Today, DoneDeal’s Android and iOS apps are some of the best-rated apps available in Ireland. Both apps are number 1 in the lifestyle chart, have an app rating of over 4 stars and both are closing in on nearly a million user downloads. However, that wasn’t always the case.
If we look back at December 2014 it tells a different story altogether. Throughout 2014, our apps have been slated by user reviews in the App Store and Google Play Store.
Yes, in 2014 we made a big mistake and spent a long time trying to right our wrongs. The mistake we made was never user testing a major change to our apps and as well as that, we decided not to take the advice of our developers on this change.
The change we made was to move large parts of our apps from native screens to web based screens, those dreaded WebViews still haunt me to this day. From the minute we released the apps, we received very negative feedback from our users and I couldn’t even count how many times users said that they should sack whoever decision it was to update the apps.
As a result our Android app rating fell to 4.01 stars and our iOS rating was at 3 stars. Our yearly ratings for 2014 were at an all time low and things were looking very bleak for our apps.
So what did we do to fix the problem?!!
Well, we started to take our users very seriously and put them first when we were thinking of new features to develop. First off we spent a lot of resources fixing any bugs that users reported, we responded to every single piece of feedback we received and most importantly we started to perform user testing (a lot of user testing).
I can’t say that it was easy but it was definitely worth it. In one year our apps have completely changed and we have turned things around. We removed all WebViews and replaced them with native screens, which provided a far greater user experience. We constantly listened to user feedback and built new features (or adjust existing ones) based on their feedback. We did a lot of user testing and we’ve made user-experience the most important aspect of our apps.
And, the results speak for themselves; our android app had a yearly rating of 4.4 stars in 2015 compared to 3.3 stars in 2014 and our iOS app had a yearly rating of 4.8 stars in 2015 compared to 2.3 stars in 2014.
Although what happened in 2014 was a negative experience, it’s one that will stay with me and thought me some very important lessons:
- Always listen to your users so that you can understand their needs (Make sure you identify their needs rather than their wants).
- Always user test features (New & old).
- Always listen to the advice of your developers and people around you (Some of them will be smarter than you).
If you like apps then make sure to download the DoneDeal app which is available in the App Store and Google Play Store.