Mobile application developers must design and deploy apps that engage users consistently. Otherwise, these developers risk alienating their target audiences, which is reflected in recent data.
A survey of 1,000 smartphone owners conducted by app analytics provider Localytics indicated 92 percent of consumers expect to use apps more or the same amount in the future. However, the survey also showed mobile device users will try a new app on average 4.5 times before deciding to stop using it due to boredom or lack of perceived value.
"There are literally millions of apps out there vying for consumers' attention. Our data shows mobile users expect their apps to know them intimately and that it's OK for apps and brands to use that information to create personalized app experiences and marketing messages," Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal said in a prepared statement.
Delivering an engaging user experience empowers an app developer. However, improving app usability remains a challenge for many app developers, particularly for those who are striving to deploy apps faster than their rivals.
App usability tools frequently help developers optimize the user experience before an app becomes generally available. These tools provide actionable insights for developers, ensuring they can test and maximize the quality of their apps.
Today, many app usability tools are available for developers, including:
Applause offers "in-the-wild" testing services via the world's largest community of professional testers, providing functional, security and usability testing and tools for test automation and beta management.
Matt Johnston, Applause's Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, noted Applause boasts more than 200,000 quality assurance (QA) professionals worldwide who ensure that native apps work as intended across any device, operating system, browser, carrier or location.
This enables Applause to offer customers unlimited test coverage that mirrors their end users, according to Johnston.
Applause owns an 80 percent share of the global crowdtesting market, Johnston said, and will continue to invest in its testing community.
"The world is increasingly digital – with web, mobile and IoT becoming more pervasive in the lives of consumers, and in the critical paths of companies. This connected world requires testing that matches users' devices, OS, browsers, connectivity and location. And only crowd-driven models can provide this type of real-world digital experience testing," Johnston told FierceDeveloper. "[We are] broadening our tools to enable testing in an increasingly agile development methodology and an increasingly continuous deployment schedule."
Azetone provides a fully integrated mobile optimization platform that offers mobile user experience analytics, A/B testing and personalization capabilities.
Carole Legrand, Azetone's Community Manager, pointed out the Azetone software development kit (SDK) can be installed in less than 1 minute with zero lines of code and zero tags.
Azetone even integrates with leading push notification platforms "to leverage existing customer segments to analyze user behavior, target A/B tests or deploy fully personalized versions of apps by profile," Legrand noted.
In addition, Legrant said Azetone plans to develop technologies that empower developers in a number of ways, including:
Enabling developers to benchmark their app user experience with similar apps in their field.
Delivering insights into how each app user profile engages with an app.
Providing real-time in-app personalization and contextualization.
Azetone said its app usability suite is built on an open, cloud-based and enterprise-scale foundation that combines internal app data tracking with third-party analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
Thus, developers can leverage Azetone's integrated A/B testing technology to review and optimize any variant in front of a random sample or a specific segment before deploying it to the appropriate app user profile.
Ubertesters delivers a professional testing SDK with a cloud platform designed to streamline mobile app testing.
The company's mobile app beta testing solution includes a tool that enables developers to manage the entire QA process.
Also, Ubertesters allows developers to monitor, manage and control the QA process and get the appropriate feedback and defect reports or crash reports directly.
"Our platform takes care of all the testing cycle needs and issues," Ubertesters CEO Ran Rachlin told FierceDeveloper.
Rachlin noted Ubertesters stands out from other app usability tools because it empowers developers to:
Distribute an app "over the air" to testers.
Create distribution groups and sub-groups to allow A/B testing.
Leverage automatic crash reporting.
Utilize a full bug reporting tool from within the app itself.
Monitor what each tester did in a testing session.
Developers should expect new Ubertesters features in the near future.
Rachlin said Ubertesters is creating a "live SDK" that will allow developers to receive full crash reports during both app pre-production and production phases.
Ubertesters also is developing a "defect video capturing" capability, Rachlin noted, that will enable developers to see a full video of all the steps that the tester took in the 15 seconds prior to a crash.