When your user breaks up - do U(x) break up?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

When a user decides to uninstall your product, does the outcome must be a lost user? No!
You can save that user, and it all depends on your approach!

A sub category within my product was showing high churning rates, and I was asked to come up with a solution to mitigate this behavior.
I started analyzing data and trying to get into the user's mind, and I asked myself - why do these users uninstall this product? it's useful, easy to use, and they downloaded it independently. So why do they uninstall?

Eventually I had to show some results, and fight back with the uninstallers!
I thought to myself that a user that has decided to uninstall and walk away from my product has a fixed state of mind. But the great thing here is that no matter what I'll do I can't get the situation worse! he is already uninstalling. What do I have to lose ?!
I decided to approach the users with a custom uninstall screen, right after they click remove/uninstall.
The screen had a neutral figure, mascot if you'd like, in the center of the screen, and two buttons on the sides: Keep and Uninstall.

When the user moved the mouse over the half part of the screen where the "Keep" button was, the neutral figure turned into a happy figure:

But when the user moved the mouse over the half part of the screen where the "Uninstall" button was, the figure turned to be upset:

This simple idea has saved 7% of the users that initially wanted to uninstall the product, but the connection between the figure and the emotion created by the effect caused these 7% users to reconsider the product.

The above screen is just an example, and obviously the figure shown had to do with the product itself, but I would suggest using it when possible.
Think about it as the last stop, last chance to engage your user before you lose him. You have nothing to lose at this point, give it your best shot - gamify the experience like in the above example. You might want to offer another incentive to make the user keep the product (i.e. temporary access to pro version, benefits in gaining status, etc.).

And again, the bottom line is - try it, you can't go wrong!
Good Luck!



  1. Hi,

    You raise an important question, why user uninstall your product, but you're failing to provide a simple answer!. I would expect to do some market research (Perhaps competitor's product is doing the same job for less money or less efforts), user research (You have an install-base, so you can survey them, put a custom screen or url jump-to and ask what are the reasons for uninstalling) and you can focus your development with the results of the above research.

    Saving 7% from uninstalling is nice figure considering the work efforts (very low) and it might be even lower considering margin error and other effects that can't be quantified (competitors product got worse after last update and etc.), so my conclusion is that further investigation & efforts should be made in order to survive the next uninstallers.

  2. Well, while doing a market research can come up with some of the reasons for the churning rate and I accept your comment, the idea here was to show an implementation of a gamified uninstall window that creates an emotion.
    You must not forget that the audience can also be kids.

    The reason why I wrote it was to share and to learn from people's feedback, so thanks for your input!

  3. I really love this! I'm going to see how this can be applied in an enterprise SaaS environment, though I'm not sure the Mario character is the right choice for us ;)

    Co-founder, ProdPad

  4. Thank Janna!
    Mario figure is obviously not a must, you should use the relevant mascot (which engages emotionally) if applicable, or leverage the added value of a product, for example, if you have a product that provides the user with feature1 and feature2, you might want to present how his relevant experience will be without it, and than ask him whether he really wants to remove it.

    Hope it help,