You likely use a laptop as a primary productivity tool, since it’s powerful and makes any task possible. And you likely think the iPad is a cute device that is useful for people who don’t work with numbers, and who don’t multi-task between powerful apps to get things done. Which was true up until the last few years. Since I replaced my laptop with an iPad Pro last year, it was surprising to see how the iPad somehow managed, a decade later, to become a better productivity tool than a laptop.

1. The physical structure

The physical structure of the iPad is a significant…

The latest app update is showing increased engagement? That’s wrong.

You’re proud of the new feature you fully embraced for the past month, and waiting for Apple to approve the update so you can delve into analytics and prepare for the next iteration. The app gets approved, many users downloaded it, and metrics start coming in. A great 40% of users try your new feature, which has an amazing 80% completion rate. A month later, only 20% of users have tried the feature, and completion rate is down to 40%. You blame users who tried the feature but didn’t use it again, so you re-analyze over the whole month to…

Here’s 11 small changes, from buttons and links, to carousels and lists.

Every week we prove how small design details have increased engagement at Anghami, the leading music streaming service in the Middle East. Below are a handful of very simple and actionable examples that we’ve found very useful. Engagement over the same UI can vary across markets, app categories, and as time moves on. However, I believe these examples are flexible enough to apply on most segments. Also, the approach to tweaking the UI for increasing engagement is the same. Let’s go:

Making users tap an essential item

Regardless of which music app you use, the mini player is the single most important element while playing music…

How data-driven UX and copywriting doubled a music streaming app’s listeners

Onboarding: an app meeting a person for the first time

Every day, more than 50k users download and open our music streaming app Anghami for the first time. The first few minutes they spend in the app play a crucial role in having the user come back the next day. Through the course of several months, we modified the customer journey and tried different copywriting, leading to twice as many users completing onboarding. Day-1 retention increased by 19% as a direct result of onboarding.

While it is crucial to quickly teach new users how to use features like creating playlists, getting them hooked fast is about instantly giving them music…

My family and I spent 12 days in Iceland, most of it spent traveling in a motorhome around the Ring Road. Iceland is an incredible place, and it’s permanently fulfilling to explore its magic. The whole trip is on my website, and below is a condensed summary of each day spent in the island.

Day 1–2: Iceland’s Golden Circle

Arrive to Iceland, head straight to Krýsuvík geothermal area. Next day to Þingvellir national park, lunch at Fridheimar Farm, then Gullfoss Falls. Finally, searched for the hidden Hrunalaug hot tub. More details

Anghami now lets everyone make their own music video with “Expressions”

Anghami is the leading music streaming app in the Middle East, with almost 40 million users. Everyone opens Anghami to easily play music that suits what they feel right now. But music is much more than that. People want to connect, socialize and express themselves with music, and this should be reflected in Anghami. “Expressions” is Anghami’s first serious dive into socializing around music. It’s a way for users to express themselves by choosing a song that inspires them and recording their own video on top of it.

The idea is not new. Musically is a popular app solely dedicated…

In less than 3 years, Anghami app unbelievably became the status quo for discovering new music in the Middle East.

Hits come out every week, and they’re propagated on the radio, TV, billboard ads, shopping malls, bars, cafes. People also actively search for new music that suits their taste. They follow artists on social media, look up blogs, go on YouTube, search for pirated music, walk into a music store. Talking about artists’ latest releases is also a common topic when hanging out, especially among teenagers. New music is instantly picked up by DJs, and crowds often like a club because of the fresh hits they play.

While less known globally than Beirut’s bustling nightlife, Lebanon’s natural beauty — from the sea to the mountains — is spectacular yet not regularly visited. Luckily, this means you can have plenty of one-on-one time with mother nature.

Lebanon experiences the full four seasons. Nature changes accordingly, offering everything from fluffy white snow to blooming spring flower, intense summer heat and kaleidoscopic foliage in the autumn months.

This summer, instead of spending my time clubbing, I spent weekends wandering the diverse natural scenes and hiking the many trails Lebanon has to offer. I was delighted and surprised that I had…

In 3 short years, Anghami grew to 50 employees and 15 million users. Based in Lebanon, Anghami quickly became the biggest and hottest startup in the Middle East. I joined a few months after Anghami was founded, and experienced a tough journey to reach where we are today. Here’s a few things I went through along the way.

I witnessed the team grow from 8 to 50 colleagues

A lot of things happened as the team grew. The management process automatically changed as the iOS team evolved from one remote iOS developer to an in-office developer to a team of 4 developers. It was energy consuming to get on board…

Copywriting in mobile apps has to be brief, branded, and usable. Just like billboard ads, text has to be short and with character, so that a glance is enough to understand what’s being communicated. An additional requirement for mobile apps is being user-friendly: reading the copy is important to do significant tasks that are comparable to desktop software. Now that’s a lot of requirements to consider!

From working on only a single app for the past two and a half years I have learnt quite a bit about copywriting. Anghami, the music streaming app that I help design and manage…

Salim Batlouni

Lead Product Manager @Shopify . Previously VP of Product @Anghami . @CarnegieMellon alum.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store