Sticky Adoption: tools for building a sustained mobile readership, Part 2

This is a series on tools and tips for “sticky adoption,” or sustaining the audience that uses your employee app. Make sure to read Part 1 here.

Our first post in our Sticky Adoption series dealt with using push notifications to drive sustained adoption. While effective, push notifications are not your only tool in enticing users to make your app part of their routine.

App badges indicates how much new content is waiting for you.

The subtle reminder: App badging

App badges – the little numerical indicator in the top right corner of an app icon – can show users how many cards they’ve missed since they’ve logged in without interrupting the user. The badge is designed to catch a user’s eye scan of a typical screen, but it will not actively interrupt them if they are completing another task. App badging is a must-use tool.

For Sitrion ONE, our award-winning employee app solution, we like to use app badging to show a user how many cards have populated their stream since they last looked at the app. If that little number in red gets too high, they know they’re missing out! App badging will also be a persistent reminder of more important items that were sent via push notification.

The old faithful: the email digest

“Email is dead,” declared a very wrong person, every year, from 2005-2017. Yes, it’s still here and it’s still relevant to our work communications, despite our myriad other ways to collaborate. So how does it factor in to your mobile app readership?

Many users prefer to use email as the “front page” of their day – they set the table with all the information they need routing to some sort of summary in their inbox, and navigate from there. This habit isn’t going away, so you might as well accommodate for it.

In ONE, we’ve created the ability to send a daily email digest that sums up all the posts in the stream for the past 24 hours. Users get the “front page” summary view of what’s happened, and can click to go view content in the app. When you’re getting users into the method of using your app, you need to build as many bridges to their current information destinations as possible.

Gamification: reward users with badges

One of the most direct ways to reward people for continuing to use your app is through badging. “Badges” are rewards that are doled out as cards in the stream for completing discrete actions, like commenting, answering polls, posting, etc (to clarify: this is different than app badging, which is simply a UI feature; badges are a fully administrable feature within ONE).

An earned badge in the ONE stream.

Think about what user behaviors would help demonstrate the most value to those users, and build a system that gives out badges for those behaviors. You can customize what actions the system will reward with a badge and create levels of achievement for the same action. Say you want to reward commenting: you’d create a Bronze-level commenter badge for beginners with five comments, while a power user would achieve a Gold-level commenter badge for 30 comments, etc.

Gamification is a proven supplementary tool for app adoption. Will people go mad with badge fever, creating a black market to get their daily badge fix? No. But in concert with these other tools, badging can provide a psychological incentive for higher use and exposure to the value of the app. Semi-engaged users – that key demographic that you need to win over for sustained adoption – can be won over with that little push to achieve a higher level of a badge.

Badging is a tool that naturally lends itself to fun uses, so get creative. Run contests around badge acquisition. Turn it into a scavenger hunt. Make teams compete to see who can achieve the higher badge count. Mold your badging to your culture and design accordingly!

What’s next?

In this post, we’ve gone over a bunch of the user experience tools at your disposal – but this is just the beginning of sustained adoption. In our next post, we’ll look at sticky adoption from a content and mobile app capabilities standpoint and how delivering real value to your users will drive true, organic sticky adoption.

James Casagrande


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