5 Quick Fixes To Boost Your App Store Rating Users are fickle. Anything and everything can piss them off. Critical bugs will cause your users to never come back. Small bugs will chip away at your user’s experience. Neither will want to come back. If you want people to download your app then you need a high app store rating. Anything short of five stars can deter users from downloading your app. No amount of marketing can convince a user that your app is necessary in their lives. If you seek to create a necessity, then you need to focus on the product. There are a lot of other great blog posts out there which talk about bugs you should avoid. Those posts will boost your app store rating if implemented, but many of them need an entire team’s focus and attention. Instead lets focus on the small fixes and initiatives. These fixes might not bring your app from one star to five. But they will increase your app store rating, and weed out any common complaints. Usability testing can be an enormous task. You can dedicate entire teams to it. I don’t recommend you start there. But a little bit of your own usability testing can go a long way. Users have expectations. Your app needs to make sure that it meets every single one of them. When you’re close to the app it’s easy to get lost in what you think makes sense. You can get started in usability testing by yourself. Take your app, go up to someone who had no involvement in its creation and tell them to play with it. After that, just sit back and watch. If they ask questions, give vague answers. Never give them any information that could alter how they could be using the app. Their behavior is already altered from you being there and watching them. One of my favorite tests is the five second test. The five second test is what it sounds like. You show the participant the screen for five seconds then ask them a question. Good questions can be: “What is the purpose of this app?” or “What stood out most to you?” This is useful for landing pages as well as app store description pages. When a user lands on a page their attention span is about 2-3 seconds. This means you have 2-3 seconds before they forget about you. This test makes sure your page is as clear as possible. Another great test is to explain the scope of your app and ask where they would click to get a task done. Based on this information you will be able to see how intuitive your app actually is. Usability testing can be a large task. It is usually left to testers and designers to do, but these are some quick ways to get started. If you’re looking to get deeper into usability testing I would recommend looking into using Testlio. Our testers will point out any unnatural feeling or improvement in your app. Your users will show you how they think through your app. Don’t try to force your users to think the way you want them to. That’s the quickest way to creating an upset user. After a few interviews, pass the information back to your developers and design team. It’s your company’s job to recreate how your users think, not force them to think like you. If you want users to use your app, you need to be able to sell it without being there. Your app needs to be able to sell itself through effective imagery and text. Users don’t come back to apps. In fact, 80-90% of users who download an app never open it back up again. Your first impression matters. Must Read: How to impress your users on the first date. When your users download your app, they need to understand its value. Your app’s copy sets the tone of your user’s journey. Your copy sets expectations. So write great copy. Writing great copy is one of the most challenging tasks you can take on. What you think makes sense usually doesn’t. That’s why the best way to write great copy is to write none at all. If you’re fortunate enough to have a group of power users, ask them the following questions: 1. How would you explain [app name] to a friend?2. What do you use us for?3. What features do you find the most valuable? These three questions alone will solve your copy problems. You shouldn’t try to make up copy that you think your users will resonate with. Instead find an advocate and get copy straight from them. No one knows how to communicate with your potential users better than your current users. Forms have little to do with the value of your app. But too often, do I see comments saying “They ask for too much information” – One star. These reviews are the worst. They carry the same weight as a constructive one star review with none of the help. There’s a time and place to ask for a lot of information. Most people ask at the beginning, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Sometimes asking for more information is great for filtering out low-quality users. If so, then increase friction and you will have a high-desire user base An effective method is to ask for as little information as possible. If you only need their e-mail, password, and photo then only ask for those three. You may receive less data at the start, but you will increase conversions. As they become more invested in the app, you can ask for more information. Users love surprises. Must Read: How successful companies stand out from their competition. They give a positive perception of your product to your users and it makes them feel good. Surprises can be in any form. If you’re looking to do a quick fix, notifications are the easiest to put in place. Sending notifications and native looking pop ups have become easier. Mixpanel has a great notification tool. It allows you to create pop-ups for users who have reached a certain milestone in your app. For example, if a user had just posted their tenth photo then they will receive a nice notification. This notification can tell them how great they are for posting. This can be setup in minutes. If you don’t use Mixpanel for your analytics, Intercom does a great job at this as well. When you say nice things to someone in person, it makes it difficult for that person to say anything bad about you. It’s no different in an app. By rewarding your users you make them feel special. When you make people feel special they are more likely to defend you. Small efforts to your app can create tremendous results. Improving an app from a one star rating to a five star takes a significant team effort. But if you are looking to improve your app store rating then these quick fixes can go a long way: 1. Do usability testing2. Write clearer copy3. Simplify forms4. Surprise your users There are other quick fixes that you will likely find in your app. These are the methods that worked for me. If you happen to come across more, I would love to hear them. If you want to share them, reply in the comments below or tweet them to me @willietran_.