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Mobile App Notifications: How to enhance interactivity and engagements

Mobile phone usage has been on a fast track and there’s no sign of it slowing down. In October  2016, Statcounter(a company that tracks internet use),  51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices. AppAnnie, the world’s top mobile app analytics firm says people use 10 apps a day on average and 30 apps monthly. If you’ve launched a mobile app, you need to get your app into one of these usage brackets.

Types of Products

User engagement looks different across products. For example, an email app like Gmail will most likely be used more often than a flight-booking app. There is no standard way to measure engagement metrics across applications because these metrics will depend on the nature of the product. However, the attention span of humans has reduced over time and the need for proper engagement cannot be overemphasized. Sometimes, people need to be reminded about products they use and if they get notifications, they will most likely engage with the product. Regular notifications are essential especially for everyday-use apps because they require constant interaction from the user.

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different people holding phones in their hands

Right Type of Notifications

Choosing the right type of notifications enhances app engagement by directing the right kind of traffic to the right kind of people. A good example is push notifications on mobile devices. Marketers or publishers can push them at any time. Tailored or personalized notifications serve very specific and important functions thereby increasing user retention. According to Localytics, users who have opted into receiving push notifications show 88% higher app engagement than those who haven’t.

While push notifications are very effective, it is easy to get carried away and take advantage of the direct access to users. Be careful not to spam your app’s users because it’s counter-interactive. Gradually, they become disinterested and there’s less engagement. Studies show that only 1 in 25,000 spam recipients need to purchase a product for it to be profitable. Eventually, your window will close and your users will block your notifications.

Direct Access Channel

Push notifications, for example, could include unique content, which could help drive specific user actions. You can insert a link in the notification which gives a more detailed info about products and services you offer. The notification could also be a reminder on an upgrade, a referral reward, an alert of a promo or discount etc. People respond better to one-on-one interactions because they feel much more personal.

Creating A Stimulant

individuals hooked to an app

To further direct engagement and also ensure retention, you need to give users a good reason to use your product, creating a stimulant as a way of incentivizing them. The way you stimulate users varies, depending on your product. “For example, apps that use in-app purchasing as a monetization model will benefit from time-sensitive discounts, whereas freemium apps can incentivize users by providing usage-based rewards”, says Dan Kosir; Director of Marketing at Clearbridge Mobile. Giving users side attractions encourages them to use your product and tell a friend. If it gradually becomes a habit, they remain eager and expectant of the changes that are to come.

Integration

Take a look at the evolution of iPhones over a period of 10 years. The original iPhone according to Steve Jobs was “an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator” like no device before it. Over time, there were more upgrades and changes to the iOS operating system and to the phone itself.

You should read up on platform updates for whatever platform you’ve developed your apps for and learn how you can integrate notifications to fit into the design and system of the devices.
User retention via notifications is as important as user acquisition. You should aim to retain existing users of your apps while you try to gain more. Product Engagement evolves over the course of a user journey and by striving to boost this, you increase recurrent product usage, which positively impacts your revenue and growth.

Examples of website goals and objectives (Part 2)

Hey there! Welcome to our second part of our Website Goals series. In this post, we will be tackling the remaining parts of our highlighted points from our last post.

Webmaster / Content Contributor Goals

Webmasters and content contributors are typically the first line of defense for your company website. They are typically in charge of the upkeep: managing functions and keeping the content up to date. They rely on Content Management Systems (CMS) and various other website management tools to do their job. Most of them would agree with setting the following objectives for a redesign:

9. Improve Webmaster / Content Contributor Satisfaction

Similar to improving the satisfaction of customers, your webmasters and content contributors must also be happy. They should have all the tools they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. If they are doing redundant or duplicate work, rely on workarounds or they are unable to perform websites updates, improving their satisfaction should be a goal. They should be interviewed/surveyed before and after the website’s redesign to determine what their needs are and if the new website provides for a better experience. Example: Improve average webmaster/content contributor satisfaction by 10% (measured using surveys before and after redesign).

