Under the Radar

Under the Radar 92: Notifications to Increase Engagement


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:08   minutes so let's get started so today we

00:00:11   wanted to talk a little bit about the

00:00:14   ways in which you can motivate your

00:00:17   users to come back to your app and the

00:00:20   situations and scenarios where you might

00:00:23   do that an inactive way or in a passive

00:00:25   way and kind of some of the implications

00:00:28   for that because it's I often find

00:00:29   personally this is an area that I I have

00:00:32   a lot of sort of hanging hand-wringing

00:00:33   about because there's this one part of

00:00:36   me that thinks you know I want to do

00:00:38   everything I can to get my users back

00:00:40   into my app I mean in many ways the you

00:00:43   know my business is largely supported by

00:00:46   advertising and so the more I can get

00:00:48   people into my app the better my

00:00:50   business does but on the flip side like

00:00:52   I also want to make respectful apps I

00:00:54   want to make apps that I enjoy using

00:00:56   that I hope my customers enjoy using and

00:00:58   so I want to do you know bring them back

00:01:01   into my app for the right reason and

00:01:02   this has all come to the surface

00:01:04   recently for me because the next major

00:01:07   version of pedometer plus plus is all

00:01:11   geared around the concept of

00:01:12   achievements and badges and you know so

00:01:15   as you walk so many steps you earn

00:01:18   badges as you go you know so you get

00:01:20   badge when you hit you know you had a

00:01:22   twenty thousand step day good job you

00:01:24   know you get a badge and achievement in

00:01:26   the app and I built that you know built

00:01:30   the feature out for just like showing

00:01:31   and displaying those badges but then you

00:01:33   get the run into the question of you

00:01:34   know how should I show this to people

00:01:37   should I try and you know should as soon

00:01:39   as you earn a badge you know pop up a

00:01:42   notification that says hey you earned a

00:01:44   badge you know come and check it out in

00:01:45   pedometer plus plus like and I could and

00:01:49   in weird way like that almost seems to

00:01:52   be like the trend and I mean if you take

00:01:54   a look at the Apple watch it is the

00:01:56   chattiest thing by default with

00:01:59   notifications for things like this where

00:02:01   breathe David you have to stop and

00:02:03   breathe yeah they could take a minute

00:02:04   stop and breathe there's all the

00:02:06   coaching ones that soar like great jobs

00:02:08   starting off today you'd have already

00:02:10   gotten half your move goal keep it up

00:02:12   anything it's so chatty and that seems

00:02:14   like from Avenue Apple which is

00:02:16   ostensibly like you know in a company to

00:02:19   try and imitate they do a lot of this

00:02:21   but it never really sat well with me and

00:02:24   so in the end what I did was I tried to

00:02:28   be more subtle and you know in the app

00:02:30   itself there's just this nice little

00:02:32   sort of glisten shimmer effect on the

00:02:35   badge icon in the top right corner of

00:02:37   the app whenever you have badges you've

00:02:38   earned would haven't looked at and my

00:02:40   hope is that you know it's a subtle

00:02:43   thing that if you open the app you'll I

00:02:44   think notice because it moves around a

00:02:46   lot but it's not going to ever get in

00:02:49   your way it's not something that I'm

00:02:51   trying to you know I'm not asserting

00:02:53   that you earning a badge is more

00:02:55   important than you seeing your current

00:02:56   step count which is the core and main

00:02:59   feature of the app and so but it was

00:03:02   kind of an interesting journey to work

00:03:03   through because I feel like knowing

00:03:05   whether it's like knowing when to find

00:03:09   that what went to notifying when not to

00:03:11   notify is tricky and I think you know in

00:03:14   this particular case and like where I

00:03:16   ended up but it feels that odds with the

00:03:19   DES general trend and that always makes

00:03:21   me nervous and so it seemed like

00:03:22   something that was worth discussing yeah

00:03:24   definitely I mean I think you know a lot

00:03:26   of times we have to you know as

00:03:28   programmers I mean let's face it where

00:03:30   there's a lot of similarities among

00:03:32   programmers were usually a certain type

00:03:34   of nerd and for example when we want to

00:03:37   sell t-shirts for our things I believe

00:03:40   it is the programmer instinct to sell

00:03:43   only black t-shirts and that's why there

00:03:45   are so many black t-shirts for technical

00:03:47   things and eventually I think some

00:03:50   people realize that you know or we're

