App Design 101: How to Craft a Content Strategy for Your App
Two-thirds of the global population, around 5 billion people, now own mobile phone.
That’s around 60% of the current population, which means mobile phone usage is in the majority.
This is why the mobile apps industry is still growing at an exponential rate. As the needs of mobile phone users change, the industry adapts and undergoes many changes as well.
This might be the reason why it can still be hard to get the right mix of app design and content. If you want to know how you can create a great content strategy for your app, dive in to learn what you should consider.
1. Have a Strategy Before Launching the App
When developing a content strategy, make sure it’s ready before you even launch the app. When you already have an idea of what your app is going to be about, that’s when you can start planning. This is because you also have to take into account the type of content when designing the app.
Your app should have the right sections for the content you want. For example, you want user-generated content on your app. You should then design your app in a way that would accept submissions.
This then brings us to the type of content you want.
2. Determine the Right Type of Content for Your App
You have to consider the type of app you want before you decide on the content. If you want to cater your app toward busy people, for example, you won’t want to publish lengthy articles.
If your app is all about recipes, decide if you want to include step-by-step pictures or videos, too. Then, think of what else you can offer aside from recipes. You can allow recipe submissions, or you can put a comment section so users can chime in.
Remember to focus on the goal of your app. Don’t add other types of content if they don’t align with your app’s purpose.
3. Focus on High-Quality Content
You might think that with mobile apps, shorter content is better. That may be true in some instances, like in the example above, but that’s not always the case.
Even with smaller screen real estate, people still like reading useful information. If your content doesn’t add anything of value to them, they’ll drop your app no matter if it’s short or long.
Instead of focusing on limiting the length of your content, focus on delivering valuable information. Optimize the content in other areas to keep the readers’ attention.
4. Use Short Paragraphs
Because devices have smaller screens, a single paragraph can take up the whole screen. Avoid walls of texts by using shorter paragraphs. Test the content first on a mobile phone before publishing it to get an idea of how readers will experience it.
As you publish more and more content, you’ll be able to get a feel of how long a paragraph should be. We recommend using 2-3 sentences per paragraph. If the sentence is rather long, use 1-2 instead.
Make sure each paragraph also has ample spacing in-between. Otherwise, it would still look like a wall of text.
5. Use Headers to Separate Different Sections
One trick to make the reading experience easier is to use headers, especially if the content is long. They can separate each point in the article into different sections. This makes it easy for a reader to follow through.
Headers can also make it easier for a reader to go back to a certain point in the article. As you know, navigating is a bit harder on mobile phones. It can be harder to find something again as your readers will have to scroll back and forth.
With headers, they can read them instead of the whole section to find what they’re looking for. To make it easier for your users, use the right header tags to make them stand out from paragraphs.
6. Use Legible Font Size and Type
Another consideration when devising a content strategy for mobile phones is the font. It has to be simple, something that people can read without effort from their screens. It should also be in the right size so as not to strain the users’ eyes.
When designing the app, you also have to consider every single person who’ll be using your app. Your user base will likely include those with poor eyesight, old or young. In this sense, it’s a good idea to offer options, such as a bigger font size.
7. Publish Engaging Content
Of course, these tips won’t help if your content isn’t engaging in the first place. As we’ve mentioned above, it should align with the goals of your app to ensure that it’s relevant to your users. If you’re a user and you downloaded a beauty app, you won’t want to know the latest personal finance tips, for example.
You can also deliver personalized content, which takes into account their activities within the app. This shows that you’re catering to their needs, urging them to engage with your app more.
8. Consider Adding Visual Content
Humans are visual learners, and so they may be more inclined to engage with your app content if it has some visual elements to it. Add infographics or even videos along with your content or as the content. These will make it easier for them to understand the message you’re trying to deliver.
There’s one thing you’ll have to consider when using videos, though. It’s going to use a lot more data than images or a simple text. Consider adding text to accompany the video so your users will have a choice.
If you have a poor app structure, it might not even be able to perform well with videos. Make sure it can handle videos by visiting this website.
Sometimes, you don’t have to go overboard with your graphics. Some relevant images to break up walls of texts can suffice to hold the readers’ attention.
9. Front Load the Important Information
In mobile phones, you have limited chances of grabbing the user’s attention. This heightens the importance of being direct to the point from the get-go.
To give you an example, think of how users read push notifications. There are only a few lines they can see, so apps would have to make sure they can deliver the most important information in 2 lines.
You can have the same logic with app content. The first thing they see should be the content’s main point following the headline. At the same time, it should make them want to know more.
10. Craft Interesting Headlines
Headlines should have a bigger font size to capture the interest of your users, but they should be interesting by themselves. It should be clear as to what the content is about, giving the readers a good idea of what they’ll see when they click it. Make sure to avoid clickbait headlines that might make your users delete the app instead.
Craft interesting content first and then write an interesting headline to go with it. At the same time, it should be short enough for mobile optimization. It shouldn’t take too much room on the space, yet it should be big enough for readability.
This task is going to be a bit tricky with all these considerations. However, as you get a good idea of what makes people click and what doesn’t, you’ll be able to craft good headlines in no time.
11. De-clutter the Screen Space
You need a reader’s full attention as they read through the content. To achieve that, your app design should have minimal clutter that can distract them.
This is becoming more important as humans now only have 8 seconds of attention span as opposed to 12 seconds from before 2000, around the start of the mobile revolution. This is what you’re up against, so don’t make it easier for your users to distract themselves from what’s important.
Depending on the purpose of your app, you may want them to take action. A cluttered space will distract them from doing that. It might even make their user experience unbearable, which will then lead them to delete the app.
12. Optimize the Reading Experience for Touch Screens
Navigating in the small screens of mobile devices is hard as it is; if you want users to interact more with your app and content, you have to make navigation easier for them.
On computers, we have keyboard shortcuts to copy/paste, switch between screens, and more. It’s easy to highlight certain texts and then save it to another application.
On mobile phones, on the other hand, we have limited shortcuts and most of the time, these shortcuts are hard to access and use if the developer didn’t optimize them. You can’t use keyboard shortcuts on mobile phones. As an app developer, you then have to figure out a way to offer shortcuts that will enhance the user experience.
Consider adding buttons for bookmarking, sharing, and such. However, we recommend keeping them hidden but still accessible via a single swipe. This is in line with the tip above to reduce clutter.
This is only an example; you can be as creative in optimizing the space for a great reading experience as you want.
Develop an App Design with Content in Mind
Your content strategy will play into the app design you’re going to end up with. This is why it’s a crucial part of any app development.
If you want to learn more about writing great content, for apps or for the web, check out our other guides now. Join us now for any of your digital marketing needs.