Why aren't customers using my apP?

I've had the opportunity to tackle the age old research question nearly every app-developer has asked: why don't people download my app? To note, the app referenced in this study was already a well known and used social media app on web. To answer this question, I conducted a three-part research study with 36 participants, all of whom were current users of the website version of the app, but not of the app itself. Visits were conducted via unmoderated, remote testing. These three visits included:

Visit 1: Acquisition barriers & assess first use.

Did participants even know this existed? Were they willing to try something they were already familiar with? What hurdles did they face when trying to download the app? What were their first impressions of the app? 

Visit 2: Natural usage check

After assessing the barriers to acquisition of the app, and the hindrances that the participants faced when trying to download it for themselves, I followed up one week later without prompting them to change their behavior whatsoever. Did they use the app? What were the benefits and drawbacks to using it? What issues did they face as they used it? 

Visit 3: Exclusive usage check

After the natural usage check, participants were instructed to use the app exclusively, and if they needed to use the web-version, to mark down why that reason was that they were not able to do the same thing on the app. When following up, I asked: had they changed their opinions (for better or worse) towards using the app? What were the benefits and drawbacks of the app? What were their satisfaction scores with the app? What were their intentions to use this moving forward, and why?

Because of this study, I was able to identify key barriers to acquisition of the app, usability issues and attractors/detractors of the app as well. With the results of this study, the team was able to remove the key barriers found, while addressing usability issues and up-selling the attractors of the app on their web based version. 


Design and research with a goal IN MIND

While working at Xbox, I became a usability specialist, and ran over 70 usability studies for the release of the Xbox One X, which launched in November, 2017.  While spending time in the lab, design and research wanted to make sure everything was easy to understand, beautiful, but above all, fast and personalized. This lead to design driven decisions for the Xbox One X that weren't necessarily based on design preference, but more on what made things fast to use.

The Verge released this article around the time of the launch of the new UI I was working on, which highlighted "Microsoft is once again moving the guide so it’s ordered horizontally [...] It works very similar to how it has in the past, but it’s much quicker to switch sections with the controller now."

Those decisions to make the switch to a horizontal guide were not taken lightly. I conducted lab study upon lab study, iteration upon iteration by design, to truly understand what makes navigation faster or slower for our users. This is just one example of many within the UI that we tested, retested, iterated and continued to change to optimize for speed and personalization for the Xbox UI.