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Posted by at 13 February , 2015

Every so often we get that gut wrenching review when a user decides to unload all over us in the App Store. Needless to say it is a painful experience for any small app developer.

There are lot of ups and downs in the day to day support of apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. The difficulty lies in how the reviewer states their positive or negative experience. These comments can not only be detrimental to our review ratings, but many times it does not give us the proper context into why the user had a bad experience with the app in the first place.

Here is an example of a bad review left in the App Store that does not help us in determining what exactly the user was experiencing. Could the user have been in a slow WiFi location? Were they on at peak hours? Was a certain website not loading properly? Did they read the app description or access the help guide? It is hard to tell from this users review:

bad_review_screen_grab

How do you make sense of this type of information? In the Google Play Store we can respond to comments and make sure that users are being clear about the issue they are experiencing. Sometimes you do have to do some detective work to figure out what exactly is going on?

looking for clues in the app store

Then you have users that write reviews that are clear and concise. They write a review stating the exact experience they had with our apps and how it helped them:

One thing that jumps out is that 3 out of 3 customers found this review helpful. Potential customers are always looking at existing users ratings and reviews as the first indicator if they will download the app? They are already here they just want to see how others found the product useful.

Or you have the user who took the time to state simply how our app helped him out in his day to day use.

Needless to say, there is a way to write an effective review that is either positive or negative. This can actually help App Developer fix an issue that they may not even be aware of. Take a look at this score card that Airbnb uses to rate a customer reviews it creates a good methodology into how a user should rate an experience.

airbnb_scorecard

Seems like a reasonable way to score an app in the App Store, right? This is how the anatomy of a good or bad review can work in the users favor. There are several factors that play into this way of objectively reviewing an app on iOS or Android. Both are different platforms with their fair of good and bad applications and users should learn how to praise good efforts and apply constructive critiques of negative experiences. Telling us “Hey, your Apps sucks!” is not constructive as we may not know what it actually “sucking” in our App.

As App Developers we should also consider what users want in a mobile application? It is after all a two way street two way street. Ask yourself a few questions? Does it fill a need? Does it provide a solution to an existing problem? Does it work as advertised? Will it become a day-to-day app or an app that you use for enterprise purposes? There are so many questions that go into the utility an app provides like our Virtual Browser apps that can run Flash and Java; that we should be able to answer those questions.

Also consider this; What do people really want in good apps? This image below gives us a good indicator of the consideration that goes into downloading an app onto a mobile device.

What people are looking for in good apps

The biggest factor is if the user sees that the apps does exactly what they need it for. How does the user get there? By going into app reviews and ratings to see if it is worth the time and money to use any application. This why it is important to have positive and clear reviews by users.

Users in the App Store are looking at solving an existing problem on their given device. This is the best form of window shopping available. We need to provide the best reviews possible to encourage an app download. This is why a good or bad review can make or break your app. We need to guide users into giving us constructive critiques that will improve their overall experience.

In the end this is a two way street between App Developers and users.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments or by emailing us at support@xformcomputing.com

 

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