Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Don’t stress me out. I want to be AppHappy.

Posted by Burhanuddin Sefudin on Wed, Jul 30, 2014 @ 17:07 PM

We all know how a poor performing app makes us feel. AppDynamics the Application Intelligence leader for the software-defined business wanted to take a more scientific approach to understanding the emotions poor performing apps caused and quantify them.

Last month AppDynamics conducted a joint study with the University of London to discover how users react when the performance of mobile applications aren’t up to expectations. The study examined the impact of the increasing use of mobile devices on aspects of people’s behaviour, and the corresponding business implications. They found out how users react when their mobile applications aren’t performing up to expectations and even how frustrated they become.

By taking actual app users as case studies and by putting them in a scientific lab with some really lousy apps they discovered some exciting results!

“The study gave us great insight into how glitchy, slow, and unstable apps affect users’ app preference, and how terrible performance impacts their emotions. Sure, we expected the lab research to reveal a certain level of user frustration. However, frustration levels were much higher than we thought. And, as we later found out, this directly leads to a sharp spike in users deleting and uninstalling apps that don’t meet their expectations” - Amber Coster, Senior Marketing Manager, AppDynamics.

Consumer expectations regarding apps are really high, so when people’s experience is not satisfying, they are going to go elsewhere and look for an alternative. It’s therefore very important for app developers and service providers to test and optimise.

It is also clear that our patience wears thin in today’s app-enabled world. As The University of London’s Director of innovation and research lead Chris Brauer puts it; “Our attention span demands have adapted dramatically to the available technologies.” In short, if we’re not getting the performance from one app we’ll simply move onto another. Despite this lack of patience, results from the study demonstrated that in many cases, people are now becoming more loyal to an app than a brand.

Stress ball please

The level of emotional distress that inferior mobile app performance caused was the most surprising bit of the research for me. Despite how melodramatic this may sound, the impact on the app users was substantial. The three most common reactions were frustration, stress, and disappointment. Yes: stress!

“I get really stressed when apps don’t work” and “I’ve been close to panic attacks.” said case study participant Georgina Wilson.

Frustrations stem from the high expectations we have for the apps that are never far from our fingertips. We expect them to respond instantaneously and perform without any stalls or crashes; which means the margin of error that app developers have to work with is quickly diminishing. As a result, mobile application performance has never been more critical.

It’s also important to note…

Not too long ago, having a reliable and consistent presence on the web was enough - then came the mobile explosion, and the shift didn’t stop there. The dramatic evolution of user expectations is putting increased pressure on businesses, meaning that simply having a mobile app won’t cut it. At a time where people are becoming more loyal to an app than a brand, strong performance of apps is vital to companies staying in the game.

If you’re an app maker relieve your users’ frustration by gaining visibility into the performance of your mobile applications with AppDynamics Mobile APM today.

AppDynamics have created this fantastic infographic showcasing some of the interesting data points from their App Attention Span study:

The App Attention Span

Get AppHappy with Ranger4 and AppDynamics :)

Topics: Application Performance Management, AppHappy, Appdynamics