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SaaS Sales: The Ultimate Guide

If you identify SaaS as something your mother told you never to give her — think again. Software as a service, or SaaS, is software that’s accessed, managed, and used on the internet. It’s the present and future of software, and it requires a different type of selling.

This guide will teach you the basics of SaaS sales. From commission to sales cycles, models, and metrics, you’ll learn the different ways of selling this unique software and what you can expect from the job.

Table of Contents

What is SaaS?
What is SaaS Sales?
SaaS Sales Salary
SaaS Sales Commission
SaaS Sales Cycle
SaaS Sales Models
SaaS Sales Metrics


1. What is SaaS?

Remember the days of unwrapping CD-ROMs, uploading them to your computer, and only having access to that software from your computer? Those days are gone. SaaS is hosted, secured, and updated by an outside vendor.

This means SaaS often yields lower entry costs than traditional software, easier upgrades, and better integrations. What’s left is a more advanced, user-friendly, and evolving product.


2. What is SaaS Sales?

SaaS sales is the process of selling web-based software to clients. Salespeople focus on acquiring new customers and upselling or retaining current clients.

Because SaaS is supported, maintained, and engineered by an external company, the price is usually high requiring a longer sales cycle and more touch points from Sales and Marketing before the customer is ready to buy.

Marketing nurtures each lead until they are “sales qualified.” Then, a salesperson follows up with the prospect to gauge next steps. Just because a lead is sales qualified doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy — or ready for a demo.

SaaS salespeople must clearly communicate the benefits and features of their software. And it’s important to tailor each presentation to meet the needs of each prospect. Service and attention are key to getting the prospect to close, because SaaS reps are usually selling at a higher price.

Reps also must be well-versed in how the software works to demonstrate and troubleshoot the product during presentations.

Because SaaS can be so complex, it’s common to bring engineers, executives, or product marketers into some meetings to make a difficult sale. Knowing when to ask for help is another sign of a qualified SaaS rep.


3. SaaS Sales Salary

Because it’s necessary for SaaS reps to have a deep working knowledge of the software, product roadmap, and frequently asked questions, their base salary and commission is usually higher than reps in other verticals.

Here are three benchmark studies to illustrate the average salary for SaaS sales reps:

In a recent study of more than 160,000 salaries, job aggregator Indeed calculated the national average base salary to be $64,379 for a SaaS account executive and $49,216 for an account representative.
Workplace hub Glassdoor calculated the average base salary for a SaaS specialist to be between $34,613 and $53,000.
And The Bridge Group, an inside sales consulting firm, calculated the average base salary for a SaaS inside sales rep to be $60,000 — with on-target earnings of $118,000.

As with most sales jobs, commission is commonly added on top of the base salary and varies per individual compensation plans.


4. SaaS Sales Commission

SaaS commission, like other sales verticals, is paid when a rep closes new business or renews existing accounts. It’s awarded based on monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or annual contract value (ACV).

Some organizations wait for new clients to submit payment before awarding commission. This model is meant to avoid paying commission on a customer that churns quickly or reneges on their agreement.

The accelerator model of commission means for every dollar a rep brings in over goal, their commission rate increases by a percentage point (i.e., if a salesperson attains 115% of goal, their commission rate increases by 15%).

Other organizations tier their commission rates. In this model, the first tier of compensation covers 100-110% attainment, the second tier covers 110-125% attainment, and the third tier covers 125% attainment and beyond. For those salespeople hitting the third tier, the President’s Club is often offered as a prize.

Some compensation packages won’t disburse commission until a rep brings in enough revenue to cover their base salary and the cost of their benefits.

Once they’ve closed enough business to cover their cost, however, these reps usually receive commission at rates more than double those of a normal model.


5. SaaS Sales Cycle

SaaS sales cycles vary depending on price, customers, and product complexity. A product that’s $100/month will likely have a faster sales cycle than a product costing $50,000/year.

The more expensive your product is, the more stakeholders will involved which can lengthen your process by weeks or even months. Here are four additional factors that slow down SaaS sales cycles:

New markets: If you’re selling to new markets, your sales cycle might be longer because you’r spending more time communicating your use case and value to potential clients. This will extend your sales cycle, but it’s crucial to educate new markets before selling to them.
Enterprise business: Selling to enterprise-level companies increases the number of stakeholders needed to sign off and is usually accompanied by more legal and technical red tape.
Complex software: Similarly, the more complex your software is, the longer your sales cycle is likely to be. In this case, it’s important to make sure the right prospects are in the room during your demo to champion your cause to less savvy colleagues.
Free trials: Free trials can also affect SaaS sales cycles. If you offer a 30-day free trial, this could lengthen the sales cycle significantly.

Still not sure how long your sales cycle should be? Sales pro Matt Bertuzzi lists the following sales cycle averages for B2B SaaS businesses:

How Long is a SaaS Sales Cycle?

40.1 Days: < $5K:
62.2 Days: $5K-$10K
84.1 Days: $10K-$50K:
116.6 Days: $50K-$100K
169.6 Days: $100K+
Overall average: 84.3 Days

If your sales cycle takes too long, consider cutting a free trial from 30 days to two weeks. Bring in a professional writer/storyteller to help you communicate your complex software offering in a more understandable way.

And work with your marketing team to educate new markets before conducting outreach. Lastly, if you know your sales cycle will be lengthy due to enterprise clients or other factors, build that time into your budget. No salesperson can perform well under unrealistic goals.


6. SaaS Sales Models

The proper sales model indicates how many salespeople you should hire, how you’ll interact with your customers, who they are, and how you’ll close their business.

It’s crucial to choose the right model and know when your organization needs to evolve. Here are the three most common SaaS sales models.

1. Choose Your SaaS Sales Model: The proper sales model indicates how many salespeople you should hire, how you’ll interact with your customers, who they are, and how you’ll close their business.

It’s crucial to choose the right model and know when your organization needs to evolve. Continue reading to understand the three most common SaaS sales models and determine which one works best for you.

2. Customer Self-service: This model works best when selling lower-priced SaaS at a high volume (i.e., Spotify subscriptions, a Medium membership, or a phone plan). It assumes your average selling price, or ASP, is low while allowing you to bring in significant revenue.

Freemium models and free trials are common strategies for attracting customers in the self-service model. Customer service is not comprehensive and this model often can’t support a full sales team. Instead, websites encourage users — usually individuals or small teams — to sign up online.

3. Transactional Sales: Transactional selling is the most common and the most scalable of the three models. This software is typically sold to small and medium businesses over the phone and occasionally in person.

Since the cost associated with this level of software is generally higher, the buyer requires more personalized service to make a purchase, thus necessitating a sales team.

Software sold by the transactional model should also be customizable to service the needs of a variety of use cases. Contracts generally range in price and reps are empowered to provide discounts and share tiered pricing models.

These salespeople have a pipeline fueled by a marketing team, and they’re required to undergo training, exhibit a comprehensive working knowledge of the product, and meet monthly or quarterly quotas.

4. Enterprise Sales: This model is reserved for software sold at low volume and high price. These solutions are often full-scale, highly specialized, or cutting edge. Enterprise salespeople will regularly spend months working closely with prospects to answer questions, demo the software, and meet with executive stakeholders.

Enterprise sales is a popular choice for complex or niche SaaS benefiting larger companies or corporations with the budget to support the high cost of these solutions. Sales teams are often organized by territory and focus on a targeted set of prospects.

Because there are so many working parts to this sales model, reps work closely with product marketers and engineers to source the answers and information they need to close high-value deals.

