SOURCE: EffectiveUI


November 10, 2010 08:00 ET

New Study Finds Mobile Application Users Prefer Usability and Good User Experience Over Brand Names Alone

Harris Interactive Study by EffectiveUI Finds Nearly 40 Percent of Users Disappointed With Current Apps From Favorite Brands

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - November 10, 2010) -  A new Harris Interactive study conducted online in October, and commissioned by EffectiveUI, finds the majority of mobile phone users who download and use applications choose to download those apps based on recommendations and good user experience (UX), rather than the brand name company or organization that released it. 

38% of Users Not Satisfied with Most Branded Apps
The survey of 781 online adults who download and use mobile apps found that many organizations and companies are failing their users as well as their own brand. 

Mobile appears to be identified as a critical part of an overall brand experience, and the survey results revealed that 76% of mobile application users agree that all brand name companies and organizations should have mobile apps to make shopping or interacting with them easier. However, 38% of mobile application users agree that they are not satisfied with most of the apps currently available from their favorite brand name companies/organizations, and 69% agree that if a brand name mobile app is not useful, helpful or easy to use it results in a negative perception about the brand.

Key figures include:

  • 32% have told others about a bad experience with a mobile app
  • 13% have avoided downloading applications from a brand name company or organization due to a previous bad experience with another app offered by that brand

Usability and User Experience More Important Than Brand Name Alone
Users have high expectations for organizations' and brands' mobile apps. In fact, 73% of mobile app users agree that they expect a company's mobile app to be easier to use than its website.

According to online adults who download and use mobile apps, usability and user experience are more important than brand name alone. Only 18% of mobile app users consider whether the application is from a brand name company or organization when deciding whether to download an app.

 The survey discovered that users download apps based on the following UX considerations:

  • 74% think it should be easy to use
  • 75% think it should do exactly what they want or need it to do
  • 57% think it should be well designed

Of those who say they have downloaded apps because of recommendations from others, on average they report that 29% of their downloaded apps were downloaded as a result of a recommendation from someone they know that had a good experience.

Other key figures include:

  • 66% have downloaded an app based on a review or recommendation
  • 57% have recommended an app because of a positive experience

Good User Experience is Key to Success for Mobile Apps
Every company, large and small, thinking about creating a mobile application should take into consideration the fact that mobile is an important piece of the overall customer experience.

"The results of our survey are quite telling, and further proof that organizations must invest more in the user experience of their mobile apps, rather than rely solely on the brand," said Rebecca Flavin, CEO of EffectiveUI. "Mobile applications are the sure fire way to extend a brand. It's time for organizations to understand how to fully leverage the mobile channel and optimize a user-centered approach to drive adoption, as well as reinforce and drive brand loyalty."

Companies can ensure mobile success by focusing on the overall UX when creating a mobile application, which includes some of the following steps:

  • Focus on the customer need, as well as the business need: Conduct research to find out whether your customers want to engage with your company via a mobile device and how they're using the mobile channel to accomplish their goals; avoid creating an app for the sake of creating an app.
  • Design for the right device: Again, research will help you uncover which devices your customers use most.
  • Make sure your feature set fits the mobile experience: Too often, companies try to put the same features in their mobile device as their website. While drilling down is fine on the Web, mobile users tend to act more linearly with a mobile application.

Supporting Resources

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of EffectiveUI from September 30 - October 4, 2010, among 2,250 adults ages 18 and older and October 5-7, 2010, among 2,098 adults ages 18 and older, for a combined total of 4,348 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Aaron Wessels at 415-378-8090.

About EffectiveUI
Founded in 2005, EffectiveUI is an award-winning, user experience agency that specializes in the creation and implementation of custom Web, mobile, desktop and touch-enabled applications. EffectiveUI merges innovative technologies with expertise in UX research, strategy, design and development to help today's most respected brands deepen customer engagement through more exceptional digital experiences. The company's applications deliver competitive advantages, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and produce measurable results. EffectiveUI has developed groundbreaking applications for organizations such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, eBay, GE Health, Navy Federal Credit Union, Qwest Communications and American Greetings. It has earned an Adobe Gold Partner distinction and membership in Microsoft's Global 20 Agency Partners. Inc. magazine has ranked EffectiveUI on its annual list of America's fastest-growing private companies -- the Inc. 500 -- for the past two years.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us -- and our clients -- stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit