Author: Olga Petrova

What is the difference between UX and UI? Detailed explanation

Nowadays, all design-related resources are overflowing with UI and UX terms. However, not all designers know the difference between them and often use them simultaneously. That is a big mistake to make, as by misusing the term, you can mislead the other person. To avoid it, we have prepared this guide. Enjoy! 



What is UX?


The abbreviation UX stands for User Experience and is overall user emotions that arise while interacting with an App. To improve the overall experience, a UX designer should create a suitable, simple-to-use product that helps the user achieve the user app goal as quickly as possible. Therefore, let’s determine to what pay attention during this process: 


  • User Profiling – the analysis of personal user data, such as gender, age, country, interests, etc. 
  • User behavior research. How long does it take a user to find a”Buy” button? Why may the user leave the page without reaching the goal?
  • App usability. During a weak internet signal, is it convenient to use your application? Do App notifications benefit or only annoy the user?
  • Content of the App. How much information should be on the first landing screen? What text should be on the button of the App? How many words should fit on a line to make it easy to read? 

UX design is all about convenience. For example, there is a parallel with a path crossing lawns in the park. People use paths as a shortcut. The reason is simplebecause it’s more convenient and faster sometimes than a road. And the UX designer’s goal is to determine where these paths may arise and create a route in that place, along which people will be happy to walk without getting their feet dirty and preserving the lawn.



What is UI? 


The abbreviation UI stands for User Interface and overall user visual interaction with an app. UI designers focus on how the app interface elements look like—such as a menu, search, filtering on the site, and others. And overall, the goal of the UI designer is to create an aesthetic design of the product interface that visually appeals to the target audience.


Let’s see what the qualities of a UI designer are. 


  • It understands user visual perception. For example, the “Buy” button — a primary action for the user on the App, the UI designer decides what color it will be, what style of text, and how the cursor hovers will react.
  • Creation of graphic support. Pictures and illustrations are also under the responsibility of the UI designer.
  • Creation of visual continuity and versatility. The interface designer should also ensure the same behavior and display of elements in different mobile smartphones.

Let’s recall an example about a path people prefer to the sidewalk. In this case, the UI designer decides how to make the “path-road” aesthetically attractive: plant flowers along with it or decorate with tile so that the path is convenient and enjoyable to walk on.


To sum up, UX design is similar to science, where all decisions are based on numbers and patterns, unlike UI design. UI design is similar to art, where the designer focuses on the attractiveness and aesthetics of all elements.



Why is there a differentiation between UI and UX?


Technologies have appeared in our lives relatively recently. Even 20 years ago, no one would have searched for a train schedule on the Internet — they would have gone to the train station to buy a brochure. At that time, the designer had to be responsible for each step – from copywriting to website promotion literally. He had to know Photoshop, draw beautiful illustrations, be on “you” with the city’s printing houses, and be able to make up and be an excellent marketer. Literally, jack of all trades. 


Over time, digital products became more complex. First, a train schedule appeared on a website, then an application, the functions “favorite route,” personal account, bonus programs began to be added. After that, it took a much deeper dive into each stage of product creation. Too much to handle for one person. It became clear that it is more profitable for the company to hire two specialists, one of whom can build everything correctly and draw beautifully. Therefore, they are no longer looking for just a “designer” today — they need product designers, communication designers, graphic designers, mobile application designers, UI/UX designers.



Who is a UI/UX designer? 


Despite the difference between these terms, they are used more often together than separately in practice as User Interface is a User Experience tool. So these concepts actually depend on each other and mostly do not work individually — it is not practical. And unfortunately, primarily large companies can afford to hire separate UX, UI, and other specialized designers. At the same time, competition in the market obliges designers to know as much as possible. Therefore, there is a niche of generalists with average skills in several areas, and one of them is UI/UX designers. However, the desire to “be universal” can sometimes mean “less efficient.” 


Briefly


UI and UX designers deal with different aspects of the same product. The UX designer creates the system, organizes and structures the information, and the UI designer gives the system shape and color — this is how the product turns out. The UX designer focuses on how the product works, and the UI designer focuses on how it looks. It is not easy to make a product beautiful and convenient, so UI and UX specialists are in demand on the market. 


We advise you to focus on one thing and not study everything at once. If you prefer the creative aspect of the profession, rush into UI design. And if you are a fan of analytics and are ready to stay in the shadows, but it’s easier and more convenient to do things, then you should study to be a UX designer.