Here’s a bonus tip for you: Know your ASP. A higher average selling price (ASP) means your prospect will expect inclusive customer service, a better business relationship, a signed contract, and invoicing. If you have a low ASP, it’s unlikely you can afford or need a sales team.

Before hiring your first salesperson or expanding your existing team, understand your average selling price and make an educated decision on when and who to hire.

5. Strategic Trial Periods: Many SaaS providers have a free trial offering as part of their sales process. A free trial is a great way to hook new users, however, in order for it to be worthwhile for your company your approach to free trials has to be strategic.

When a customer has the opportunity to do a trial, they are able to see the true value and benefit your offer provides. While there is no one-size-fits-all rule for how long the ideal trial period should be, here are some common trial lengths to consider, along with their benefits.

7-day trial period: If you offer a simple or straightforward product that a new user could pick up and adopt quickly, having a short trial period could be a good option. Additionally, if you offer a lower-cost product and don’t want to add unnecessary length to your sales process for a modest sale, you may also want to consider having a brief trial run.
14-day trial period: A two-week trial period is common practice for many SaaS providers. For companies that sell SaaS B2B or have products with multiple tiers and added complexity, this trial period length could be a good sweet spot. While 14 days is still relatively short, it is enough time for a user to explore various features and benefits of the product while being brief enough to not hold up the sales process.
30-day trial period: For companies that have more complex offerings, or who take an enterprise approach to selling, an extended month-long trial could be a better option. Additionally, if there are various stakeholders who need to buy-off on the implementation of a product, having a longer trial period can be useful.

Regardless of how long your offer period is, it’s important to maintain regular communication with your prospects while they are trying your product. By checking in with them during the trial period, you can hear their feedback real-time, and you can keep them engaged and interested in the product. For many trial offers, buyers are left on their own to explore making it easy to lose momentum.

In addition to staying in contact with your trial users, the trial period can provide valuable insight on their usage and behavior patterns which can give you a good indication of how likely they are to buy, and how they would use the software after purchasing.

6. Provide Valuable Demos: The last thing you want to do is create an information overload situation for your prospects who participate in demos. For SaaS providers, the ability to conduct an effective demo is incredibly important.

A good demo should demonstrate the value your product can offer the buyer, not overwhelm them with redundant information about features. One of the best ways you can prepare for demos is to begin by researching the buyer and understanding what problem they want your software to solve. When you know what they’re looking for, you can walk your prospect through hypothetical scenarios that are relevant to them, clearly demonstrating the value of your software and how using it will make their life easier.

Aim to make your demos as straightforward as possible, walking the prospect through simple ways they can receive the most benefit from using your product, and leaving plenty of time for any questions they may have.

7. Leverage Annual Plans: Many SaaS companies charge customers on a monthly subscription model to use their product. Though that’s a great way to bring in recurring revenue, including an annual subscription model can be a helpful strategy for pulling in more funds upfront and improving customer retention.

By encouraging buyers to prepay for a year of your software at a discounted rate, it can provide necessary cash for your business and decreases the likelihood for cancellation.


7. SaaS Sales Metrics

SaaS salespeople are held to demanding metrics. But which one’s matter? Jason Lemkin, co-founder of two successful SaaS businesses, founder of the SaaStr Blog, and arguably the godfather of SaaS, warns, “Don’t obsess over sub metrics, but obsess over the key metrics that tie into your revenue growth.”

Here are a few key metrics SaaS salespeople should obsess over.

1. Churn: Your churn rate is the percentage at which you lose customers on an annual or yearly basis. To calculate churn, divide the number of customers you’ve lost by the number of customers you started with. It’s worth noting that a negative churn is a good thing — meaning you gained more customers than you lost.

2. Net Promoter Score: Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer experience and predicts business growth. Users answer relevant questions using a 0-10 rating scale. For example, “How happy are you with [insert SaaS name]?”

A score between 0-6 would label your customer a “detractor” who’s unhappy with your brand and could stunt growth with negative reviews or word of mouth. A score of 7-8 means your customer is “passive.” They’re satisfied with your product but might be vulnerable to competitive poaching.

And if a customer scores you between 9-10, you’ve got a “promoter” on your hands. This person is a loyal enthusiast, likely to be a continued customer and refer new business.

To calculate your NPS — which ranges from -100 to 100 — subtract your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters.

If you have a low NPS, it matters less how much business you’re bringing in, because your customers are likely churning at an alarming rate. A high NPS, however, signals satisfied customers and the potential for sustainable growth.

3. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): This is the income your company knows will arrive every 30 days. A monthly fee is agreed upon in the contract between client and SaaS provider, and the amount is paid on or by a certain date.

4. Annual recurring revenue (ARR): This metric is often used by SaaS and other subscription-based businesses. The annual recurring revenue (ARR) represents the value of recurring revenue your client agrees to pay over or on an annual basis.

5. The number of sales qualified leads: A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a potential buyer who data indicates is ready to talk to a salesperson. This doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy, but they’ve taken a series of actions that predicts an inclination to learn more.

The definition of a qualified lead will differ depending on your solution, audience, and sales cycle. Salespeople often rely on IBM’s BANT system for identifying SQLs. BANT simply asks if your lead has the budget, authority, needs, and timeline to buy. If so, it’s time to reach out.

6. Lead velocity rate: How quickly are your leads growing month over month? Even if MRR growth is steady, this might only indicate how you’re doing in the moment, instead of forecasting future growth.

The lead velocity rate shows reps whether leads are coming in faster than revenue, which allows you to calculate growth, goals, and milestones further out.

7. Revenue per lead: By measuring the revenue each rep brings in per lead, you can estimate an accurate number of leads a rep can manager before productivity suffers. Look beyond the MRR and improve or maintain rep performance.

8. Customer acquisition cost: Divide the total cost of Sales and Marketing by the number of deals closed to learn your customer acquisition cost (CAC). This number will be lower for companies using a transactional sales model and higher for organizations focused on enterprise sales.

If your customer acquisition cost is too high, you might be scaling too quickly. If you have a low CAC, look at areas where you can invest in growth or increase revenue.

9. Closed won/lost: A deal is marked “closed-won” when a contract is signed or payment is rendered. Alternately, if a prospect selects another solution, you might mark this deal “closed-lost.”

It’s important to study the number of closed-won and -lost deals. These metrics are closely tied to overall revenue numbers, but figuring out a rep’s ratio of closed-won to closed-lost deals can signal their overall efficiency, success, and fitness for the job.

10. Demo-to-trial ratio: If your SaaS requires a demo, carefully track how many of those presentations turn into trials — and how many of those trials turn into closed-won deals. If the conversion is low, address weaknesses in your demo, trial, or closing protocol.

SaaS selling has the potential to be an exciting, highly lucrative career. It requires dedication, patience, and training, but if you put in the time, you’ll reap the rewards. Think a career in SaaS is right for you?

Read more: blog.hubspot.com

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Key Subjects of Study for Entrepreneurs

When you’re building your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day activities involved in entrepreneurship, from everyday sales and customer service tasks through to product design, admin and more.

However, you shouldn’t forget to keep learning, too. The top business leaders around the world are those with a growth mindset and belief in the power of continual learning. There are many topics that can help you be the best entrepreneur possible. Read on for some of the subjects you should consider studying, either at university or via short courses, to expand your knowledge and skill set today.

