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Do We Expect Too Much From Mobile Apps?
With the increasing capability of mobile apps these days, it's not surprising that people expect them to do more and more with every passing day. Mobile devices are finding their way into the workforce and some people even keep multiple types on hand to serve different purposes. But are we reaching a point where expectations are starting to outpace reality? Some recent research indicates that, maybe, we're asking too much from our mobile devices and the apps that drive them.
The research in question shows that, among other things, about 21 percent of users will not retry a failing app again. Moreover, only 16 percent of polled users will try a failing app more than twice. What's worse, the term "failing app" can seem to encompass a wide variety of states, including outright crashing and failure to launch, to just being too slow to launch, to even just not functioning as the user expected.
Considering that many people don't exactly put a lot of time into their app selection processes--let alone money--this doesn't bode well for app creators at all. People might put several hours into the selection process for a mobile device--trying several, reading reviews, and so on--but a mobile app is the stuff of minutes. It doesn't help that the costs are in such wide disparity--an app may cost a few dollars, but a device many times that--and that's leading some to devalue the mobile app.
So the question isn't so much--at least to some--if we're asking too much of mobile, but rather, that we're not putting much value on mobile apps in general. There's a lot of competition in the field, and most any variety of an app will likely have several different choices in the field. Want an app to track mileage for a small business? Find restaurants? There are multiple choices in each, and picking one in particular is often just a matter of which is the best value. Which does most? Which costs less? The competition is thick and the customers not exactly the most loyal, ready to throw over a perceived "failure" in a heartbeat.
There are some who believe the solution to this is a matter of consolidation. With fewer entries in the field, and more cost involved on the end result, then customer loyalty will become a factor again. Customers will value their purchases and treat them accordingly, with forgiveness for error and a diminished focus on value.
Others, meanwhile, believe that the key is to provide the best possible environment, and have been taking pages from the idea of the zero-downtime data center in order to do that. After all, even in an environment with lots of competition, customers putting premium on value can work in favor of the app developer that puts its own focus on value, just the way the customer does. The ability to regularly upgrade services, using tiered offerings to provide scalability--already often done with the "Lite" and "Pro" concepts of mobile apps--goes a long way toward keeping even the fickle customer's interest.
So, in a way, we are expecting a bit too much from mobile. We're expecting fast and perfect, and should we not get that, we're going elsewhere, because there are a great many "elsewheres" in which to go. But there are ways to work around that perception, and mobile app makers who take cues from the data center should see excellent results.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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