Making Your Mobile App a User Success Story – Part 4

The fourth level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is esteem. Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others are examples of this level. There are several ways to do this from making the app personal, gathering feedback, and implementing various levels of gamification.


Making the app personal, gathering user feedback and actually doing something about it signify to the users that you care and respect them. Mobile media is one of the most, if not the most, personal form in existence today. People carry nothing more often or more closely to them than their mobile phones. They eat, sleep and go to the bathroom with their mobile devices. It is imperative to utilize information about the user, user preferences and navigation history to make the app as personal as possible. If you think about it, you can probably get to know your users better than their friends.

Gathering feedback from your users is another powerful way to show you care. Doing something about their feedback takes you one step closer to shows how much you care about them. You need feedback from your users to understand any shortcomings of the app, what features they love and what you can do to improve the app to meet their evolving needs. The user experience is not just part of the design, it is an integral part of your product strategy.


As far as the user is concerned, if they are using your app and find something they need to report, make it easy for them to get in touch with your support team. Respond to your users within 24 hours of receiving the feedback. Your customer service can build a fantastic experience and improve the lifecycle of your app and the app’s word of mouth advertising.

As much thought as you put into your app, looking at every possible angle and every different scenario, you cannot imagine everything that might happen when using your app. Avoid being set in concrete, preconceived notions about how your app should be used. An app’s success results from a collaborative approach between the users and developers.

Esteem, as a verb, was originally in the Latin sense used figuratively to mean “assess the merit of.” A great way to assess the merit of a user is through gamification. Gamification has been a buzz word for several years now. One of the most publicized uses in mobile apps was the way Foursquare used it. They created competition between users to be the “mayor” of a business by checking in the most times. Foursquare also utilized badges when different tasks were completed like checking in at businesses in different cities. When it first burst onto the scene in the U.S., its usage soared from because of its gamification tactics. By December of 2013, Foursquare had 45 million users, 5 billion check-ins, 60 million venues, and in April 2013 had a funding round of $41 million.

Foursquare showed us one way of building loyalty through gamification. Every loyalty program should integrate this into their apps. Gamification is a powerful way to continually increase repeat visits and increase basket size. I have worked with several companies to do this and the results have been amazing. However, gamification is not for customer-facing apps only. It can be applied to project management and business goals too. By nature, we possess the need to achieve. What better way to increase business performance than to gamify it. Set up your business goals or tasks in a game-type environment. I’m not talking about Candy Crush. I’m talking about transparent rewards for specific goals and tasks. It could be a simple as a point system that is redeemable for corporate gear, dinner for two, bonuses or even promotions. Track this through your internal business app or project management app.

Building esteem in your users is a potent motivation for them to continue to use your app. Beyond the simple “congratulations” or “great job,” there are ways to generate a feeling of respect and achievement in your app. Don’t overlook these tactics when creating your next app or updating your current offerings.

What methods do you use to motivate your users by applying the esteem principle?