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From Design To Dollars – Optimizing Mobile App Monetization

Written by: Ilia Kiselevich, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Ilia Kiselevich

Do you know that about 90% of developers face challenges sustaining their businesses through mobile apps due to an inconsistent monetization strategy? And one of the reasons for low user engagement is poor UX/UI design.



Top view image of calculator with text MONETIZE on display and money.

In fact, the increased focus on app design has become a business necessity. Research consistently demonstrates that businesses with superior user experiences outperform their competitors. According to Forrester, companies that prioritize UX/UI design witness a conversion rate increase of up to 200-400%.


If you’re interested in reading more about how you can monetize your app, you can check out this guide. In this article, I aim to delve into the symbiotic relationship between design and financial gains. I will specifically address four primary errors in UX/UI design that prevent you from enhancing your income.


Mistake No.1 Imbalance of content and advertising


Let’s be honest, sometimes in-app ads can be a real buzzkill. Though they often serve as a key revenue stream for many apps, their wrong placement and intrusive formats can create a ripple effect, leading to user churn and a subsequent revenue decrease.


This can happen because of the extensive use of FOMO (fear of missing out). It's a real thing, and it's been a pretty good motivator for people to check out stuff. However, many advertisers try to manipulate this fear with a bunch of non-stop push notifications. Unfortunately, this stresses users out more than gets them excited.


Imagine your own thoughts if an app starts bombarding you with annoying banners, which is usually inherent to in-app advertising monetization. You won’t blame the ad. Instead, you may associate the frustration with the entire application. And then what? The simplest solution most users choose is to delete the application once and forever. But it’s quite an unwanted scenario, isn’t it?


There’s an even worse situation if the apps with the freemium model offer minimally useful features and upgrade pop-ups begin almost immediately after installation. This aggressive approach has a higher risk of pushing users away.


Solution: To mitigate the negative impact of FOMO-driven tactics, prioritize transparency and consider a more balanced notification system that respects user engagement boundaries. Ads should blend harmoniously into the overall design and foster sustained user engagement.


Mistake No.2 Unintuitive UX


Delving into the intricacies of mobile app usability reveals significant pitfalls for unintuitive user experiences. For instance, you're all hyped up to make a purchase or check out a cool subscription. But you face unclear steps, hidden terms, or no pricing info at all. That's a surefire way for app developers to lose potential cash.


A specific illustration of this challenge lies in deceptive design elements in integrated in-app ads. Imagine you're watching an advertising video, and when you're done, instead of a simple “X” to exit, you see an “O” sign. And you're just sitting there, wondering how to get out of it. Sneaky, right? Some apps even play the double-cross game, making you think you've hit the exit, but surprise – you end up on the advertiser's website.


And let's also mention patience – or the lack of it. If an ad keeps playing with no countdown of seconds, even the most zen users start losing their temper. That's a big deal when it comes to user experience, as nobody wants to get stuck watching an ad forever.


And there's one more thing with subscription options. Instead of a straightforward screen, some apps with such a monetization type use a burger menu with hidden layers to check out different plans. It’s not exactly the best way for users to compare and choose what suits them.


Solution: Making app processes clear and transparent is the key. Complicating things with weird exits, tricky buttons, and hidden menus doesn't make anyone's experience better. Thus, keep it simple, embrace the best practices employed by industry leaders, and keep it user-friendly. That's the way to go!


Mistake No.3 Deceptive CTAs


Calls to action are crucial in design as they serve as friendly signposts telling us where to go next in the user journey. But if these signs are all confusing and not clear, it's like wandering through a maze without a map.


For instance, you want to upgrade the app to the premium version for those extra cool features. But instead of a button saying something like "Upgrade now", you see a vague CTA “Click here”. And you’re in two minds about whether this button can unlock the cool features or not.


Or let's say you're in a game, and there's this tempting offer to buy extra lives. You're ready to go for it, but the button text is too tiny and blends in with the background. You simply miss it and feel confused because you couldn’t get those extra lives when you needed them.


It's not just about losing out on money. It's also about how users feel about the app. If it's all confusing, users get frustrated. Imagine trying to find your way in a new city with weird street signs––it's annoying, right? The same goes for the wrong CTAs.


Solution: Keep CTAs simple, clear, and friendly, paying attention to text content and UI components. That way, everyone can enjoy the app, know where they're going, and, as a bonus, the app makes some good money without causing discontent.


Mistake No.4 Ineffective monetization visibility


In the realm of mobile app design, the strategic placement of advertising banners emerges as a critical factor in the user experience. When scrolling through an app and trying to soak in the content, nobody expects sudden banner pop-ups, blocking your view or messing with your navigation.


One major error in the visibility game is the lack of a clear spot designated for ads. It's like they're playing hide-and-seek with your attention, leading to banners that might as well be invisible or, even worse, cropped by other UI elements.


Now, let's get real about a major concern: accidental in-app purchases. We've all heard those “horror stories”, especially in children's games. Little fingers innocently tap on something, and before you know it, parents are dealing with unexpected charges. This happens because some banners are either strategically placed in blind spots or intentionally designed that way. When there's not enough emphasis on color or style, the user's ability to distinguish and engage with the content becomes compromised. It's a recipe for disaster, leading to the inevitable headache of refunds and bad reviews.


Solution: By avoiding ad placement that disrupts the natural flow, establishing clear areas for ads, and incorporating thoughtful design elements, developers can ensure that users enjoy the app without unwarranted surprises and accidental taps. After all, a happy user is more likely to stick around and engage positively with the content.


Bottom line


As you see, crafting a top-notch UX/UI design not only makes the app look and feel good, but it also helps to monetize the app efficiently. The days of design existing in isolation are gone. To implement this effective approach, you need to find a reliable team with a skilled designer who acts in the same boat with developers.


"Only understanding the nuances of each other’s work and taking into account the needs of all specialists can guarantee a "win-win" design and monetization synergy."

It is crucial to recognize that the very fact of applying monetization does not always promise revenue. I strongly recommend you spend time and resources on finding a trusted contractor and not expose yourself to the risks of lost opportunities due to poor UX/UI. By embracing the simplicity and reasonableness of any element, your team keeps the balance between remarkable design and profit generation and ensures that a user always comes first.


Follow me on LinkedIn, or visit my website for more info! Read more from Ilia!


Ilia Kiselevich Brainz Magazine
 

Ilia Kiselevich, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

CEO & Founder of SolveIt – a mobile development company, entrepreneur and product owner of HBT. Ilia Kiselevich is an entrepreneur with a keen eye for emerging technologies and a deep understanding of market dynamics committed to transforming ideas into reality. Under Ilia's guidance, SolveIt has garnered recognition for its remarkable quality of delivered solutions, award-winning UX/UI design, and 100% customer satisfaction score.

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