00:03:51   told like hey you know what the rest of

00:03:53   the world exists to beyond just eeks

00:03:54   and some people want different colors of

00:03:56   t-shirts and so in some cases like that

00:03:59   we have to overcome our geek

00:04:01   sensibilities to make everything just

00:04:03   black and to offer color to the world

00:04:07   because I actually want that and I think

00:04:10   there's something to be said for the

00:04:12   style of more chatty notifications more

00:04:17   aggressive notifications to increase

00:04:20   engagement in your mobile applications

00:04:22   you know all these things that we don't

00:04:23   usually like to even think about let

00:04:25   alone talk

00:04:26   or consider some of that is just a style

00:04:30   of usage some of that users actually

00:04:32   want like I was actually so in this case

00:04:35   I I have had pedometer plus plus your

00:04:39   app installed on my phone for a very

00:04:41   long time probably since it came out and

00:04:43   usually it is in a folder on my second

00:04:45   screen because you usually don't check

00:04:46   it every day

00:04:48   however while I'm on vacation I'm in a

00:04:50   place where I'm doing a lot of walking

00:04:52   tons of tons of walking and so I've been

00:04:54   checking it every day now the way I used

00:04:56   to rely on the Apple watch's activity

00:04:58   rings too close you know and I would

00:05:00   make sure I close those now I'm making

00:05:03   sure I really hit my goals in pedometer

00:05:05   plus plus hidden all this walking during

00:05:07   this vacation and I was actually just

00:05:10   thinking yesterday before you and I

00:05:12   discussed the topic for this show before

00:05:14   you told me you were thinking about are

00:05:15   these notifications yesterday I was

00:05:17   thinking you know it would be nice to

00:05:20   have this app update me throughout the

00:05:21   day in some way if I need a little bit

00:05:23   more to reach my goal or something like

00:05:25   that you know you know and the watch

00:05:27   does this too but to have you know I was

00:05:30   literally thinking in my head requesting

00:05:33   a feature that you just said you weren't

00:05:35   sure you wanted to do yeah and the fact

00:05:37   is that not all of your users will want

00:05:39   this just you know just as many of you

00:05:42   have many of tech podcast listeners and

00:05:44   app users happily buy black t-shirts

00:05:47   because we're all nerds but there is a

00:05:50   portion of your user base that actually

00:05:52   not only would not see this as annoying

00:05:54   or spammy they actually it would

00:05:56   actually increase the value of the app

00:05:57   to them they actually want this and it's

00:06:00   it is against so many of our

00:06:02   sensibilities to offer a feature like

00:06:04   that or to build that in or especially

00:06:06   to do something like enable it by

00:06:07   default because let's be honest if you

00:06:09   don't enable these kind of things by

00:06:10   default you know you know you might as

00:06:11   well not even build the feature because

00:06:13   so few people will use it but sometimes

00:06:16   that actually is what people want and we

00:06:19   you know we are so conservative about

00:06:21   annoying people or about you know

00:06:23   prompting them with notifications whose

00:06:26   sole purpose is reengagement with the

00:06:28   app rather than like this is a fact that

00:06:31   happened you know it's like like when

00:06:32   overcast send notifications are

00:06:33   currently overcast only thumbs

00:06:34   notifications for two things only for

00:06:37   new episodes that of podcast that you

00:06:39   have said note if

00:06:39   me about this or if you have gone on the

00:06:42   website and said notify me when ads are

00:06:45   available for purchase in this category

00:06:47   I will notify you for that as well

00:06:49   that's it I don't have any notifications

00:06:52   in there for things like hey you have

00:06:54   you know 40 episodes queued up why don't

00:06:57   you think about a time to listen to them

00:06:58   today something like that like and I

00:07:01   probably should consider something like

00:07:03   that because that is such a common

00:07:05   engagement thing and and it turn and and

00:07:08   you know those things first of all it is

00:07:10   questionable whether they are permitted

00:07:12   in the app review guidelines technically

00:07:16   anything that is promotional or for

00:07:18   marketing purposes is not allowed in

00:07:21   practice apps violate that constantly

00:07:24   really really big apps to like absolute

00:07:26   Apple definitely would know about and

00:07:27   this rule seems to go fairly unenforced

00:07:30   in the App Store violates it sometimes

00:07:34   this is not a small thing that happens

00:07:37   sometimes like happen all the time so

