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Personalization in Mobile UX

By :
4 minutes read

User experience (UX) for mobile applications is evolving rapidly and becoming more diverse than ever, giving users special experiences for different types of individuals. Instead of providing a single, static user experience for everyone, delivering the right level of element and content, targeting each person on an individual level with appropriate features has become the industry standard. Personalization in mobile UX not only helps in boosting engagement but in building customer loyalty as well in the long run.

For example, something basic like a “cookie cutter push notification” will no longer drive the right amount of engagement. Instead, it will be the “individualized push notification”, which contains user preferences, that will drive the right level of engagement. The Idea of Personalization is to abandon the plain, uniform approach to a wide range of audiences and offer a custom, unique experience to every individual.

Personalization vs Customization?

Mobile App UX

People always tend to get confused between Personalization and Customization of Apps. In simple terms, Personalization is the ability of a business to offer products, and services based on Individual needs without any input from the customer. Customization is something that requires input from the users.

Let us consider a real-life example to explain this better.

  • Customization is something that requires customer input. For example, When you visit Subway and order a Sandwich, you have the option to customize your sandwich by opting for the veggies/sauce preferred by you. This provides a way to customize your food according to your needs.
  • Personalization is something that does not require the customer’s conscious input but it relies on that particular customer’s prior data and does not involve actively taking user inputs. For example, You visit a food delivery app and on the home section, you’re presented with your preferred restaurant list, food that is based on your previous orders, it’s called Personalization.

Let’s have a look at why Personalized User Experiences are vital for the success of today’s Mobile applications.

  • Improved User Retention 

Personalized user experiences could be the deciding factor for a user to continue using your application, stay loyal and not go looking elsewhere. If you have an E-commerce app, it is very important to help the users navigate through the entire process in their preferred manner and make things easily accessible. You could also recommend certain products that suit their interests and needs.

  • Building a Loyal Customer Base 

A lot of people make subconscious decisions like tapping on the ‘Amazon’ App icon when they need to purchase a certain product without even realizing that. This explains the nature of the app and the loyalty shown by the users towards the Brand. This cannot be achieved without a certain level of Personalization for every individual. 

You need to help them meet with their preferred content almost instantly when they open the app. You need to identify and make the most useful features available in the right context and most relevant time. Most important of all, your users should subconsciously acknowledge that the app knows a lot about them and make them attached to the app.

  • In-App Purchases get a Lift

Let’s explain this with an example. We can consider two types of players when it comes to mobile games. The first one would react more to the temptation of in-app purchases like buying new skins, and gears just because they prefer staying loaded and up-to-date all the time. The second type would like to go for an in-app purchase only when their resources are exhausted or when they need to purchase in order to continue playing. These two types of gamers cannot be addressed through a single in-app purchase offer/ journey. This is another very important reason to personalize the experience to boost in-app purchases.

  •  User Feedback to improve the app

User feedbacks are very important to provide personalized experiences. Involving the users in the development process of your app plays a vital role in providing individual users with the best experience. There should be a persistent effort to get user feedback about the app and figure out the pain points that can be addressed. This way, the personalization of your app can be improved with every new update.


It is seen that the “one size fits all” method has long been outdated and irrelevant. Each user is distinct in their aspirations, grief, habits, preferences, demographic aspects, and many other aspects. Personalization in mobile UX is no longer a cherry on top of the cake but has become the key ingredient itself.

About the Author:

Manoj Bhat currently works as a UI/UX designer at Mantra Labs. He is a Computer Science graduate and has been working as a UI/UX designer since then. He is passionate about building beautiful and seamless digital experiences.

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