Today’s technology allows people to consume content on different mediums simultaneously. People can watch movies on their TV sets and play apps on their smartphone while checking emails or doing other tasks using their personal computers. With so many potential distractions, businesses have difficulty catching their full attention.
On the other hand, being exposed to so many different content channels at the same time offers businesses several ways of advertising their brand. Here are the best ways brands can develop business apps for a distracted audience.
1. Make the most out of the user’s time and focus
In the past, content creators erroneously believed that people used apps to enhance the content they consumed on their television sets or on other electronic devices.
In reality, the additional screens allowed people to consume different types of content. The content on the different devices can be related or unrelated to each other.
For instance, they could be watching their favorite show on TV. They might use their smartphones to check out spoilers, read or send reactions on Twitter or get additional information about the same show.
On the other hand, some people use other devices to do something unrelated to the show that they are watching.
Perhaps the person may be answering office emails or booking airline tickets.
Regardless of what the person does on different devices, this is an indication that their attention is always divided.
App developers and businesses need to take this into consideration when designing their apps and make the most out of the partial attention that they get from the consumer.
2. Remove all potential barriers
People have a routine when it comes to consuming different types of content. First, they check their texts and emails or other sources of direct feeds.
Next, they will check out the feeds on their social media accounts. Use of apps falls under the third activity. However, this only happens if they have extra time.
When developing any type of app, remove any possible barriers or obstacles that would prevent your potential users from opening your app quickly.
Any aspect that would make your app sluggish or slow might encourage users to do something else instead of using your app.
3. Think of the user
Put the user’s needs first. Think of what aspects of the app would enhance the user’s experience. Would the user prefer holding their smartphone or tablet horizontally or vertically while using the app?
Does the user need to use both hands when accessing the app’s features? Can the person still access their device’s other apps while using your app?
Your answers to these questions can help create a smoother user experience.
4. Make it load quickly
Users have limited attention spans and patience levels. When developing your app, design it in such a way that it loads and runs as quickly as possible. Consider allowing the user to access the app’s features without the need to constantly go through the menu or several windows.
5. Allow for multi-tasking
It is rare for people to devote their full attention to your app. They might be watching a movie, checking out emails or doing other tasks.
Design for the possibility that people will be doing other activities while using your app. Make sure that no messages, notifications or progresses are lost while the person is busy doing something else.
Let’s us say that your app allows people to order products from your online shop. Your app should allow for periods of inactivity or allow users to save their orders.
The user might decide to do some research before finalizing his purchase. This way, they can come back to finish their orders without having to repeat the entire process.
6. Offer customizable features
People have varying preferences when it comes to using apps. Allow users to personalize their experience. For instance, let the user decide if he wants to receive updates, notifications or messages, how he wants to receive them or how frequently he wants to receive them.
People have plenty of options to consume content. But these additional channels can also become distractions. These tips will help you maximize the most out of your target user’s partial and short attention span.
Director, Alpha-Apps FZ LLC
Fueled by the firm belief that the Arab World has great potential and great content, Ayham founded AlphaApps in 2011 in Abu Dhabi. His goal is to bring the Arabic apps industry and content forward to an international and competitive level. He is also a start-up mentor, helping entrepreneurs launch successful app projects and investing in app companies in the region.