00:07:39   and there's also there's a line to walk

00:07:41   between like hey buy more gems they're

00:07:44   on sale right now which i think is

00:07:46   annoying but also something that

00:07:48   actually provides value to people like

00:07:49   your 90 percent to your step goal but

00:07:52   you seem to have slowed down in the last

00:07:54   couple hours why don't you go take a

00:07:55   walk you know I mean obviously they

00:07:57   there are ways word this they're a

00:07:58   little bit less get off your butt and

00:08:02   get yeah like you should definitely have

00:08:03   somebody who's less direct than me word

00:08:05   these things for you but like that

00:08:09   actually is a feature you know if for an

00:08:11   app like yours that actually improves

00:08:14   the app for people who want that and for

00:08:17   people who don't want that it's really

00:08:18   easy to provide a simple checkbox in the

00:08:21   settings turn it off so or the end of

00:08:24   people probably would have declined

00:08:25   notification access in the first place

00:08:27   and when it when it prompted them so

00:08:29   that kind of feature I think if you want

00:08:33   pedometer plus plus to be more of like a

00:08:37   like an everyday thing for more people

00:08:40   if you want to be a thing they check

00:08:42   multiple times throughout the day I

00:08:44   think not only should you do that

00:08:46   feature I think you need to do that

00:08:48   feature may be I mean you get the

00:08:51   counterpoint out and they definitely

00:08:52   appreciate where your

00:08:53   it's lovely to hear that you have a very

00:08:56   different view on this than I do in some

00:08:58   ways as a user who wants the feature and

00:09:00   me as the developers like hmm maybe not

00:09:03   oh and by the way that so I don't know

00:09:05   how big your beta is but because you

00:09:07   revealed the secret about that nice

00:09:08   shimmery effect on the badge section on

00:09:10   the toolbar yeah I noticed that

00:09:12   immediately and I'm like ooh what's that

00:09:14   and I tapped it I've never tapped that

00:09:16   button before ever like I didn't even

00:09:18   know the badges were in your app how

00:09:20   long have they been there you know they

00:09:21   appeared in that beta okay you could

00:09:24   have you could have seen them it used to

00:09:25   be a button to like share your steps

00:09:27   with like making a low share image now

00:09:29   it's this new area for badges okay well

00:09:32   but like I saw that button on the cool

00:09:33   what's that and I tapped it yeah and

00:09:35   then I noticed later on the day I went

00:09:37   back to it and it was still shimmering

00:09:38   and I thought oh there is something in

00:09:40   here I haven't seen yet or I haven't

00:09:41   cleared it or I haven't marked as red or

00:09:42   something so I tapped it again and at

00:09:44   neither point but I was like oh god

00:09:46   that's so garish you know I know I wish

00:09:48   that app wasn't they know that it's

00:09:50   something that's small and subtle but

00:09:51   it's you know kind of get your attention

00:09:53   in a tasteful way it's not like the

00:09:55   blink tag or the marquee tag in HTML you

00:09:57   know it's not blinking bright pink and

00:09:58   and you know covering up the part of the

00:10:00   app that I want that I want to see

00:10:02   anything like that it's you know it's a

00:10:04   nice little animation shimmer effect on

00:10:06   a bar button item and that's totally

00:10:08   tasteful and within the bounds of

00:10:10   reasonable and it at least in this small

00:10:12   testing group of one it had exactly the

00:10:14   intended effect which is I noticed this

00:10:16   thing and it happen hard to see what I

00:10:18   was missing

00:10:18   yeah and I think that was my intention

00:10:20   with that and I'm glad it worked in that

00:10:24   in that regard and I think it reminds

00:10:26   the this discussion is interesting

00:10:28   because it reminds me of the very first

00:10:29   time I went to WB DC and I went to a one

00:10:34   of the user interface design labs which

00:10:37   are those really hard to schedule things

00:10:39   that WTC where you have to give that

00:10:41   back then you couldn't do it in the app

00:10:43   even you had to like get up early in the

00:10:45   morning line up outside of Moscone West

00:10:47   as soon as they opened the door you'd

00:10:49   like run into the place where you could

00:10:51   sign up and you know they had you know

00:10:53   40 for the day and the first 40 people

00:10:55   got design reviews and I remember I went

00:10:58   to one of those and you know in general

00:11:01   the the guy was very helpful and gave me

00:11:02   a lot of feedback on my app but one of

00:11:04   the things he said that stuck with me

00:11:05   and still stuck with me

00:11:07   is this feet he said one of the things

