Knowing your customers is an important part of creating a successful mobile app. With your potential customers in mind, you can build an app that is relevant and useful to them.
You may spend a lot of your resources and time making an app with great features, but if it’s not personalized for your users, you may not see any positive results. If you want the users to care about your app, then you need to build it keeping your user personas in mind.
The mass usage of mobile phones has amped up the use of apps worldwide and has become a major source of revenue for IT companies. It was reported in 2022, that 89% of Americans check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up in the morning.
When you map your user’s journey, you gain valuable insights that can help you create a better experience for your users.
User journey shows you how the users interact with your app and convert. It shows all the touchpoints that helped users reach the final decision. This post will discuss how to map user journeys for mobile apps.
What is a User Journey?
User journey, also known as customer journey, maps how the users interact with the app and take a desired action. It tracks the user’s journey from when they first discover the app up until they download it and get converted.
It shows every interaction the user has with the app. User journeys show a visual timeline of customer interactions and are presented as infographics. This helps teams better understand all the phases a user goes through while engaging with their app.
Stages of the Mobile App User Journey
1. Discovery and Awareness
This is the initial phase where users become aware of the mobile app's existence. They might discover it through various channels such as organic search, social media referrals, or app store browsing.
It is a crucial stage as it creates a positive first impression and sets the foundation for user engagement. Effective app store optimization and targeted marketing campaigns can capture user attention efficiently.
The usage of clear and compelling app descriptions, screenshots, and reviews can help captivate users during this stage and ensure that they proceed to the next phase.
2. Consideration and Engagement
Once users have discovered the app, they move into the consideration phase where they evaluate whether the app aligns with their needs and preferences. They might compare the features of the app with similar apps and read user reviews for better insights.
Thus it is crucial to ensure that your app has an intuitive and user-friendly interface to make navigation easier. Moreover, personalized push notifications can re-engage users who have shown initial interest which can help them actively engage with the app.
3. Conversion and Onboarding
This is a critical stage where users decide to download and install the app. It is best to optimize the onboarding process to ensure a user-friendly experience. This includes providing clear instructions, guidance for key features, and a smooth sign-up or account creation.
Furthermore, you could use in-app messaging to guide users through the onboarding process to help them realize the app's value quickly. A well-executed conversion and onboarding experience sets the stage for long-term user retention.
4. Retention and Loyalty
It is essential to retain users for the long-term success of a mobile app. You can maintain ongoing engagement through regular updates, relevant content, and personalized experiences to encourage user loyalty.
The best way to continuously look for areas for improvement is to regularly monitor key retention metrics like Daily Active Users (DAU) and user behavior to identify pain points.
Delivery value and addressing user needs can build a loyal user base that not only continues to use the app but also recommends it within their networks.
Why Do You Need a User Journey?
User journey can help business teams understand user behavior. When you break down a customer’s journey step by step, it can help you improve your overall app design, strategy, and retention.
Here are some ways in which a user journey is useful.
Improved User Experience
Getting to know how users interact with your app can help you improve their experience. You can track the user journey to understand how your app is solving user’s problems or helping them achieve their goals.
You can see if certain features of your app are valuable to them. Are your users finding the app easy to use and seamless? These things matter to help you create a better app for your users that they find valuable.
Targetting the Right Users
Sometimes businesses fail to understand their target users. This can be a major setback for your app's success. Trying to target a wide range of audience without clearly understanding them is a waste of time.
Researching the goals, and challenges along with the user journey is a good way to better know your customers. This gives you clarity about who your customers are and how your app can help solve their problems.
Increased User Retention
User journey shows you areas where you need to make improvements. If customers are leaving more often after downloading an app, then maybe the onboarding process is not smooth enough.
Based on these analyses you can optimize specific areas to improve user experience. Pay close attention to your users and make your app user-centric to increase user retention. When customers find your app useful in achieving their goals, they are going to stick to it
Journey maps can be shared with different teams in the organization to allow them to create a user-centric app. It is useful for all teams such as product development, sales, and marketing.
Teams can have a clear vision about the type of users they are targeting and use these insights to build an app that resonates with the targetted users.
How to Create a User Journey Map?
1. Define Objectives
Before getting started with mapping your user journey, first define your objectives. Figure out what you need to track and how you want to improve your app. This can give your research a good direction.
When you research a customer to create a user persona, you need to be asking the right questions. Along with their demographics and psychographics, what else do you need to know about them?
Defining your objectives can help you get started in the right direction and find the answers you are looking for.
- Demographic Information
You can effectively segment your user base by understanding their demographics such as age, gender, location, and income level. You can tailor marketing messages, features, and content to specific groups through the analysis of this data.
This can help your app resonate with the intended audience and can increase the likelihood of user engagement and retention.
If your app targets a younger audience then incorporating trends and visuals popular among that demographic can enhance its appeal.
- Behavioral Patterns
User behavior provides valuable insights for segmentation. Analyzing actions within the app, such as frequency of use, in-app purchases, and interaction with specific features can help identify distinct user groups.
- User Goals and Pain Points
You can create meaningful segments by conducting surveys or gathering feedback to uncover what users aim to achieve with your app and where they encounter challenges. You can address specific needs within each segment by tailoring features accordingly.
2. Create User Personas
User personas are fictional representations of your target users. These personas reflect the characteristics and attributes of your target customers. To create user personas, you first must research your target audience in-depth.
You can ask for feedback from your customers about their experience with your app through surveys or questionnaires. You can ask how they came across your app, various touchpoints, goals, challenges, and what influences their decisions.
