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 User Feedback and its Role in Making Great Mobile Software<br />November 10, 2009<br />Stephen King, CEOMob4Hire.com<br />
Why is user feedback important?<br /> 69% of mobile users discover apps based on  top store rankings, user reviews and rec...
The Big Picture<br />	A bunch of stuff you probably already know about the mobile app industry and hopefully some stuff yo...
3.3B mobile handset users<br /><ul><li>6 out of every 10 people in the world have a mobile handset
4B subscriptions; 18% of people (700M) have two subscriptions.</li></ul>http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />
Mobile users compared to other industries<br />
Smartphones experiencing rocketship growth<br />
Where is everybody?<br />http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br /><ul><li>North American adoption and usage is distinctly different...
European handsets and subscriptions are often separate purchases; SIMs interchangeable, much more operator competition</li...
Handset Market Saturation<br /><ul><li>Many markets saturated (top 5: Italy:153%, Greece, Hong Kong, Portugal, Israel): ne...
U.S. at 84%, Canada at 61% (the only country < 80% that’s NOT a developing nation)
Still lots of growth for new users in developing nations</li></ul>http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />
App Industry growth 26% YOY from $8B to $25B<br />http://www.juniperresearch.com/shop/viewreport.php?id=180<br />
It’s not about handset features, it’s about software<br />“… it’s all about the apps.” Wired<br />http://www.tomiahonen.co...
Networks, Handset Mftrs and O/S’s Want YOU<br />“No single company can come up with the massive portfolio of applications ...
“Don’t Crash. Don’t Suck. Get Sticky”<br />	Problems with including user feedback in Mobile Development<br />
Don’t Crash<br />
The “Fragmented Mobile Ecosystem”<br />Mobile Ecosystem<br />Handset diversity ... Over 25,000 on 750+ operators<br />Soft...
Don’t Suck<br />	“The Curse of the One Star”<br />	One star reviews will kill your revenue … no subsequent downloads will ...
Difficult to get user feedback; no direct relationship<br />
Get Sticky<br />	App persists on users handset over many months<br />	App is used frequently<br />	App is recommend to fri...
Doesn’t Mobile 2.0 fix fragmentation and usability?<br />	It’s not Web 2.0, but it is browser based, just like your PC int...
Mobile 2.0 Usage … web on a mobile browser<br />http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />* Nielson research http://www.slideshare.n...
Mobile 2.0 isn’t easy, either<br /><ul><li>Just like PC web, browsers have their “idiosyncrasies”; in mobile it’s worse
Mobile specific websites required. Test on 25+ different browsers.
Keep info minimal. Thin graphics. Low bandwidth. Collect only essential data.</li></li></ul><li>Mobile Functional and Usab...
Mobile changes everything; use it to your advantage<br /><ul><li>The only media generation that can replicate all the bene...
The first personal media channel, permanently carried and always on: “Intimate”
Built-in payment channel
Point of creativity “eyewitness,” enabling user-generated content
Near-perfect audience data
Social and location context of media consumption</li></li></ul><li>What is usability as it relates to Mobile Apps?<br /><u...
Use device feature characteristics; stylus, cross pad, track pad, track ball, touch screen, etc…
5 minute tasks vs. 50 minute tasks
Install crashes, software loading, download delays
No mobile 2.0 optimization on websites</li></li></ul><li>The Mobile Test “Cycle of Life”<br />3. Black Box<br />Users test...
User Feedback in the 10 Step Development Cycle<br />“User Feedback in the 10 Step Mobile Development Cycle ” © 2009 Mob4hi...
A Customer Loyalty Primer<br />	How does the customer feel about getting software they don’t like?<br />	Not great. You ca...
The effect of a bad user experience in the Mobile Ecosystem<br /><ul><li>True Story! Happened to me the week Blackberry Ap...
My Carrier is Rogers Wireless in Canada.
My handset is a Blackberry Bold. The above picture is what it usually looks like.