00:11:10   that's important to find in your app is

00:11:12   having an area or a purpose that gives

00:11:16   somebody new value every time they open

00:11:19   the app so making sure that there's a

00:11:24   reason for them to come back to it on a

00:11:26   regular basis and in sit with an app

00:11:29   like pedometer in some ways it's like

00:11:30   the just the fact that the step counts

00:11:32   are changing is sort of that and you

00:11:34   know I be the impression I get from a

00:11:36   lot of my users is that there is this

00:11:37   natural I guess you'd call it

00:11:40   habituation if that's a word of use of

00:11:43   the app where you know if you are

00:11:45   somebody who starts to care about your

00:11:46   steps you will just naturally start

00:11:48   opening the app on a regular basis to

00:11:50   check your your step counts and in many

00:11:52   ways my goal with this other version is

00:11:55   to rather than pulling you into the app

00:11:58   with a notification to try and be like

00:11:59   hey you earned a badge good job is to in

00:12:03   some ways create this curiosity about

00:12:05   you know hey did I get there and

00:12:07   especially because it's intonation with

00:12:09   a lot of badges kind of stuff is once

00:12:11   you've had you in most users will

00:12:14   probably download this update have an

00:12:16   initial wave of badges that they earn in

00:12:20   terms of you know it's because it takes

00:12:21   into account your past history so you

00:12:22   know if you've had a day with 40,000

00:12:25   steps like great job you are in that

00:12:26   badge or you've had a long streak or

00:12:28   your lifetime steps have crossed over

00:12:30   any of the boundaries like you'll have

00:12:32   this big swath of badges and hopefully

00:12:34   that's exciting and cool and is useful

00:12:36   when the app comes out and can make

00:12:38   people excited and want to show people

00:12:40   but then from that point on like there's

00:12:43   actually not going to be that many

00:12:44   badges that you will earn on a regular

00:12:46   basis from that point on just because

00:12:48   the nature of the like having it be an

00:12:52   achievement that you work towards you

00:12:54   know like right now I'm working towards

00:12:56   my 10 million step badge which is

00:12:58   currently the highest lifetime step

00:13:01   badge which you know fair enough I've

00:13:03   been using the app for a very long time

00:13:04   but I think I'm something like 300

00:13:09   thousand steps away from that it's going

00:13:11   to take me a while to get that three

00:13:14   hundred thousand steps but and so it's

00:13:16   not something that's necessarily

00:13:18   something gonna check on a regular basis

00:13:20   but

00:13:21   I'm you know in the weird way in the

00:13:22   back of my mind I kind of now that I am

00:13:25   you now this feature is there I'm always

00:13:27   kind of hoping that there'll be this

00:13:29   shimmer in the top right corner the next

00:13:31   time I open the app it creates that set

00:13:34   of the sense of somewhat excitement or

00:13:37   curiosity which is different than if I

00:13:40   just know whenever I hit it I'm gonna

00:13:41   get a notification like that

00:13:43   I have this feeling of I'm going to go

00:13:45   back and check on a regular basis but

00:13:47   yeah it's this is a funny tension though

00:13:50   because I don't you know III appreciate

00:13:52   the where you're coming from for like

00:13:54   you can get into such it can be so

00:13:57   useful to do this kind of notification

00:13:59   stuff and to do this kind of more

00:14:01   coaching based behaviors um but at the

00:14:05   same time I also kind of just want

00:14:06   people to keep opening the app on a

00:14:08   regular basis because that's not their

00:14:10   if you care about it if you're like I'm

00:14:12   if you are in a highly engaged user of

00:14:16   the app you're just gonna be doing it

00:14:17   anyway and maybe I'm losing some of the

00:14:19   attention of the less engaged users but

00:14:23   in a weird way like I'm okay with that

00:14:24   I don't know it's it I'm probably not

00:14:27   making a good choice necessarily but

00:14:28   it's it's just the thing that feels more

00:14:30   right to me I'm curious do you do things

00:14:34   like measure monthly active users in any

00:14:36   way I use fabrics to--and so it measures

00:14:41   it for me because the reason I asked is

00:14:44   like you know the this you know I I've

00:14:47   always found that whenever I start

00:14:49   measuring anything you know and this is

00:14:51   not a this is nothing I invented this is

00:14:54   a very common thing whenever I start

00:14:55   measuring anything I do start caring

00:14:58   about that thing and I start trying to

00:15:00   optimize for it you know and this you

