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Watercheck app

How I did a research and found several effective solutions for retention growth during the first user interaction with the app.

Watercheck is the most necessary app for any diet and fitness, controlling the amount of liquid you drink during the day.

Primary analysis

I did the initial review of the first interaction with app and made some notes. This will help me put together a list of hypotheses in the future.

Competitor Analysis

I wanted to understand the difference between our product and others in terms of convenience, attractiveness, and demand. I googled –Top 10 Water Tracking Apps– and installed the first three from the rating.

Comparing the first interaction, I paid attention to the mechanics that bring users back to the application and help them understand that this is exactly what they need.

Feedback from users

The easiest way is to go to the App Store and read user reviews. There may be some diamonds that will help me to resolve the problem. 17 reviews → 2 diamonds.

Firstly, users think that notifications help them to achieve their goals. Some ask for the opportunity to customize them.

Secondly, users believe that the daily rate of water should be customized immediately, taking into account their weight, activity, age, sex and the most interesting thing – the temperature outside. This will help to make their daily goals more accurate.

Domain Research

To begin with, you need to understand the purpose of people who want to monitor the amount of water they drink. I had three interviews and did desk research. I composed questions and selected different people for interviews. I will describe only the most interesting points.

Desk research. This is what scientists from different universities and research centers say, water:

  • is the source of energy,
  • removes toxins,
  • helps to lose weight,
  • improves skin, hair and nails,
  • improves digestion,
  • reduces blood pressure,
  • takes away joint pains,
  • a lot of water is bad, you need to know the norm.

Research Retention metrics

Then I did a desk research, analyzed trackers in other areas of activity, and noticed an interesting sequence of actions. To influence Retention, mobile applications show the basic value, show how it works, and form habits.

Value and how the application works. The first step is to answer the question: what problem does the application solve? Our key mission in the first cycles of use is to make the user’s way to the desired result as simple and clear as possible, to show the key value.

Next, we need to increase the motivation of the first action, far better to make a person do it right now. Tell them how everything works. Give a person a goal and visualize the process of achieving this goal.

Reward after action. The fact is that a person does not solve their initial task when they perform the main action. Therefore, it is necessary to give the user a reward that exists in the area of their problems.

You shouldn’t give a reward all the time, only sometimes. It is like commenting on a post on Facebook. We don’t know what and how many comments they will get. We must always maintain some level of novelty and uncertainty. It raises more interest.

Put something of your own. Focus on human investment. The more we invest in something, the more we get attached and appreciate it. For example, call your friends in this application and follow their progress. Or display the amount of water we drink at all times. It will be harder to refuse such investments.

It seems that by simplifying the process of achieving a certain goal we maximize the share of those who will reach this goal. Generally – that’s right, but the maximum number of those who reach the goal does not mean that this approach maximizes the share of those who will continue to use the product.

To the next cycle. For example, thematic notifications. It is this thing that restarts the cycle and sends the person one step at a time with the action which will have a positive impact on Retention. The topic of such notifications can be as follows from any of the previous three stages: main action, reward or investments.

Retention Rate as the Lifestyle industry benchmark

Days Retention Rate
30 36 %
90 18 %

Hypotheses and priorities

After I formulated the hypotheses, I found an experienced iOS developer and asked him to estimate the resource for developing these hypotheses. I did estimate the priourities on my own.

1. Value. If we make a screen that reveals the value of the application at the beginning of the interaction, it could have a positive impact on Retention because it shows the value of the application to the user.
– Hight priority, low resource.

2. Tutorial. If we do a tutorial that will guide a person through the main function of the application, including the definition of the daily norm of water drinking, it will have a positive impact on Retention because it will show how the application works.
– Hight priority, medium resource.

3. Rewards. If we make a system that will sometimes give rewards (tips, achievements, facts) after the main action and the completed goal in a day, it will be able to affect the Retention, because this system will be engaging, therefore it will help to form a habit.
– Hight priority, medium resource.

4. Friends. If we make a system that will be able to invite friends to the application and tell them about their success, it will be able to affect the Retention, because this system will motivate the user to drink water, so it will help to form a habit.
– Hight priority, medium resource.

5. Notifications. If we make different types of notifications, which will not only remind about water, but also about the progress of friends, weather and changes in the daily rate of drinking water, they could affect the Retention, because they will return the user back so it will help to form a habit.
– Medium priority, low resource.

6. Notifications settings. If we make a notification setting that will help users customize their time intervals, it could affect Retention because new reminders will bring the user back so it will help to form a habit.
– Low priority, medium resource.

Prototypes

I didn’t have time to make high-fidelity prototypes, so I will show low-fidelity prototypes, sometimes medium-fidelity.

1. Value
If we make a screen that reveals the value of the application at the beginning of the interaction, it could have a positive impact on Retention because it shows the value of the application to the user.

2. Tutorial
If we do a tutorial that will guide a person through the main function of the application, including the definition of the daily norm of water drinking, it will have a positive impact on Retention because it will show how the application works.

6. Notifications settings
If we make a notification setting that will help users customize their time intervals, it could affect Retention because new reminders will bring the user back so it will help to form a habit.

3. Rewards
If we make a system that will sometimes give rewards (tips, achievements, facts) after the main action and the completed goal in a day, it will be able to affect the Retention, because this system will be engaging, therefore it will help to form a habit.

4. Friends
If we make a system that will be able to invite friends to the application and tell them about their success, it will be able to affect the Retention, because this system will motivate the user to drink water, so it will help to form a habit.

5. Notifications
If we make different types of notifications, which will not only remind about water, but also about the progress of friends, weather and changes in the daily rate of drinking water, they could affect the Retention, because they will return the user back so it will help to form a habit.

Then all over again, the main action, reward, or investment. It is this thing that restarts the cycle and sends a person to a next step with the action, which will have a positive impact on Retention.

Testing

I did not have time to test, but I will tell you how I would do it if I had a chance.

The first hypothesis is about value. I would use corridor tests so that a person would go through this scenario and then I would measure the knowledge of value by talking to the user or the survey.

The second is the tutorial. Here it is vital to understand whether the user has understood how the application works. I would check it through the corridor tests. There is some doubt that the calculation of the daily norm could immediately work badly. Here you can do an A · B test, with and without the calculation of the daily norm, to measure failures. We could interview users to find out if it is really important at the start.

The third is the rewards. The important thing is human interest. You may follow the reading time of these screens. Perhaps we should think about the rating of these rewards Useful or Useless.

The fourth is friends. Here you need to monitor the percentage of users who have added friends. Plus, keep track of how notifications of friends return people to the application, whether the motivation works. Maybe you should conduct a survey to find out the motivation.

The fifth is different notifications. It seems to be a good field for A · B tests. Measure the return to the application.

The sixth is notification setting. I would use corridor tests to test the interface itself and keep track of the percentage of users who use them and measure the return to the application with new notifications.

In general, I would follow the Retention Rate metric in the first day cohort. I might run these hypotheses sequentially and in groups to understand what worked best.

Ideas for Retention after 1st session

At this stage, I would work with displaying and highlighting human investments. The more we invest in something, the more we get attached and appreciate it. For example, how much water we drink all the time, a collection of achievements and tips, personal and friends statistics. It will be difficult to refuse such an application for a long time.

The second is the new functionality that is opened depending on the amount of water drunk at all times.

 218   4 mo   casestudy
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