How to Increase User Engagement Using Widgets

30 Jun 2021

Did you know, more than 75% of mobile users download apps only to open them once?

If your goal is to convert first-time users into loyal users, you need a user engagement strategy that will retain users and keep them coming back to your app again and again. Luckily for you, this is where widgets can help.

What’s a widget?

A widget is part of an app that displays a small amount of relevant information on the Home Screen. It allows users to view information they need without having to open the app itself. Widgets keep track of changes within the associated app, giving users quick access to up-to-date information. And if the user wants details, the widget can direct them to the app.

What apps can use widgets?

Most apps can leverage widgets to engage with users and improve user experience. If you have an ecommerce app, widgets can provide a way for your customers to discover what’s new in the store. If you have a lifestyle app like our client Deliciously Ella, widgets can showcase your new recipes to help users plan their next meals... You get the picture.

Before you create a widget for your app, remember that it’s merely a reminder plus a shortcut to action within your app. The first step to creating an effective widget is to determine the target of your widget by focusing on the main value of your app, then find a way to present it through a widget. Finally, widgets are meant to be easy to use and quick to digest, so don’t over-complicate them.

How is it different from an App Clip?

Both widgets and App Clips provide a handy shortcut to valuable information whenever and wherever – however, they’re not the same in terms of functionality.

App Clips are used to help increase app discovery and to encourage new users to try out a select element of the app without downloading it. On the other hand, the purpose of widgets is to increase repeat engagement from existing users by extending a certain functionality of an app to the Home Screen, thus making information more accessible.

How do widgets improve app user engagement?

Bearing in mind the stat we shared earlier, widgets are no longer nice-to-haves if you want to engage with users to achieve optimum retention. Users want solutions and want them now, and widgets are a great way to deliver quick, timely solutions.

A well-designed widget not only engages with the user, but delivers convenience without interruption, and in effect, meeting your users on their terms and letting them have greater control over the experience.

Any app developer may find it counterintuitive to be excited about the prospects of a reduced need to launch their app. But, considering what they’re designed to do, widgets offer value to users when they need it, which leads to more opportunities for repeat app engagement. Therefore, you should see widgets as a convenient entry point to your app.

With the upcoming introduction of extra-large widgets in iPadOS 15, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the screen real estate on iPad and make your widgets even more accessible for users, thereby further increasing app user engagement.

Think your app could benefit from widgets?

Contact us to learn more about widgets, App Clips, or any other features that can help boost your app user engagement. Get in touch via or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, our squads of developers are always happy to help!