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Unlocking User Engagement: 5 Ingenious Ways to Build a Connected App That Keeps Users Hooked!

Summer Swann
July 13, 2023
two people looking a their mobile device.

Survival of the fittest doesn't just apply to the animal kingdom anymore. In fact, it's become the  mantra of today's digital landscape, where fresh and exciting products go to market daily - each of which must desperately vie for the attention of users.

In this incredibly dynamic environment, it’s your connected product's ability to hook users from the get-go that is the ultimate test of its survival - and your success.

If your connected product is to survive and thrive in this fast-paced digital world (and not become one of the the 21% of apps that are abandoned after just one use) you’ll need to  create an experience that immediately hooks users - and lures them back day after day. Of course this is easier said than done - but never fear, there *is* a formula for building connected software that people love to use.

In this article, we'll explore our top five creative strategies for designing and developing a connected app that not only captures attention but also motivates users to keep coming back for more. So, buckle up and get ready to discover the secrets of user engagement!

1. Simplify Onboarding with a Seamless Experience:

First impressions matter - A LOT - so when it comes to app onboarding, a seamless experience can make all the difference. To help ensure users understand your apps features and benefits from the get go, it’s crucial that you create an onboarding process that quickly and easily guides them through your apps initial  setup. Allowing a user to become frustrated during their first engagement with your product is a death sentence for continued engagement.

By streamlining the onboarding process, you eliminate barriers to entry and increase the chances of user retention - so take inspiration from the simplicity of apps like Instagram, where users are prompted to capture and share photos within seconds of signing up.

For an in depth exploration on the various ways you can create a seamless onboarding experience, take a look at our blog article, Mastering the Art of Seamless Onboarding for Connected Software.

2. Create a Gamified Experience:

Creating a gamified experience is a powerful strategy to enhance user engagement in connected software, as it  taps into humans' innate love for games and competition, making it a game-changer for keeping users hooked. By integrating gamification elements into your connected app, you tap into users' intrinsic motivation and create an engaging experience that keeps them coming back for more.

To engage users and enhance their experience, gamification can be utilized in a multitude of ways. One common method is the use of points, badges, or levels to represent users' progress and achievements. By earning points or unlocking badges, users feel a sense of accomplishment and are motivated to continue using the app.

Leaderboards are another popular gamification element that allows users to compare their performance with others, fueling friendly competition and a desire to climb to the top. Challenges and quests add an element of excitement and goal-oriented gameplay.  Rewards, whether virtual or tangible, can also be a serious motivator for users, and can take many forms: discounts, access to premium features or exclusive content and many more.

By incorporating these common gamification elements, apps create a captivating and interactive experience that keeps users hooked and motivated to explore and engage with the app's functionalities.

3. Personalize and Tailor the User Experience:

Personalizing user experience is a highly effective strategy for enhancing engagement in connected software, as users appreciate when an app understands their individual preferences and delivers content that aligns with their specific needs. By leveraging user data and behavioral patterns, you can create personalized experiences that cater to each user's unique interests, ensuring a higher level of engagement and satisfaction.

Connected software provides ample opportunities for personalization. For example, a smart home automation app can learn users' routines and preferences over time, automatically adjusting temperature settings, lighting preferences, or device behavior to match their preferences. This personalized approach enhances the user experience by seamlessly integrating with users' lifestyles and eliminating the need for manual adjustments.

Spotify, the popular music streaming app, is another excellent example of personalization in connected software. The app analyzes users' listening habits, favorite genres, and artist preferences to curate custom playlists and offer personalized recommendations. By tailoring the music experience to each user's taste, Spotify keeps users engaged, delivers content they genuinely enjoy, and fosters a sense of connection with the app.

Incorporating personalization can extend beyond content recommendations. One example might include personalizing notifications, alerts, or reminders based on user preferences and behavior. For instance, a health and fitness app can send personalized reminders for workout sessions or provide tailored insights based on users' fitness goals and progress. By delivering relevant and timely information, the app becomes an indispensable tool for users, keeping them engaged and motivated.

4. Foster Community and Social Interaction:

Humans are social creatures, so fostering community and social interaction within your app is a powerful way to boost user engagement. This can be achieved by implementing various features that facilitate interaction and collaboration among users,  creating an environment where they can engage with one another, share experiences, and feel a sense of belonging.

Connected software offers numerous opportunities to incorporate community-building elements. For example, a fitness tracking app can include features that allow users to join fitness challenges, create virtual workout groups, or share their achievements with others. By providing a platform for users to connect, support, and motivate each other, the app becomes more than just a solitary fitness tool—it becomes a social space where users can find inspiration and encouragement.

To foster social interaction, you’ll want to include a few basic features for your connected software including:  chat functionalities, discussion boards, or user forums where users can connect, ask questions, and provide feedback. Encourage users to share their experiences, achievements, or challenges within the app or on social media platforms. Creating a space where users feel heard, supported, and valued fosters a sense of community and cultivates a loyal user base. Gamification can also seamlessly intertwine with the social features of an app, creating a more dynamic and engaging user experience.

5. Continuously Improve and Innovate:

Technology evolves rapidly, user expectations change, and new trends emerge - so continuously improving your connected app is a crucial aspect of maintaining user engagement and staying ahead in a competitive market. To keep users hooked and interested, it's essential to consistently enhance your app's features, functionalities, and overall user experience.

Regularly gathering user feedback is a valuable practice that will allow you to understand user needs, preferences, and pain points - so you’ll want to implement feedback mechanisms such as surveys, ratings, or user reviews  that will allow you to gather insights directly from your user base. Analyzing this feedback will allow you t identify areas for improvement and prioritize enhancements accordingly. By listening to your users and addressing their concerns or suggestions, you demonstrate a commitment to their satisfaction and create a user-centric app that evolves based on their needs.

Because innovation is a key driver of user engagement you’ll need to  stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, emerging technologies, and user behaviors. This will allow you to  Identify opportunities for introducing new features or integrations - this could involve leveraging advancements in ai, vr, or Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance your app's capabilities and create novel user experiences. By offering something new and exciting, you captivate users' interest and motivate them to continue using your app.

Creating a connected app that captivates users and keeps them coming back requires a blend of creativity, usability, and personalization. So, put these strategies into action, and get ready to create an app that becomes an integral part of users' lives!

If you’re building connected software, make sure to download Unlocking Connectivity: The Ultimate Guide to Connected Software Development. And - if you needs some help along the way, feel free to reach out - we’d love to chat!

Summer is Yeti's Marketing Manager. When she's not working on amazing Yeti content you'll likely find her searching for treasure in thrift stores, hiking in the Sierra Nevadas, cooking healthy vegan treats and reading anything she can get her hands on. Summer lives in the remote mountains of California with her partner and their dog and 3 cats.

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