How to Use Psychology for Creating Apps that Users Love

After witnessing the escalating popularity and increasing revenue of the mobile app industry, most people fancy for creating apps these days.

They do online courses, invest their lifetime savings, hire app development experts, and apply foolproof strategies.

As a  result, we get to see a plethora of mobile apps on Google Playstore and the Apple app store every year.

Although the number of successful mobile apps today is very less. On an average, only 5-6% of the apps that are launched every year meet the expected user response. Rest just fade away in anonymity.

This leads to a bigger question, which millions of people search everyday:

How to create apps that users download and love to use?

This has prompted thousands of experts to shared tips in blogs and research papers. Despite all this, we seldom see any improvement.

So, where do we lack?

Perhaps we need think from a different angle like psychology. The field has always proved productive in numerous industries. So, why don’t we use it for mobile app development as well?

That’s what the purpose of this blog is. Here, we’ll study how to use psychology for creating apps that appeal to all users, something which app development experts in Singapore are implementing for a long time.

So, have a dekko!

  1. Choice Paralysis

Choice Paralysis is a popular study mentioned by American Psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book, The Paradox of Choice, which explains how number of choices affect decisions of people.

The theory can be understood well with the following case study:

People were divided into 2 groups and led to a clothing store.

First group was led to the counter that displayed 20 varieties of jeans.While the other were led to a counter that only displayed 5 varieties of jeans.

Here’s the result!

Customers showed more enthusiasm for purchase on the first counter. However, the sales figure of the second counter were high.


In first counter people just got confused with too many choices and couldn’t decide what they wanted.

On the other hand, choices were limited on the second counter and hence it was easy to decide which jeans to purchase. This ultimately impacted their decisions.

How the theory can be applied in mobile apps?

It’s important to give choices to users in mobile apps. Nobody likes being directed on what to do and what not.

However, don’t give so many options to users that they end up getting confused. Keep the options to 2 or 3 maximum.

For example: If you’re asking a user to sign up on your app. You can give him an option to login with facebook along with email and password.

However, providing options to signup through Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, and phone number are not wise at all. This will only draw the user away.

  1. The Magic of Random Rewards

Ever heard about B.F. Skinner’s experiments? His case studies are quite famous in behavioral psychology and are often implemented to improve productivity in businesses.

One such case study is of a pigeon, which was given a special treat everytime it pecked on the sensor.

You’ll not believe the results!

The promise of getting prize had magically improved the pigeon’s performance. The number of times the pigeon pecked on the sensor was several times more.

Similar theory was applied in gambling machines where the number of players suddenly increased when they heard that they will be given price if they won.

So, you can see how the trick can fetch you good results.

How theory can be implemented in mobile apps?

Everyone loves getting rewards, especially if someone is giving them for free. So, ensure that you reward the users of your app from time to time.

  1. Reciprocity Principle

Yet another popular psychological experiment is soda study, which was conducted by psychologist Dennis Regan. According to the experiment, a couple of participants were asked to participate in a couple of tasks with a partner who was actually the research assistant of Dennis.

Participants were divided into 2 groups. Joe shared his soda with the first group but ignored the second.

At the end, Joe asked the participants to purchase a raffle ticket from him.

The group with whom Joe had shared his soda purchased the ticket without any second thought, while the other group was reluctant to do so.

Hence, the theory proves that people often repay favors.

How can you implement it in mobile apps?

Like I mentioned earlier, people respond positively to your positive actions. Hence, if you’re offering something useful to the user, he/she will definitely download and use your app. Given them a reason to use your app. Only then they’ll reciprocate.

  1. Always Give Users a Reason to Come Back

Ever heard about Zeigarnik Effect?

It’s a popular experiment conducted by popular psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik on a restaurant. Bluma noticed that waiters remember orders of all tables unless the bills were paid.

However, they forgot all details after the bill payment.

So, you see it’s a human instinct that we don’t care for things which aren’t of our use.

How can you apply the theory in mobile apps?

People don’t do anything for reason. You need to keep convincing them so that they keep using your app.

So, keep them hooked and keep reminding them about using your app.

Most of the app development companies in Singapore, UK, and UAE are following these psychological tactics and benefitting from them. Hopefully they’ll prove helpful for you as well.

Best of luck!

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