Top App Performance Metrics To Monitor
Even the most thoughtfully developed apps will need to evolve, and one effective way to spot opportunities for improvement is through application performance monitoring.
Application performance metrics fall into several categories, each providing a unique look at app performance and areas for improvement. We believe it’s essential to be keeping an eye on user acquisition, user engagement, and customer satisfaction.
- User acquisition metrics reveal the success of your marketing efforts, monitoring things like the number of downloads and users.
- Engagement looks at user experience and how users interact with the app, from how long the average person spends in the app to user turnover rates.
- Customer satisfaction measures how successfully an app meets user expectations and the likelihood of a user recommending the app.
We’ll look at each of these app performance categories and talk about key metrics to gauge how your app is doing in each of them.
App Performance Metrics for User Acquisition
App performance metrics related to user acquisition provide valuable insight to help you focus your marketing budget and tap into new customer bases. Acquisition metrics range from app store rankings to insights on how users became aware of your app. Services like data.ai, APPLyzer, and Adjust can help you monitor app acquisition metrics.
App Store Ranking
A primary acquisition metric is app store ranking. Ranking refers to the visibility of an app when a user searches for it in the app store. A high ranking means an app appears within the top search results. App ranking is increased through optimized keywords, positive user reviews, and regular updates. Ranking matters most for iOS apps because Apple uses a search algorithm that places higher-ranked apps first.
Number of Downloads
Number of downloads represents another critical acquisition metric. This measurement links directly with the extent of app reach. As it sounds, the number of downloads tracks how many mobile app users install an app onto their device. Low numbers of installations could mean that marketing campaigns need to be further tailored or that the app could use an upgrade.
It’s also helpful to track the sources that lead users to discover your app, a metric called app attribution. Attribution provides a glimpse at the success of marketing efforts by enabling you to know what sites or promotions generated higher click-through rates and downloads.
One additional metric we like, viralness, reveals the number of new users brought in by a typical current user. This is a handy metric for many social consumer apps. You have a lower cost per acquisition if you gather new users from viral sharing rather than through direct marketing. Viral acquisitions also tend to engage more because they interact with friends and family vested in the app. In-app promotions that reward current users for referrals can help increase viral reach.
App Performance Metrics for User Engagement
User engagement metrics measure the value customers get when using an app. These performance metrics are worth tracking for most types of apps. The data provides information about the activity level of consumers and flags potential pain points. Tracking user engagement metrics can help developers view user behavior patterns and improve an app’s usability. Tools to track user engagement metrics include Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Firebase.
Time factors heavily into user engagement and helps measure customers’ activity levels. Metrics for user engagement include daily, weekly, and monthly active users (DAU, WAU, MAU), which gauge the number of users within a time period. “Active” can mean anything from opening the app to posting and engaging with content. However, app experts tend to look at the DAU ratio to MAU (“stickiness”) rather than the individual metrics. This ratio shows the number of days in a month that users return to the app and provides a more accurate look at active users.
Retention, one of the most important app performance metrics, shows how many users return to the app at least one time. The metric is often evaluated at 30, 60, and 90 days. While good retention rates vary by industry, it’s obvious that the higher the number, the better. It’s a strong indicator that users value the app. In another post, we discuss how to keep users engaged with your app.
Churn rate offers the opposite performance metric to retention: the percentage of discontinued users. Understanding when users churn in the lifecycle is critical to addressing potential engagement problems. If users churn soon after installation, the app might have technical problems like frequent crashes, an unfixed bug, or other application errors. Losing long-term users can indicate that the app provides only short-term value or doesn’t meet expectations.
Visits & Views
Both average visit time and screen views per visit are also useful application metrics to evaluate end-user experience. Average visit time shows how long users engage with the app in one visit, while screen views per visit records the number of screens clicked in a session.
Session length is a good indicator of your app’s engagement. Generally, the more time a user spends on the app, the better, but you may also want to look at session length in terms of the number of app crashes and uninstalls and see if there is a correlation. Session depth reveals how far along the user path someone travels before closing the app; for example, going from browsing to making an app purchase may correlate with greater session depth than logging in to check for content updates. Likewise, app session interval, which measures the period of time between two consecutive sessions, offers additional insight, enabling you to measure how attached users are to your app.
