The iTimekeep Blog (Bellefield is now Aderant... Full Story)

Aderant is a leading innovator in Legal Mobile Technologies and Enterprise Solutions,
bridging the gap between your enterprise software, mobile devices, and desktop applications.

Maximize User Engagement At Your Firm: 3 Must Haves

Posted by Daniel Garcia on June 23, 2017 at 3:37 PM


Have you ever purchased a new technology with high hopes of what it will bring to your firm, only for it to be met with resistance or ignored? Many organizations struggle with driving user adoption once they purchase software, leading to unrealized potential.

So, how can you avoid this scenario?

User engagement is critical to the success of any solution or application. Engaged users are happier, use an app more often, take time out of their busy day to write a good review for the vendor, and recommend the app to colleagues at every opportunity. As it turns out, the best way to ensure user engagement of new software or apps post-implementation is to evaluate user engagement during the purchasing process. In this post we’ll discuss the things that you should look for in order to identify an app that was built to maximize user engagement.

How To Identify an App Built to Maximize User Engagement

It can be hard to predict the exact level of user engagement in advance because the key to effective engagement is that it remains “invisible” and “unspoken of.” After all, most users do not want to be “engaged.” Rather, they enjoy Apps that make their lives easier or provides them with useful information at the right time. That said, there are a few things that you can look for that are indicators of user success:

#1: Strategic Use of Notifications

When designing engagement into an App, it should be done with an awareness that there is a fine line between an engaged user and an annoyed user. Too many notifications at the wrong time will turn off even the most patient of users. The goal is to be engaging, but without getting in the way, or in other words, to be invisible except when you can truly add value to the user experience.

Push notifications are mostly used to engage users who don’t have the App open at a given point in time. The goal is to get the user to stop whatever they are doing and open the App (as in “Hey, James just posted a new picture. Tap to see it!”). These interruptions may get annoying (or at least, can be ineffective) if they come at the wrong moment. Another tactic is to use In-App messages, which are pop-up messages inside the App that engage the user at the exact time when he/she is using the App (as in “We found a great new restaurant close by. Would you like to see it?”). These are less intrusive because the user is already focused on your App so the message is not seen as an interruption but as value-add. A limitation of both push and In-App messages is that they are very transient. The user either reacts to them immediately or they are gone. For messages and interactions that need to “live longer,” you can employ other tactics such as a “stream” of messages similar to what a news App does. With this approach, the messages are always available to the user so that he/she can interact with them when the moment is right. 

Look for an app that deploys various methods to engage users through the App, but understands the need for a balanced and tempered approach.

#2: Deep Understanding of the End-User

In order to effectively engage users, the App must take the time to know each of your users intimately. When it comes to engagement, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Users interact with an App in different ways, at different times, and for different reasons. Only through deep knowledge of each user's patterns will a vendor be able to design engagement into the App in a manner that is effective and produces the desired results.

Look for a vendor that can demonstrate a thorough understanding of its user-base and can provide examples of advancements made in an effort to meet user needs and demands.

#3: Data-driven understanding and response to user behavior

Intelligent software can measure user behavior and trigger responses based on set rules. As I said above, there are many different ways that a user may choose to engage with an App at different points in time. Employing intelligent software not only provides an additional layer of insight into user behavior, but can automate an engagement-positive response.

Look for a vendor that is analyzing user data and working to automate engagement through the App based on user needs.

While there is no way to completely predict or guarantee user engagement, choosing a vendor and an App that have put measures in place to maximize engagement is one of the most important technology decisions you will make for your firm.

How do you maximize engagement of new technology at your firm? Share your experience in the comments below.