Powerful Integrated User Experiences
I’ve been thinking a lot about the different integrated user experiences I’ve been seeing in tech recently, and how much more powerful and useful they are than the feature bloat trend of years past. If a particular app has the opportunity to enhance primary use cases and flows with supportive features or services, it only makes sense to avoid users leaving to find them elsewhere, so this integrated experience strategy makes all the sense in the world.
I was recently catching up on the TechCrunch Disrupt 2018 finalists, and was especially impressed by a team’s investor pitch for an app called Mapify. Mapify is a travel planning app that allows users to discover new trip ideas based on previously mapped trips that have been shared on the platform through images and location tags. Think Instagram for travel, with the additional ability to view travel ideas and book trips directly through the app
Mapify’s approach to building a core business around integrated experiences reminded me of other recent examples, whether through acquisitions or new feature releases. Spotify added video and lyric features into their app with their Genius integration and launched personalized playlists last year and visual playlists this year. Yelp built out the ability to order delivery. Similar to Mapify’s approach, over the past couple years Airbnb has added features that allow users to add experiences and events to their itinerary, as well as find local guides. In the project management realm of tech, we’ve seen Atlassian recently announce the launch of the Jira Ops beta and the acquisition of OpsGenie, which supports their flagship product and eliminates the need for ops teams to go elsewhere for incident resolution and management.
A couple more big examples can be found in the financial technology sector, especially on mobile. Investment app Robinhood recently introduce features like category tags, analyst ratings and stock suggestions. Zelle’s peer-to-peer payment system has been seeing massive success in the world of fintech. Originally launched in 2016 and backed by a handful of large banks, including Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, the goal of the product was to offer an integrated Venmo-like experience directly within the customer’s mobile banking app and web interface. Due to the popularity of platforms like PayPal and Venmo (owned by PayPal), Zelle’s first launch announcements were met with plenty of skepticism by fintech analysts due to the incredible scale of both Venmo and PayPal. Fast forward 2 years, and the recent data on Zelle shows that it’s projected to overtake Venmo in the next quarter. According to eMarketer Forecasting Analyst Cindy Liu, “Zelle has leapfrogged the early stages of adoption by having the benefit of being embedded into the already existing apps of participating banks”.
Lessons and Takeaways
If there’s two lessons I’ve learned regarding this trend, they’d be the following:
1. Contextual features and experiences that exist externally can steal the attention of an application’s users to more nimble competitors in the market.
2. Offering strategic integrated experiences solidifies user retention and increases new user adoption.
These lessons and examples serve as a reminder that there’s still plenty of room for improving user’s experiences with supportive feature releases based on customer need and engagement. Through powerful integrated experiences, businesses preserve their customer loyalty and fend off current or future competition.
What’s your business’ next step for improving or expanding on integrated experiences for customers? Get in touch with the Solutions team today to learn how we can help make your strategic decisions based on customer data and market analysis more effective.
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