App Performance Metrics for Customer Satisfaction
The final category of app performance metrics deals with customer satisfaction, which shows consumer preferences and expectations. User satisfaction metrics include user ratings and reviews, in-app feedback, and satisfaction surveys. Examining these metrics can provide a deeper understanding of what customers want from your app and allow app developers to hone features and in-app support to better meet user needs. Appbot, appFigures, and Lookback all provide app metrics on customer satisfaction.
Reviews & Ratings
Reviews and ratings can provide incredible, actionable insights to your business about what additional features and improvements would be valuable. They also have significant power to influence acquisition. App store reviews affect app store ranking, so maintaining a positive score improves the visibility of an app. According to Apptentive’s “Mobile App Ratings and Reviews” guide, peer recommendations in the form of app store ratings and reviews stand alone as the single greatest driver of discovery and conversion.
Collecting in-app feedback about bugs and usability problems can often help avert negative public posts by allowing you to quickly fix any issues. Feedback can be gathered via chat systems, email contact forms, and surveys. In-app feedback reaches customers actively using the app and requires no outside windows or web browsers, streamlining the process for users. A particular type of in-app feedback, rating metrics, can complement customer reviews. If an app user provides a positive rating, you can prompt them to leave an app store review, helping your ranking.
These highlighted app performance metrics only scratch the surface of the quantitative and qualitative data you can gather about an app. With the overwhelming number of mobile app metrics you can track, picking and choosing the critical metrics for your app can prove challenging. Please contact us today if you want to learn more about what metrics will deliver the most relevant information about your app.
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Generation Z is a brilliant and forward-thinking generation making a progressive transformation in the world as we know it. Following behind Millennials, they are heavily immersed in the technical landscape and are highly app savvy. They were born into a world of expansion and innovation with creations like the Apple iPhone and Facebook. Having grown up with the ability to access knowledge at the tap of their fingertips, they’re educated individuals with great entrepreneurial goals. They expect companies to anticipate their needs and will move on when they don’t deliver. They’re looking for flawless app design, fast iterations, responsible data collection, creative outlets, and more. Some Facts About Generation Z Born between 1997 and 2012, they’re in the era of self-discovery. Since their youth, Gen Z parents have been navigating the rise of technology and the online privacy issues that come with it; for Gen Z, finding their true selves is no easy task. Due to their immense media consumption, they expect instant gratification and high-speed delivery. As the “mobile generation,” 96% of Gen Zers are reported to own a cellphone—many spend 10 hours plus connected online. They frequent social platforms like Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, Twitch, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, and other platforms. Gen Zers gravitate to mobile banking apps to serve their financial needs and streamline their tasks. Consequently, email is slowly dying out among this community of users. Generation Z interacts with apps in their lives as a means of communication, to fill a need in their life, and for play and creative expression. They are true digital natives and are hyper-connected to the world around them—making them increasingly self-aware and emotionally reflective. Generation Z also reports high rates of anxiety, depression, and mental challenges—more so than in past generations. Experiencing a global pandemic has only exasperated their mental health struggles. Consequently, prioritizing and addressing mental health is of great importance. Take Oye—a creative wellness app created by singer J Balvin “to make the world feel better.” It’s an app to transform your emotions into creative actions with mind-body practices, daily emotional check-in tools, personalized goal setting, and mindful notifications. Gen Z has proven to be catalyzed citizens who want to make a difference through social responsibility. Their innate understanding of the power of social networks and their regular consumption of news and information has allowed Gen Z to move past the era of Millennial armchair activism. While navigating life in today’s world, Gen Z confidently prioritizes experiences over objects. Considerations in App Development for Generation Z The Generation Z cohort is a significant target for app developers. Being born and raised in the digital age, they are always looking for novel tech to explore. Generation Z represents much larger historical forces at play, driving progressive transformation in the workplace that will redefine the entire generational experience. As a result, this generation has experienced increased globalization, technological advancements, and a fast-paced influx of information. Generation Z is changing the way we build digital experiences. Generation Z is the first generation to merge the digital and physical worlds into one experience. They view the internet as more than just a transaction and instead see it as a human experience. What that means for development is creating intuitive experiences that Gen Zers will love—innovative, straightforward, and seamless. With this information in mind, we’ve identified vital considerations to keep in mind when developing digital products for Generation Z. What Gen Z Consumers Want in An App Obsessively Tested, Flawless Design Gen Zers value efficiency and flawless design. That is why thorough testing and gaining user feedback are paramount. Be sure to ask for feedback from this generation and integrate the user input throughout your