Moulding your App for Internet related issues

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“An app tweaked to counter bad mobile data coverage in India”Here are some little tweaks to enhance the user experience in unstable telecommunication coverage in India.An average Indian resident having access to smartphones and the internet faces several data-related issues in different locations. Problems associated with mobile data are not only confined to network connectivity but also include fluctuations in speed and quality. According to Ericsson Consumer Lab’s Report, 2015, titled “The Changing Mobile Broadband Landscape”, 63 per cent of the users of mobile data indoors face quality and reliability issues such as lost connections and inconsistent network speeds while 68 per cent of the users, relying on mobile data outdoors, face issues such as lags in loading data and maps, refreshing apps and session failures.A fluctuating internet connection can cost an app its potential active users. Users generally develop a perception of the app being slow and prone to bugs when their internet is not at its best. Being a social media network, Roposo understands the importance of solving such internet issues to provide our users a smooth experience on the app. There are multiple checks and techniques we use in-house to ensure a seamless and enjoyable ride for our users every time they engage with Roposo. Here’s a look at some of these measures :

  1. Loading images in low resolution: The feed in Roposo’s app majorly consists of image-based posts and the number of images in a single post can go up to 20. Therefore, in case of poor connectivity, displaying the feed to the users can be pretty challenging. We have resolved this issue to a large extent by displaying images in low resolution.
  2. Image pre-fetch: Whenever the user is connected to Wi-Fi, we pre-fetch up to 10 image-based posts which he/she has not seen in the feed yet. This way, when the user connects to mobile data at a later stage, he/she can see the feed with new posts without a lag.
  3. Storing previously seen feed: If the user is connected to mobile data and for some reason loses connectivity, the feed seen by the user in his/her last session is displayed on the app. This enables the user to browse through posts and not have an empty feed.
  4. Prompts to retry posting: If a user is unable to complete posting something due to internet issues, the same post appears right at the top of the user’s feed prompting him/her to retry posting. This card does not go away from the top of the feed till the user manually discards it.
  5. Re-starting onboarding from the last completed step: Roposo has a multi-step onboarding process for its new users. Let us assume that the user’s onboarding is interrupted due to internet issues at step 2/3. On restarting the app, the user will not be taken back to step 1/3 but to step 2/3. This helps save the user’s time and therefore reduces his/her tendency to drop out at the registration stage.
  6. Compressing text and images: To avoid lags in displaying text and images on the app, we use a compression technique to respond to all the requests sent to the server. This is then decompressed on the app side before being visible to the user.

These techniques are very useful for apps of any nature and can ensure that the user has a smooth experience regardless of internet connectivity and speed. They help optimize an app, improve the user experience and enhance the propensity of the user to maintain continued engagement with the product.

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