Deputy is a roster management app for all sizes of businesses. 


How long are users willing to wait for a mobile app to load before they abandon or uninstall the app?

A slow mobile app is the leading cause of poor user experience, which could ultimately reduce sales figures with a below-average chance of a conversion. While developing the Deputy App, we ensured that it performed well from a design and technical perspective from a design and technical perspective. But no matter how hard we tried to optimize the app to minimize the delay in loading time and provide users with a satisfactory product, there will always be a point where the users have to wait. 

We understood the expectations of our users and providing a great experience in that waiting time was of utmost importance for evaluating the performance of the app.

Reviews from experts show the following performance indices to app loading time;

  • Loading time can't be reduced
  • Loading time in EMEA is 510 seconds
  • Loading time in other regions go up to 15 seconds
  • Showing integration-related data shows 40% more chances of conversion
  • The UK has the highest % of mobile trials in any region
  • Sage and Xero in the UK collectively have over 70% market share and have robust Deputy integrations

While implementing progressive loading in the wait screen, we kept in mind the goal we were trying to achieve with the product and prioritize the loading content accordingly to engage users and keep them hooked on the app.

This case study on the Deputy App is to understand how we might leverage app loading time to impact conversions in the UK. 

Success metric
  • Optimal conversion rate comparison between version A/B/C experiences over 30/60/90 days.
  • Progressive loading screen when combined with great content not only helped in engaging users but also made the Deputy App more interactive and smooth.
Final solution

Instead of sending our users irrelevant marketing materials, we enlightened them on frequently requested features while they waited for their trial account to be set up. 


Figure 1: Variant B Integrations

Figure 2: Variant C Mid-sized brands

My role

Gaining insight from the UK sales and CX team

Getting to know the pain points of our users during on-boarding was the first step we carried out. I worked with the UK sales team to conduct a qualitative sales research, where the team provided me with answers to different questions that ranged from "what do mobile sign ups usually enquire about?" to "what is the best hook for a prospect to turn into a customer?" and other questions. 

We started with the UK as our data suggested that users from UK have the highest mobile data usage.

Understanding what hooks a user to our product meant speaking to any department within Deputy that was trying to solve this problem at a broader level. Doing so helped us understand two things:

  • Mentioning payroll integrations at the beginning of a user journey triggered 40% more sales calls
  • Showing similar-sized and region-specific brands reduced drop-offs (learnings from other experiments)
Rapid prototyping

During a quick session with the team, I prototyped the current flow. What was the purpose? To bring together the team and have them collectively look at the overall journey instead of reviewing the journey from different aspects without an overview.

Figure 3: The current loading screen focuses on the wrong business sizes and doesn't allow for users to learn anything tangible about Deputy


Current experience is slow for EMEA

The current loading screen carried a level high level messaging with brands like ("Nike, NASA and 30,00 others...") being mentioned. From several feedbacks, this positioned Deputy purely as an enterprise product (which it isn’t). 

Normal screen loading time for users is between 5 to 10 seconds, this made it an excellent opportunity to surface messaging, contextual, and relevant content to the user based on their industry and region.


There was a collaboration between the UI team, sales team and product team. This helped reduce the number of assumptions we had to make during the review. We first worked on the layout, and then try to understand the sequence of the information. Both steps were important, with the later step showing where the user would be in between the signup flow after seeing the loading screen.

We then gathered all the content on the app, starting from the welcome screen, to the landing screen after the app has completely loaded. Afterwards, we focused on designing a seamless communication, as breaking the information flow was a huge risk.

Event tracking 

Event tracking is a valuable feature that clearly defines a user journey from the beginning. We worked with the data team to bridge the gap between the loading screen and booking a demo. This was made possible because the data team had labelled and tracked user interaction. 

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