Mobile App Europe 2014 Notes
The 7 Deadly Sins of Mobile Apps
Notes on a keynote by Jonathan Kohl (Kohl Concepts Inc.) at the Mobile App Europe 2014.
- Bad mobile experience is bad customer service
- You will lose money due to poor customer service
- Your brand and image will suffer
- Don’t give people reasons to delete your app
- We live and die by the app store ratings
- Social Media: #fail
- If your app fails people, they will unleash their fury on social media
- It can be very difficult to restore your brand after bad publicity
##Sin 1: Lust
The app leaves you feeling unfulfilled and wanting more.
- Not competing with other invoices app, but with angry birds (50% of time spent on games?)
- Designers: Use mobile features
- Programmers: Solve a real problem, create great error handling
- Testers: test for reliability and usability
##Sin 2: Gluttony
The app uses far too many device resources.
- Doesn’t fit well on smaller screens
- Your device slows down and heats up
- Your battery goes dead quickly
- Designers: Design for smaller screens, follow guidelines
- Developers: Optimize resource usage during development
- Testers: Find out the scenarios are really used
##Sin 3: Greed
The app uses as much of your network resources as possible.
- App is slow and unreliable on mobile networks
- App crashes when changes network types
- App is inoperable when network connections aren’t ideal or unavailable
- Designers: Design with network error handling in mind, assume weak or lost connections
- Developers: Use distributed computing approaches and error handling, assume slow connections, latency and dropped packets
- Testers: Test transitions between network types and connection loss: WiFi, cellular, etc.
##Sin 4: Sloth
The app takes too long to do anything useful.
- It is slow to launch and slow to respond to gestures and inputs
- It gets in the way of problem solving particularly in high stress situations
- It causes you to feel frustrated. This app is wasting previous time.
- Designers: Remember that devices that have limited power and resources so don’t get carried away with features - Use minimalist design start simple, remove, remove, remove!
- Developers: Monitor and optimize performance during development - watch for memory leaks too much processing, chatty network connections
- Testers: Performance test, use real devices, under devices on slower networks
##Sin 5: Wrath
The app doesn’t play well with others.
- Application settings override device defaults and causes unexpected behavior
- Overrides other app settings, causing them to malfunction
- App demands focus, no matter what you are doing
- Designers: Research custom settings and device defaults, and problems that can occur when they conflict
- Developers: Be careful with custom controls and be aware of other apps and services running on devices
- Testers: Try different user scenarios interoperating with other app actions, device settings and operations
##Sin 6: Envy
The app is a copycat. Users would prefer to use existing apps instead.
- It is too similar to other apps, and gets rejected from application stores.
- After the researching and installing the app, it is too similar to others I already use, so I delete it.
- I can’t find your app in a sea of similar go to a competitor
- Designers: Design the application with differentiation in mind
- Developers: Be creative with mobile development features to provide a unique user experience.
- Testers: Research apps in the marketplace and provide early feedback to designers and test the requirements - “What problem does it solve that others do not?”
##Sin 7: Pride
The app is difficult to users and expects users to adapt to it.
- People get frustrated while trying to complete simple tasks
- The app requires too many inputs and gestures to get anything done
- People are subjected to pain - eye strain the fingers
If mom doesn’t care, no one will
- Designers: use empathic design - take the user, their context and emotions into account
- Developers: follow framework development guidelines and UX practices
- Testers: Test user experiences using human-interface guidelines, and use real-world scenarios and tests.
##Don’t Tempt Others
Keep personal data private and secure
- Designers: model designs to prevent privacy breaches
- Developers: use secure protocols and storage tools
- Testers: ensure data is private - use testing and any security tools you can leverage
##Repent Of Your Sins!
- Exploit human weaknesses in your app to create positive experiences
- Give users what they want and need