Can mobile apps deliver digital experiences that engage the nation?

Published: 09/02/2021
Author: Vidatec

Digital experiences are now more important than ever.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sharp growth in the adoption of mobile technology by organisations across the nation as users increasingly turn to their phones when shopping, exercising, relaxing and much more during these challenging times.

Mobile has now become the primary way of connecting with consumers and it is forcing brands to place greater emphasis on their mobile strategy. Businesses are realising the importance of the digital experience as a way to generate revenue, reach new customers and markets, and to get ahead of the competition.

Research by App Annie found that the average amount of time per day we’re spending on our smartphones has increased by 27% in 2020 compared to 2019. It also suggests that e-commerce on smartphones has risen by 56% in the last year and is predicted to reach 71% by 2023.

In the first half of 2020 downloads of mobile apps and games topped 64 billion worldwide across iOS and Google Play, which is a 10% increase on the previous year.

It’s becoming critical that companies adopt a mobile-first approach and prioritise digital experiences to meet these growing consumer needs.

If they don’t there is the risk of losing out to competitors that do. But how do you create an experience that captures attention and maintains engagement? Or, to put it another way, how do you make a mobile digital experience sticky?

A strong marketing campaign:

The experience is about much more than just the app itself. You can’t launch a product into the market and expect it to be an instant success. It requires a strong marketing campaign to grab attention and promote your initiative or business, which will ultimately drive end-user adoption.

Understanding the user:

It’s essential to understand the wants, needs and motivations of your target personas. Put yourself in their shoes and ask what would you want from this experience? Focus on what is important to them rather than designing what you think works best.

Defining the journey:

By correctly defining your user’s journey, you will be able to remove any barriers and make the interaction with the brand as easy as possible. Provide them with useful and insightful content at a time when they want to consume it. By sharing robust information in bite size chunks, your app becomes easy to follow and encourages further interaction.


Adding gamification into an app can help engage and motivate people on a personal level. By including functions such as goal setting, dashboards to track progress and rewards, it encourages the user to want to continue interacting with the app.

Keep it simple:

A simple user interface is crucial to success. How many times have you downloaded an app, opened it and thought this is far too complicated? By making something too complex you’re immediately disengaging people from your product. User experience drives engagement and the stickiness of the app.

These techniques have been used as the foundation for multiple successful apps. Two good examples of how we’ve applied them to projects that have gained mass appeal is in our work with Ryvita and Public Health England.

Helping the nation improve its diet: Ryvita FibreFit

Ryvita fibrefit app screen

We worked closely with crispbread brand, Ryvita, to develop an app that incentivised its FibreFit campaign in a compelling way. It centred around educating the nation about their daily fibre intake as well as a 30-day challenge which slowly encouraged users to build up the amount of fibre they were having in their daily diet to the recommended 30g.

The app achieves its objectives through a series of considered approaches and design concepts including an emphasis on education, gamification and engagement techniques.

The user journey started with a quiz, which immediately engaged participants, and from their answers a personalised plan was created. The app then set goals for each user and tracked their progress throughout the challenge. Once a target was reached users were rewarded for their efforts with a digital badge.

The FibreFit app designed for mobile provides a convenient way for consumers to engage with Ryvita’s FibreFit campaign, helping to promote small steps people can make to achieve their recommended daily fibre intake.

Getting the country fitter one step at a time: PHE One You Couch to 5K

One You Couch to 5K app screen

Public Health England approached us to help improve the digital experience of their flagship initiative being run in collaboration with the BBC, One You Couch to 5K.

PHE’s main objective is to drive positive changes in the nation’s behaviour to improve our long-term health. So, we were challenged to create an experience that maximised engagement and accompanied users in achieving their goal of running five kilometres within nine weeks.

To gain inclusive appeal and maintain user engagement, the app’s design was geared towards the formation of healthy new habits. We adopted specialist behavioural science tactics, in particular the HOOK canvas.

A key component of both projects was the use of goal setting. Regular notifications and updates to the user’s personal dashboard acted as motivational techniques to underpin regular engagement, providing tangible evidence of their progress.

It was also a way to encourage people to re-engage by sending them reminders about targets or objectives that haven’t been completed. When considering what drives user adoption, engagement techniques should be at the centre of your thinking.

The role of mobile technology will continue to grow. In order to keep up with the competition it’s important your digital strategy embraces that growth. Stay current, think about every aspect of the app and how it can scale. Is the technology behind it safe and secure? Is the user journey simple and engaging? By creating the right digital experience, you can build a platform to connect with your customers and deliver increased value to your brand.

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