It’s one thing to have a great idea.
It’s another thing to turn it into a great product.
Its another thing altogether to help people learn and decide if, how and when to use and adopt it as theirs.
At last month’s Labs Meetup we talked about the challenges of understanding how the product adoption process might work for mental health apps and young people with mental health issues. What stages do users go through when deciding whether to adopt a product and how can projects support these stages?
A lot of adoption process theory and practice is based on the work of Everett Rogers. He developed a 5 stage process of adoption and 5 factors that influence an individual’s decision to adopt or reject an innovation. This article explores how to use some of Rogers’ ideas on process to develop product adoption strategies and tactics for mental health apps for young people.
Product Adoption Stages
This stage is where a young person first hears about your app but lacks information about it. They have yet to be inspired to find out more.
At this point it’s worth asking questions like:
- What are the likely contexts that a young person would hear about our app?
- What messages would make a young person decide to find out more about it?
- What other factors might influence their decision and how can we plan for them?
During this stage a young person is interested and actively tries to get more information about your app. Questions to consider:
- What information will they need?
- What will help build trust, safety and comfort?
- How can this information be best accessed – is it through the app, an advert, another person etc?
In this stage the young person considers the idea behind your app and what they know about it. They use this to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of using it and whether to try it out. At this point it’s worth considering:
- How long might they be willing to spend making this decision (i.e how long have you got to help them consider and weigh up)?
- Whether you’ve presented all your information fairly (this will help those who the app won’t suit to opt out)
- Have you clearly pointed out the benefits of the app, including how the user’s life may become better for using it?
Your user is trying out your app. They are using to a varying degree depending on their situation. They are determining its real life usefulness.
Factors to consider:
- Is your app easy to use first time?
- Does it deliver tangible benefits on first time use?
- What hooks would encourage a return or second use?
Your user finalises their decision to adopt or reject your app. Factors affecting this may include if the app causes any internal conflict around their ideas, beliefs, values or emotions. Social factors like peer approval may also influence their decision.
Questions to ask:
- Which elements of the app likely to challenge a user’s ideas, beliefs or values and how can we mitigate for this?
- How might the app present itself to their peers and how can we support this?
- How much does the app consider and support a user’s privacy?
If a young person goes through all these stages then you can say that they have adopted the app. Whether they keep on using it depends on a number of ongoing factors like their mental health, social situation, smartphone etc.
Create a Product Adoption Roadmap
If you work through these stages, considering the questions and noting down your answers as you go then you’ll have a basic roadmap of what you need to do to help your users choose and adopt your app. You can then use this map to create specific objectives and actions within your design and marketing plans.
Got a suggestion, question or do you need some help with your roadmap? Let us know in the comments.