What's More Important: Mobile App Performance or User Experience?
What’s more important for a company: delivering a lightning-fast, responsive mobile application that loads quickly, or shipping a highly interactive piece of software that both intelligently engages and impresses users?
Both are crucial, right? There’s no one right answer here. More and more, users are expecting increasingly responsive apps on day one, and if certain actions take just a single second longer than what they feel is justifiable, the app could be uninstalled before it’s ever really given a chance. However, highly interactive and innovative apps might suffer from slower performance thanks to their complexity, so it’s difficult to balance speed with quality.
So, would you rather be swift and simple, or layered and labored? This is one of the biggest challenges developers, testers, and IT operations teams are facing today. It’s exceptionally difficult to make smart, deep apps run like users expect them to, so it’s more important than ever for companies to both detect and solve performance issues before they reach users.
Teams need to keep the end-user performance of their applications at the front of their minds if they plan on not only gaining new customers, but keeping them interested in your software. According to Sridhar Iyengar, ManageEngine Vice President, both synthetic-transaction monitoring and real-user monitoring are the answer.
Synthetic-transaction monitoring is simulating the actions of an end-user on a specific application, while real-user experience monitoring takes advantage of agent-based instrumentation technology for data collection. Of course, both have their advantages and disadvantages, as Iyengar points out, but they’re both strong starting points for effective user experience.
Without proper mobile app testing, even simple applications can be left behind. Around 50 percent of poor app store reviews are based solely on issues like crashes, network performance, and battery drain, and much of that can be mitigated by testing apps of varying degrees of complexity.
There are a litany of different tips when it comes to designing the proper UX—many of which are important to keep in mind no matter what type of product you’re designing. But your app will always have unique challenges and unique demands. Philip Lew, the CEO of XBOSoft, explains to StickyMinds that evaluating your own specific problems is one of the most critical steps to properly performance testing your app:
It's just like when you go on a diet. You want to take a look at what you're doing first. Examine what you're eating, see how much you weigh, those kinds of things. When you take a look at usability, you want to do the same thing in terms of evaluating what the users have problems with. Taking a really good look at the placement of things. The flow of different tasks through the application, and so forth. That's really just the first step in any kind of improvement program.