As mobile’s dominance shows no signs of slowing, launching a mobile app is the fastest way to simultaneously extend your reach and deliver more to your users. Yet, cutting through the app store noise to successfully reach your target audience comes with myriad challenges.
According to a study by the automated marketing company Kahuna, 80% of apps never reach users’ devices. Tellingly, app quality and user evaluation are two leading indicators of whether or not an app will sink or swim.
App’s carrying a one star rating are seemingly destined to hit bottom, as only 13% of users will even consider installing it. However, such an abysmal rating is usually due to performance issues, so raising it from the depths isn’t impossible.
“Users always check ratings before installing an application,” said Dexence’s Business Development Director, Luis Dosso.
According to Dosso, app performance is often the first casualty when companies rush their app out the door to grab market share, without considering aspects such as design, usability, and security. “Businesses realize that apps represent a lucrative revenue stream, but lack experience in the platform to launch a quality product,” shared the executive.
So does a one star rating automatically mean the death knell for your brainchild? Not necessarily, as the Kahuna survey revealed that a rating bump from two to three stars can yield 280% more user conversions, while hitting four stars puts that number up to 540%.
At Dexence we call this process ‘revitalization.’
‘Revitalizing’ an app: the technical steps
Kicking conversions up a notch often means going back to square one on two key fronts: UX and engineering.
“Normally, we work from two perspectives. First, during Sprint Zero, we look at user experience; is the design appealing and how does the application behave for the user,” said Dexence’s Director of Marketing, Bill Coutinho. “Then we tackle engineering. We know that in order to get high ratings the app has to perform smoothly at every phase.”
Recently, Dexence had the opportunity to solve similar cases for a variety of clients. “It’s been increasingly common for customers to call on us when they need to revitalize their apps,” said Business Development Executive Juliana Furtado.
One example is Nextel, which operates in Brazil and throughout LatAm. After implementing enhancements created by a team that Dexence put together specifically for this project, their ratings soared from 2.3 stars to 4.3.
According to Raoni Normanton, one of Dexence’s Senior Developers, this team consisted of more than 30 people from Dexence and Nextel, with skill sets such as UX, UI, mobile developers and quality analysts (QAs) all collaborating on the project. Dexence, experts in agile methodology, employed a comprehensive process, starting with user research, then progressively moving forward to functional design, prototyping, usability testing and monitoring metrics.
“We completely overhauled the app, redoing all of the features and functions (UI and UX),” said Normanton. “as well as server side services and support.”
“We added a feature that allows users to evaluate their experience within the app while in the ‘happy flow,'” said Furtado. “People rarely enter any app just to rate it, even if they’ve had a good experience. This ratings mechanism boosted Nextel’s numbers almost immediately.”
Well aware of user fatigue and increasingly shorter attention spans, apps demand consistent care and feeding to remain relevant.
“We don’t treat these projects as one-offs,” said Coutinho. “We’re always engaged with our client and their goals, shaping the application to reflect current conditions.”
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