can help you create apps users will want to keep on their devices.

Use Familiar Navigation Patterns

People don’t want to feel like they have to learn something new to use your app. If navigation is confusing, most people will just uninstall and look for an alternative. That is why you should use familiar navigation patterns when you design your screens. With familiar patterns, users will already know how to perform the basic functions of the app without having to learn something new. Along with that, you should use familiar navigation elements. Consider things like the search bar, hamburger menus, dropdowns, home buttons and shopping cart buttons. 

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Develop User Personas 

You can only go so far in creating a good UX if you do not know who your users are. While there might be some elements of UX design that might be universal, different users may have different needs. This is where developing user personas can help. Who is your ideal user? Where are they from? What age group are they in? What are they trying to achieve with your app? What are their pain points? Market research can help you define your ideal users. You can also hold interviews, surveys and focus groups to learn more about them.

Thoughtful Screen Design

There is a lot to consider when developing the different screens for a mobile app. To start, you need to define the goal of each screen. What do you want users to use the screen for? Make sure it is easy to achieve the goal of the screen and don’t distract from the goal by adding unnecessary elements. Make sure buttons and other interactive elements are easy to tap and swipe. Offer one-handed operation by putting vital elements in the thumb zone. You should also create an obvious visual hierarchy using typography, contrast and colors.

Make it Flow

You need to create a user journey that flows smoothly. Define the key steps people will need to take to reach their goals. Find ways to simplify processes in the app. Avoid elements that could be disruptive. If you have a multi-step process, try to break it down into smaller tasks. Make things easier by pre-populating forms when possible. You can also use a call to action in places to help guide users in the right direction. Offering voice commands can be another option to help simplify processes for users. 

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Test Everything

Following the best practices for UX design will send you in the right direction, but you never know until you test with users. That is why user testing and usability testing are the true keys to successful UX design. Use different methods for prototyping to test your app and make adjustments throughout the design process. The feedback you get during testing can be invaluable for helping you refine your ideas.

Most apps will only be as successful as the user experience allows them to be. With these tips, you can develop a better user experience and create apps people will want to keep on their phones.