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Some native mobile apps present a confirmation prompt when a user action will take them out of the app (e.g. opening a URL out-of-app in the native device browser or tapping on a street address to launch navigation directions in a mapping app etc.). However, most apps don't do this.

I've heard of non-technical or novice app users that have difficulty understanding the 'jump' when they initiate an action that takes them between one app and another. Sometimes they aren't clear on how to get back (although this seems more likely on iOS than Android, due to the way the OS handles this situation).

There's a similar question here but I'm looking for some research around this: either someone with personal experience of user testing in this area, or else some research results. I would imagine the findings would be something like, "Most of the time people find these kind of prompts unnecessary and annoying, but in situations such as [x], [y] and [z], [this percent] of [these types of users] found it helpful because of [these reasons].)

Does anyone have or know of anything like this?

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With Google maps it's a special one because the promt needs to be displayed to notify the user about an action that will terminate the navigation service and they will no longer be directed. And since you can kill Google maps in the App switcher it won't stop directing you need a opportunity to leave the app completly.

You are totally right, for most apps this isn't a suitable approach at all because it distracts the user from his intented action.

  • The Google Maps example was intended as an example of an app users might go to (leaving their current app) rather than an app they might navigate away from. If they had an app that showed postal / street addresses, it might support the ability to tap on the address to move to the Google Maps app to get driving directions to that address. I think that's different from the scenario you mention. I was looking to see whether had any research that showed situations where "you are leaving" prompts were helpful or unhelpful. – Squig Apr 23 '18 at 12:51

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