Forget the three strikes rule: 79 percent of mobile users are only willing to retry an app that doesn't load properly two times or fewer, according to a research report from Compuware.
Have you had problems with a mobile app within the last 6 months?
In its report What Consumers Really Need And Want, Compuware asked a range of questions around the usability of apps and mobile websites and found that users have a low tolerance for even the most minor performance issues.
For example, although 85 percent of those surveyed said they prefer apps over mobile websites, 47 percent said they had encountered a problem using an app in the last year.
The survey reflected the need not only for high performance but a significant degree of personalization and localization in the content offered through an app.
"[Consumers] expect an app to identify what device they are on and present them with the right set of options and functionality for that particular device. Consumers want proactive and relevant [to them] information and services within the context of their location at a particular time," the report said.
When Compuware conducted a similar research study two years ago, load times ranked as the No. 1 problem for mobile app users at 32 percent, but nearly the same amount, or 30 percent, said they were frustrated by apps that froze, crash or popped up with an error message, underlying the importance of app testing prior to launch. In the new report, the numbers are even higher: Crashing apps now ranks first at 62 percent and slow loading sites are at 47 percent. A potentially worrying sign for developers is that a substantial base of users may not be getting the value they hoped for: 37 percent said their apps did not perform as expected.
The Compuware study was really aimed at businesses that are trying to evolve their traditional desktop online experience to something more mobile-friendly, but for app developers it reinforces that on a smartphone the bar is set higher than ever. 31 percent of those surveyed said they would tell others about their dissatisfactions and 26 percent said they would give the app a low rating in an app store.
While mobile apps may be efficient and convenient, consumers are not afraid to vocalize (or tweet) complaints about an app's shortcomings--even minor ones," the report added. "With users expecting greater experiences in mobile apps more than ever, fulfilling those expectations doesn't just happen: It takes a conscious effort throughout every stage of the design and development processes to get it right."
- see the full report
Compuware: 85% of consumers favor mobile apps over mobile websites
App testing industry flourishes in chaotic Android landscape
Subscribers love their mobile apps, but know little about them
Why Twitter bought Crashlytics