No matter what industry you are in, it is always a challenge to make every one of your customers happy and satisfied. By the time a customer specifically points out that your service or product is of extremely low quality, however, your reputation is gone.
Before our deep dive today, let’s look at a true case below that was originally posted on Google Play Help forum.
It’s obvious that today’s users are more demanding and intolerant with apps that don’t work. Rather than asking for a refund, they would even try to find a way and seek assistance from Google to get bad apps removed. While Google will probably not remove the app solely because of poor quality, as mentioned in the post, there is a severe punishment.
In pursuit of improving the user experience on the Google Play Store, Google has enhanced its search and discovery algorithm to reflect app quality in order to promote high-quality apps more than similar apps of lower quality. In other words, the low-quality apps will be demoted in the app store search results and end up with low visibility as well as searchability.
‘We’ve seen that people go on to use higher quality apps more and uninstall them less. And by focusing on the quality and performance of your app, you’ll find more success on Google Play’, said by Google.
Now you are curious how you will know if your apps get downranked by Google for any reason? That’s not the thing you should spend time on. As Google stated, ‘The change has had a positive impact on engagement – we’ve seen that people go on to use higher quality apps more and uninstall them less. And by focusing on the quality and performance of your app, you’ll find more success on Google Play.’ Yes, you read it right – Quality and Performance. Simple as it is.
Stay away from the ‘low quality’ zone
So how to keep your distance from being a low-quality app? First things first, you need to keep in mind what denotes a high-quality app. As the main focus here is to define ‘high-quality app’ in a different way, a widely accepted understanding is that a high-quality app should meet business requirements and provide the satisfying user experience.
To take it further, an app seeking for long-term success cannot miss the following factors:
The above case is very typical – When users can’t download maps, the navigation app is just malfunctioning. For any software (mobile, desktop or web), there’s a bottom line that the application should provide expected core functionalities to help end users accomplish their tasks, no matter how beautiful the app is designed.
Lightning Fast Performance
There is a reason that mobile dominates today’s digital world. It lets users finish tasks in a matter of minutes or even seconds. How does your app help them achieve that? By delivering lightning fast performance with no spinners and zero crashes.
Keeping up with the releases of new devices is challenging. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept the challenge and toss away any notions of making your app compatible with as many devices as possible.
Pragmatic practices to settle down in the ‘high quality’ area
If you are suffering from low visibility and negative user reviews due to poor app quality, you should take actions as soon as possible if you are still serious about your app and business.
Test, test, test
To ensure all of the features are working all the time on the majority of your target devices, you need to test your apps all the time. No matter what testing approach you may rely on, the goal here is to always be testing.
Continuous testing at scale
When you heavily rely on a manual process to validate your app quality, you will not able to respond to user feedback and market needs in an instant way. By the time you finish one testing cycle, in many cases, your app score and visibility will have already got downgraded. So the game-changing strategy here is deploying test automation.
By automating everything at scale, you can achieve a faster issue resolution process. Your QA team will be able to understand app performance across hundreds of real devices and detect bugs as quickly as possible. For your Dev team, they can get higher visibility to bugs, dive into testing reports earlier and fix bugs immediately.
The overall upside of continuous testing is obvious that you can reveal the risks in the release candidate at earliest. This greatly determines if your application is ready to progress through the delivery pipeline.
Always delivering and monitoring
The faster app quality gets verified, the higher possibility is that your Release team can increase the speed and frequency at which quality apps are delivered. From the standpoint of business objectives, a continuous delivery process assures that your end users are always enjoying the best app, which in turn will naturally increase your user retention ratio and user engagement.
Now theoretically you’ve delivered the best app to the end users, but how do you exactly know if the current version is actually top-notch? Instead of acting passively to address users’ negative inputs, it’s highly suggested that your Operations team kickstart proactive mobile app performance monitoring, spot issues before your users do and constantly enhance end-user experience.
As Google mentioned already, the higher quality and better performance your app has, the more success you will eventually find. Even though you are not conventionally held accountable for app ranking and downloads, everyone involved in the DevOps process is responsible for app success as well.
As for companies, no matter what business strategy or testing methodology (Agile or DevOps) is adopted, everyone should be in the front line of achieving one simple goal – business growth and success.