Finance and Accounting

When you have your own business, one of the most important things to do to keep it thriving is ensure cash flow stays under control. As such, all entrepreneurs need to have a good understanding of finance and accounting. You must be able to set and stick to a budget, keep track of expenses, prepare and read key reports, make realistic sales and profit projections, see where to cut costs and most efficiently spend money and so on.

You should study finance and accounting, so you can learn about how to get access to capital to start and grow your business. Knowledge in this area will also help you work with different currencies and trade overseas as required. It’s helpful to understand how the effects of micro and macro-economic decisions made by local and overseas governments can impact you, too.

Most business owners plan to outsource their finance and accounting tasks to third-party accountants, advisors or in-house team members. However, even if you do this, you must still have your head wrapped around key elements, so you can make effective decisions for your organization — and avoid being taken advantage of by anyone you pay to handle these sorts of tasks for you.

The Mind

Next, consider that many elements of business success come down to having a good understanding of human nature and how the brain works. If you want to become the best entrepreneur you can be, then it pays to learn about the mind. Whether you take some basic psychology classes or enroll in an entire online social work degree or similar, it’s worth it to ensure you get an idea of the different drives, inspirations, desires, fears and various complexities that drive us.

Once you’ve studied how the human mind operates, you will be better equipped to motivate yourself, deal with challenges and emotions and become more productive. It will prepare you to inspire and lead your staff members and to design or select products or services that your target customers will want to buy.

Understanding psychology will also help you better create your business brand and to market your wares effectively. Plus, it will be very beneficial when you’re trying to convert leads into more sales. Having a good idea about human nature will also assist you when it comes time to choose the right employees and to generate interest in your business from investors and lenders.

Computer Science

Lastly, in this technology-focused world, it’s more important than ever for entrepreneurs to have at least a basic understanding of computer science and related information technology topics. More and more aspects of business are becoming computerized and digitized, so owners and managers must be able to keep up.

For starters, having skills in this area will make it possible for you to create the best website for your venture and to utilize software programs to run your business productively. In addition, you’ll be able to take advantage of Big Data and analytics programs to do things like cut costs, streamline processes, observe trends, train your team well, hire the best new employees, create personalized offers for customers and more.

On a bigger-picture level, having knowledge of computer science might also be what helps you imagine a new product or service idea that disrupts a whole industry and launches your business into the stratosphere. For inspiration, just look at the founders and CTOs of some of the biggest tech firms in the world these days, like Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon, Angry Birds, Google, Basecamp and Evernote. It was their training and interest in the field of computer science led them to develop apps, games and other programs which created billion-dollar businesses and changed the way many people work, live and play today.

The post Key Subjects of Study for Entrepreneurs appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

Read more: personalbrandingblog.com

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30 Mobile Marketing Statistics to Inspire Your Strategy

Tablets and smartphones have taken over the marketplace.

If you’re not prepared to connect with your audience on these devices, you’re missing out on one of the greatest opportunities to grow your business in the digital age.

Don’t take our word for it though. Let’s review our comprehensive list of mobile marketing stats along with the benefits of mobile marketing and ways to launch mobile marketing strategies.

What Is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is a digital marketing technique that encompasses multiple channels and focuses on appealing to mobile device users. The goal of mobile marketing is to provide prospects and customers with personalized, local, and fast information so they can get what they need at any time, especially when they are on the go.

Mobile marketing includes digital ads that appear on smartphones, social media, tablets, or other devices. Each ad may show up differently and can be customized according to the marketing channel a businesses wishes to display the ad on.

As you can imagine, engaging with your target audience through mobile channels comes with a ton of advantages.

The Benefits of Mobile Marketing

People love convenience. Mobile devices provide that convenience by making it easy to search, shop, and consume various forms of media from wherever we are.

Effective marketing strategies find where the people are spending their time. That place is their mobile devices.

Here are some of the top benefits of mobile marketing with stats to back up the claims:

It Reaches a Broader Market.

People like to share posts, emails, and videos with their friends and family. This means your mobile content has the potential to go viral.

This gives you a lot more exposure at no extra cost. It also helps you reach a broader audience that may be outside of your typical target audience.

It’s Easy to Track Progress.

Another notable advantage of mobile marketing is the ability to track your progress through analytics tools that are often included within each mobile marketing channel.

via GIPHY

For instance, Instagram and Facebook have real-time analytics for you to track and view that display plenty of demographic information as well as engagement dates and times. This helps you create more targeted ad campaigns in the future using the data you collect.

It Is Cost Effective.

One of the most important advantages of mobile marketing is its affordability and low impact to your marketing budget. Mobile allows you to target your ads to people who want to see them, and if they don’t work, you can stop the ad and reduce the amount of money you would’ve spent otherwise.

Other forms of advertising don’t give you the option to stop campaigns when you want to. That’s because you have to pay for upfront costs. Many social media ads allow you to post your digital ad and pay as you go.

It’s Easy to Access Your Audience.

We can agree that our phones are by our sides most of the day. According to Pew Research Center, 37 percent of adults in the U.S. report using their phone primarily for accessing the internet, with 81 percent of Americans owning a smartphone.

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This shows you that focusing on mobile advertising is a great investment so your campaigns can easily be accessed and seen by your users wherever, whenever.

It Encourages Social Media Engagement.

Individuals who access their social media through their mobile device are more likely to comment, read, like, or share content posted by a company than individuals who access social media from a desktop computer.

In fact, 46 percent of smartphone users like posts from a brand they follow about once a week, and only 37 percent of desktop users engage in the same way.

Marketing Statistics That Prove Why Mobile Marketing Works

Mobile is here to stay. The number of people relying on their mobile devices to meet their computing needs is growing.

As smartphone and tablet use continues to grow, mobile marketing is becoming a more important element in every inbound marketing strategy. If you’re beginning a campaign, or are planning on directing more of your budget to mobile, here are some statistics to consider.

Marketing Statistics for Mobile Use and Growth

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1. 80 percent of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile sites or apps that help them easily answer their questions (makeawebsitehub).
2. 62 percent of users accessed the internet using their mobile phones in 2020 (Quoracreative).

Phones make it extremely easy to access the internet from wherever we are. People know this and they make use of it.

3. 75 percent of Americans admit they bring their phone into the bathroom (Digiday).

We’re more attached to our phones than ever before.

4. 40 percent of shoppers consult three or more channels before making a purchase (Mark2Media).

Consumers will stand in your shop and check prices on their device before committing! This number is up from just two percent in 2002.

5. 90 percent of consumers use their smartphone for shopping (Comscore).

Smart retailers are offering discounts and coupons targeted to these shoppers.

6. Mobile drives 23 percent of clicks on paid search (Gartner).

Mobile use is driving the PPC segment as well as general search.

7. By 2019, average daily media consumption on mobile surpassed desktop media consumption by 37 percent (Broadband Search).

People consume media like podcasts, news articles, blogs, and videos from their mobile devices more often than they do on a desktop.

8. Average smartphone users used their phones for more than four hours a day.

Mobile users are generally farther along in the buying process and ready to buy as opposed to those researching on a desktop or laptop.

9. Mobile commerce is expected to rise at a 25.5 percent compound annual growth rate from 2019 (Business Insider).

By 2024, 44 percent of all ecommerce will be mobile.

10. 50 percent of people start using their smartphones before they brush their teeth in the morning (Quoracreative).

Most people’s mornings start off with their smartphones. They scroll social media, text, check their email, shop, and consume other media right when they wake up.

Marketing Statistics for Mobile Advertising Spending

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Marketers recognize the importance of mobile for their overall advertising efforts. As a result, spending on mobile advertising is anticipated to continue to grow into the future.

