Don’t make the user wait

This app got my attention yesterday. Besides the fact that the app solves a simple use case, there was a trick which reminded me of a smart trick FIFA – a virtual soccer game – implemented some years ago.

Users usually needed to wait for about 5-15 seconds for every single game to load. If you only play casually, that is ok. If you play with your friends for a whole evening or play seriously in virtual leagues, it gets annoying. Then, change happened! Instead of a boring screen or gearwheel, you could play a fast and simple 1on1 which doesn’t need explanation for users. This feature has been evolved ever since and you can train specific movements or shots while loading a match nowadays.
Back to the app. When you start the app for the first time, you get a five(or so)-slide-introduction. Meanwhile, the app aggregates all the required data. Since I belong to those people who often skip the introduction and rather push the buttons randomly later on, I needed to wait until the app was finished loading. If I had read the introduction, I wouldn’t even have realized that the app was working.

Another bad example: JawboneUP Considering that I have not the latest version, I still need to plug my JawboneUp into my iPhone every time I want to see my stats. That’s not the worst part. It feels like ages every time I sync my band with the app. The only thing I see: the progress bar; the only thing I do: waiting. Just give me advice what I could improve, my stats from the last month, show the first results while the app continues to update (e.g. flight search) or whatever, but do not give me the feeling that I have to wait.

People use your product, because it is useful to them. Keep in mind that they also consider how the actual experience is. Waiting doesn’t lead to a great customer experience. If you service/product needs time to do something, consider to engage the user in another activity.