App Monitoring and Your Mobile App Experience: Why Synthetic Monitoring Matters


How big of a problem is poor mobile app usability? According to a recent report, the crash rate for iOS apps is steadily increasing, reaching a crash rate of nearly 60% in Q3 of 2017.

We’d even go so far as to suggest it’s an epidemic.

Here’s an all too familiar scenario: an app is released, something doesn’t work quite right, users report bugs or other issues, and if these issues are big enough, the app team scrambles to fix them.

In fact, an estimated 44 percent of defects are found by users alone.

Now ask yourself: Is this a good user experience? Of course not! Users shouldn’t be the ones reporting bugs or problems. It’s up to companies to fix issues before users experience them.  User experience is more than just slick design and cool features; it’s about how your app actually performs in the real world.

The better way to guarantee a first-rate user experience is to employ mobile app monitoring using synthetic monitoring, which enables you to find and solve mobile issues before they affect your customers. It’s proactive vs. reactive. And should be a cornerstone of your mobile application strategy.

How Mobile App Performance Issues Impact Your App


If your app doesn’t perform, it may as well not exist.

The competition is fierce. There are approximately 2.8M apps on Android and 2.2M on iOS. Assuming a user actually finds your app, one study found that a whopping 77% of daily mobile users will stop using it after just three days. Moreover, as of last year, Google now even downranks poor-performing apps on Google Play.

In short, if you want users to find, download, and actually use your app, then your app needs to perform. But without monitoring your app, you’ll never know what needs to be fixed and where you can improve.

Not only this, but a poorly monitored app leads to a poor user experience, unfavorable app store reviews, dissatisfied customers, wasted development resources, and poor brand perception.

Need further convincing? Let’s see just how much poor app performance can impact your app.

Problem #1: Poor UX

Side Effects: A poor user experience stems from a multitude of issues: app crashes; apps that consume your device’s battery, CPU, and memory; long load times; and slow and lagging performance, to name a few.

App crashes are particularly devastating. Research has show that only 16% of users will try an app that crashes more than twice. And long load times are especially frustrating for users—and bad for business. In fact, over 50% of mobile sites are abandoned on pages that take more than 3 seconds to load.

Problem #2: Unfavorable App Store Reviews

Side Effects: App reviews matter. They play a critical role in the way consumers discover and evaluate mobile apps. And they extend far beyond the initial reviewer. Just take a look at these survey statistics:

  • 70% of people read one or more reviews before they download an app.
  • 75% admit that reviews play a significant role in their decision to download an app.
  • 42% believe app store reviews are as equal as—or even more trustworthy than— recommendations.
  • Up to 13% of people read at least seven reviews when choosing whether or not to download a free app.

If your app crashes, is slow to load, drains the battery, or has some other defect that negatively impacts user experience, your users will notice—and it will not make them happy. Unhappy users mean lower app store reviews, which, as the data above shows, significantly influences how potential customers behave (hint: they likely won’t download your app).  

How do customer ratings influence app store conversion? Take a look at this chart:


Problem #3: Dissatisfied Customers

Side Effects: When a user has a poor experience on your app, the consequences can be dire for your business. More than 90% of dissatisfied customers will never do business with a company again.

And it affects more customers than you think. On average, a single unhappy customer will broadcast their experience to between 9 and 15 people, and as many as 13% of unhappy customers will let more than 20 people know.

Concerning? You bet. Not only does this damage your brand’s reputation, but the cost of attracting new customers is up to 7X more expensive than keeping current customers.

Problem #4: Wasted Development Resources

Side Effects: Simply put, internal development resources should be creating new features that drive revenue, not fixing broken systems.

It takes developers thirty times longer to fix a bug than to write a line of code. In the United States alone, over one hundred billion dollars is spent fixing product defects each year. That is money—and time—that can be better spent.

Problem #5: Poor Brand Perception

Side Effects: Like it or not, perception is reality to consumers. Poor brand perception (as a result of a poorperforming app) can lead to further negative reviews and less referrals, increasing the likelihood that your customers will choose to do business with a competitor. Brand perception matters—a lot.

Safeguard your app’s reputation by ensuring you provide reliable, consistent app performance.

Key takeaway:

Catch your app’s usability problems before your users do. Tony Rizzo sums it up best: “All age groups have very little tolerance for a glitch-ridden app – especially one that crashes. If an app’s performance is substandard, consumers have no compunction about uninstalling it and moving on to a competitor’s app.” You’ve been warned.

Now that we understand the severity of the problem, let’s discuss its solution: synthetic monitoring.

What is synthetic monitoring and why should you care?


By simulating real user interactions, you can proactively monitor your app, solve real problems, and ensure an optimal user experience.

Synthetic monitoring monitors mobile applications by running scripted user journeys across your app continously, 24/7. It helps you measure and understand app availability and key performance indicators, including: load times of various in-app elements, performance across various device combinations and different geographical regions, and uptime and downtime.

How is synthetic monitoring different than real-user monitoring?

Real-user monitoring is a passive, or reactive, approach to monitoring. In real-user monitoring (RUM), the monitoring is done on actual users’ actions. Real-user monitoring collects all relevant performance data and sends it along for analysis and fixing should any issues arise while the app is live in users’ hands.

Real-user monitoring can be part of your application monitoring strategy, but without synthetic monitoring, you’ll have an insufficient app monitoring strategy and, more importantly, risk application performance issues in real-time.

The value of synthetic monitoring:

Synthetic monitoring allows you to:

    • Understand app performance. Get insight into various devices around the world at any moment in time without actual app traffic. Find bottlenecks in performance, and identify slow-downs or failures with any 3rd-party SLAs or requirements. Determine app speed, app availability, and functionality performance.
    • Send out alerts when an issue is found. Letting issues just sit there waiting to be found by users is costly. Instead, you should customize alerts and have them sent to the team that can take care of it quickest.
    • Find issues faster, before your customers do. As you monitor user journeys continuously, you’re likely to be alerted of issues before your users experience them.
    • Fix problems quickly. Get specific data from synthetic monitoring tools, and find which areas of the app are most prone to crashes. Troubleshoot the parts of the app that are slow and underperforming.
    • Benchmark your app to gain competitive edge. Once you know where you fall behind your competitors, you’ll have the opportunity to address shortcomings and better compete in the marketplace.

Key takeaway: Robust mobile app monitoring requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Synthetic monitoring expands your monitoring capabilities to include a proactive, customizable approach to app monitoring—one that mitigates risk by helping you understand your app’s performance and availability issues before your users find them for you.

How SIGOS App Experience can help

Be proactive rather than reactive with SIGOS App Experience Mobile App Monitoring. Get an all-in-one synthetic monitoring tool that proactively measures your app’s performance and availability, continuously, 24/7, to find critical issues before your users do.

SIGOS App Experience is a comprehensive platform that includes not only synthetic monitoring on real devices but test automation and manual testing as well.  Reuse scripts between your app monitoring and test automation. And supercharge your organization by enabling them to share a single platform.

Start Monitoring today. Get your free Trial with SIGOS



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