How creativity in a mobile app can affect user engagement

How creativity in a mobile app can affect user engagement

How creativity in a mobile app can affect user engagement
Vladimir Bormotov
Art Director at InAppStory

Design has long ceased to be a simple decoration or pictures in bright colors for business. Design is an addressing of challenges: how to make a chair compact, the shape of the car – streamlined, navigation in the city – clear. The design thinks through how to deal with a problem efficiently and with the minimum expenditure of resources. And, of course, to remain faithful to the aesthetic principles.

Design in mobile applications works exactly the same way. The desire to simply make everything beautiful is a big mistake. Beauty is the last stage of a designer's work; like with product packaging. However, before that, you need to figure out how it will work, and this is also a design in many ways.


Steve Jobes quote about design
Jobs knew what he talks about


The prominent industrial designer Dieter Rams has formulated ten principles of industrial design. In his opinion, a good design is:

  • Innovative
  • Makes the product useful
  • Helps the product to be clear
  • Unobtrusive
  • Honest
  • Long lasting
  • Thought out to the smallest detail
  • Harmonized with the environment and is eco-friendly
  • As little design as possible
  • Many believe that Apple is one of the companies that adhere to these principles.


A mobile application should be clear and as easy to use as possible, without unnecessary forms, clicks and pop-up windows. It should be catchy due to ease of use. And only after that, beautifully designed. The checkboxes opposite each of these items should be placed at least with the participation of a professional designer.

If everything listed in the previous paragraph is done properly, then we can say that the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are well thought out. With such an application, the user will be pleased to interact, which will ultimately lead to increased user engagement – the main metric underlying the success of any application.

Stories in the company's mobile app follow the same design principles as the app itself. Ideally, the design of stories should not just add pictures to the text, but be based on a number of principles that will help make this tool as effective as possible. If you succeed in achieving this, the degree of user engagement will increase significantly – after all, full-fledged media will appear in the application in which the user can find useful information.

Below we will talk about the principles of story design and specific elements that will help you do everything right.


1. Make previews of stories visible but concise

We are talking about the cover of the story that is displayed in the story feed in the mobile application. On the one hand, it should draw the user's attention to the section, push him to open the story. On the other hand, the preview icon should naturally fit into the application interface.

We recommend that you do not use an aggressive approach to the design of these elements – scarlet circles, lightning and exclamation marks that are more likely to repel than arouse user’s interest. The best way: Use a simple, clear picture that rhymes with the story's theme. Also, you need to separately draw and load into the SDK the shape and frames for the story icons so that it fits into the application and is combined with neighboring sections.

2. Maintain the overall concept of the stories


The entire story (preview and all slides) should be done in the same style. This will make it easier for the user to immerse themselves in the story, which will increase its readability. The graphic fragmentation is likely to confuse, and because of this, a person will lose the strand of the narrative, decide that he was in another story, or that this is generally a bug. And it won't end well for your story.

3. Use correct color combinations


The human eye is capable of distinguishing more than 30,000 shades of colors, but for one story, just a few are sufficient – two or three will be enough. This will make the story easier to perceive, and the wide variety of colors is likely to be off-putting. As a guide, you can use the basic principles of color combinations, as it is shown in the picture below.


Color harmonies principles
Color harmonies principles


4. Use various style approaches


Complex and expensive 3D graphics do not guarantee an increase in views, clicks or an edging up in CTR. It is much more efficient to use different styles. So, you should address several challenges at once: you will test different approaches and you will definitely understand better what is right for you in design, you will make your story feed diversified, with a high degree of probability you will fall into the preferences of different readers. One story can be made using stock photos, another can be animated, and a third can be hand-drawn. This way you can present the brand from different angles.


5. Feel free to be original


Stories in a media format and corporate restraint is not always appropriate when being creative with it. It is not only about unusual combinations of objects in graphics or the disclosure of a topic due to a paradoxical view of things. The InAppStory editor has a lot of different interactive tools that can be successfully combined with each other. We are talking about surveys, polls, quizzes and much more. Their successful integration will help not only increase the level of user engagement, but also diversify the content of the stories.

hand in the knot


6. Work with a combination of text and graphics


A user first of all perceives a picture and a title in the stories, and, depending on their combination, decides whether to read further or not. And here it is worth using the principles of attention management: do not draw the users attention to only one of the elements, let the picture and text combination work together, in a complex manner. But do not let them clash – overlap each other, or make the text unreadable. Another good solution to preserve the user's attention is to change the location of the text block or the accent in the picture, this is very effective.

7. Use users’ emotions


It is natural for a person to empathize with other people. Therefore, following the adventures of drawn characters is often easier than following just a combination of graphic objects. Use this knowledge when there is even a hint of narrative in the story, as in the development of a plot. You can also add the expression of emotions or human qualities to objects – this way the paper clip will become a friendly assistant in the program for working with texts, and it will be a little more pleasant to return to the document.

Another effective tool for emotional engagement is humor. Perhaps this is the best way to gain audience sympathy and loyalty, and at the same time stand out from other sources of information. Just do not overdo it: unsuccessful, incorrect or strained jokes will bury all your previous efforts in the same way that successful ones will help you to achieve success. Generally, turning into a stand-up show, more often than not, is not necessary at all.

8. Use trends


Fashion in design is also constantly changing. Yesterday the most relevant approach was collages, today – it is cyberpunk. Try not to miss new trends, this will help you become a friend for your audience that has already appreciated this trend. Is there a meme about an angry kitten? Is there a new challenge in the lead on Tik-Tok? Try to use such trends in your stories too. This is a very powerful way to shorten the distance between a brand and its clients.


Graphic design trends in 2021

9. Make friends with the audience


Simple and clear language in the text, combined with cute images in the graphics, make creativity friendly. And people, when consuming content, are looking for it no less than when communicating with other people. Make content that you would like to see yourself, that would talk to users as if they were loved ones, that would like to be a friend to your reader. And also - from time to time give small gifts to those who stay with you and to those who read the publication to the end.


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