Let’s guess the WHYs of some everyday apps?

Atul Khola
6 min readFeb 28, 2022

Some people like identifying unsolved problem areas & solutions around them; I love seeing solutions and guessing the problem it must have intended to solve.
Understanding people who are trying to understand people is my kick.

Sometime back in 2020, I started this series called gym-pondering; this was supposed to be an outlet for my such eureka moments at the gym.
But just like everyone else, I moved on to the next shiny thing.
& while I had a limited audience to my monologues on the topic mentioned above. I’ve had a feeling they might not be so keen on absorbing such information anymore. So here I am with the second post in the gym-pondering series.

This post features some recent developments in the products I use daily & my understanding of why those interactions & features were designed.

These are my personal views. Of course, you can feel differently, and I’ll find a way to live with that ✌️. & I definitely definitely don’t intend to offend anyone. 🙏

let’s get started!

Order size & frequency gamification in Swiggy

Every order success screen leads to This jackpot construct that will give a chance to win a specific discount amount.

That’s awesome! Right?

The catch:

The discount validity • 24hrs: Damn, I’ll use this in the following order.

Min amount required • 3x- 4x the discount amount: Ah, maybe I’ll order some snacks as well for later, along with the meal. Let me grab some beverages as well.

= My spending amount is almost 2.5x times than usual. 🥲

What could have been the problem statement? 🤔

How can we increase the frequency & order size for our orders for a specific cohort with a particular burn?

Low intent drop off reduction in Amazon.

A single tap on the cart icon in the bottom navigation bar leads to the cart page.

The recently introduced double-tap interaction opens a small bottom drawer that holds your cart items for a quick view and will lead you into the checkout flow.

What could have been the problem statement? 🤔

A specific cohort of users with less intent (& busy schedule) keep getting distracted while they are in the flow of finding/buying the product. It usually takes them multiple app visits to make the purchase. Can we make the core flow more accessible & reduce friction for them? Even by a small percentage as we already have a highly optimized user flow?

— — -

Oh, i had to buy multivitamins.

Amazon > searched multivitamin product list > this looks good… add to cart.

Oh! a slack message…

A few hours later

Oh, i had to buy multivitamins.

Amazon > wait, did i already look for it in the morning?…

— — -

Added exit friction in Utorrent

So every time you feel like why the hell do I have so many apps open on my laptop & you go through the tedious task of closing ’em finder windows. There comes the point when you realize that utorrent that you haven’t given a flying fuck about since years (Netflix & laziness) is sitting there, up & running?

I’ll delete you one of these days…

right-click > close > A POP UP

Are you sure you want to quit?

Whaaat? The audacity….

even Figma doesn’t ask me that… My livelihood depends on that bruvvv

a pop up > close

I’ll delete you one of these days…

What could have been the problem statement? 🤔

At times, people with active downloads unintentionally kill the app instead of closing it, which leads to despair at the next app launch. So how can we avoid this?

— — -

There should have been a variable implementation for users with active & non-active downloads.

— — -

The rise of Prime video PREMIUM

Prime video now has banner ads, sometimes in the top carousel. Sometimes as a fold while you scroll. & just like every other selection on the platform, it launches a video preview, i.e., the TVC.

Typical ADtech design construct.

What could have been the problem statement? 🤔

How can we make more revenue from Prime video?

— — -

For most of us, moving from traditional content viewing experience to OTT streaming services. One of the major highlights was no more random product & content ads. Well, this is going to leave a sour taste. But it also makes you wonder what if they chose to double down on this? It might lead to a premium plan that’d have ad-free content as one of the benefits.

— — -

Content consumption favored interactions introduced in Instagram

Instagram recently introduced two new interactions on the platform

• Like button for stories

• Quick share for reels

Both these interactions are focused on reducing friction while consuming content on Instagram. Stories and reels are both highly engaging features. Unfortunately, quick reaction interaction on stories combined with ‘double-tap heart’ interaction leads to many dead-end conversations.

— — -

watching stories > quick react with 🙌 (appreciation) > receiver responds with ❤️ to the 🙌 (Appreciate your appreciation) > 🚧

— — -

People learn such patterns over time. The like button will do justice to the user’s intent here.

The quick share will definitely improve share frequency & content reach as a second-order effect.

What could have been the problem statement? 🤔

How can we optimize for engagement time & content reach?

How can we engage users in more meaningful interactions? We are open to eventually decommissioning some features that might hinder this goal, obviously if data supports it.

Financial instrument stickiness by Zomato

So it’s been some time since Zomato launched its credit card. The game-changing perk is 5% cashback on everything food & 1.5% on everything else.

For a user with multiple cards, the obvious choice at a restaurant is the Zomato card.

But when it comes to other random purchases for a user like me who has an amazon x ICICI card (5% cashback on everything amazon & 1% on everything else.) Things become relative. It’s about a card that gives you 50% more cashback than the other one, even though we are still talking 1.5% & 1%.

But how do I even remember this information? While I somehow manage to forget way more important things. Zomato makes sure of this. With every transaction listed, it beautifully highlights the cashback. The repeated hammering of this information on the landing page contextualized your spending behavior. You can’t help but absorb it.

What could have been the problem statement? 🤔

How do we make people stick to this card in this competitive market?

I hope you enjoyed reading this 🙏😊🙏

I would love to know some app developments you might have noticed & deciphered.

That’s all, folks! until next time 👋

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Atul Khola

Hello, I am atul khola. I suck at maths, but one equation I never get wrong: Beautiful UI + Efficient UX + Delightful Interactions make a Timeless Product.