Despite the best efforts of dedicated app developers, a number of issues still manage to plague even the best mobile apps. App usability tracking and optimization is a continuous process, that never ends through the lifetime of a mobile app. Spotting the issues users have with a mobile app is a great way to improve the usability which leads to more earnings and popularity. Poor app usability will lead to negative reviews and poor feedback on the app market.
How exactly do you track usability issues and solve them? There are certain steps to be taken by an app development team in order to monitor and track the issues facing the end-users and work towards fixing them.
Every app must have an analytics tool built within it. This will help track relevant data related to the user’s activities. Google Analytics is an example of a great tool that can be built into an app to help track data.
The following data is tracked with such a tool:
Usage Frequency: to track how often users launch the app.
Session Tracking: track the number of sessions users use the app and the duration of such sessions
Unique and Repeat Users: identify the number of new users and also the ratio of users who use the app multiple times.
Bug Tracking: keeping track of all the glitches during a user’s sessions.
In-App Actions: keeps track of selections and other activities during the users’ sessions.
User Profile: keeps track of vital user information- age, gender, location.
Screen Activity: keeps track of navigation and user interaction with the app interface.
Studying the data collected by the analytics tool can paint a vivid picture of what usability issues are being encountered by the end-users. The screen activity along with the bug tracking data can show what section of the app experienced the most bugs and errors. You can also effectively track what sections of the app saw the most incidence of users exiting abruptly or otherwise. You need to analyze the data collected in the context of other factors. For instance, while tracking the session duration, if you notice the average session duration for a particular age group is considerably shorter compared to other demographics, then you should realize there is a problem unique to users falling in that group.
Proper data analytics will help you have a comprehensive problem report and help you strategize on steps to take towards solving that issue. Data should never be considered individually but rather contextually, in reaction to other relevant factors. The data provided by the analytics tool is very vital towards constant app improvement. It covers virtually every relevant aspect needed for constant app redesigning and retooling.
After data analysis and identification of app usability issues, an in-house testing session should begin. You should set up a testing group to mimic average app usage and track the issues that plague the end-users in an actual live setting. This group can contain from 3-7 users, all monitored as they navigate the app. Ensure the testing group reflects the profiles of the users encountering the most issues when they used the app. Track the issues they encounter and assign a severity status to them.
Severity status determines the level of retooling needed to improve the app user experience. An issue that ranks low on the severity status may require a simple app update to fix certain bugs and glitches, while a high severity issue may require completely scrapping the app in order to develop a newer, more improved version.
Proper data tracking and making necessary improvements are key to staying ahead of usability issues that may plague your app. Employ a competent analytics tool and you’ll have access to a resource for tracking the manner your customers use your app and what issues they may be encountering. Failure to keep track of, and fix end-users issues will lead, ultimately, to a slow but steady demise of such an app. Although the app may offer a great product, an inability to access such offerings effectively renders the benefits moot.