I downloaded a few apps including Google Talk
The free Google Talk downloaded ok. But when it rebooted my system, my Bold started spewing error messages like “java exce...
What are your customers saying about you? <br />Evangelize? Neutral? Criticize?<br />* Actually written by RIM …<br />Your...
Three Dimensions of Customer Loyalty<br />Company success determined by different types of loyalty<br />Customer<br />Cust...
Three ways to grow business<br />
Customer Loyalty Indices … sample questions<br />How likely are you to upgrade your MOBILE APP from Freemium to a Paid sub...
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BlackBerry Dev Con 2009 User Feedback And Its Role In Making Great Mobile Software Stephen King Mob4Hire

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Presentation I did for BlackBerry Developer Conference in San Francisco, November 2009: "User Feedback and It's Role in Making Great Mobile Software." Includes Customer Loyalty science from www.businessoverbroadway.com and Townhall user feedback techniques. "The Curse of The One Star" was followed up by CNET Blogger: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10394722-1.html

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BlackBerry Dev Con 2009 User Feedback And Its Role In Making Great Mobile Software Stephen King Mob4Hire

  1. 1. User Feedback and its Role in Making Great Mobile Software<br />November 10, 2009<br />Stephen King, CEOMob4Hire.com<br />
  2. 2. Why is user feedback important?<br /> 69% of mobile users discover apps based on top store rankings, user reviews and recommendations from friends.<br /> Making great software is your best marketing strategy<br /> You can’t make great software without including users<br />
  3. 3. The Big Picture<br /> A bunch of stuff you probably already know about the mobile app industry and hopefully some stuff you don’t<br />… to get us all on the same page<br />
  4. 4. 3.3B mobile handset users<br /><ul><li>6 out of every 10 people in the world have a mobile handset
  5. 5. 4B subscriptions; 18% of people (700M) have two subscriptions.</li></ul>http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />
  6. 6. Mobile users compared to other industries<br />
  7. 7. Smartphones experiencing rocketship growth<br />
  8. 8. Where is everybody?<br />http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br /><ul><li>North American adoption and usage is distinctly different than other continents
  9. 9. European handsets and subscriptions are often separate purchases; SIMs interchangeable, much more operator competition</li></li></ul><li> From “no phone” to “cell phone.”Of the 280M people with phones in Africa, 260M of them use mobile handsets.<br />
  10. 10. Handset Market Saturation<br /><ul><li>Many markets saturated (top 5: Italy:153%, Greece, Hong Kong, Portugal, Israel): new subs slowing
  11. 11. U.S. at 84%, Canada at 61% (the only country < 80% that’s NOT a developing nation)
  12. 12. Still lots of growth for new users in developing nations</li></ul>http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />
  13. 13. App Industry growth 26% YOY from $8B to $25B<br />http://www.juniperresearch.com/shop/viewreport.php?id=180<br />
  14. 14. It’s not about handset features, it’s about software<br />“… it’s all about the apps.” Wired<br />http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />
  15. 15. Networks, Handset Mftrs and O/S’s Want YOU<br />“No single company can come up with the massive portfolio of applications that will please consumers. That would be like asking Wal-Mart to make all the products it sells. And that’s why platforms are trying so hard to woo developers to make the programs that will run on their phones / platforms.” <br />- Fortune Magazine, Aug 2009<br />I like these guys<br />
  16. 16. “Don’t Crash. Don’t Suck. Get Sticky”<br /> Problems with including user feedback in Mobile Development<br />
  17. 17. Don’t Crash<br />