app’s development process and in updates. “If the designer doesn’t remove themself and try to see the user’s perspective, they can overly complicate the journey.” AARON LEA, ART DIRECTOR AT INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO Glitchy user interface behaviors and poor design choices are instant turnoffs for Gen Zers. Make your app seamless and flawless from the start, or you may lose your customer. Build your app with swift and straightforward interactions, and don’t reinvent the wheel for every feature within your product—draw inspiration from apps that are already working. By sticking with best practices and standard features and anticipating your users’ desires, your users will navigate more intuitively and stick around for more. Fast Iterations Gen Z consumers have grown up in a fast-paced digital world and value convenience and efficiency. They prefer mobile apps that offer quick and uninterrupted experiences, such as fast loading times, easy checkout processes, and streamlined workflows. Keep your app low on data—fast to download and delete. Control Over Their Digital Footprint Gen Zers quickly went from a private world to everything constantly being shared online. In their formative years, they grew up with little technology at their disposal. They were thrust into a world of hyper-technology and interconnectedness as time progressed. With that in mind, here are essential factors to keep at the forefront of your app development: Privacy Settings Gen Z should be able to manage their privacy settings on apps. This type of functionality includes having the ability to choose whether their information is shared publicly or only with specific individuals and having the option to limit the usage of their personal data. Data Transparency Gen Z should have clear access and information about what data is collected, how it’s used, and to whom it gets shared. Responsible Data Collection It’s essential to ensure that Gen Zers’ personal data is protected from data breaches and cyber threats. Apps should implement robust security practices to keep user data safe. Value-Add Through Personalization You can add value with personalization by using various technologies, such as saving login information, geolocation, machine learning, and AI, to cater to the specific needs of Gen Z. It is crucial to find a proper balance in incorporating personalization that genuinely adds value, without overdoing it. Here are a few core components to adding value through personalization: Saving Login Information Gen Z is all about convenience, and one way to provide that is by saving their login information. By doing so, you not only save them time but also provide a straightforward user journey. Geolocation Gen Z consumers are constantly on the go and expect a personalized experience based on their location. Using geolocation technology, you can offer tailored recommendations, promotions, and content based on their location. Machine Learning & AI If you want to better understand your Gen Z customers, machine learning can be a potent tool. By analyzing their data, you can personalize their experience and provide the results they seek—before they even ask. AI and machine learning are great tools for automating manual tasks as well. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in many ways to develop apps for Gen Z. Here are some ways to incorporate ML and AI in your app to improve its performance: Personalized Recommendations: ML algorithms can provide customized recommendations to Gen Z users based on their interests, behaviors, and preferences. Chatbots & Virtual Assistants: With natural language processing (NLP) techniques, it’s now possible to create bots that can interact with Gen Z users in a way that feels just like talking to a real person. Bots can help users with tasks such as scheduling, finding information, or making purchases on their mobile devices. Image & Video Recognition: Computer vision techniques can be used to recognize images and videos, which can be helpful in apps such as social media platforms, gaming, or e-commerce. Predictive Modeling: Predictive modeling techniques can be used to forecast future behaviors and trends. For instance, a news app can predict which articles will be most popular among Gen Z users. Predictive modeling ensures your app stays ahead of the curve. Voice Recognition: Voice recognition techniques can be used to develop voice-enabled apps and devices that can be controlled with voice commands. This technology can be helpful in apps such as virtual assistants, smart home devices, or hands-free gaming. ML and AI can help app developers create more engaging, personalized, and interactive apps for Gen Z users. By leveraging these technologies, app developers can improve the user experience and stay ahead of the competition. Creative Tools More than half of Gen Zers believe they are more creative than previous generations. Most of them engage in creative activities in their free time. Gen Z is a highly creative generation that values individuality and self-expression. Therefore, niche tools enabling creativity are essential for creating apps that resonate with them. Concluding Thoughts on Developing Apps for Gen Z Gen Zers have a unique vantage point when it comes to app development. They’ve experienced the best of both worlds—an era of privacy merged with hyper-connectedness. They are vicarious app consumers, making them ideal customers for app developers. Brands that take the time to understand their Gen Z users’ behaviors, motivations, preferences, and expectations will experience significant growth. Considering the above considerations, one can ensure that their app hits the mark with this brilliant and forward-thinking generation. Gen Z wants more than just an app. They crave a unique experience that fulfills their daily needs and brings joy. The app should leave them feeling special and enhance their well-being. At InspiringApps, we stay on the pulse and ahead of the curve to bring you the most forward-thinking and trending app development insights. If you have any questions or thoughts on the above material—we’d be delighted to connect!
