How to avoid app churn


With more than 1100 new iOS apps and roughly 3000 Android apps released every day, competing for users’ attention and engagement is increasingly hard. On average 70% to 80% of users churn after only one day from the download. Retaining users is especially hard in industries such as fintech, travel and productivity.

Research shows that an unsatisfactory first impression and a poor user experience are the main reasons for low engagement and hence app churn.

Avoid app churn


How to create a great first impression?

A great first impression is created in the first 0.1 to 10 seconds from opening your app.

To avoid app churn, your in-app experience has to satisfy these key principles:

  • Learnability: it should be clear for users to know how to perform a task with as little explanation as possible.
  • Efficiency: once users understand how to use the app, performing the task should be fast and smooth.
  • Satisfaction: the overall experience of using the app should generate a pleasant feeling, connected to solving a problem or satisfying a basic need (appreciation, entertainment, stability).
  • Errors: the first user experience should be free from errors, to avoid the feeling that the app is too complex to use or that users are inadequate (or both).
  • Memorability: especially the last bit of user experience should end on a positive note. It should generate the feeling that something positive has been achieved.

These elements are all equally important to avoid app churn. But can be conflicting. For example a user can perform a very valuable task only after they have spent a lot of time learning how to do it. Conversely, an irrelevant task can be very easy to perform. The goal of good UX is to balance all these tasks.


Tip 1: Simple UI to avoid app churn


One of the main problems of many apps is that they want to tell too much too soon. Being overloaded with text, buttons and images causes users to abandon the app without ever using it.

To create high app engagement and avoid app churn you want your users to feel like they’re in a quiet hotel reception with a polite concierge, rather than have them feel like they’re in the middle of a market where sellers shout at them. For this reason you want to keep your interface at a minimum. This means:

  • Decide what are the most essential tasks you want users to perform. Keep the number low and choose the ones with the highest value for your users.
  • Give prominence only to the elements that enable these tasks.
  • Make sure the flow to perform these tasks is as easy and intuitive as possible. All primary tasks should be so clear to require no explanation.


Tip 2: Keep testing your flow

Good app engagement requires continuous testing of the whole flow. Companies often stop testing their UX after releasing their app. This is wrong.

Test fast and often. To increase the success of your app, adopt a good mix of qualitative and quantitative research. Don’t do only A/B testing to check the CTR of an element, but talk also to your users to hear directly from them what keeps them using your app and what makes them churning.

Read here how to correctly interview your users.


Design is more than just good aesthetics

Good UX design, is more than just pleasant aesthetics. It is primarily a matter of conveying the right information at the right time by means of design rather than words.

Good UX design is the key element in creating high levels of app engagement and retention.


Do you still have questions on how to avoid churn?

Design Accelerator creates memorable user journeys that focus on users’ engagement and conversion to help you minimize app churn.

Are you planning to launch an app or do you want to improve the usability of your current app? Tell us about your current challenge and check how we can help you.

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