Factors Determining the Quality of Mobile Applications

Understanding users’ needs and wants will boost app reach and downloads!

Mobile applications have gone mainstream in this day and age, with the rise of smartphone usage and smartphone penetration rates in Singapore being one of the highest in the world.

Let’s delve into what are some of the influencing factors which determine if a mobile application delivers value and introduces seamless quality to users’ lives!

1. Does the mobile application contribute towards addressing any issue?

The mobile application, or ‘mobile app’ in short is a set of coded instructions used by a mobile device to solve a problem. As the time we spend using mobile applications increases, the quality of these applications must rise in tandem, hopefully increasing in its ability to help save time, money and/or effort on daily tasks and hence lead to improved outcomes for the user. This can be anything from saving time spent preparing daily meals, for instance, or in sussing out better deals to users who are booking travel plans.

2. Source codes behind the app

The source code influences the application’s running; repetitive lines of coding may cause the application to slow down and lag as it eats up resources, while errors inadvertently included into the app could deter the app from functioning as it should, or worse, cause the app to crash.

3. Information volume provided

Information volume refers to the amount of data and information displayed on the mobile device through the app at one time. The small size of mobile devices is a limiting factor in putting across vast information to the user. App developers must be aware that an overload of information might end up being skipped by the user.

As with a variety of software products, having the app tested by a suitable target audience prior to its official launch would help developers know if they are on the right track content-wise, and if the app is working up to expectations. By processing any issues and resource requirements thrown up from testing, developers can cut down or better summarise the vast amount of information to put up what users really need.

4. User expectations

User expectations may also affect opinions on a given mobile app’s quality and ratings given. High expectations for a mobile app that falls short in reality will result in the application being perceived as one with low quality.

In certain cases where the app aligns with functions expected from the user, but provides a lot more as well, the app might also end up losing users as it might be perceived as being overly complex. It is therefore crucial for mobile app developers to familiarise themselves with what their target users need and expect, to align with consumers’ expectations of ‘ease of use’.

5. Distribution channels

The way the mobile application is distributed will also be essential for it to reach anyone who has a need for the solution it provides. Launching on Play Store or App Store will get the project running, in addition to including important key words in your app description, so users who have a need for the mobile app will get suggestions in their searches. A social media campaign will also highlight the app and its benefits to the intended audience.