21 days ago
Boulder, CO—In the latest article from Built In Colorado, InspiringApps’ Creative Director, Aaron Lea, shares his advice on creating simplified user journeys within digital products. How To Simplify User Journeys When do you know it’s time to simplify your product’s user journey? When we design digital apps, we’re always looking for ways to simplify the user journey. Limiting the number of interactions users have to make is a best practice for most apps. The more users have to drill down into extra screens, the more likely they are to leave. I like to think of it this way: design the app like you’re in the Target parking lot and about to go inside the store to buy Tide Pods. As a user, I want to be in and out as quickly as possible. A quick exchange that’s easy for me to use means I’m more prone to open the app the next time I’m in that Target parking lot. It’s often the case that apps are downloaded, opened once, and then deleted. These apps are too cluttered, and people won’t reuse them. On the other hand, when users know it doesn’t take too long to accomplish a task—no guided tours they’re more likely to use the app. A simple experience is a successful experience. Unless we’re creating something like TikTok, we aren’t designing the app to keep users in it. We’re here to help users achieve something or access a specific feature. The fewer interactions it takes to accomplish that, the better the journey. What process do you use to identify opportunities for simplification? App design is an art that involves trusting your instincts. I like to think of this process as similar to editing a script. Editors are great at identifying what’s essential and getting rid of clutter. But their real goal is staying true to what makes the script great—and amplifying that by revealing only what needs to be there. For example, an app may have a component that mirrors the functionality of Slack or Youtube. These are established popular apps. And even the best digital products aren’t going to lure people away from them. Any project, whether it’s designing an app or a home improvement project, can be subject to scope creep. Is that feature really needed? Was it added at the last minute? We all get distracted in the creative journey, and the risk is that we keep getting further away from—or even lose sight of—the reason we started, the problem we wanted to solve. We need to stay true to what inspired us in the beginning to create the app. ART DIRECTOR, AARON LEA | INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO What are some common traps designers can fall into that result in an overly complicated user journey? One trap is elevating ego over empathy. If the designer doesn’t remove themself and try to see the user’s perspective, they can overly complicate the journey. Designers must constantly evolve, challenge themselves, and put themselves in others’ shoes. ART DIRECTOR, AARON LEA | INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO Another trap could be the designer finding a new design tool or method they want to use and deciding to use it in a particular product. Novelty is not a substitute for suitability. A good rule of thumb is, don’t force it if it doesn’t deserve to be there. Sometimes, designers get set in their ways. Just because it worked last time doesn’t mean it will work this time too. Or conversely, designers may reinvent the wheel. If the design worked the first time, there’s no need to rethink it. Time management is critical. With mobile apps, people remember the launch, the middle, and the endpoint. A trap could be spending too much time on incidental interstitial areas. Don’t focus all your time there. Take that time and instead pick the three most vital sections—the app’s beginning, the middle, and its exit—and make those experiences ones that keep users coming back. Meet InspiringApps’ Creative Director Aaron Lea We believe that Inspired Employees Make InspiringApps and that our diverse backgrounds, skills, hobbies, and perspectives are what make us a stronger team. Aaron Lea finds his inspiration steeped in pop culture, a tradition of art in his family, and a creative digital design process that enables him to put novel creations back into the world and inspire others as a result.
1 month ago