Here are stats that address mobile advertising spending:

11. In 2019, worldwide mobile advertising spending equaled $189 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to amount to more than 240 billion dollars by 2022 (Statista).

Mobile advertising has been growing excessively over the past few years, but it is projected to slow down by 2022.

12. Google and Facebook were expected to capture 60.3 percent of mobile ad dollars in 2020 (eMarketer).

Google and Facebook are the powerhouses of mobile ads. Most companies choose to place their mobile ads on their platforms.

13. 70 percent of mobile users report disliking mobile ads (HubSpot).

Mobile ad blocking has risen 90 percent year-over-year.

14. 33 percent of consumers skip search engines and go directly to the site they want (Smart Insights).

This statistic is why it makes sense to increase content creation to make it easy for your potential buyers to find you.

15. 73 percent of searches for businesses are for food and beverage, and 68 percent are sports or health related (Net Gain SEO).

If your business is in one of these industries, your advertising dollars would be well spent on mobile.

Mobile Marketing Statistics for Social Media and Email

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Mobile devices and social media go together. As we become more of an “immediate” society, mobile devices allow us to communicate with family and friends as events unfold.

16. 80 percent of social media time is spent on mobile devices (comScore).

Make sure your social content looks good on mobile devices. People are more likely to view it on a mobile device than on a desktop.

17. Pinterest is the most mobile friendly social network, and 64 percent of referral traffic comes from mobile devices (Mobile Marketing Watch).

Facebook and Twitter get plenty of mobile traffic but if you’re targeting mobile users, look at Pinterest as well.

18. Mobile email opens have grown by 180 percent in the last three years (Email Monday).

If your subscribers aren’t opening your marketing emails on their device, the problem lies with you.

19. About 60 percent of emails are opened on mobile (Campaign Monitor).

Depending on the industry that is sending the emails, most of them are opened on mobile devices.

20. 70 percent of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device (Blue Hornet).

Yet another reason to render your emails for mobile devices.

21. 79 percent of people use their smartphone for reading emails. This is higher than the percentage of people using their phones for making calls (Email Monday).
Marketing Statistics for Mobile App Users

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Optimizing your content for mobile is a smart strategy that can help to increase mobile engagement.

To add another level of mobile user engagement, create an application. App use is growing among consumers, and having a proprietary app can increase leads, sales, and engagement.

22. Mobile users spend 87 percent of their time on their apps, as compared to just 13 percent of their time on the web (Comscore).

People are using their apps on their phone far more than using their mobile browsers. This is why app development is still a major focus for so many businesses.

23. Two-thirds of internet users report using mobile apps for shopping (Datareportal).

Mobile apps for shopping have risen in popularity in recent years. Apps are often more responsive, and some brands provide their customers with awesome rewards when they shop with them.

24. 89 percent of mobile browsing time occurs in apps (NetGain).

Only 11 percent of mobile browsing occurs in mobile web browsers.

25. 46 percent of shoppers are less likely to shop around if using a company’s mobile app (socPub).

A mobile app can instill trust in users and make them more likely to remain loyal to a brand.

Misc. Mobile Marketing Statistics

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26. Mobile browsing peaks during off hours (NetGain).

Most web browsing happens on desktop and laptop computers during the nine to five.

27. 57 percent of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website (socPub).

Take the time to optimize your website for mobile or you’ll lose business.

28. Over half of smartphone users grab their device immediately when they wake up (Express Pigeon).
29. A recent survey by Salesforce found that 58 percent of respondents had dedicated resources specifically for mobile marketing (Salesforce).

Mobile marketing is so powerful that companies are specifically dedicating resources to develop this area of their inbound strategy. Mobile is here to stay and should be a component of every inbound marketing strategy.

30. 48 percent of mobile research begins on a mobile search engine (NetGain).

Thirty three percent starts on a branded website, and 26 percent starts on branded apps. So SEO remains critically important when creating content.

Make sure that you always follow best practices when creating content, as well as when optimizing content for mobile.

5 Types of Mobile Marketing Strategies

Here are five key mobile marketing strategies you may consider adopting before you launch your new mobile marketing campaigns:

1. Voice Search Optimization

Smart devices with voice search have made their way into many people’s homes. Many people use these devices to search for the things they need so they can contact a business or find out its location.

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It is projected that a little more than half of all households will own voice-enabled technology by 2022. This is good news for your business because voice search can drive sales.

2. QR Codes

QR codes are a game changer in mobile marketing. The QR stands for “quick response,” which takes away the need for your prospects to search for your site or navigate your site to find what they need.

Instead, they can scan your QR code using their smartphone’s camera to be taken to a listing or some other item on your website right away.

This can help speed up your site if you have a lot of data to transmit, which makes it more accessible for mobile users. You can generate QR codes through a sites like Kaywa.

3. Location-Based Marketing

Location is everything for real estate agents and for marketers. Leverage the use of location-based marketing in your mobile marketing strategy to increase your customer base and engagement.

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One location-based technique is geofencing, which allows businesses with a mobile app to target mobile users in a certain area. This is great for brick-and-mortar stores as well as ecommerce sites that provide local suggestions, such as travel services or food delivery.

4. Social Media Advertisements

Social media is kind of a big deal. As you saw in the social media stats above, most people are actively involved in one or more social media channels. It remains a leading marketing channel for small businesses and startups to focus on.

Selecting the right social media channels to promote your business on is essential to the success of a social media ad campaign. Conduct A/B tests to find out which platforms get you the best results.

Social media is a great place to showcase your brand story and to display posts that feature your product and the lifestyle your product or service inhabits.

Adopting a social media marketing strategy can increase your sales. About 76 percent of people have purchased something because a brand they are interested in featured it in a social media post.

5. Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing campaigns have a phenomenal open rate because most people read them within a couple minutes of receiving them. In fact, people read around 100 percent of the text messages they receive.

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A great text message marketing campaign starts with providing your customers and prospects with the option to opt in to messages.You can often entice them with some sort of discount or perk if they opt in for text messages.

In fact, digital coupons or sales sent through text are used 10 times more often than coupons from other marketing methods. This is a great way to boost your conversion rate and get more sales.

5 Steps to Launch Your Mobile Marketing Strategies

Don’t let the large amount of mobile marketing strategies discourage you from getting started with your new marketing techniques. With these five steps, you can launch your mobile marketing strategies with ease.

1. Understand Your Target Audience.

There are so many mobile marketing strategies out there that can benefit your business, but not every strategy will work well with your target audience. That is why you must first understand what mobile platforms your audience engages with the most before you can launch your mobile marketing strategies.

You can understand your target audience by collecting data from analytics tools or surveys that detail how, where, and when they engage with mobile devices, apps, and other mobile platforms most often.

Use the information you collect to select which mobile strategies to launch first.

2. Set Mobile Friendly Goals.

The key to any successful marketing strategy lies in defining the end goal. You must set the right goals before you launch your marketing strategy.

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For instance, if your current sign-up process is long and difficult for users, they may end up bouncing from your site. One of your goals can be to increase sign ups by offering shorter forms that are mobile friendly and by allowing social login through Facebook or another social media platform.

3. Build a Mobile Friendly Website.

If you want to have a successful mobile marketing strategy, you must have a mobile friendly website that is responsive across various mobile devices.

Most site visitors’ first impression of your site is on mobile when they are searching for basic information, like your business address, contact details, and to get a general idea of your pricing.