00:15:03   know again this happens with lots of

00:15:04   things that get measured as part of jobs

00:15:07   or work or even just hobbies you know

00:15:09   that's one of the reasons why like it's

00:15:11   so hard to evaluate programmer

00:15:12   productivity with things like lines of

00:15:13   code written or things like that and you

00:15:17   know as I started evaluating over cash

00:15:19   in this way I sort of you know when I

00:15:21   built my own analytics to replace fabric

00:15:22   a few months back and I started doing I

00:15:25   started measuring monthly active users

00:15:26   really the first time and you know

00:15:28   anybody who does this just sees two

00:15:32   things a

00:15:34   way more people install the app than use

00:15:36   the app be lots of people use the app

00:15:39   first and then stop using it and you

00:15:42   could kind of lose them they just kind

00:15:44   of you know they don't really stick and

00:15:46   so it's very very tempting for anybody

00:15:49   measuring any kind of engagement type

00:15:51   activity in their app like this to make

00:15:55   changes like adding notifications or

00:15:57   sending out email reminders or things

00:15:58   like that to make these changes to

00:16:00   remind people to get back into the app

00:16:01   and that feels so spammy to me like I

00:16:04   really don't like that however I do

00:16:06   think you know in areas like this I

00:16:08   think it is possible and reasonable that

00:16:13   not every app will have a way to do this

00:16:15   but that many apps have an opportunity

00:16:18   here to remind people to come back to

00:16:20   the app in a way that doesn't just feel

00:16:22   like outright spam it's a very very hard

00:16:25   line to lock and again not every app is

00:16:26   going to have something like this that

00:16:28   they can do whether it would make sense

00:16:30   to do I always think of like James

00:16:32   Thomson's pea calc app which is a

00:16:34   wonderful calculator and James is he is

00:16:37   so devoted to this app on these

00:16:38   platforms he adds every feature he

00:16:40   possibly can like whenever iOS enables

00:16:42   something new like now you can change

00:16:44   your calculators icon to like all sorts

00:16:46   of wonderful little icon and you just

00:16:47   iOS finally added that option he has

00:16:49   like a version of it for Apple TV stuff

00:16:51   like that and I always think of like an

00:16:53   app like that calculator utility app

00:16:56   what would that do with some of these

00:16:59   you know tricky behaviors or engagements

00:17:01   or in-app purchase options and it's hard

00:17:02   and it reminds me like so many apps it's

00:17:05   hard to come up with useful ways you can

00:17:08   either you know have in-app purchases to

00:17:11   help you achieve a more successful

00:17:13   business model or sustainable business

00:17:15   model or you know things like how do you

00:17:18   use notifications to increase engagement

00:17:21   sometimes it's just really hard for the

00:17:23   app sometimes there is an option like

00:17:24   you know what speak how it gonna do like

00:17:26   bother you you know every every like you

00:17:29   know a few days saying hey need any math

00:17:32   to do you haven't done any map in the

00:17:33   last few days I can help you out there

00:17:34   like it's just so many apps are not

00:17:36   gonna have a reasonable way to do this

00:17:39   that doesn't just seem like pointless

00:17:41   spam to the user so when you have

00:17:44   something like that like you do with

00:17:46   these fitness apps or you

00:17:47   have like as usually the coaching

00:17:49   behavior goal-setting you can notify

00:17:51   people about their progress towards a

00:17:53   goal and help them reach it if they are

00:17:54   about to not reach it or congratulate

00:17:56   them when they do reach it that is

00:17:59   actually valuable for this type of app

00:18:01   in a way that is way more way more

00:18:04   clearly valuable and not spamming that

00:18:06   in most apps have the opportunity to do

00:18:09   so it almost be a waste for you not to

00:18:12   do features like this the only reason I

00:18:14   think you wouldn't want to do a feature

00:18:15   like this is either if Apple bans it

00:18:18   which they haven't and likely won't or

00:18:21   if you just don't want to justify

00:18:23   putting this much time into this app

00:18:24   like if the app for you was otherwise

00:18:26   pretty much done and you wanted to

00:18:28   invest a time in a different app but as

00:18:30   long as you're investing time into

00:18:31   building features for this app that

00:18:32   feature seems like low-hanging fruit and

00:18:34   it seemed like a win all around anyway

00:18:38   we are sponsored this week by xoj o XO

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00:19:58   so you're doing a very good job

