UX research is a field of relentless change and improvement, especially in e-commerce. In 2010, BlackBerry launched a challenge to developers to create apps that deliver the best possible experience for their users, which their founder Mike Lazaridis called “super apps.” Fast forward to 2021, Asia took the lead in Lazaridis’ vision of super apps with tremendous success.
Studies reveal that consumers now prefer to shift into “rebundling” – after a decade of availing services separately, they are now reverting towards all-in-one applications where they can do almost every daily task, except perhaps for entertainment.
China is enjoying much success with Alipay and WeChat, which rose from simpler beginnings to the behemoths they are today. But how ready is the world for super apps? Here are three areas of concern the West and other emerging markets may need to look at before venturing into the challenging frontier of super apps.
For about a decade or so, e-commerce was a fragmented land of separate vendors and institutions. China did away with this by introducing a system that involves pulling the user’s lifestyle into an almost-fully-digital experience.
This introduces problems for markets like the West, which have strictly regulated laws on privacy and data use. If one is to conduct user research on the concept, it will first have to overcome hurdles in regulation such as the GDRP to collect and submit data the way China mandated its super apps.
A big factor in creating super apps is a seamless experience, especially for mobile where it will be used for almost every transaction. Thankfully, UX design for mobile app devices has progressed through the years with improved platforms and languages.
One of the usual worries in design with all-in-one functionalities is clutter. Having numerous features and capabilities can overwhelm a user if its UX and UI design does not facilitate easy navigation.
Grab has circumvented this problem in Asia just as it added payment and mobile wallet features to its super app, keeping an SPA approach in its app. Uber has included food delivery (Uber Eats) and financials (Uber Money) into its app, while also maintaining its sleek, minimalist UI.
Super apps cater to two types of customers: one is the end consumer or retail, and the other are vendors and corporate clients. There are currently few publicly available data on usability research for super apps, so those planning to make one should consider gathering data through usability research. This will ensure that their project can accommodate the expectations of both vendors and end-users alike.
For the US and the rest of western markets, several companies are making headway into the super app foray. PayPal is planning to create a super app that incorporates payments, shopping, and financial services, according to their EVP Jonathan Auerbach. On the other hand, CEO Dan Schumann hopes to create a one-stop-shop kind of super app that manages payments, purchasing, investing, security and other fields related to funds and people.
The race is on for the next super app as it has proven successful in the Far East. However convenient they might be though, super apps still need a lot of room for improvement in terms of UX and usability. It’s not easy to build one and would need a lot of data and research, and that’s where experienced digital services providers such as USER come in to help. USER is a user interface design agency with extensive experience in UI UX design, user research and more. Connect with us through https://www.user.com.sg/contact/ and let us help you in building your super app.