• Designing an app home page

    In all mobile apps, the home page is the most important property. It’s always the first and most frequent interaction point for customers. The challenge is in keeping it relevant and fresh. Users seeing the same content every time will eventually stop expecting anything new and drop-off.

    But as with everything in life, it is not all black and white. It always depends on the nature of the app. Apps that naturally encourage exploration have it easier, while apps whose primary job is to induce actions (eg. transactions) have to focus on, well, actions.

    Social and e-commerce apps have it easier with user-generated content, product recommendations, extensive curation and merchandising. (These are not trivial problems, but the path is clear.)

    Need-based apps, like payments and travel, struggle since they don’t naturally generate new content. The most critical job for the home page is to ensure the primary need(s) is (are) satisfied first and foremost. Hence, the focus on actions.

    Often there is an “internal” push to make home pages of need based apps more “engaging”. Leading them to rely on listing deals and offers or some other form of force fitting. But this kind of content does not “cause” actions. The push to make such apps engaging leads to creating content for the sake of it. Which essentially draws the focus away from more important priorities.