Editor's note: Jason Jacobson is a UX research manager in the San Francisco office of research firm AnswerLab.
Apps represent a critical consumer touchpoint and an extension of a company’s brand identity. In addition to traditional desktop sites, mobile sites, brick-and-mortar presence, etc., apps have evolved into an important consumer interface for companies that offer search and browse capabilities, purchase functionality and transactional abilities. A study1 by Compuware revealed that consumers strongly prefer apps over mobile sites because they are considered more convenient, faster and easier to browse. And comScore reports show that the majority of mobile content is accessed via apps rather than the mobile Web.
While companies often invest a great deal of resources in app development, few quantitatively measure the customer experience after launch. App analytics on downloads, revenue and usage only tell part of the story. How do you evaluate what’s driving those numbers? What quantitative data do you have available to guide design and development decisions? How do you determine whether app changes are having the desired impact? What’s your reference point?
Continuously tracking the user experience on an app via a survey is critical to deliver quantitative data to help you:
Two quantitative methodologies can be used to track the app experience:
Survey surfaced within the app. The optimal scenario is to have the capability to surface a survey built into the app prior to launch. Having built-in survey capabilities results is a robust read of the app experience because app users can be surveyed in their natural context, the survey can be launched based on various criteria such as location (e.g., close to/near a store) or locations after certain transactions are completed. An added advantage of this approach is that we can use the survey as a customer relationship tool that identifies ...