Most of the time, new users stumble on the same questions or have difficulties grasping the meaning of some of the features of a mobile app. How can you help them navigate a complex application or show what is different in your application?

We found a few ideas implemented by app developers:

  • in-app feedback feature
  • in-app help sections
  • videos on supporting website or YouTube
  • forum web sites dedicated to users

I want to touch on the way an app could benefit from its users in a constructive, not obtrusive way. Most of the apps have a “give-me-a-hint” page, most of the time forwarded to an email address. That is a “tunnel-vision” dialog. We are trying to describe in simple terms, why some of our features are worth trying/changing and it seems the only way to penetrate the app landscape is with videos attached for our apps. We have manuals/FAQs/explanations for all our apps but everyone is asking “do you have a video ?”.

The video path is not very hard to add, but it limits the dialog to past/existent app without adding value or opening a real dialog with our users. We have several versions for our apps, some are only for our subscriber customers. We thought about a way to cut the long way of talking or emailing and have a documented way and therefore an idea jumped at us – opening a forum for all our customers. Based on the feedback received via emails and discussions in the forum we envision the future versions of our apps will be released after a process following the steps:

  • enhance the current product
  • measure the reaction and feedback
  • alter the enhancement to keep only the features having the most thumbs-up from our customers
  • repeat

At the same rate, the forum can be used privately for customers with special features released in the apps (or subscribers) – we recognize the competitive advantage cannot be shared with everybody.