A website that is not mobile responsive typically has higher bounce rates because it may be slow or fail to engage site visitors altogether. This may cause a drop in search rankings and traffic.

A mobile friendly site is user friendly, simple, and optimized for different screen sizes.

4. Focus on Mobile SEO.

You probably already know the importance of SEO to drive your overall website traffic, but mobile SEO requires some more steps that go beyond traditional search engine optimization.

For instance, you can optimize for mobile by including local SEO. Mobile users often search for information when they are out and about. This means your business should be easily discoverable for geo-specific search queries, such as “near me.”

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Search engines like Google also reward you for simply having a speedy mobile ready site. Consider optimizing your site for speed to take advantage of this perk.

5. Experiment and Adapt.

Mobile marketing strategies require you to think differently about your approach than if you were applying traditional methods. They often require you to adapt to the market changes and dynamics that come along with mobile technology.

This can be a great thing for your marketing strategy since it provides you with ample opportunity to test out your innovative campaigns and ideas in the market. Evaluate your experimental campaigns by using real-time analytics from different marketing channels to evaluate the campaign’s performance.

Then you can modify your marketing efforts accordingly to make them more effective.

Marketers are increasingly optimizing and focusing on mobile marketing as a growth area. In fact, the majority of resources spent on digital marketing is being directed toward mobile.

It only makes sense. More people prefer reading emails, engaging with their social networks, and beginning research on their mobile devices, and this number will only continue to grow.

The growth of mobile is being driven by the numbers. These statistics can help illustrate the many reasons why you need to develop mobile as a major segment of your inbound strategy. Luckily, the statistics show that investing in mobile marketing can pay off big for most businesses.

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Minecraft Dungeons Getting Fully Optimized Touch Controls for Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

The Minecraft franchise has actually constantly promoted the concept that players must have the ability to play their preferred video games on the gadget of their option without jeopardizing quality or experience. Today, we’’ re thrilled to share that Minecraft Dungeons is taking an action in that instructions by introducing with cloud video gaming on Android tablets and phones tomorro w through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate .

While many people will start their cloud video gaming journey by connecting a phone to a controller with a clip, lots of in the mobile video gaming neighborhood have actually informed us they desire touch controls. Minecraft Dungeons will launch by means of cloud video gaming with fully-optimized, native touch controls and a revamped UI to make it simple to browse the stock or in-game menu on a smaller sized screen. We’’ ve likewise produced brand-new overlays and customized designs to enhance the video game for touch. These optimizations will guarantee the actions gamers take the most (relocation, melee, varied attack, roll/dodge) remain in the most user-friendly areas on screen. The experience will make Minecraft Dungeons seem like it was created particularly for mobile, bringing a level of familiarity to those who’’ ve been playing mobile video games or Minecraft on a phone or tablet for many years.

With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, gamers can get on their mobile phone and play online co-op mode with their good friends on Xbox One. Later on this year, when Minecraft Dungeons makes it possible for cross-platform play, mobile gamers will likewise be able to sign up with forces with good friends on Windows PC and other consoles.

Microsoft’’ s vision for cloud video gaming is to offer you with option in how and when you play video games. Starting September 15, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in 22 nations will delight in the flexibility to play more than 100 video games on their Android smart phones and tablets through the cloud. As we believe about methods to produce a distinct video gaming experience for each person, it’’ s about more than simply the gadget they play on; we desire to provide more option in how the video game is played.

This is simply the start: the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate group will continue to deal with designers to include touch to a lot more titles right after cloud video gaming goes survive on September 15. We couldn’’ t be more fired up to deal with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to provide this experience for Minecraft Dungeons to the video gaming neighborhood. We anticipate gathering feedback from the Minecraft Dungeons neighborhood in the continuing and coming weeks to supply more methods to play.

.Related: Coming Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Cloud Gaming, Destiny 2, Night in the Woods, Company of Heroes 2, and More Cloud Gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Launches with More Than 150 Games This Week on Xbox: September 11, 2020 .

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Welcome to the Future of Work

The future of work was expected to be something that was constantly coming however never ever got here. Idea professionals and leaders would speak about the ‘‘ future of work – ’ as an idea– absolutely nothing more than a gadget to assist us much better prepare to jump into the next chapter of our life and organisation. And yet in March of 2020, with what appears like little caution, the future of work got here, right away altering the video game for millions over night. With self-isolation and physical distancing standards setup throughout America and all over the world, workplace doors have actually been locked, and the 2017 video of the BBC father whose child notoriously marched into the frame is now more relatable than ever.

Well, we’’ ve lastly handled to shave a long time off the early morning commute, which now includes strolling from our cooking area to the when ignored extra bedroom/storage closet/home workplace. With diversions are plentiful, be it kids, household, or your attention-seeking dachshund, we’’ ve all needed to change. Apptopia reported that Zoom now has 15.3 million day-to-day users (about two times the population of LA, NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas and Phoenix, integrated). This almost quintuples the variety of users on the platform this time in 2015. Video chat is increasing and in-person connection falling off a high cliff, like Mufasa in Lion King.

Here’’ s what the last couple of weeks have actually taught us about the office of tomorrow:

.1. Work is determined by outcomes, not time.

Gone are the days of the 9 to 5 work environment. Consider the single mommy that is dressing, feeding, and arranging her kids, while attempting to look after herself and her work. Among her kids isn’’ t getting the mathematics idea and she has actually simply leapt in to assist. The soup on the range is boiling over and she’’ s no place near the computer system at 11:30 AM. After a busy day, she’’ s got the kids to bed and the last load of laundry in prior to heading back to the computer system to complete the report prior to the virtual conference tomorrow early morning. It didn’’ t matter whether the work got done at 2:00 PM or 10:00 PM, it simply mattered that it got done, and was succeeded.

 future of work

.2. Construct trust by keeping track of development.

If a worker is dealing with a report in self-isolation and no one is around to witness it, did it even take place? Yes, much like the tree in the forest it made a noise and you simply missed it. With a great deal of working experts now required to be working from house, routine group gathers and check-in calls can assist leaders track development and more notably assist staff members feel acknowledged and valued. No one likes a helicopter supervisor, however when it concerns keeping a remote group empowered keep in mind the 3 A’’ s: Be conscious, friendly and readily available. Without these, it’’ s hard to track tasks and preserve relationships. In order to continue developing trust, concentrate on tracking development. The work environment of tomorrow will see remote work as a typical practice, not an exception, and will have the ability to keep track of development and develop trust as an outcome.

.3. Work life combination will be much more popular.

Are they using trousers? We’’d like to believe so however can’’ t be’too sure. What we ’ re recognizing is that individuals are individuals and the concept of excellence is gone. Excellent riddance. The previous weeks have actually required us to take our masks of excellence off. Without time to get ready for the shift from workplace to house, we’’ ve all seen untidy houses and houses, kids running around in the background, unidentifiable sounds that are forgiving however annoying, and the odd stain on a t-shirt. The forgivingness we’’ re seeing today will assist form the work environment of tomorrow and permit individuals to do their finest when they can, nevertheless they can. Work and life will be even more combined due to the fact that of this. On our group calls, we’’ ll be presented to animals, kids, and loved ones bringing a lot more humankind to the brand-new workplace. This much better understanding of each other’’ s lives will end up being a structure for even much better compassion and neighborhood being constructed in the future as we won’’ t simply be the specialists we are; we’’ ll be a member of a household, owner of a family pet, and a human.

 how to keep remote staff members engaged

.4. Virtual conferences and conferences will increase.

