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Best Ways to Track User Behavior in Mobile App

If you have developed your app, one of the crucial things you need to pay attention to is user behaviour. 

It is important to track KPIs like downloads and retention but do you know how your users behave?Do you know what your users like or dislike with your app?

Such information helps you to ‘see’ how users interact with your mobile app and to improve user experience.

Users will abandon the app for the various issues (complex registration, app crashes or speed, too many or too few push notifications etc.) or use gestures in a totally unexpected way and tracking their behaviour can provide you with a valuable insight on what features of your app are preferred or disliked. 

If you use the right methods and tools, you can understand your users much better and improve your mobile app as well as increase conversion rates. 

Session Recordings

The best way to actually SEE how your users interact with your app is to track user behaviour – that’s where session recordings come in handy. 

Session recordings show you exactly how users interact with your app from the moment they launch it for the first time until they leave the app. 

This way, you’ll see your app through users’ eyes, with every tap and gesture they make – you can track user behaviour at any stage of app’s lifecycle.

Source: business2community.com

Session recordings provide a full analysis of every action taken by the user which makes it easier to understand users’ pain points better. 

For example, if users quickly abandon or uninstall your app, the session recordings will alert you and pinpoint any hidden problems that may harm your conversion rates or user retention.

Pro Tip:

  • The first session recordings are important to understand how users navigate your onboarding process or what triggers them to abandon your app after a single use. If your sessions are under 20 seconds, you can identify the reasons for abandonment thus increase the retention.
  • Monitor your long-term customers’ sessions and learn from them what works well in your app or what can be optimized

Touch Heatmaps

If you want to understand how the users navigate your app, how they explore each menu, screen or gestures, it would be wise to use a qualitative tool like touch heatmaps.

Touch heatmaps produce a color spectrum of collected users’ interactions on each app screen. These maps provide instant insight on how your users interact with each screen enabling you to monitor user behaviour and understand the issues. 

Source: quota.com

Touch heatmaps can be filtered by various parameters like the unresponsive gestures on the screen or the first gestures users made on a screen etc. For example, monitoring unresponsive gestures for example can quickly reveal any usability issue that causes the same. 

Some of the reasons can be ambiguous design, error in resolution calculations or mislaid elements on the screen etc. 

Pro Tip:

  • You should check the features that first catch users’ attention on every screen and only then optimize them appropriately.
  • Try to identify the unresponsive gestures to improve gesture UX and observe the final gestures on each screen to see if they make sense or indicate any potential problem. (e.g.  if someone taps the ‘BACK’ button instead of completing the registration process).

Navigation Paths

Navigation paths provide a detailed map of your app’s user journey – it appears as sunburst visualization where the center indicates that the user launched the app and then the sunburst expands to show the first screen the user navigated to. It displays the screens from the first one to the second one and so on. This is especially important as it facilitates detecting interesting or problematic user journeys. 

For example, if you detect users that go back and forth between the same screens, it may be a sign that they are confused about the navigation or may have encountered a usability issue.

Source: clevertap.com

Navigation paths can help you to pin a starting point apart from the ‘open app’ to see journeys from any screen in your app, even popups. These navigation paths can also guide you when choosing the most relevant session recording to review. 

Pro Tip

  • You can improve navigation by identifying user journeys that show confusion as well as understanding why users abandoned the app by comparing new vs. returning users.
  • In case you have an eCommerce mobile app, you can assess these paths from the cart screen to understand where users go if they don’t complete the payment.

Conversion Funnels

Conversion funnels can show you the exact spot where the users drop out of the funnel.  

Conversion funnels track user behaviour in the areas of your app that is the most relevant for your company bottom line: onboarding, payment and in-app purchases. 

Source: webhopers.com

A powerful approach would be to combine the conversion funnels and session recordings – conversation funnels provide excellent data (completion time of each step etc.) and combining it with session recordings may increase your chances to successfully improve conversion rates.  

Pro Tip:

  • Monitor the recordings of your users as they drop out of the funnel and try to understand what made them fail if you want to increase in-app purchase.
  • Another good advice is to assess the average time between each step of the funnel.
  • Monitor conversion funnels and session recordings for registration, login and onboarding to increase retention rates and improve the onboarding process.

Action Cohorts 

Action cohorts enable you to analyze any user action in relation to another revealing user behaviour trends and engagement over any period of time. 