00:20:02   turning me a little bit on this I'll say

00:20:05   the things that come to mind though that

00:20:07   are kind of interesting as I try and

00:20:10   think through if I were to go down this

00:20:11   road of like being a bit more chatty or

00:20:14   emitting but more engaged

00:20:15   I think first is the thing that I'm

00:20:17   realizing as you're describing the

00:20:19   situation is in many ways I am reticent

00:20:23   to do this because of the experience

00:20:26   I've had in other applications that were

00:20:29   not respectful in their use of something

00:20:32   like this and in some ways as I'm as

00:20:37   emitting here thinking about it in some

00:20:39   ways it's nice to think of this as a

00:20:40   potential opportunity as a result it's

00:20:44   like the doing it in a respectful

00:20:47   thoughtful way that is clearly not

00:20:50   spammy or problematic in those kinds of

00:20:54   ways is potentially an advantage is

00:20:57   potentially something that would be

00:20:58   distinctive and attractive to users and

00:21:03   I should not have in my mind that just

00:21:05   like doing something like this is always

00:21:08   sketchy because just because other

00:21:11   developers have done something like this

00:21:14   in a sketchy way you know it doesn't

00:21:16   preclude me from finding a you know

00:21:18   finding the right way to do this and in

00:21:21   many ways I think that's something that

00:21:22   in the back of my mind is I'm developing

00:21:24   that's like my goal in most things is to

00:21:26   try and find that respectful thoughtful

00:21:29   approach to something that is

00:21:31   potentially different then you know a

00:21:34   may more out of like a mainstream

00:21:36   competitor like a big larger company so

00:21:39   that's I think a is good to keep in mind

00:21:41   and then to something that is

00:21:43   interesting that's probably worth

00:21:45   unpacking slightly just from a technical

00:21:47   perspective is the interesting thing

00:21:49   with notifications on iOS is that they

00:21:52   are always opt-in unless unless your

00:21:57   Apple in which case you don't have to

00:21:58   have user opt into notifications which

00:22:00   is a side note but in our applications

00:22:03   we have to have users opt into them and

00:22:06   so as it the interesting thing is I

00:22:08   think about this is like earlier you

00:22:09   need to I think the the very valid point

00:22:11   that having some like this not on by

00:22:14   default

00:22:15   Dramastic drastically diminishes its

00:22:17   impact because very few people

00:22:19   proportionally will turn it on and it's

00:22:23   tricky though with notifications because

00:22:24   you in order to enable it they have to

00:22:28   pop up you know a modal blocker that

00:22:30   says would you like to allow this

00:22:32   application to send you notifications

00:22:33   you know if I don't do that I can't show

00:22:36   you a notification so either after - you

00:22:39   know so I have to at some point I have

00:22:40   to show this to you now if it's not

00:22:43   enabled by default then I would just

00:22:46   have this be you know in the Settings

00:22:48   app would be like an area that was just

00:22:50   like coaching and we'll have a little

00:22:52   description of what coaching would be

00:22:53   and then a you know like a a switch that

00:22:56   you would turn on and when you let me

00:22:57   know at that moment when you first

00:22:59   turned it on it would pop up into

00:23:01   blocker at that point and say hey you

00:23:02   know in order for me to get send you

00:23:04   these coaching prompts I just need to

00:23:05   and you need to give me permission to do

00:23:07   this which feels very natural but if I

00:23:11   wanted it to be enabled by default but I

00:23:12   would have to do is presumably the first

00:23:15   time you install the app probably or

00:23:17   very shortly thereafter just sort of

00:23:20   blindly pop up this notification that

00:23:23   says hey I you know this app can send

00:23:25   you coaching stuff do you want to say

00:23:27   yes you know would you like me to do

00:23:29   that or not and like that's I think in

00:23:31   many ways if anything the thing that I

