So, you went finally built an app! You planned your app well, decided on the platform you are developing for, assembled a team or went solo, and finally pushed the package to the store and everyone can download it. Now you can lean back in your chair and wait to reap the success you have sown, right?
Sadly, that is not how it works. Uploading your application to the app store is not the end. In fact, it is more of a beginning of an entirely new phase. For all you know, the application could be ill received. Maybe people are not using it, or haven’t even downloaded it. Ultimately, you need to gauge the success of your newly released application to know whether all your effort is going to pay off. Many people struggle with this issue; it is not straightforward and can be slippery to tackle. Besides, even describing the issue can be frustrating and ambiguous.
So, after having released countless mobile applications for numerous clients we have developed a way (a process may we say) to help us - and now you - know exactly how successful our efforts were:
A mobile application is always (sometimes unwittingly) created for a purpose. This purpose - this objective - should be the benchmark and core for measuring the success of a mobile app. It is always to start with an objective in mind way early in the development phase. Before anything is produced, it is essential to know why you are developing the application in the first place.
For example: if you are developing an application for your upcoming event (which, by the way, you can easily and quickly do with Treffen App(LINK)) you can start with the objective of helping your attendees navigate the event. That way, you would know that download figures don’t mean all that much - there are only so many people going to be attending the entire event.
Speaking of download figures, numbers are - as always - an indispensable tool in an evaluator’s toolbelt. Downloads, ads served, ad revenue, analytics, usage data, or any other statistical figures give you the most accurate representation of how your application is doing. And while all of it is data that will need interpretation and further processing, the extra effort is worth it. It might be, for instance, more important to focus on marketing the app before you pump it full of features for the 10 users who even know of its existence.
Now this one seems a little too obvious, doesn’t it? There is, however, no possible way of overstating the importance of user feedback. What good is an application if its targeted users don’t want it?
There are multiple ways of addressing this issue. The most straightforward way (not always possible, however) is just going and meeting with users face-to-face. Good old user feedback in the fastest, clearest method of doing it.
Another way to do it is just by checking reviews on the app store. Users (usually the disgruntled ones) are usually eager to tell you what they think of the application. If they like it they leave a 5-star rating with gold nuggets of unguided feedback. Be prepared to read some scathing opinions, however.
If neither option is viable, in-app surveys do a great job of capturing user attitudes. Some developers get extra creative with this and add some incentive for users to fill out surveys - after all, we picked this up from run-of-the-mill food retailers.
A good app doesn’t end as soon as it sees the light of day. A mobile application is a product, and business and marketing concepts apply to it - it is not just a technical endeavor. Evaluating your mobile application’s success is incredibly important. And while the process can be messy and confusing, it is not a particularly difficult thing to do. The beauty (and motivation) of gauging your product’s success is: If you determine your application is doing not so great, it is not game over. You can quickly start taking corrective action and put your app back on track.