Hey developer! You've built the cool new app, you were about to make a splash hoping to go viral and acquire millions of users all over the world. But, the new version of Android released, a dozen new devices with big screens appeared, your app keeps crashing and does not even meet users' expectations. And those few thousand users that you acquired never talk about your app.
The constantly changing mobile app landscape is full of opportunities. For your app to make it to thousands and millions of users, it needs to be of very high quality and tested thoroughly. Let's discuss few of the common challenges that apps face.
Most of the users expect your app to respond fast, say within 3 seconds. If your app isn't fast enough, users switch to other apps or they never come back. It may sound too harsh, but the modern world users are spoilt and they have very high expectations when it comes to apps.
88% Americans associate negative feelings with brands that have poorly performing websites and mobile apps.
Study by SOASTA
Devices and OS versions: For massive scale and widespread adoption, you need to make sure that your app provides seamless user experience across different OS versions and devices.
Security and privacy: Users are now very much concerned about their privacy. They expect their personal information to be secure and remain private. Many apps on Android that try to seek unnecessary access to user's personal information like phone book, call logs, SMS etc. are a BIG NO by the user.
Connectivity, data & resource usage: Users expect apps to work same in Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE. Optimize apps to work in different connections. Because many times a poor connection can lead to bad review on app store. Users also keep a check of resources that apps are consuming. They know that some apps drain battery faster, proper utilization of device resources will help you retain users.
Login and sign up: This is a simple but a key element for your app. If your app requires login and sign up make sure users can easily get through these forms. 45% users abandon apps with out signing up. Most common reasons are
1- Too many questions - Long forms don't work on mobile. Small screens are tough to type, we all know that. Keep your form to bare essentials.
2- Long Answers - Users will not write an essay on their phone. Always keep the fields short.
3- Wrong UI - Make sure that you have the right selection of UI elements like drop downs, radio buttons, calendars etc. for input fields. Offering social login like Facebook, Twitter, Google or Linkedin is a plus.
Menu: Menu options can be difficult to find sometimes. Make navigation very simple and ensure that items like Help, Support, About, Contact & Feedback are easily discoverable.
User actions: Common actions like scrolling, left and right swipes, selection, the back button tend to lead to problems.
Connection speed: As mentioned above, your app should have quick response time. Test the connection speed on more than one carrier, because performance vary a lot from one carrier to another.
Screen size: Screen size is very important factor today. Check if everything looks good and works fine on different screen sizes.
Interruptions: Your apps will face various system interruptions. Like a phone call in middle of the game play, an SMS notification or low battery. Though your app's functionality may work fine, but developers often miss out on apps behavior when interrupted.
Error Messages: Network, server or devices may fail at times, leading to unexpected errors. Keep your error messages very clear and easy for the user to understand. Your users will have no clue what that code 208 stands for.
Gone are the days when companies could improve the quality of their applications within the lab. The mobile evolution has changed everything. Teams in sitting in the lab can not be sure if their apps will work the same in the real world. To conquer the mobile you have to move out of you lab to the real world.
Hire professional QA companies, give your app to crowd source testing communities, don't rely on simulators & emulators. Reach out to people around the world on different devices and conditions.
Go into the wild to test your app.
We at Bugclipper work with developers and companies testing their apps in-the-wild. We help them improve their feedback process that saves them development time and money.
If you are ready for QA or Beta testing of your Android and iOS app, we’d love to hear from you. We are listening at support [at] bugclipper.com
If you have any suggestions. Start a conversation on Twitter, or write a response on your own blog.