KIFSU and the Mobile User Expectations

The user expectations of a mobile app is one of the main speciality and main challenge for mobile teams. The fact that every user has unique expectations makes it so difficult to develop and deliver the “right” app to customers. As several reports and surveys show, mobile users have far higher expectations of mobile apps when compared to other software like browser applications. The majority of reports and surveys state that nearly 80% of users delete an app after using it for the first time! The top four reasons for deletion are always bad design and usability, loading time and crashes immediately after installation.
Nearly 60% of users will delete an app that requires registration, while more than half of users expect an app to launch in under two seconds. If the app needs more time it gets deleted. Again more than half of users experience crashes the very first time they start an app.

An average user checks his mobile device every six minutes and has around 40 apps installed. Based on those numbers you can deduce that mobile users have really high expectations when it comes to usability, performance and reliability. Those three points are by far the biggest complaints when mobile users were asked about their experience with mobile apps.

Currently there are more than two million apps (2014) available in the app stores of the biggest vendors. A lot of apps perform the same task, meaning that there’s always at least one competitor app, which makes it very easy for consumers to download a different app as it’s just a single tap away. Here are some points you should keep in mind when developing and testing a mobile app:

  • Gather information about your possible target group.
  • Ask your customers about their needs.
  • Your app needs to solve a problem for the user.
  • Usability is really important.
  • Your app needs to be reliable and robust.
  • App performance is really important.
  • Apps need to be beautiful.

There is of course a plethora of other things you should take into account, but if you pay attention to the above points, your users are likely to be happy.

You’ve probably already heard of the KISS principle. KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid and is always a useful reminder – especially for software projects – to not inflate the software with just another function or option. Keeping it small, easy and simple is the best way to go in most cases and is likely to make your customers happy.

Inspired by KISS, I came up with my own abbreviation for mobile apps: KIFSU. KIFSU stands for Keep It Fast, Simple and Usable. This abbreviation is a good mnemonic to help you cover customer needs and a constant reminder so that you don’t inflate apps with useless functions and keeping the important parts in mind.

What did you think about KIFSU? Looking forward to your comments.

Have Fun!