10. Reduce Time to Complete a Task

Just like reducing the time spent on tasks by customers, you can apply the same qualitative approach to measuring the time it takes to perform certain management or content updating tasks by webmasters or contributors. Saving their time directly results in cost reductions for the organization. You can measure the time it takes to complete these tasks using usability testing tools or events in Google Analytics. Example: Reduce the average time it takes to complete website tasks by 20% (measured through usability testing or analytics). Webmaster / Content Contributor goals worksheet and examples

IT Website Goals

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IT Personnel managing clients

IT departments often provide a support role for your website and, if a problem occurs, they may have to step in. Websites that are cumbersome to maintain, don’t mesh well with other technology, pose security risks or constantly go offline represent liability and additional cost to your IT department. Most IT departments would agree on the following IT website objectives:

11. Reduce Website Management Costs

This goal can measure the reduction in time (and money) spent on running, supporting and maintaining a website. It can be measured in man-hours as well as in dollars. This is a good goal for a company that is spending an exorbitant amount of money on support and maintenance of their website due to outdated technology, incompatibility with other systems, frequent downtimes, security flaws or other performance issues. Example: Reduce website support/maintenance costs by 10% (measured in dollars and employee hours) by deploying CMS designed for efficient content updates. IT website objectives worksheet and examples

Operations / Production Goals

Common website goals for Operations and Production departments are to use their company website to optimize and streamline workflows and to automate tasks. This could result in improved customer/employee satisfaction as well as reduced costs (both methods can be used, depending on the goal).

12. Optimize Workflow Automation

Another way of saving money using the website is through optimizing the flow of information, automating various tasks and reducing overhead by integrating the website into your company’s IT ecosystem. This can be achieved by integrating your website with other systems: marketing automation, CRM, accounting software, customer support systems, applicant tracking system, process and project management, document and asset management, inventory management, fulfillment and production automation, and the list goes on. Example: Reduce support costs by 15% by rolling out online customer support on the website, consequently reducing the number of phone calls taken by the support team.Operations goals worksheet and examples

HR Website Goals

HR Manager reviewing applications

Common website goals for Human Resources are often set to help attract and recruit new employees as well as to help support current employees:

13. Increase Employment Applications

This goal looks at the number of job applications submitted through the website. This is a good goal for companies that prioritize attracting new talent and want to advertise job openings as well as encourage online applications. This can be measured with the help of an ATS (applicant tracking system). Similar to leads, I recommend setting the goal as a percentage rate increase. Example: Increase the number of job applicants by 20%.

14. Improve Employee Satisfaction

If one of your website’s objectives is to help support your employees (training, employee portal, collaboration tools, company social network), then employee satisfaction can be a good metric to track. Just as with customers, measuring employee satisfaction is a tricky business. Consider surveying your employees before and after your website redesign. For a more quantitative approach, consider measuring the number of times the tools are used (engagement rates). Example: Improve employee satisfaction by 10% (measured by surveying before and after). HR goals worksheet and examples

C-Suite Website Goals

So far we’ve been focusing on common departmental website goals and what’s important to marketing, sales, customer support, IT and HR. But what about looking at the company as a whole? What does executive management want to see from the new website? Website can be a significant investment that often requires the approval of a CEO and/or a CFO. How do you justify a redesign to your CEO/CFO? Or, if you are a CEO, how do you make a decision whether or not the website is a good investment?

15. Maximize ROI

The answer is simple: ROI. You need to be able to demonstrate the Return on Investment. That’s the #1 consideration for any CEO or CFO. How will the new website contribute to the bottom line? Note that every goal example in this article directly impacts the company’s bottom line. The first step in determining ROI is by establishing departmental website goals. You can then evaluate how these changes will positively impact the company as a whole and present this information to your CEO/CFO.

