Delighting app users: the trigger for app engagement

There are more than 4 million apps available for download from the Android and Apple App Store collectively. To stand out amidst such an overwhelming number of apps is not only difficult but a daunting task. It’s important that the mobile experience is thoughtful, creative, delightful and at the same time memorable. An instance of even a single weak mobile experience can drive users away.

To create delightful experiences you need to align your thinking with that of the users. You need to understand how people handle themselves in different situations and identify the moments, which your app can benefit from. What we are talking about here is behavior design. It’s an invisible component that’s present in almost everything that we do or interact with in our daily lives. When motivation is high people tend to respond to these triggers. When you see a push notification offering a sale on your favorite brand of clothing, you immediately tend to check it out. But, at the same time, if the notification is about a sale from a brand that you don’t like or had a bad experience with, you are most likely not going to respond. This means to make an app useful and delightful, you need to send the right trigger at the right time. This is exactly what Dr. BJ Fogg says, “Put hot triggers in the path of motivated people”.

If an app is successful in delivering hot triggers repeatedly, the chances of a user returning to your app are definitely going to increase. Let’s take a look at how some of the most successful apps are delivering these hot triggers in a user’s path.

– Uber

It’s 9pm and you are supposed to be home by 9.45pm, but you know that this is the time when the high surge is on. So, instead of booking a cab you wait at a nearby coffee shop for the surge to end. While you are waiting you receive a push notification from Uber which says that you can book a cab right now for a lower price with the given coupon code. Looking at the message you immediately book an Uber. The right trigger sent at the right time.

– Duolingo 

Similarly, if you look at Duolingo, another successful app with more than 110 million users within three years of its launch, uses gaming elements to keep users hooked to its app. There are a variety of triggers implemented in its design. There’s a progress bar in the app, which fills up based on how you perform in multiple-choice challenges. You lose a life when you get something wrong and when you complete a lesson you earn points. There are lingots to earn for your achievements.

– Facebook

There are more than 1.79 billion monthly active Facebook users. As a social being, the need to connect and be appreciated by others is what drove Facebook to such heights. A simple notification that someone liked your photo or tagged you in a picture is intriguing enough for anyone to check the app multiple times. Even if a user tries to stay away from the social networking site, notification about an old memory would definitely trigger you to at least check the app once.

To identify the right moments, it’s important for an app publisher to have good analytics in place. Knowing a user behavior would make you more efficient in getting the right messages and offers at the right time.

While you may have your own goals for launching a mobile app, users would need at least one valid reason to use your app.

A delightful app is not just about excellent design or coding. Today it’s a culmination of everything – the language in the copy, the sound, the animation, the flow. Users are now expecting well-executed experiences at every touch point.


Want to learn more about what it takes for an app to be successful? Join us for a free live webinar on 17th November 2016 for an hour from 10 AM PST.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Thank you for subscribing.

Featured posts


Resources that can help you start, build and support your digital journey.

Find out more
Neha Gargi Marketing Communication Associate. A caffeine and technology addict, Neha loves to read and write - on a variety of subjects ranging from lifestyle, technology to films

Let's craft delightful digital experiences together.
Tell us more about your vision.

Connect with us

You may also like