30 December 2021

Why Users Mute Push Notifications

Push notification appears as a text message that can help engage your audience when used correctly. It can enable you to communicate with users and remind them of the app’s existence when they’re not even using the application. However, push notifications must be created carefully to avoid being mute. So, let’s discuss why they are blocked and how to send information without getting turned off. 




User attitude to push notifications


The opinions about notifications are split. The majority of app users indeed are annoyed by push notifications. Fifty-two percent state that reminders are bothersome and distracting. However, 26 percent of app users are grateful for alerts related to their interests. Another 20% of users appreciate notifications that enhance productivity by informing important data and timely information. Therefore, many have a positive attitude to notifications. However, 52% is too large of a number to ignore.




Why do people mute notifications


The reason is apparent, too many push notifications that app users receive after downloading the app. Is it wrong to send many messages? Yes and no. There are times when sending many notifications can benefit the app. There are times when it can play a bad joke. It all depends on the strategy and the industry. Let’s discuss it in more detail about strategy. 

So, there are two approaches concerning App notification strategy: short-term and long-term. Both have their cons and pros.


  • Short-term push notification strategy

Short-term strategy pursues a goal to achieve results as fast as possible, and mainly it concerns sales. This strategy is acceptable if you plan to launch the app for a month and delete or close it after. Therefore, you can send notifications as often as you want or can. Then, even if half of the users mute the notifications, you can likely make up for the losses with a share volume. However, once again, for the short-term, it will work. After, the user or mutes all of the notifications or delete the app.

And on top of that, users will be less likely to accept notices in the future from other apps. So is it a high price to pay? All decide by themselves. We cannot judge on this matter. 


  • Long-term push notification strateg

Long-term strategy pursues a goal to achieve results with time and constant growth. This strategy is acceptable if you plan on the app’s continued development and you have a great service to share. Therefore, the best is to engage and satisfy users’ needs with your app and minimize the unfavorable actions. This strategy requires more time to re-evaluate how often to send notifications and the content of the messages. In this case, the industry plays a significant role. For example, it makes sense that users don’t want to be notified about travel deals daily or weekly if they’re only taking one or two vacations all year. In this case, it’s better to inform the users with valuable information like a discount for a flight they looked at before. As for social media, not everyone enjoys their phone buzzing every time a picture gets commented on or liked. So, think about what people want to hear from you, how often they need the messages. It enhances the user experience with your company and causes more minor damage to the app.




How to minimize the percentage of mute


Not all push notifications are bothersome. On the contrary, some users still find them helpful and valuable. To achieve this, here are the most common characteristics that help notifications not be perceived as annoying:


  • Not sent very often

How many notifications per week is considered normal? Depending on your industry, the numbers will vary slightly. However, on average, sending two or more push notifications in a week can cause 37 percent of users to mute your app. Therefore, sending one message weekly for a lower opt-out rate is better. But with that said, people are still disabling notifications if you send a little less than that. So be selective, and read forward.


  • Personalized

Studies show that personalized offers are the number one push notification type that app users want to receive. Therefore, it will be ineffective to send a mass message to all the users promoting a specific product, event, etc. It is like speaking to an actual customer. Before selling, it would be best to think about a user’s personality, interests, hobbies, and location. For example, your app is international and is in the sports industry. You are sponsoring a sports charity event in southern California. If you send notifications about this even to all users worldwide, people who live not in the USA most likely will not be interested. Even people who live in the USA, but not precisely in southern California, will be distracted and annoyed. Instead, send that push notification to users who live within reasonable walking or driving distance to the event. Let’s take another example; you have an eCommerce store app. It’s better not to send discount notifications about skirts and dresses to male users. But something more personal, like a discount on a product that the user was interested in or had purchased before. If it is not personal, it is probably irrelevant, consequently – annoying. Thus, that’s the fastest way to get users to mute your app notifications. Therefore, to avoid being disabled, try to think twice about the content that would grab the user’s attention or help him somehow. 


  • Have immediate value

Users won’t disable push notifications if they add immediate value. Some apps send necessary and timely messages based on the app’s functionality. For example, food delivery or transportation apps like Uber. If the delivery or car is in 15 minutes wait, most users won’t be waiting on the phone tracking the GPS location of their driver. That’s when apps push notifications to come in handy. By sending a notification to the user that the car has arrived, you make their life easier and add immediate value. 

Speaking about casual game apps, inform users when their life is restored, only if they opened it recently and spent some time playing. Also, if you have this kind of app, casual mobile game publishers can offer an individual app promotion approach. There are many good channels except push notifications that can boost your app. 




