The 3 Mobile App Metrics You Should Be Focusing On
Building a successful mobile app is not easy. It not only takes a great idea, but also a good execution of that idea coupled with strong design and marketing. Even then, many good apps are left by the wayside with their creators struggling to determine where they went left when they should have gone right. That is one area where mobile app metrics can help; letting a designer understand trouble points and where to look for corrective actions. As a successful mobile app design company, these are the 3 mobile app metrics we feel you should be focusing on.
The Big 3 Mobile App Metrics
These are the 3 mobile app metric categories we feel are most important to review:
- Engagement Metrics – These are extremely valuable metrics that need to be at the top of everyone’s list. First and foremost is session length. You need to understand how long a user is on the app from open to close. The longer the length, the more engagement and the shorter the length obviously there is less engagement. When you see a pattern of short session length then you definitely have an area to focus on from a design standpoint and testing; what is it that is causing people to leave so quickly? Next there is the session interval which is how long people wait between using an app. For games that gain that ‘addictive’ tag the session intervals are often very small as people keep jumping back in again and again. You have to consider your type of app and how often a user would want or need to use it before considering if your session intervals are normal. Number of times opened during the first week is one of the best metrics to consider when looking at session interval.
- Performance Metrics – So how does your app actually perform in the live environment? The most critical metric in this group is App Crashes which will measure the average number of crashes per app load. Obviously people are not going to use an app with a high glitch rate. Ideally you need to be at 2% or less. Next we have the App Load per Period which demonstrates how your app handles the strain of executing actions over time and will not if it suffers any sort of slowdown or letdown over time. Then there is the API Latency which tracks the response time from user request to app response. A slow API latency (over 1 second) is not very good because, frankly, people have gotten really impatient and expect everything now. A high API latency is a common reason for app droppage because people can’t be bothered to wait on their technology.
- User Metrics – These are also known as the demographic metrics and are an important aspect of understanding who is actually using your app and when. More than likely you had a target demographic when you designed the app, but that doesn’t always mean you are hitting that target. In this category you can see how many daily and monthly users you have, which helps track growth or shrinkage, and then you can also see what devices users are connecting with (such as iOS vs. Android or tablets vs. smartphones). In this category you are also looking at total downloads and current active users.
What to Do with Metrics?
So you have looked at the important metrics and see some problems. Now what? From this point it is often a matter of testing to confirm problems the metrics are indicating, making design adjustments, testing again, and then possibly releasing an update. In some cases it might be a marketing issue if you have a very low number of downloads but all the other metrics are great.
While metrics are useful, they are just a tool that helps indicate trouble areas. For example, if the average session length is 10 seconds there must be something happening in that time frame to drive people away. Is it crashing? Does the app get hung up? Is it too confusing to use? Does it require a username/password and people just don’t feel like dealing with it? There are a lot of possibilities and this is where a good testing environment comes into play. Having various users test the different problem areas and provide feedback then allows designers to make adjustments.
Then it is simply a matter of re-testing the app after changes have been made to see how effective the changes are and then either keep tweaking the app or releasing an update.
The bottom line is that even the best idea for an app still requires a lot of steps before it will be a success. One of those steps is analyzing metrics to help make informed choices and we feel these 3 mobile app metric categories are the ones you should be focusing on.
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