How do you define App Quality?
Let’s face it, there are millions of app development firms and most of them mention “delivering high-quality apps”. However, the quality of an app is determined by many aspects like stability, user experience, scalability, flexibility, security, and more. It’s necessary to evaluate apps against each of these aspects to define their quality. Depending on your specific use cases, certain aspects might be more or less important. For example, if you are building an admin module, saving costs would be more important as compared to the user experience and when you are building your business brand website, the user experience would be more important.
The most important determining factor for an app’s quality is how well it is delivering the value it is built for. For example, if the app is built to sell your products or services, the measure of value could be determined by the number of successful sales that the app is making every month. Many times amazing looking apps also struggle to deliver outcomes (value). It takes constant focus on business outcomes while building the app and an iterative approach to deliver high-value apps.
Imagine an app getting crashed again and again or getting stuck while a user is trying to do important work, who would like to use such an app? This is the reason why stability is a crucial factor when measuring the quality of the app. An app should be bug-free. While it’s practically not possible for apps to have zero bugs, apps should be reasonably bug-free with no glaring issues.
Popular apps that are used by billions have a few bugs but because of the size and scale of these apps, those numbers could practically be considered zero. Buggy apps could deliver a frustrating experience to its user and would eventually lead to unhappy customers who could stop using them.
Compatibility is an essential metric of app quality because the app should be compatible with all the devices that its target audience uses while providing the best possible experience.
Imagine an app that performs amazingly well on mobile devices but is not accessible to the maximum users from the target audience trying to use it from other devices. Or a web app is built for desktop resolution while the target audience is using it from mobile browsers and not having a good viewing experience. This would negatively impact the adoption of the app.
In the age we live in, user experience has become one of the key differentiating factors in app quality. It’s crucial for apps to offer a pleasant experience to users while they are using the app. User experience depends on how quickly users are able to achieve their desired goal from the app and how convenient and easy it is for users to learn using the app. The app should be adaptable to prevent users from looking up videos on how to use it.
For example, users of a particular app could be field workers of the factory using the app on tablets for monitoring machines or a person looking for entertainment in the comfort of their home. The experience has to be designed and delivered as per the user's needs from the app.
In today’s ever-changing business, apps are required to be constantly upgraded to respond to market demands. And while developers work towards developing enhancements, the common problem they encounter is that making a change in one module in the app breaks another module.
When an app is not flexible, it becomes increasingly difficult to add new features with the confidence that no other module is broken. This makes it difficult for businesses to stay agile and respond to business demands quickly. Therefore, it is necessary that you consider the flexibility of the app to be a measure of app quality.
Once an app goes to production, even though it performs most of the activities on its own, it requires human intervention at a few places. This support is provided by the support or operations team which is responsible for running the app.
One of the quality metrics of the app is how easy it is for the app support team to work around and support it. One of the examples of how the support team’s work could be made easy is that the app should record error logs whenever it crashes and these error logs should be easily accessible to the team.
Scalability put in simple words is the apps’ ability to perform the best at the expected volumes of users. The quality of an app is determined by its capacity to scale gracefully when the volume of users grows.
Big billion sales, black Friday offers, and other huge discount campaigns on various apps often witness an increased volume of users accessing the app concurrently and this requires prior preparation and planning for the app to handle multiple users.
One of the quality metrics to consider for an app is the cost required to operate once it goes into production. To manage the costs, the app must be built to not consume excessive infra resources, it should run on minimum resources.
Also, the app should be built in such a way that manual intervention from the support team and the skills needed by the operations team would be minimum.
The app has to collect user personal data to provide personalized services to users. Users trust apps to keep their data safe. Data is the gold mine of our era. Hackers around the globe are active and working towards attacking apps to steal data. Also if your app collects payments from users, the risk of getting hacked increases 10-fold. Moreover, hackers can attack and gain control of the app and can post something with a false identity which can result in bigger scams and crimes. Security is one of the important quality metrics of our era.
No matter how fail-proof an app is designed and how thoroughly it is tested there are always unexpected scenarios in which the app might fail. Resilience is the ability of the app to recover from such unexpected events providing high availability of service keeping impact to the minimum. And this makes resilience an aspect of consideration when it comes to app quality. Trackability Trackability is another important aspect of app quality because it is the only way to analyze and measure the business KPIs that the app supports. Therefore, all the apps must be built to collect data, its app backend must provide analytics dashboards so that the outcomes of the app could be tracked against business KPIs.