How to get users to turn on notifications again


Don’t worry if you found this guide after many users have muted your push notifications. If they have not abandoned the app, there is still a chance to enable app push notifications. How? With the use of other marketing channels. 

The easiest would be through an email that users use to create a profile in your app. Just send an email to inform them about discounts or gifts that you send periodically through push notifications. If they enable them, a user will receive a surprise gift. You can also promote this offer on social media, such as Instagram or Facebook. Once a user unmutes notifications, make sure not to lose them again by following our recommendations above. 




Conclusion


Push notifications are a fantastic method to communicate with your app users directly. But, unfortunately, people quickly turn off push notifications because they are already irritated by too many things in their lives. And, if you have a goal for long-term interaction with the users, it is better to think twice about the content – make it more personalized, quantity – don’t send more than one notification per week, and time when you will send notifications. Keep this information in mind, use it in your strategy, and fewer users will mute your notifications. 

19 December 2021

How To Recover the Delivery of Push Notifications

How To Recover the Delivery of Push Notifications 

In a Playcore mobile game publisher, we know by our experience that sometimes push notifications are not delivered as we would love to. There may be various reasons for that, and most of them we mentioned in the article “Why your app push notification may be undelivered.” So today, let’s discuss ways to work around them. 


  • Omni-device Engagement

From the start, marketers have two possibilities: 

  1. Sending push notifications to all active devices
  2. Sending push notifications to the last device that a user used to interact with an app

And by choosing the second option, your App reach increases instantly by 10% of deliverability and engagement.

Why is it so? A user usually interacts with a brand through multiple devices. An app holder carries up to 6 to 7 connected devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TV. Therefore, if a push notification appears only on one device, it would make user engagement with an app mainly ineffective. So, to reverse the situation, send push notifications across all user active devices that have the app installed. Especially it is essential for time-sensitive campaigns, for example, by sending a notification on a mobile phone during office hours and sending it on a tablet during break hours. It will increase its delivery and engagement rates.


  • Push Amplification

Push amplification identifies the notification delivery failure, acts as a backup, and delivers the notifications directly to App Users. How does it work? Push Amplification assigns a personal ID number to each device that after is used as an alternative delivery gateway. Therefore, it is proven to improve delivery rates by 50%, especially for most Chinese devices. Not to mention that such metrics as CTRs, retention, conversion are also enhanced.


  • Huawei 

Most Chinese companies run Stock Android using custom UIs. Hence, they have their own system of notification based on custom ROMs rather than Google’s push notifications. And recently, Huawei, which also used custom methods of a push notification, has released a new version of the Operating System – Harmoney. The issue is that old devices continue to run notifications on Android, which further challenges businesses that are trying to reach users in Harmony. An Insider is the first mobile marketing platform that solves the issue on the Huawei OS. It enables marketers to send push notifications to all the new Huawei smartphones that run on Harmony OS.


  • 3rd Party Push Services

It is a known fact that delivery rates on Chinese smartphones are as low as 20%. Because most Chinese devices reduce the background apps usage for battery life optimization, preventing sending push notifications to Users. Some Chinese OEMs have a standalone service that sends new messages from the cloud to a device in real-time, improving user engagement and awareness. These services include Huawei Push Services and Xiaomi Push Services. 


  • Batch Campaign Delivery

Push notifications are one of the main contributors to increasing instant mobile traffic. However, if an app server is not stacked up to handle a threshold of traffic instantly, then the app could undergo a temporary crash. That is a nightmare for most app developers due to a loss in revenue and blackout for your business. To prevent this, Insider (the service we mentioned before) provides a Batch Delivery feature. It divides the delivery of push notifications into groups and generates a time interval between the batches. So, for example, if you have 150K users, you can optimize to send 20K push notifications every 5 minutes. This way, the deliveries will be staggered, and there will be less possibility for a crash.  


Push notifications are a prominent way to connect with app users and increase application engagement without additional ad spending. So it’s better to make the most of push notification campaigns by ensuring all engaged users receive them at the right time and device. If these tips did not solve you question, then contact us. Playcore mobile game publisher, and we know to solve these issues by our experience. 

20 November 2021

Why your app push notification may be undelivered

Companies must cut above the noise in today’s competitive marketing landscape and connect with customers in meaningful ways. To do this, marketers need to think out-of-the-box. To reinvent the processes in which they communicate and engage with App users. 