Such information can enable you to understand the relationship of your app and the users as well as what kind of behaviour you’d like to see with users and how to incite it. 

Source: business2community.com

Action cohorts allow you to analyze the time between the initial and the following actions – it enables you to track user behaviour between two specific actions over a certain period of time. 

Pro Tip:

  • You should try to understand the entire navigation process, from the moment users completed onboarding to the moment they’ve created an account. You will be able to track the relationship between users’ first and second in-app purchases as well as the behaviour of the new users.
  • Increase user retention by monitoring cohorts of users who created an account and then abandoned the app to understand the behaviour better and improve any possible faults.

Best tools for tracking User Behaviour for Mobile Apps

If you’d like to get deeper insight on how users behave with your app or what are their likes or dislikes, there are many tools on the market which can help you with it. These tools can help you to see how users interact with your app as well as to improve and optimize your app for your users. 

Some of the tools are: 


Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

Google Mobile App Analytics is a free tool which you can use for Android and iOS platforms. You can also choose a premium version which is intended for enterprises with more detailed information. 

Google Analytics primarily measures user acquisition, activation and revenue. You just need to sign in with your Google account and start using it. 

You can set goals for your users and check if they are accomplished as well as track the goal flow. 

Some of the features are:

  • The number of users and sessions
  • The money spent by users
  • Session duration
  • Operating systems, device models and locations of your users
Source: google.developers.com

Mixpanel

Mixpanel helps with tracking your mobile app and analyzing how users engage with your product to be able to re-engage them with more targeted information in the future. 

You can get further insights of the users’ journey not only on your mobile app but also on desktop and mobile web. 

No code is required to track the app’s metrics so it is really easy to use. 

Features cover:

  • engagement
  • retention analytics
  • conversion funnels
  • A/B testing and
  • automatic insights.
Source: mixpanel.com

Appsee (acquired by ServiceNow)

Appsee provides qualitative analytics enabling you to actually ‘see’ how your users behave while using the app and understand each action they take – in short, you can see if the user was puzzled during onboarding or if any issue triggered him to leave the app. 

Touch heatmap features expose the areas where users interact the most or the least per each screen. The heatmaps also show unresponsive gestures giving you a chance to quickly identify any usability issues and optimize your app for better user experience. 

Some of the features are:

  • Realtime In-App analytics
  • Touch heatmaps
  • User journey tracking 
  • Realtime alerts
  • Navigation Paths
Source: apptamin.com

Localytics

Localytics offers a variety of features – from extensive quantitative analytics to smart tagging and more. 

It gives you an understanding on how to drive targeted engagement across the user lifecycle. 

Localytics supports Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and HTML5.

Some of the features:

  • App usage information
  • Screenflow
  • A/B testing 
  • Funnels and segments
Source: localytics.com

Clevertap

CleverTap offers deep insights on user behaviour, thorough segmentation and personalized messaging. 

It enables you to engage your users with personalized push notifications and in-app messages to better understand users’ preferences as well as to track user uninstalls to better retarget them. 

Some of the features are:

  • Audience Analytics (funnels, cohorts, uninstalls, user journey)
  • Automated Segmentation
  • Omnichannel Marketing
  • Campaign Optimization
Source: clevertap.com

Flurry 

Flurry analytics is extensive and detailed  where you can view data of your app usage. It can be used by businesses as it monitors user interactions across multiple mobile applications. 

Dashboard covers a variety of information like app usage, audience, events etc. It can appear somewhat confusing for the first time yet the analytics provide extensive data to better optimize your app. 

Some of the features are:

  • Retention analytics
  • User Sessions
  • Events and Segmentation
  • User paths 
  • Funnels
Source: flurry.com

Apptentive 

Apptentive analytics will help you to uncover strengths and weaknesses in your user experience – it helps to listen to, engage with and retain your users. 

The product intelligently engages customer segments, triggers users to take action through in-app messages, surveys etc. Apptentive helps to boost your app ratings, drive downloads and build customer loyalty. 

Some features include:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Analytics
  • Rates and Reviews
  • Surveys 
Source: apptentive.com

Final Word

If you’ve built your mobile app, you should work on popularization of your app – to do so, you must engage your users and the best way to do that is to track their app behaviour and understand any potential usability issues or reasons why they like or dislike your app.

There are many more tools to help you to track your users’ behaviour  when using your app so consider each tool’s pros and cons and choose the  one matching your needs for the best outcome possible.