After collecting all insights, create a user persona. Give it a name and even a face for more clarity. User personas should be shared with all the different teams to build a successful app.
- Persona Name and Description
When crafting user personas, it's essential to give each persona a distinct identity. This includes assigning a name and creating a detailed description that consists of their demographic information, preferences, and behavior.
- Goals and Objectives
An effective way to tailor the app experience is to understand the goals and objectives of each user persona. Identify what specific outcomes or achievements users within a persona aim for when using the app.
You can enhance user satisfaction and increase the likelihood of achieving positive outcomes if you align your app features and functionalities with these objectives.
- Pain Points and Frustrations
Identifying pain points by pinpointing the challenges and obstacles users may encounter while using the app can help address user frustration through intuitive design, clear communication, and user-friendly features.
This user-centric approach fosters satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately contributing to the app's success. It can significantly improve the overall user experience for that segment.
3. Key Touch Points
Touch points are all the places your customers interact with your business. Based on the research of your target market you need to find out all the touch points that your customers use.
This is important to map user journeys because it gives you insights into all the actions your users take. There could be more, or fewer touchpoints involved that can include your website, social media channels, paid ads, email marketing, and more.
You can also run a Google search about your business or app to see all the places they have been mentioned on the search results page.
Some common touchpoints where your customers find entry points into your app include:
- Organic Search: It is the process of users finding a website or app through a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo without any paid promotion. It is based on the user’s search query.
- Paid Advertising: It involves investing finances to promote a website or app. This can be done through various channels such as search engines, social media, or display advertising. It provides immediate search results to the targeted audience in exchange for a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression fee.
- Social Media Referrals: These occur when users discover and visit an app through links shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. This traffic is generated organically as users engage with content shared by people within their social networks.
Touchpoints within the app include:
- Home Screen: This is the main interface of a mobile app or website that users see at the very beginning when they first open the app. It usually consists of important information, featured content, and access to key features or sections.
- Search Functionality: Users can find particular content, products, or information within an app or website by searching for specific keywords or queries. It helps users easily navigate and quickly locate what they are looking for.
- Product Listings: These are the organized displays of items or services available for purchase within an app or website. They often include details like product names, images, descriptions, prices, and options for customization or selection.
- Checkout Process: The checkout process is a series of steps a user follows to complete a purchase or transaction within an app or website. A smooth checkout process is crucial for reducing cart abandonment rates.
4. Visualize the User's Journey
After the analysis of your target user, take into consideration how these users engage with your app. This is important for mapping user journeys. You can visualize the thoughts, emotions, and actions the user experiences when they come across your app, engage with it, and convert.
This helps you estimate if the users have any troubles effectively engaging with your app. You can create customer journey map templates to carefully consider each element in the journey.
To start, visually represent each touchpoint where users interact with the app. You can include the user’s initial discovery, onboarding, in-app interactions, and potential touchpoints beyond the app.
An important aspect of mapping the user journey is to first understand the emotions and motivations driving user actions at each touchpoint. This involves empathizing with their needs, concerns, and objectives to design experiences that resonate.
Moreover, incorporate relevant data points and metrics to the journey map such as user engagement metrics, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators (KPIs). It will allow the journey map to provide helpful insights that refine the user experience for optimal results.
- Measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
To monitor user engagement, you can measure the following KPIs for your app’s success:
- Daily Active Users (DAU): This metric measures the number of users who engage with your app in a single day. It indicates the app's popularity and its ability to retain a steady user base.
- Session Length and Frequency: This KPI will show you how long users have spent in each session and how often they return. Users who had longer sessions and made frequent visits showcased higher user engagement and satisfaction.
- In-App Actions and Events: You can gain insights into user behavior and preferences by tracking specific actions users take within the app, such as clicks, purchases, or content interactions.
The fastest way to gain user attention is through in-app notifications. It was reported that 85% of Americans check their phones within 5 minutes of an incoming notification.
- Identifying Drop-off Points: These points demonstrate the areas of friction or dissatisfaction where users usually exit the app or abandon certain processes. You can analyze these areas for targeted improvements.
- Implementing Re-Engagement Tactics: To recapture user interest and bring users back to your app, you study user behavior and use certain re-engagement strategies such as personalized notifications, special offers, or reminders.
5. Put Together Your User Journey
After gathering all the information, put together your user journey. Use visual elements to create journey maps. Infographics can also be used to make these maps more visually appealing and interesting.
There are also various templates available that you can use to create journey maps. Each business will have journey maps that look different based on your app. Customize these templates based on your needs and share them with the different teams in your organization.
6. Continuous Improvement Strategies
Simply mapping the user journey based on research is not enough. You need to test this for yourself to get a first-hand experience. When you enact the user journey, you have more clarity about what your users go through.
You can test different strategies by following these steps to find areas for improvement:
- Track User Behavior Trends: Monitor how user behavior trends change by observing how users interact with the app over time. It helps identify popular features, pain points, and usage patterns.
- Responding to Market Shifts: The app market dynamic changes constantly in terms of trends, technologies, and user preferences. Quickly adapting to these shifts allows app developers to adapt their strategies to remain competitive in the changing landscape.
- Optimizing for Long-Term Success: Adopting a continuous optimization approach can help developers gradually refine the app based on user feedback, changing market conditions, and evolving technology to ensure sustained user satisfaction and engagement.
User journeys help you understand you’re the actions, needs, emotions, challenges, etc. your users go through when interacting with your app.
To create user-centric apps you will need to map user journeys. The steps discussed above can help you get started to create a successful user journey for mobile apps.
Focus on your target users to gain valuable insights that can help you make improvements to your app.
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