Finally, we’’ ll see that since more individuals have the ability to work from another location, flexibly, and by themselves time, that virtual occasions and connection with individuals will be valued more than we’’ ve seen prior to. We’’ ll see a range of smaller sized virtual group occasions, interdepartmental conferences, and market expos contributed to calendars. This development in the virtual occasions sector will enable individuals the chance to link and connect with individuals they ’ ve been dealing with regularly, share finest practices, and reinforce relationships. These virtual occasions will be partly academic, however mainly a chance to commemorate, link, and share.

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If there is something we ’ ve gained from the previous couple of weeks, it is’that these unmatched times have actually accelerated what we believed the future of work was going to appear like. We ’ ve found out that we can rely on individuals, that they can get their’work done from anywhere, which in-person connection and neighborhood is yearned for. If something is clear, it ’ s that we ’ re well on our method to a more lively, inclusive’and linked office culture.

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To find out more about my ideas on the future of work, take a look at my webinar recording, “ The Evolution of Connection and Need for Belonging . ”

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How To Design Mobile Apps For One-Hand Usage

How To Design Mobile Apps For One-Hand Usage

How To Design Mobile Apps For One-Hand Usage

Maitrik Kataria

2020-02-20T11:00:00+00:00
2020-02-20T12:07:18+00:00

On Friday, January 2007 the world shrank into our palms as three revolutionary products — the iPod, a phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator — were unified to create the smartphones we know and love today.

Steve Jobs on One-Handed UX

The first iPhone introduced in 2007 marked the fall of Qwerty keypad and stylus. (Large preview)

iPhone was built to be comfortably used for one-handed operation, allowing for a smoother thumb movement across the screen.


Steve Jobs once said that the 3.5-inch screen is the “perfect size for consumers” and that larger screens are foolish.

Smartphone Shipments Worldwide by Screen Size from 2015 to 2021

(Large preview)

But it wasn’t until the turn of the last decade that phablets gained popularity owing to their bigger screens, so much so that less than 1% devices sold today had smaller than 4-inch screens.


90% of the smartphones sold today have bigger than 5-inch displays.

In the meantime, this goldrush for bigger-the-better presented app makers and designers with opportunities to utilize the screen real estate to serve more content and functions.

For instance, the CNN App was among the few who got early access to iPhone 5 introduced in 2012. The developers not only gave it an aesthetic transformation but also designed a reader-friendly, visually-appealing experience that made headlines stand out.

Evolution of Thumb Zone in UX UI Design

Adapted from Phil Schiller’s keynote at Apple’s Special Event 2012. (Large preview)

With Bigger Screens, The Ease Of Access And Reachability Suffer

While bigger screens are great for showing more content, the #1 design consideration of Steve Jobs for making 3.5-inch phones suffers — designing for one-handed usage.

In his 2-month-long research — at airports, streets, cafes, on buses and trains — Steven Hoober shed light on the three ways users hold their phones.

How People Hold and Interact with Mobile Phones

(Large preview)


49% of users hold their phones with one-hand specifically while they are on the go.

Making a strong case for designing apps for one-handed usage. Steven also found that users frequently alter their grip based on their comfort and situation.

Why Designing For One-Handed Usage Should Become The Top Priority For App Makers

We use our phones a great deal when we are preoccupied or in a hurry. This greatly impacts how users hold their phones and how they use the apps resulting in a lot more of one-handed-usage than the 49% number suggested above.

Research suggests that an average user checks their phones for as many as 58 times a day out of which 70% of mobile interaction lasts less than 2 minutes.


We use our phones in “distracted short-burst usage”.

Image Credit: Rescue Time. (Large preview)

A team of researchers at Simform observed usage and behavior of short-burst sporadic usage in multiple scenarios such as:

When Users Use Mobile Apps

Example cases of short-burst usage (Large preview)

Google’s Product Director, Luke Wrobleski, terms these short bursts as ‘one thumb, one eyeball’ mobile-usage experience. It reflects how a distracting environment forces users to engage in single-handed usage within short spans of partial attention. He further adds that the most optimal type of smartphone usage with a single hand is one where quick interaction is supported by smooth functionality.

How To Design For Keeping These One-Handed Short-Burst Usages In Mind?

The answer is rather simple. Do continuous usability testing and study different ways your users hold their phones in various situations.

If the users of your app tend to use the app a lot in distracting scenarios, then you should focus on designing patterns that target reachability and one-handed use.

Two Methods of Holding a Touchscreen Phone with One Hand

(Large preview)

Let’s take a look at the evolution of Spotify’s interface to get a perspective of the problem:

Thumb Zone for Mobile Hamburger Menu UI

Spotify’s Old Navigation — Hamburger Menu. (Large preview)

Spotify used the Hamburger Menu at the top-left which concealed these features and set the users on a treasure hunt of sorts. With the advent of bigger screens, however, another design challenge was added to the list — reachability.

Thumb Zone for Mobile Hamburger Menu UI

Spotify — A certain level of difficulty and discomfort was experienced as users tried to communicate with the app. (Large preview)

This compelled Spotify’s team to pull down the Hamburger Menu in 2016 and lay its core features — Home, Browse, Search, Radio, and Library — at the bottom that resulted in an increase of 9% clicks in general and 30% on menu items.

Use Established UX Patterns For Common App Usage Scenarios To Make One-Handed Usage Easy

Why reinvent the wheel? When you can use proven UX patterns that work. Many designers have already focused on one-handed usage as their designing principle.

We have gone through hundreds of apps and thousands of patterns to find the best patterns one-handed usage in mind. So let’s look at what works, what problems are solved, and what benefits you will get out of these.

We divide the most common user behaviors and UX patterns in six categories:

Navigation UX Patternse.g. menu bars, tab bars, and, gestures for easily moving between the most important sections of the app;
Designing For ActionsCreating, editing, posting, adding, removing, and other actions users take to utilize the core functionality of the app;
Shopping, Transactional And Checkout Flow Design Patterns
Searching, Sorting, And Filtering Patterns for when users want to quickly find or browse content;
Input And Interaction PatternsSliders, pickers, selectors, dropdowns, form fills, zooming, scrolling that make up the building blocks of any app;
Miscellaneous PatternsMedia playback, photo capture, photo editing, and map navigational patterns.

1. Designing App Navigation Keeping ‘One-Handed Usage’ In Mind

What Is It?

The foundation of a great app is a good navigation design. Good navigation helps users discover the features faster and find what’s important to them.

70% of users discover features of the app using navigation links compared to search or other ways. Navigation bars, menus, gestures, links, tabs, etc are the most common navigation UX patterns.

A good navigation design should have all the important sections right upfront and easily accessible.

Challenges

Common UX patterns like Apple’s tab bar and Google’s swipeable menu have limitations. You can put only a limited number of features in the tab bar and to access all of the swipeable menu items is not easy.

Users shouldn’t have to struggle to reach an important part of the app by stretching to the top of the screen. That’s just bad usability. Specifically, if the users are on-the-go and are using the app in a short burst.

Solution

Facebook and many other apps solve this challenge by putting items in a tab icon called More or Menu from where users can access more features and sections of the app. This, however, is not ideal for reachability and one-handed use.

Use the flyout menu instead of a full-page menu for reachability and fitting in more than 5 items.
Expanded tab bar for when you have more content.
Personalized tab bar for power users to quickly access what they like.
Use gestures to imbibe ease-of-access in users’ habits.
Getting back and closing a page should be easy as well.
Quickly jumping to a section of the page with smart UX patterns

Facebook, for instance, conceals numerous features in a Hamburger Menu that declutters the main screen. Although this inclusion has a cleaner and more organized appeal, users suffer from one-handed reachability.

