The goal of most apps and websites is to keep the user’s attention for as long as possible.1 This benefits them because they can gather more and more data as the users use the app. If this is the goal for the company that I work for, then as an interaction designer, my goal is to create an app with endless possibilities and use as many social principles in my design as possible in order to keep user retention.
There should be many social aspects to the app as well as design fundamentals that will make them want to stay on the app. The more users the better, as many people thrive off social media use.2
I can apply the strategies and algorithms that have been proven to work well by companies such as Facebook and Netflix. They gather data on what the user likes and use other data, AI, and machine learning to predict what the user might like.
User retention is the most important part of an app for a company. This is because the longer the user uses their app, the more information they gather, and the more information they gather, the more they know how to keep the user around longer.2 It’s a cycle.
In the future, I’ll approach a design brief with the thought of user retention in mind. This can be through appeal (pathos, logos, ethos), and persuasion.
A good example is my approach to my Interactive Media coding project. When brainstorming ideas for the time of the project, I kept asking the questions such as “what is going to make people want to use it” and “how can we keep people using it”.
This led me to think of factors such as locations, what type of content, type of interaction, as well as the social aspect of it. If I incorporated a social aspect where users can possibly share their results or photos from the installation, this can lead to more social media promotion and others will want to try to the installation.
Another approach I’ll be using is a moralistic one. Seeing the effects that social media has on society, I will try to use solutions that benefit both society and business. The current state of social media and device overuse is damaging mental health, the innocence of children, social relationships, and democracy. 2
Companies are doing what’s good for their business, but not what’s good for society.3 The more we use technology, we are living the way they want us to live, not the way we want to live.2 There are still a lot of moralities and ethics to consider when designing.2
1 “The Need for a New Design Ethics – Tristan Harris.” Tristan Harris. Accessed April 1, 2019. http://www.tristanharris.com/the-need-for-a-new-design-ethics/.
2 “The Problem.” Center for Humane Technology. Accessed April 1, 2019. http://humanetech.com/problem.
3 Launder, Mimi. “The Ethics of UX: When Is It Good Design and When Are You Just Tricking People?” Digital Arts. Accessed April 1, 2019. https://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/interactive-design/ethics-of-ux-when-is-it-good-design-when-are-you-just-tricking-people/.