Setting SMART website goals is an important step in any website redesign. Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve with your website before diving into a project that could take months to complete.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold makes a great first impression (when it doesn’t break)

Seeing is believing, right?

After years of writing about foldable phone rumors and concepts and leaks, I finally got to hold Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy Fold and try out its bendable display — crease and all — and I have to say, it definitely scores a 100 on hype. In a saturated market where all phones essentially look and work the same, the Galaxy Fold was refreshing.

As someone who’s maybe been the most critical of foldable phones, I was surprised by how polished the phone was. For a first-generation product, the Galaxy Fold felt more finished than I expected it be.

Unfortunately, at the very moment I was fawning over the new form factor like a little boy, reviewers who were a few days into testing the Galaxy Fold learned the device might not be as durable or reliable as Samsung claims.

For a phone that costs $1,980, that’s pretty concerning.

It’s weird to say this, but it’s been a very long time since I pulled a new phone out of its box and genuinely had no words.

After finally processing the fact that foldable phones are real and I had one in my hand, I found myself repeatedly saying variations of “this is nuts” and “this is wild” and “wow.”

It’s one thing to look at images and video of the Galaxy Fold, but something different to hold it in your hands. Unlike the Royole FlexPai, which can only be described as a terrible, half-assed attempt at a foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold is the complete opposite.

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold

Closed up, the smooth glass and metal body feel as premium as a Galaxy S10. Yes, the phone’s tall, skinny, thick (about the thickness of two iPhones), and a little heavy, but it doesn’t feel cheap. Some have likened the closed-up Galaxy Fold to a TV remote and I have to agree.

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A lot of people have complained about the 4.6-inch display on the outside of the phone, saying it’s too small, and too skinny, and it’s surrounded by thick bezels on all four sides. This is all true, but I suspect most people won’t be using the outside screen much. I realized I didn’t pay much attention to it because the interior 7.3-inch screen was so much more captivating.

When unfolded, the Galaxy Fold’s tablet-sized screen is wondrous. It feels like an impossible mind trick. I kept opening and closing and the device just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.

Surprisingly, the thing that I expected to dislike the most about the display — the crease running down the middle — wasn’t as bad as it looked in photos and video. At certain angles, the crease is visible for sure and I could feel it if I ran a finger directly along it while applying a little bit of pressure, but I stopped noticing it almost immediately after I started opening apps in full screen and running multiple apps simultaneously.

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Three apps running at once on the Samsung Fold

Most impressive was a feature called “app continuity” which let me expand an app from the smaller outside screen to the larger tablet-sized display when I opened up the Fold. I was impressed at how quickly it worked. There was no waiting for an app to “move” between screens — it just worked like you’d expect it to. The responsiveness was no doubt the work the Fold’s powerful Snapdragon 855 chip and 12GB of RAM.

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The Galaxy Fold Camera(s)

Even the cameras are really good. The Galaxy Fold has six cameras in total: three on the back, two inside, and one on the outside of the smaller screen. 

As far as I could tell, the three rear cameras are the same as the ones on the S10 phones: 12-megapixel wide, 16-megapixel ultra-wide, and 12-megapixel 2x telephoto lenses.

The inside cameras consist of a 10-megapixel camera and 8-megapixel depth camera like on the S10+. And above the outside screen is a 10-megapixel selfie camera.

But even though the cameras are the same as on the S10, using the Fold to shoot photos felt different because the viewfinder is so much larger on the inside screen. As cheesy as it sounds, shooting with such a big viewfinder felt less like taking a photo and more like framing reality.

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The Galaxy Fold full screen

As much as I liked the Galaxy Fold, let’s be clear: It hasn’t convinced me that foldable phones are the future.

Samsung’s new foldable device left a great first impression — rightfully so since it’s a new form factor and we’ve never seen anything like it before — and it did cross off some of the things all foldable phones need to overcome such as the crease, how software works, and thickness, but durability remains a big concern.