There are a variety of channels to maximize app user engagement: SMS, email, in-app, web push notifications. Of all these, mobile push notifications are ranked among the most favored channels as they have multiple benefits for brands growth:

  • Results in CTR of up to 40%
  • Highly contextual to users
  • Cost-effective
  • Works in any niche

However, when speaking about a delivery, many face issues as not all mobile push notifications you create reach your target audience. These are primarily due to OEM restrictions, network problems, and other reasons that affect devices to cut off GCM service.


Circumstances That Affect Push Notification Delivery

Marketers must ensure that push notifications have a great delivery rate. Otherwise, ads have no benefit to anyone if it doesn’t reach the end recipient.  

Let’s discuss the most common reasons why some notifications that are successfully sent to GCM may be not delivered to every User:

1. Notification Opt-out. One of the obvious and common reasons your push notifications go undelivered is that some app users have opted out to receive this kind of content. 


2. User Activity in the app. There is no direct rule for user activity and push notification delivery. However, we noticed that users that do not use their app for more than three weeks tend not to receive push notifications. So, the more lately the app is used, the bigger the chances of reaching the Users through notifications.


3. Network Connectivity. Push notifications are under the impact of network latency. The lower it is, the higher push delivery rates. For example, mobile phones connected to 4G and Wifi have higher push delivery rates, while users on 2G or 3G are disconnected from push notification services more often. The reason is that the notification expires before reaching the Users device.


4. OS Version. Some users who use an old version of a smartphone are running on an outdated Operating System version. These include Android OS versions like Kitkat, Lollipop, and Jellybean, reporting a reduced delivery rate. In addition, due to Google’s new OS updates, Oreo also has a low delivery rate due to high battery optimization.


5. Notification Send Time Time plays an essential function in the deliverability of push notifications. When there is no connection to the Internet, GCM/FCM cannot send push notifications to Users’ devices. By the time the device restores connection, GCM can be timed-out. Consequently, the notifications are undelivered if a device is out of network in the set send time.



Most likely, you are facing issues with delivery if you are reading this article. Please proceed to “How To Improve the Reach and Delivery of Push Notifications” to solve the problems. 

 

10 November 2021

Google Play New Guideline Updates 2021

Each Android update introduces changes that bring essential security and performance enhancements and overall improve the user experience with Google Play. Today, we highlighted new guidelines of 2021 that are coming and important to know. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean you ought to take advantage of each one, but it does mean that you may have to make some adjustments in your App.

Version compliance to the new version API level 30

Google Play strives for quality and security. So it’s no surprise that the platform allows uploading apps or updating them only if they meet the most current tools and technologies. Therefore, since November 2021, please be prepared that your App should target the more current API version: in this case, it’s API level 30 or to meet behavioral changes in Android 11. By doing so, the platform is sure that you are not using deprecated technologies that have security vulnerabilities for a user. Hence, in the case of ASO, you have a greater chance of being promoted to higher positions when your App meets these criteria. Therefore we recommend updating your existing applications as well. In case if you are not planning to do so, your App in Google Play may still continue being present on the platform.


A New App set I.D. 

Historically its been a murky process of interpreting data from multiple apps from one device. Therefore, many developers skipped this part. However, from our experience, we can state that this process is also a vital part of publishing and do not underestimate it. With this kind of data, it is easier to understand user behavior and build a more robust marketing strategy. Therefore, you cannot undervalue this step. And with new updates, Google has made the life of developers and publishers a lot easier considering this issue. How? It has introduced a new app set I.D. This feature will unite data from a user about his behavior with your publishing account. So, if a user downloaded a couple or more applications you’ve personally published, the user would have its unique single I.D. with linked behavioral data. Unfortunately, the pros are that this behavioral data cannot be used for advertising purposes. Also, you need to know how to interpret this data. Therefore, if you are a beginner or individual developer, we advise publishing a mobile game with the help of someone. And we can proudly tell that we are the best publisher app for Android and are happy to offer our expertise to boost your App. 


Apps for children and families

If you have an App specifically designed for children, then this update is a must to follow. Google is taking a step forward to help better protect children in Google Play. Developers will need to optimize their apps to meet the “Designed for Children program.” By completing all the criteria, your App will:

  • be included in the Children menu tab;
  • receive “Approved by teachers” icon;
  • be recommended by Google Play.

While it does not explicitly state what will happen with apps that won’t comply with guidelines, we assume it’s a swift removal from the Google Play platform until the developer meets compliance.

P.S. You can also participate in the program if your application targets both children and older users. 


