Optimizing Your App with User Feedback

usabilla for apps
8 min read

If you’ve ever been in a strategy meeting, chances are you’ve heard the phrase ‘mobile first’ on more than one occasion. It’s 2017, we all understand the importance of optimizing for a cross-device and omnichannel experience.

But, when it comes to making the most of your app, do the same best practices apply?

A deeper connection with customers

The Netherlands’ biggest high-end department store, De Bijenkorf, recently spoke to us about their strategy when it comes to optimizing for an omnichannel shopping experience. During the talk, Product Owner Thijs van Mil, explained why the business sees a mobile site and an app as different entities:

“A mobile site and an app serve a different – and most of the time overlapping – purpose. I see a mobile site as an excellent channel that enables us to reach a large audience. The app then offers a more rich environment to form a deeper connection with our customers. It is therefore not surprising we see a strong correlation between loyalty and app usage.”

As a long-term client of our Usabilla for Apps (U4A) product, De Bijenkorf is able to generate this loyalty by “making customers an integral part of development efforts” through the feedback form built into their app interface.

app user feedback

We regularly speak to the digital team at De Bijenkorf, alongside our other U4A clients about the ways Usabilla helps them to optimize their respective apps. Throw in some expertise from our UX Design and Product teams, and the boundless knowledge of our Support team and we’ve been able to gather a fantastic list of best practices to ensure you, our users, are getting the most out of our app product.

So, maybe you’re thinking about upping your Usabilla game to include U4A or perhaps you’re already reaping the benefits. Either way, here are some top tips to keep in mind when building a feedback button or form.

Stay in your app

Although it might be tempting to encourage users who leave positive feedback via Usabilla to do the same directly in the App or Play Store, redirecting them outside of your app might not be the smartest move. Unless, of course, you can guarantee they’ll come back to continue their customer journey.

Luckily, iOS 10.3 boasts a new feature that ensures both you and your app rating get the best of both worlds. The team over at Apple have created an API that prompts users to leave both a rating and review in the App Store without having to leave the space of an app. The API integrates seamlessly with our Usabilla SDK (as long as you’re using version 3.5.1 or above) – find out more about how to implement it here.

Apple explains, “Using the SKStoreReviewController API, you can ask users to rate or review your app while they’re using it, without sending them to the App Store. You determine the points in the user experience at which it makes sense to call the API and the system takes care of the rest.”

app review rating

Using this functionality to gather ratings and reviews is far less disruptive for your user. The number of taps required to leave a review drops from an average of 8 to just 1. Plus, no matter how many times you call the API, the review prompt will only be shown to the same user a maximum of 3 times in a 365-day period.

Although the 10.3 update is too fresh to generate meaningful data, we expect users to see a significant increase in App Store rating and reviews which will complement the rich, qualitative data provided through Usabilla – so you can stay on top of your optimization game.

Choose the right elements

When building your feedback form in U4A it’s important to adapt to a mobile interface – namely because it’s significantly smaller than that of your website. This means that some of our best practices for Usabilla for Websites might not translate.

For example, when asking an NPS question, general guidelines (on the web) will suggest you use radio buttons for your user to select a response. However, imagine a user trying to individually select just one of 11 buttons with their thumb –  particularly on something as small as an iPhone 4 screen. The size of these buttons is simply not scalable.

app user feedback

For rating questions like this, it makes sense to use a slider instead. It’s native to both iOS and Android and ensures your users, who are already going out of their way to submit feedback, won’t experience any unnecessary frustration. That’s why the slider element is the only one we offer when building an NPS question in your U4A form.

Another element to use wisely is the picker. Although it looks appealing and can be fun to scroll through, try to only use a picker when your question has many options, e.g. selecting a country or date of birth. If you require 5 responses or less then use radio buttons or checkboxes, it’s simply more efficient for your user.

Keep it simple

Keep your forms short, simple, and to the point. You want the feedback process to be as efficient and digestible as possible for the user. It shouldn’t feel like work for them, they are trying to help you out after all. Our suggestion is to stick to just one page and cut any unnecessary questions.

app feedback

If, however, your feedback form requires multiple pages then try to split things strategically. Gather relevant questions into compact sections and keep them all in one view, your user shouldn’t have to scroll to complete the form.

Apply your style guide

Take advantage of the advanced settings within the form builder which mean you can integrate your feedback form and button seamlessly into the design of your app.

Usabilla for Apps provides you with the tools to select a color theme that fits your own style guide. What’s more, the smilies/stars of your mood rating and your font choice can be easily changed by your own development team (without Usabilla support).

By customizing the feedback button to complement your existing app design, you don’t need to worry about it disrupting aesthetics. This means you can ensure it remains visible throughout the entire architecture of your app and not just on a support or contact page.

usabilla for apps

You never know when your users could run into an issue or have something to share. It’s important that the feedback button is always visible so they are able to submit feedback at any point in their journey.

Get smart with screenshots

Offering your users the option to submit a screenshot with their feedback is an excellent way to get contextual insights into feedback data. By being smart with your execution, both you and your users can make the most out of this functionality.

If the option to submit feedback is in your menu page and a user wants to include a screenshot, then they must first take the shot themselves and upload it manually – otherwise, they’d be including a snapshot of the menu interface.

What may seem like a small action adds a whole other step to the feedback process, which you want to keep as streamline as possible. Again, the user is only trying to help you by submitting their feedback.

Take a look at De Bijenkorf app, who keep the option to submit a screenshot within the navigation bar of the app, so it’s always there for the user to call on.

app feedback

Thijs explains, “On a daily basis we use the feedback generated from our passive feedback form in the app, which is visible and accessible from every part of the app. That provides an efficient way to gather more feedback from more users, with respect to all different areas in an app.”

Stay up to date

Apps continue to be a dynamic and fast-moving platform, meaning it’s important for every business to keep on top of regular updates, whether it’s bug fixes, design updates, or optimizing architecture. And here at Usabilla, there’s no exception.

When you release a new version of your app, try to make a habit of updating to the latest version of the Usabilla SDK. That way you can make the most of any new features and updates as soon as they’re released; meaning you can stay on top of your feedback collection game and ultimately provide a fully-optimized app experience.

And finally…

Are you a Usabilla for Apps user and have some other best practices up your sleeve? We’d love to hear about them – you know where the feedback button is!

Or are you thinking about upping your feedback game to span across your website, emails, and apps? Find out more about Usabilla for Apps here or simply request a call with one of our friendly Business Managers.

Usabilla: Request a demo

Robyn Collinge
As Usabilla's Copywriter, Robyn brings nice words together - like peanut butter, napping, and Sunday brunch.