1.1 What makes the Hamburger Menu a REAL Problem?

Use Flyout Menu Instead Of A Full-Page Menu For Reachability

Thankfully, we have a way to resolve this challenge —

Full-page menus can be replaced with flyout menus, which like the name suggests ‘fly-out’ from the bottom. This allows for easier access to the options even with one hand.

1.2 Mobile UX Patterns for Flyout Menu Designs (Video Credit: Joox)

Expand The Tab Bar For When You Have More Content

Human Interface Guidelines recommend having no more than 5 features in the bottom navigation bar. This makes it tricky for app builders to present additional core functionalities at the forefront.

This is where the ‘More’ option (3 dots) comes in handy. Located at the bottom bar, it can conceal other functionalities and reveal them with a click.

1.3 Designing Bottom Navigation Bar with Expandable More Options.

Personalized Tab Bar For Power Users To Quickly Access What They Like

Every user is different and a feature that is important for one user may not be that important for the other. To make the most of your app, you can allow users to customize their tab bars with frequently used functionalities.

1.4 Personalized Bottom Tab Bar for Quick Feature-Accessibility.

Gestures Are Easy To Imbibe In Users’ Habits For Quick Navigation

Popularised by Tinder, Gesture-based navigation is a great technique to facilitate single-handed usage. Gestures if smartly used can help expand navigation for one-handed use.

1.5 Gesture-based Navigation to Access App Features.

From Designing “Getting To” To “Getting Back” Using Gestures And Accessibility

Navigation isn’t only about getting to a screen or section of the app. It is important to design for — going back to where the user came from, closing a screen, or jumping to a section on a page! Let’s look at how apps use gestures and UX patterns to do those things easily.

1.6 Using Gestures to Navigate Through Multiple Screens (Video Credit: Zenly)

Patterns For Quickly Jumping To Different Sections Of The App

Apps with many categories, subcategories, and sections such as books, wiki, restaurant menus, products may need more organization to ensure users don’t struggle with finding content.

These can be organized in a hierarchy and using UX patterns to increase accessibility and ease of use.

1.7 Floating Tab Bars and Gestures to Jump Between Sections.

2. One-Handed Patterns For Core Actions Like — Creating, Editing, Posting, Adding, Deleting And Others

What Is It?

Users spend about 50% of their mobile phone time in self-expression, social interaction, online shopping, managing finances, health and productivity, and planning upcoming events. These action-driven UX patterns include things like creating social posts, editing documents, editing, a few others.

Challenges

When designing action-driven apps, we have to ensure they don’t take the backseat. Like, having a post or creating a button at the top instead of right next to your thumb.

Solution

There are three things to keep in mind when designing the user experience of these core actions.

Core actions should grab users’ attention by the prominent placement of the icon or button. Don’t put them at the top right corner of the app where they can get buried. It should be easily reachable without needing to use second hand or overreaching.
On top of that, users should be able to finish the entire creation and addition task flow with one hand. This includes things like canceling the task, typing with keyboard opening up, moving to the next step and so on.
Designing for complex editing tasks with multi-level edit menus and controls.
With reachability as a goal, you can make sharing and sending things easy and simple too.

The Button Or Icon For The Core Task Of The App Should Draw Users In

Apps’ core tasks center around things like capturing images, creating a post, adding files, sharing, etc. It becomes necessary to have users focus on these first and make it — reachable and discoverable.

For instance, Snapchat hides everything and only incentivizes users to capture photos and videos. Also, the ‘Send’ button immediately asks users to share their stories with others.

2.1 Making Core Tasks Easily Reachable with Gestures, Flyout Menus, and Floating Tab Bars.

Breaking Up Complex Editing Tasks With Menus And Controls Designed Specifically For Mobile

For many users, mobile phones are the most used computing devices. There is a generation of users who get real work done on their mobile phones. For example, document editing is no longer a computer-only affair since a host of mobile apps offer the service.

Microsoft Word and WPS Office offer a host of editing tools and multi-level menus within thumb’s reach. These intuitive menu systems are smart and powerful allowing users to do complex operations and multiple choices.

2.2 Placing Editing Tools on the Bottom Half of the Screen for Quicker Modifications.

With Reachability As A Goal, You Can Make Sharing And Sending Things Easy And Simple Too

What amplifies our experience with our favorite music these days is the super-quick shareability options for social media, often just a click away.

You can employ a share extension that slides up from the bottom and allows users to directly type messages.

2.3 UX Patterns for Single-handed Sharing of Photos, Videos, Music, and More.

Divide Creating Or Adding Tasks Into Multiple Steps

Creating boards, favorites, and wish lists can be a drag, especially when they are placed at the top extremes. Let’s look at the patterns that handle multi-step data inputs.

Flipboard and Airbnb keep everything at the bottom and within the reach of the thumb. From typing to selecting the next steps or canceling the action is very simple.

2.4 Placing ‘Create’ and ‘Add’ Icons within the Reach of the Thumb for Smooth One-handed Usage.

3. Designing Faster Checkout And Transactional Experiences For When You Are On-The-Go

What Is It?

According to Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index, 50% of eCommerce sales happen on mobile phones. Add to that commercial transaction like booking a ride, flight, hotel room, movie tickets, and concert tickets and you realize how important designing mobile checkout experience is. A report by Baymard Institute suggested that 23% of shoppers who abandon their cart abandon it because of the complicated checkout process. This is specifically true for mobile shoppers for whom checkout is a multi-step process where inputting data is not as easy.

Challenges

The checkout process requires many inputs and careful attention from users.

Designing a one-handed checkout experience would mean users can complete the transaction with minimal thumb movement and fewer steps.
This is especially very important for users who are on the move or need to do the transaction immediately.

Solution

To design a one-handed checkout experience we have to minimize the information required from the users.

When choosing product variations like size, color, time/date and others, they should be easily accessible and discoverable.
We can use applications like Google and Apple wallet or autofill from things like Keychain, 1password, and LastPass to fill the information like names, credit cards, addresses, One-time-passwords.
We also must emphasize the simple and minimal thumb movements from the users.

Adding Items To Carts And Choosing Product Preferences At Thumb’s Reach

The logistics of shopping online can be simplified within three steps — adding items to carts, picking product variations, and completing the payment process.

As designers, it becomes essential for us to not only make these selections noticeable but also to place them within the reach of a thumb.

One way to achieve this goal is to display product variations in a tray that slides up when the user chooses an item.

Another way is to allow users to scroll through the page and quickly select variations of a product while the option to ‘Place the Order’ or ‘Buy’ stays static at the bottom.

3.1 Smooth Payment Checkout Flow With Options to Add Items and Choose Product Variations.

3.1 Adding Items to Cart for e-Commerce on On-Demand Delivery Apps. Video Credits: Shopping Choose | WE+AR TRBL | Tasty Hamburger App

Using e-Wallets And Password Managers For Swift Payment

The Payment Methods Report 2019 suggests that over 71% of online transactions are carried out via e-Wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay, Fitbit, Samsung Pay, YandexMoney, and others. These wallets are not only deemed to be faster but are also much safer and easier to access.

The checkout process can be made more efficient and straightforward. What’s more, you can also add a swipe-to-pay option for higher conversions.