No more “sugar dating” apps

Like Apple’s new hookup policy, Google is also stopping applications designed as “sugar dating.” These apps are considered the mediums between a user and risks, such as abuse and human trafficking. Therefore, if an app has any even lightly associated activities intended to stimulate erotic feelings, it will be banned from the platform.


Conclusion 

Continuous improvement and adjustment to changes are a significant part of app ownership during every part of its lifecycle. Therefore, do not underestimate any step in this process. 

Suppose you are an individual developer who just does not have time to monitor all these changes. In that case, we recommend acquiring additional help from a mobile game publisher, who always stays updated and knows everything about publishing. And we are the best publisher app for Android for that. So get in touch with us to discuss your App idea. 

Also, we recommend reading our recent article, “App Store Guideline Updates 2021,” in case if you are an Apple lover. 

 

29 October 2021

App Store Guideline Updates 2021

Apple and Google are not standing still. Stores are constantly improving their platforms and terms of use to ease the life of both and User and App owner. These notable changes that fluctuate the products standing are updated yearly. And to keep your application on top charts, it is essential to incorporate Apple App Store and Google Play with these latest guidelines. In the following, we will cover the most notable updates of 2021 and discuss forthcoming changes in the App Store that will take effect soon.


Apple App Store Guidelines 2021

Perhaps you’re familiar with the battle between Apple and Netflix or Fortnite Developer? Both struggled with subscription payments outside the App Store. After many trials, Apple finally allowed “reader apps” to process payments outside of iTunes Connect. Some of the more critical updates we’ll be seeing are as follows.


Developer transparency

To secure the User from fraud or dishonest behavior, AppStore has implemented new transparency regulations. 

Apple has accomplished considerable progress in this question earlier. In the past, by repeatedly violating the rules, the AppStore would permanently delete the application. Now, to provide even more developer transparency, the company renewed its Apple’s Developer Code of Conduct and added a new mechanism for a User to report a problem, abuse, or suspected fraud. With this in place, in case of repeated misleading or manipulative behavior, the User can complain, leading to the developer’s removal from the Apple Developer Program. Therefore, we encourage you to read the App Store Review Guidelines one more time and not violate the rules to secure your App and Account position. 


No more “hookup” apps

They say love hurts. Crimes involving romance, unfortunately, comprise a sizable chunk in the bucket of scams. And in the era of digital, hookup apps may serve as mediums for abuse, risks associated with revealing too much private information, and, most serious issue of all, human trafficking. No surprise that Apple is shutting apps that “explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.” 


Loosened restrictions on cannabis 

Cannabis legislation around the US used to be and currently is still considered to be a total mess. However, with mass opposition to its legality and growing momentum in the US, even Apple, with its strict views on this issue, has eased its rules regarding legal in-app sales. As a result, cannabis operators received its approval for in-app sales and fell under the same restrictions as licensed pharmacies. It means users can browse, choose and buy cannabis and have it set for delivery — all within the app. 


Mandatory account deletion option

Users will have greater control over their data with the help of updated App Store Review Guideline 5.1.1. Hence, starting January 31, 2022, app developers will face a new requirement to initiate user account deletion from within the app. Although application companies cleverly hid a delete option within the app in the past, this option will be mandatory from the beginning of the following year. If the app owner doesn’t comply with new regulations, they will face removal from the store. Examples of this type of data include a warranty, sales, and electronic health records. It is a big win for a user who faces the issue of subscription termination.  


StoreKit2 update

StoreKit is a payment tool that provides transactional efficiency. With newly released updates within the service, both the Developer and User will face an improved iOS in-app purchase experience. 

Benefits for Developer:

  • A fast history of all in-app purchase transactions within an app. 
  • One simple step to find out the latest status of Users subscription. 
  • A product entitlement and eligibility for offers.  
  • Latest information about transactions from your app or server.

Benefits for User: 

  • Request the refund from in-app purchases more easily.
  • Manage your subscription from within the app.
  • Resolve in-app purchase issues faster and efficiently through the app itself. 

Conclusion

This year Apple concentrated its effort on quite a severe topic as human rights. That is why it calls the attention of app developers on such topics as fraud, abuse, and misleading actions. The company hopes to make the platform safe for both users and developers with its updated guidelines and stricter rules. We mentioned the last changes, but there are more. In addition to the mentioned changes, guidelines from previous years are essential to consider when publishing an App. Therefore, stay updated with our news in order not to miss new valuable articles, and if you need help with the publishing, do not be shy and contact us. We are the best publisher app for iOS. Soon there will be one more about “Google Play Store Guidelines Updates 2021”. 

  

 

13 October 2021