00:23:33   get more stuck on especially because the

00:23:35   app already unfortunately has one of

00:23:38   those right now because when you first

00:23:40   install the app it pops up a

00:23:41   notification that says would you give me

00:23:43   permission to access your motion and

00:23:44   Fitness data because the app is

00:23:46   completely useless without turning that

00:23:49   on and so it's interesting because I

00:23:51   don't think I would ever feel good about

00:23:53   and having it always on by default

00:23:55   because I would have to show that

00:23:56   notification as part of the like

00:24:00   onboarding process unless then it goes

00:24:03   like okay well then that's when you

00:24:05   start doing the like the big walkthrough

00:24:07   thing where it you know the first time

00:24:09   you launch the app it kind of has this

00:24:10   little walkthrough thing where it's like

00:24:12   hey this app needs your motion data it's

00:24:15   about to ask you to ask you for it okay

00:24:17   and then it asks you for it and then the

00:24:18   next page is like hey this has coaching

00:24:21   would you like coaching and you kind of

00:24:22   have the user fill out a questionnaire

00:24:25   on their first run experience which

00:24:28   I don't love either but anyway these are

00:24:30   just some funny things as you as you

00:24:33   convinced me to explore this more and

00:24:35   not just discount it offhand these are

00:24:37   the kind of things that I start to then

00:24:38   think about because there's some

00:24:39   interesting technical challenges to

00:24:41   going down this road as well what about

00:24:43   if you if you instead of like naming it

00:24:46   coaching necessarily and and just asking

00:24:48   do you want coaching that's kind of

00:24:49   vague people might not get like what

00:24:51   that is or why I would want that how

00:24:53   about you you make it a two-step process

00:24:55   you know you have step one it please

00:24:57   Mabel your emotion prompt done okay and

00:24:59   then and then second screen is what

00:25:01   would you like your goal to be your

00:25:03   daily goal and then you on that same

00:25:06   screen you can sit you could have you

00:25:08   know an option that says would you like

00:25:10   to be reminded about the progress you're

00:25:12   making or know it would like to be

00:25:13   notified about the progress you're

00:25:14   making towards your daily goal and then

00:25:16   that prompts them for notifications yeah

00:25:18   it's like it's doing it in that kind of

00:25:21   having an onboarding process and then

00:25:23   for existing users you on the first on

00:25:26   the first one of the new verbs and you

00:25:27   put up a box saying would you like to

00:25:29   review your daily goal and then on that

00:25:31   screen have you know because you know

00:25:35   right now this is you know this is

00:25:36   something that again like in a way that

00:25:38   would make sense as a feature for a user

00:25:40   you might want to you know similar to

00:25:42   what the Apple watch does you might want

00:25:44   to have periodic prompts to the user of

00:25:46   like you know you've been hitting your

00:25:48   daily goal every day and exceeding it by

00:25:50   like thirty percent for a while you want

00:25:52   to maybe increase it or if they never

00:25:55   hit their daily goal you can problem to

00:25:56   say do you want to modify your goal you

00:25:58   know maybe it may be low you know you

00:26:00   got it carefully obviously to not show

00:26:02   like hey you're kind of lazy you know

00:26:04   but like that like there's a way to do

00:26:06   that where it is part of a feature is

00:26:08   actually helpful you know and and the

00:26:09   Apple watch shows such a great example

00:26:11   of this and there's a lot of people out

00:26:13   there who don't have Apple watches but

00:26:15   do have iPhones so this could really be

00:26:18   a big help for them and and this could

00:26:21   bring a lot of the value of the Apple

00:26:23   watch with its like daily fitness rings

00:26:25   it can bring a lot of that value to

00:26:27   iPhone users who don't have the watch

00:26:28   and so I feel like if you roll this in

