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Appsee's Mobile User Behavior Study Reveals That Users Prefer Email Over Facebook Registration

Appsee's New Study Offers New Insight Into App Registration UI and User Preferences, and the Resulting Impact on Mobile User Experience

Feb 19, 2015

Appsee, a leading mobile analytics platform that enables companies to measure, understand and optimize the user experience (UX) in their apps, today announced findings from its inaugural Mobile User Behavior survey. This first-of-its-kind study focused on three registration metrics: login preference, total registration time and number of registration fields, all of which impact mobile UX. This and subsequent studies from Appsee will aim to uncover insight into mobile user behavior in order to help app developers and publishers improve the user experience in their apps.

The survey examined 100 consumer apps across a range of industries, including health and fitness, games, news, social networking and finance. Most compelling, this is the first study to show that more users (56.5%) prefer to manually register for an app by creating a unique account with an email address, compared to only 43.5% who preferred logging in with Facebook. Even though registering with email requires users to fill out multiple fields, the majority of users still chose that option over social login, which requires only one or two taps to complete.

“Registration is a critical step of the onboarding experience, so app developers and publishers really need to make it count,” said Zahi Boussiba, Co-Founder and CEO of Appsee. “By creating the best user experience possible from the onset – in this case, not abandoning email as a registration option – you’ll be setting the stage for increased conversions.”

In addition to login preferences, the Appsee Mobile User Behavior study tracked registration time, showing that on average, users spend 36 seconds on the registration screen. While there is no industry consensus on recommended registration time, the study’s “36 second” average could indicate room for improvement on usability and technical issues – such as unresponsive gestures or too many text fields – that when addressed, can further optimize the registration process.

Finally, the study examined the number of text fields required for registration. This is critical as the number of text fields speaks to the delicate balance between a smooth user experience (fewer fields equates to faster and more convenient registration) and business needs (more data about the user is better). The study found that the average number of text fields in apps with email registration is 3.8, and 35% of apps had four text fields. Due to UI limitations with a small mobile device screen, more than four text fields will probably require the user to swipe down, take more time to fill in the form, and likely impact registration rate.

Four Takeaways for App Developers and Designers
Based on the survey results, Appsee recommends the following best practices to optimize the registration process, and in turn, improve mobile UX.

1. Offer a hybrid approach that includes social login and registration with email.
2. Collect only essential data relevant to the app's function, so as not to overload the user with unnecessary text fields.
3. Keep the number of text fields for mobile app registration to four or fewer to create a simple, fast process, which can increase the registration rate. If the app requires more than four text fields, direct users to subsequent screens.
4. Perform thorough user experience analysis on the app to detect problems and remove all obstacles, including technical and usability issues, from the critical registration and onboarding process.

“Everyone involved in creating an app needs to listen to users in order to gain the deep insight into behavior that a stellar user experience hinges on,” said Boussiba. “Since preferences are constantly shifting, you must constantly track and understand what users are really doing in your app’s environment. Only then can you evolve quickly to make sure you’re giving your users what they want, in turn maximizing engagement and retention.”

About Appsee
Appsee allows app publishers and developers to deliver the best possible customer and user experience in their mobile apps by providing them with a complete understanding of user behavior. Thousands of companies across numerous industries rely on Appsee's SaaS-based mobile analytics platform to provide crucial real-time insights needed to maximize app optimization while increasing engagement, retention and in-app monetization opportunities.

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