Developing mobile applications is a sensitive area when it comes to mobile user expectations. Users are complaining for a variety of things and leave bad reviews for things you would never think of. I received 1 star reviews from people who complained that my app was in English and once someone rated my app 1 star because he couldn’t download it (First of all, according to the error message there was not enough space on his phone, second, how could he rate my app if he didn’t download it?). People are stupid, but as mobile developers we need them to make a living and that’s why we need to apply to their needs. Once they rate your app in the app store the review and the bad ratings stay there forever. There is an option to change them but users almost never go back to the app store and dig up their feedback among the many to see if you replied to them. What you can do is be proactive and prepare for user expectations.
Out of all the feedback I received during my years of developing apps, I can tell you that people are very thankful for getting a reply to their message fast. Once they tell you a bug, and you reply them that you fixed it, they are more likely to give you a 5 star rating, moreover, they will even change their rating from 1 star to 5 stars.
Let’s start from our most important factor: 80% of users delete an app after using it for the first time
Nearly 60% of users will delete an app that requires registration. People don’t like sign-up screens because it requires time to fill out and they don’t like sharing their personal data with you. Nowadays when our mailbox is full of emails from companies, we suffocate from the crowd of advertisements we meet every day and hackers can take any website down, people’s privacy concerns are at an all time high. However, this rate seems to decrease as more and more mobile apps require registration, so we can say people are slowly getting used to it. When you need users to sign-up to use your mobile app, create as few fields as possible (ask for name, email and password only) to lower their fear of you taking over their life and to speed up the sign-up flow. Filling the screen up with fields asking for birthday, gender and location will scare many people away. You can ask for these fields later, on retrieve them from social APIs (see my article on how Twitter API is different from other social APIs).
48% of users are less likely to use the app again if they are dissatisfied with its performance. Some performance issues: large battery consumption, slow performance, crashes. To prevent performance issues, test your app on a few devices, possibly running different OS versions. If it takes time to load and display data on the screen, polite user interface distractions such as „Please wait” and showing a progress bar can make your app look better.
About 50% of users expect the app to load under 2 seconds. Loading time is as important for mobile apps as it is for websites. Slow loading is bad UX and may result in lower engagement, bad reviews or even in immediate uninstall. Every second counts. Using CDNs and local caching can speed up loading data from the cloud.
Source: Mobile apps: What consumers really need and want, Compuware
- Create a fast app
- Test thoroughly to prevent crashes and check battery consumption
- Require sign-ups only if necessary (your app is social or data is absolutely necessary when they switch to a new phone)
- Create great UX
- Create good design
Following these methods will not stop anyone from leaving a bad review of your app but it will decrease its chance and will make your users happy.
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