00:26:32   as just like a couple of minor prompts

00:26:34   like periodic goal change prompts

00:26:36   depending on their on performance and

00:26:37   then also like do you want to be

00:26:40   notified of your progress

00:26:41   with this goal that you're setting or

00:26:43   modifying on in this screen simple is

00:26:45   that then you have then you cover

00:26:46   adjusting and new users I mean this is

00:26:48   I'm just spitballing here I have done

00:26:50   you know thought about this at all

00:26:50   besides what's happened on the on the

00:26:52   air right now but like this could be

00:26:55   like kind of one thing because you know

00:26:58   this you do have to think so hard when

00:27:00   you're designing apps about in wording

00:27:02   of things when you ask for permission to

00:27:05   do things and like notifications you

00:27:07   know how you ask when you ask how it's

00:27:10   pretend to the user what what kind of

00:27:11   selling proposition is being shown of

00:27:13   them like if you just if you just ask

00:27:16   for notifications kind of like the dumb

00:27:17   way like in your after you finish

00:27:19   launching method and so that way like

00:27:21   the very first time they launch the app

00:27:23   just asks they don't know yet why you

00:27:26   want notifications like you haven't

00:27:28   actually shown them why and so you will

00:27:30   probably have a lower accept rate or

00:27:33   lower opt-in rate unless you have shown

00:27:35   them a good reason why but if you have

00:27:37   this you know you already have that

00:27:38   problem with the motion setting so you

00:27:40   already have a system in place to kind

00:27:42   of let the first-run experience to

00:27:43   manage that it would not be that much

00:27:45   work to add a second screen to that did

00:27:47   that just says alright how about your

00:27:48   goal what kind of goal do you want and

00:27:49   then you know roll it in with that yeah

00:27:52   maybe and it's yeah it's interesting I

00:27:55   mean that's how I'm glad we talked about

00:27:56   on the show cuz it's it's it's these

00:27:58   these types of things where I make a

00:28:00   choice and then I'm I don't feel

00:28:02   confident in the finality of that and

00:28:05   it's certainly helpful I think to talk

00:28:06   it through because there's a lot of

00:28:06   these you know there's so many different

00:28:08   options and I think too

00:28:09   maybe it's a closing thought like the

00:28:11   thing that comes to mind is how in many

00:28:15   ways we have to make choices about the

00:28:18   the sort of the scope of our application

00:28:21   and they had the type of customers we

00:28:22   want in the sense that do I am one of

00:28:26   the things that in the back of my mind I

00:28:27   then have to decide is do I want to have

00:28:29   an app with lots and lots of slightly

00:28:33   interested users or do I want to have

00:28:36   optimized for fewer fanatical users for

00:28:40   example like and these are the kinds of

00:28:42   things that go on in the back of my mind

00:28:43   when I try and think through features

00:28:45   like this because in some ways I think

00:28:46   my general my knee-jerk reaction is

00:28:50   always I would rather have fewer very

00:28:52   very passionate engaged users then

00:28:55   lots and lots of users who don't really

00:28:57   care it's not with the paid upfront

00:28:59   price you don't yeah well there's a

00:29:02   three so that's right it is free and

00:29:04   it's just the tip jar right yeah it's

00:29:06   just has a tip jar so but it you know

00:29:08   and so it's it's interesting to just try

00:29:10   and think through what kind of users I

00:29:11   want and then how do I want to treat

00:29:13   those users and I think as long as I do

00:29:14   that respectfully then you know I'll

00:29:16   probably be in good shape but it's just

00:29:18   it is a good reminder of all the

00:29:20   different things that we have to balance

00:29:21   you know to make our apps be the things

00:29:23   we want them to be I think you're pretty

00:29:25   respectful all right I hope so we're out

00:29:27   of time this week thanks for listening

00:29:29   and we'll talk to you next week bye