3.2 UX Patterns for Payment Checkouts for e-Commerce Mobile Apps.

3.2 UX Patterns for Payment Checkouts for e-Commerce Mobile Apps. (Video Credits: SPACED Challenge (Travel + VR) | Checkout Promocode | Gamification Checkout)

4. Searching, Filtering, And Sorting Content With Reachability As The Main Goal

What Is It?

Without the right UX, finding just the right products or items can be a tedious challenge for the user. Searching, filtering, and sorting tools determine how easy or difficult it is for the user to browse the site’s product and item catalog.

Filters are a great tool to narrow down high volumes of content and to find the most relevant results.

In theory, they are different: sorting organizes the content according to a certain parameter, filtering removes it from view.

During Baymard’s Product Listings & Filtering study, it was observed that sites with an average product list usability saw abandonment rates of 67–90%. What’s more, there was about 17–33% abandonments from users trying to find the exact same types of product from e-Commerce sites with a slightly tweaked toolset. This resulted in approximately 4X increase in leads.

Challenges

Searching on mobile should be easily accessible. For example, Youtube, Amazon Prime, Slack, Google Maps make it difficult for users to reach the search menu by having them reach the top right corner.
Organizing the information hierarchy of filters as there are too many parameters and categories so that users can find what they are looking for quickly.
Manage multi-level information in UI especially when there are many categories and each category has many items.
Changing UI based on different states like “Filter is applied” and what “Filters are applied”.
All this should be accomplished by users in the reach of users’ thumb.

Solution

Use gestures or easily accessible buttons for search. When users go to the search screen give suggestions as well as open the text box immediately.
Speak the language of the users and keep users intent in mind when organizing filters. Keep the filters/sorting button near the reach of users. Also, make accessing and closing the filters menu with one hand.
To solve information complexity use either a two-step filtering control or side by side filtering control.
Apply filters immediately. Make filters interactive based on actions users take. Allow users to choose multiple options. Change filter categories to match applied filters.
Show recommendations, recently used or most frequently used information first.

For many apps, Search is one of the top 5 features used. But many app designers make reaching the search icon difficult. See the comparison below for Apple Maps vs Google Maps and Netflix vs Youtube.

UX Search Patterns for Apple Maps and Google Maps

Comparing Search Bar Reachability – Apple Maps vs Google Maps. (Large preview)

UX Search Patterns for Netflix and YouTube

Comparing Search Bar Reachability – Netflix vs YouTube. (Large preview)

Some apps use the search screen as a content discovery screen. They recommend users what they’d like, what they searched before, what’s trending and so on.

4.1 Creating a Search Page for Users to Discover Content. (Large preview)

Remove Friction And Impending Steps From Searching And Filtering

To make things really quick for users, we can make it so that when they tap on the search icon on the tab bar the keyboard immediately pops up so that users can start typing their queries immediately. See the examples of Netflix and SpotHero.

Many apps like Amazon or Google Drive use the search bar prominently at the top of the home page. In such cases, we can use gestures (swipe down) like the Inshorts app to immediately start typing instead of having to reach the top and tap on the search bar.

4.2 Searching and Filtering Made Thumb-friendly.

Double-Tap On The Search Icon To Pull Up The Keyboard

If you want to use your search page to show information to users then you can also use double-tap to pull up the keyboard like Microsoft News, Spotify, and Reddit Apollo.

4.3 Accessing Keyboard Made Easy with a Double-tap on ‘Search’ Icon.

Thumb Reachable Filter Menu Should Let Users Find Information Faster

Online shopping, booking, on-demand and other apps alike can contain a laundry list of items for users to choose from.

The biggest consideration for designing a filtering menu for small devices is the information hierarchy. Let’s look at these examples to understand how filtering and sorting can be designed when options are aplenty. These show how you can handle information complexity without letting one-handed usage suffer.

Also, filters should be responsive and reactive to users’ choices and indicate when filters are applied.

To make this process more responsive, search results can be filtered in the background simultaneously as users select the choices.

4.4 Sorting and Filtering Items on e-Commerce and On-Demand Delivery Mobile Apps.

4.4 Sorting and Filtering Items on e-Commerce and On-Demand Delivery Mobile Apps. Video Credit: Filters | Car Sharing with Friends.

5. User Input Controls Such As Forms, Pickers, Selectors, Dropdowns, Sliders That Make Up The Building Blocks Of An App

What Is It?

With smaller screens comes smaller real estate. Fundamental user interactions have to be reimagined in order to increase the productivity of mobile users.

Things like filling up forms, typing up the password, choosing date/time, making a selection, popovers had to translate well to touch interface without abandoning the metaphors of PCs.

Challenges

Inputting data on mobile devices is tedious, especially when there are a number of data fields to be filled.

Translating user interactions to smaller devices is not easy. The biggest challenges are:

Speed of user input should be very fast with minimal movement of users’ thumb.
Information should be gathered in a minimal number of steps.
The input control design should have an easily understood interface and metaphor.
The experience should be delightful and consistent.
Users must know their location and information must not be lost.

When done correctly, adding inputs in trackers, calendars, and others alike could become a short task.

Solutions

Any user action like filling up forms or making choices should be closer to the bottom. The flow of actions and choices should be consistent without any jarring UI changes.
Information needed to move ahead should be in thumb’s reach.
Data input options including notifications should be clear and near to the bottom.
Bigger forms can be divided into multi-step and multi-screen forms. This multi-screen approach should have going forward and going back very easily.

Fixing Filling Up Forms Starting With Sign-Up Forms

We all hate filling up sign up forms. They are time-consuming and ask for unnecessary information.

Filling up forms can be less laborious by turning a lengthy form into multiple screens. Using things like auto-fill, thumb reachable buttons for next and previous steps, continuous keyboard presence, and no scrolling makes this approach faster and easier.

5.1 Best Practices for Multi-Screen Onboarding Flows (Video Credit: Zenly & AirBnB)

Get Quick Input From Users With Minimal Thumb Movement

Positioning the user-input controls towards the bottom of the screen allows for quicker data entry and prompt call-to-action responses.

Use pickers, dropdowns, scrollers, and sliders to supply information to users.

5.2 One-handed User Input Controls for Accurate Form Filling (Video Credit: Periscope)

Smart Mobile Patterns For User Input Controls

Let’s look at some more patterns that make getting input from users easier.

5.3 One-handed User Input Controls for Mobile App Forms (Video Credit: Peach | Zova Workout & Fitness | Square Order)

6. Miscellaneous Patterns For Media Playback, Photo Capture, Photo Editing, And Map Navigation Patterns

With over 2 million apps on Google Store and 1.83 million apps on the App Store, it has become imperative for designers to make their apps stand out. One way to do this is to make common functions fun and smooth for users, and this final section is a round-up of miscellaneous user interactions.

6.1 Forget Pinching; These Apps Lets Users Zoom In and Out with One Thumb.

6.1 Whether it’s Selecting Emojis, Sending Images, or Listening to Audio Clips, Gestures Can Add Ease such App Interactions.

6.1 Whether it’s Selecting Emojis, Sending Images, or Listening to Audio Clips, Gestures Can Add Ease such App Interactions (Video Credit: Composer Concept | Gamification + Checkout)

Conclusion

Although reachability is a big part of it designing for one-handed usage, it is not just about ensuring everything close to users’ reach. Apps that have good one-handed use also save the time of users, remove friction, take out unnecessary steps, and most importantly focus on quickening the “distracted short burst usage” of apps.

We looked at many patterns that designers can use to solve different UX challenges. For more, you can check these websites to find patterns that help you design for one-handed use.

Smashing Editorial
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Read more: smashingmagazine.com

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