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we're thinking of introducing a data saving (lite) mode to our app, after having some feedback from our users. But as a UX designer I'd like to do some research first and understand the market and maybe what other apps are doing.

Also I'd like to go to our beta and testing groups for their input. But I need some help around what sort of questions I can ask.

I know what our goal is but don't want to design something purely on our assumptions. Can I get some ideas and suggestions around what I could ask to our users so I understand if this a feature they'll need or are just making wild guesses.

EDIT: this is a data saving mode so it'll reduce the use of data so pics, videos won't load. not to be confused with offline mode.

Thanks everyone

  • Who are your users? – DarrylGodden Jul 19 '17 at 9:29
  • @DarrylGodden Hi sorry forgot to say who our users are and what we do :) We're a news app and our users are people who read news and keep up-to-date with what's going around nationally and internationally. But some parts of the country still use 2G or bad network connection so we want to make sure these people still get a good experience without compromising too much. – Atua Jul 19 '17 at 9:44
  • I wonder then whether the choice is a choice in your settings. 'Lite-Data Mode' or 'Poor Data Mode' or whatever your choose to call it, give the user the opportunity to switch it on automatically, so they don't have to be bothered by it. In manual mode you ask the question when it drops to 2G and ask if they want to turn it off once 3G+ is restored. So your question, in my mind, would be about auto v manual and interruption of being asked. – DarrylGodden Jul 19 '17 at 9:48
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You seem to have done things the wrong way around.

Instead of thinking of features and then establishing whether they're required, you should instead create features in response to issues the users have been having.

As Gothelf & Seiden mention:

Attempting to predict valuable features is speculation. Working towards outcomes lets us gain insight into the efficacy of the features we're building, and change or replace them if necessary.

If your testing groups haven't mentioned that your app is using too much data, it's unlikely they'll need a "data saving" mode.

If you question them, don't ask them a closed-ended question such as:

  • Do you want a data saving mode?

They'll of course say yes, because more is better, right?

Instead, ask them something more open-ended such as:

  • How have you found the loading times of the app?
  • Joel raises a good point, however you should always keep in mind those users that don't raise it as an issue, but appreciate that you have catered for scenarios. We like to garner feedback, we don't always get it. – DarrylGodden Jul 19 '17 at 9:49
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    Thanks guys, that's awesome feedback. Actually the data saver mode idea came up to us after users mentioned taht the app uses all their data. someone actually called us 'data sucking vampire app'. So we thought we should have some sort of lite version of the app then this idea came up. – Atua Jul 19 '17 at 9:54
  • @DarrylGodden But surely you could use that statement to justify the inclusion of any feature, regardless of it's usefulness? :) – Joel Tebbett Jul 19 '17 at 9:54
  • @Atua Then it sounds like you've got fairly substantial evidence that it is indeed a feature required by the user. – Joel Tebbett Jul 19 '17 at 9:55
  • any other question ideas are more than welcome :) – Atua Jul 19 '17 at 10:00
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In terms of "what other apps are doing".

Slightly related is the "Ultra power saving mode" Samsung has on its latest devices.

A very interesting solution when you are trying to desperately hold onto that 2% battery.

enter image description here

Essentially all animations are gone. No colours, no images. Pixels are strictly used to show information in white and black (though not sure if the other way around would save more battery) and you only get access to a handful of apps with mostly Text Based indications.

GPS, Wi-fi and any extra functions are turned off.

Very useful and it actually works!

Another example.

Opera is a huge proponent of "Progressive web apps". Essentially apps that progressively adjust depending on the situations / device the user is in. (Read more about them here).

As such, Opera is currently trying to target users in developing countries that encounter connectivity issues or simply don't get access to the latest devices as we do. They offer something called "Turbo mode".

enter image description here

Essentially is a data saving mode where the browser gives priority to text, turns images off / lowers their quality and gives less priority (if any) to javascript.

It is a really useful feature and I suggest you test it out and see how it works!

It is one of the reasons Opera now has a large base of users in developing countries within Africa and East Asia.

Hope the above can get you started! It is a very interesting topic and quite a useful feature for users everywhere. I sorta envy you that you get to play with it!

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