8 Ways to Improve App Store User Experience

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Post on 11-Sep-2014




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Presentation by Stephanie Rieger of Yiibu for Informa Mobile User Experience conference in London, UK 11/09 Officially called "Developing An Interface For The Future Of Mass Market Software Distribution"


  • Developing an Interface for the Futureof Mass Market Software Distribution

    Informa Mobile User Experience Conference: 18, November 2009

    presented by Stephanie Rieger

  • 8 ways to improvethe app store user experience(that dont involve squeezing

    more stuff onto a small screen)

  • what I will not talk about

  • who has a store

  • what it looks like

  • the platforms it supports

  • the ecosystem around it

  • its billing mechanisms

  • revenue models

  • its politics

  • or, the number of apps in the store

  • these things are all (incredibly) important,so important that...

  • stores that are launched on a whim, have low reach and unpopular tools,

    policies or platforms will eventually have to adapt, re-think...or go away

  • and when the dust clears,it will simply leave

    a great big store full of content :-)

  • so lets take a closer look a the store

  • stores have been around a long timeand they all have one thing in common...

  • products, or if you prefer...inventoryCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152

  • they also share similar concerns...

  • discoveryCC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyhunter/101864931/

  • searchCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152

  • wayfindingCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/

  • and compete in similar ways...

  • drawing you inCC BY 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/roosterfarm/445442722/

  • by impulseCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetalone/2171035379/

  • through need or convenienceCC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/bignavijp/3800631373/

  • costCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/2899006860/

  • recommendationCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/glynnis/358502163/

  • (pointless) differentiationCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/

  • opportunities for personalizationCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/

  • ...and serviceCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/scornish/1764306516/sizes/l/

  • ...in other words,basic retailing and merchandising

  • ok, but...the digital stores are different

  • we have these things called databases

  • endless shelf-space

  • contextual advertising

  • a decade of best-practices,design patterns

  • algorithms, tagging, microformats...

  • you can find anything, anytime

  • intelligently target and profile everyone

  • recommendation is practically built-in

  • a lot of real-worldproblems just go away...

  • or do they...?

  • TIP #1: plan for real people

  • app stores see content as inventory(which it is...)

  • except people dont actually want inventory

  • when people make a purchase, they are looking to fulfill a need

  • they want to explore


    solve a problemmake friends



    feel happy

    show off

    feel comforted


    save face


  • because unlike computers, people arefickle, unpredictable...complicated

  • 1 person 1 phone 1 culture

    but app stores, tend to view people like this

    + +

  • when in fact...

  • user accounts assume one-region

    not available in the UK store

  • few stores consider (or enable)a multi-device experience

  • real people also shop for other people

  • gifting apps or content

  • gifting + out of box experience


  • TIP #2: Prioritize metadata

  • the more popular your app store is,the less useful categories become

    Board games: page 1 of 70

  • ...so then theres search

  • but indexing this is not exactly easy

  • so search has to rely on metadataprovided by app vendors

    (which might be fine if these guyswere metadata experts)


  • Case study: iStockphotoonline content marketplace

  • 5+ million items for sale70,000+ artist contributorsdetailed approval process

    primary discovery mechanism: search

  • detailed (curated) and tiered categories

  • taxonomies & assisted keyword generation


  • TIP #3: Editorial is your friend

  • roll up your sleeves and actually look at the content :-)

  • iStockphoto again...

  • inventory management:open and closed categories

    Needed filesNot needed

    (i.e. closed category)

  • TIP #4: Help them, help you

  • think of it as a partnership

  • if vendors look good, you look goodand vice versa

  • proactively simplify their pain points

  • iStockphoto again...

  • training manual

    manage vendor expectations

    increases approval rate

    clarify guidelines(e.g. IP, legal)

  • another example...Apple

  • remember these guys?

    making an app is easy, making an icon...not so much


  • icons made effortless

    automatedcorner radius

    and transparency

    icon glow can be disabled if


    start with this

  • TIP #5: Make it personal

  • staff picks make things more personal,now take them to the next level

  • iStockphoto again...

  • premium content hand-picked by domain experts + higher royalties for vendors

    iStockphoto, Vetta collection

    premium cost

    1% of overall collection

  • TIP #6: Make it acessible

  • a lot of purchases just happen

  • people stumble-upon stuff they wantwhile doing other stuff...

  • so discovery is hard to architect

  • if you make it insanely easyto reach your content(from any platform)

    you start to see stuff like this....

  • iPhone apps

    movie marketing

  • Jamie Oliver (TV + web tie-in)

    Click to buyfrom the App


    TV + desktop

  • which can then come full-circle...

  • with stuff like this...

    iPhone Appsfrom TV Ads

  • TIP #7: Explore other touchpoints

  • offline app sales could bea natural extension for certain stores

  • heres how they could work...

  • http://duoguo.cn

    mobile content stores and kiosks in China


  • ...and a less formal (and legal) variantin Thailand

  • and its not just an Asian thing...

  • would you like a Google app with that?

    Best Buy Walk Out Working service



  • now what if...

  • destination stores...True Urban Park, Bangkok

    buy a mobile... some books, or music.... bring your laptop...have a coffee...

    and buy some apps...?

  • Apple stores

    Microsoft retail

    even better if you can make it an activityCC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/

  • TIP #8: Consider segmentation

  • were familiar with segmentationin other industries

  • iconic style

    accessible luxurygreat fashion, great prices


  • automotive




  • so far, app stores are selling pretty muchany app that passes the acceptance criteria

  • but segments are emergingwhich could justify a store within a store

  • the pass-back apps for kids

  • adult

  • business/enterprise

  • personal shopping money--but no time

  • and a final tip: if youre not in it for the long run,

    get out while you still can :-)

  • thank yousteph@yiibu.com