  18. 18. The “Fragmented Mobile Ecosystem”<br />Mobile Ecosystem<br />Handset diversity ... Over 25,000 on 750+ operators<br />Software diversity<br />O/S diversity (platforms, middleware, widgets)<br />Standards implementation diversity(“According to standards, this should work …”, “That API isn’t documented but it kinda works like this …”)<br />Mobile 2.0 browser diversity<br />Operator / Environmental diversity<br />Developer or Regional<br />Feature variations, such as freemium business models<br />User preference diversity (requirements, accessibility, languages)<br />
  19. 19. Don’t Suck<br /> “The Curse of the One Star”<br /> One star reviews will kill your revenue … no subsequent downloads will occur<br />
  20. 20. Difficult to get user feedback; no direct relationship<br />
  21. 21. Get Sticky<br /> App persists on users handset over many months<br /> App is used frequently<br /> App is recommend to friends and given good reviews<br />
  22. 22. Doesn’t Mobile 2.0 fix fragmentation and usability?<br /> It’s not Web 2.0, but it is browser based, just like your PC internet surfing. Sort of.<br /> And, it’s not going to fix anything. <br /> Just change it.<br />
  23. 23. Mobile 2.0 Usage … web on a mobile browser<br />http://www.tomiahonen.com/<br />* Nielson research http://www.slideshare.net/clisco/the-mobile-web-is-awesome<br /> More people access the internet through mobile handsets (1.02B) than PC’s (940M)<br /> Within 2 years, 71% of U.S. mobile users will access the mobile internet vs. 28% in 2008* <br />
  24. 24. Mobile 2.0 isn’t easy, either<br /><ul><li>Just like PC web, browsers have their “idiosyncrasies”; in mobile it’s worse
  25. 25. Mobile specific websites required. Test on 25+ different browsers.
  26. 26. Keep info minimal. Thin graphics. Low bandwidth. Collect only essential data.</li></li></ul><li>Mobile Functional and Usability testing<br /> So … how can we make our software and mobile websites better?<br />
  27. 27. Mobile changes everything; use it to your advantage<br /><ul><li>The only media generation that can replicate all the benefits of the other six
  28. 28. The first personal media channel, permanently carried and always on: “Intimate”
  29. 29. Built-in payment channel
  30. 30. Point of creativity “eyewitness,” enabling user-generated content
  31. 31. Near-perfect audience data
  32. 32. Social and location context of media consumption</li></li></ul><li>What is usability as it relates to Mobile Apps?<br /><ul><li>Small and varied screens.</li></ul>Fonts are too small<br />Contrast and color choices are poor<br />Too much stuffed into screen real estate<br /><ul><li>Lack of proper keyboards means input is awkward (although BlackBerry is the best ). Make it easy.
  33. 33. Use device feature characteristics; stylus, cross pad, track pad, track ball, touch screen, etc…
  34. 34. 5 minute tasks vs. 50 minute tasks
  35. 35. Install crashes, software loading, download delays
  36. 36. No mobile 2.0 optimization on websites</li></li></ul><li>The Mobile Test “Cycle of Life”<br />3. Black Box<br />Users testing software on their devices, in-market. Developers make the worst testers. How do users respond to your app? Make sure it’s a great experience BEFORE you port or post.<br />2. White Box<br />Prototyping, alpha testing, developer stage testing, regression testing, code review. No emulators!<br />4. Gold<br />Usability and user experience feedback. Customer loyalty and business model studies.<br />Viral / killer feature feedback for marketing.<br />What needs to go into next version?<br />1. Blank Canvas<br />What do we want to build? Who is our target user? Storyboarding. What’s our business model?<br />“Mobile Test Cycle of Life” © 2009 Mob4hire.com<br />
  37. 37. User Feedback in the 10 Step Development Cycle<br />“User Feedback in the 10 Step Mobile Development Cycle ” © 2009 Mob4hire.com<br />
  38. 38. A Customer Loyalty Primer<br /> How does the customer feel about getting software they don’t like?<br /> Not great. You can learn from that.<br /> Turn it into revenue growth.<br />
  39. 39. The effect of a bad user experience in the Mobile Ecosystem<br /><ul><li>True Story! Happened to me the week Blackberry App World launched
  40. 40. My Carrier is Rogers Wireless in Canada.
  41. 41. My handset is a Blackberry Bold. The above picture is what it usually looks like.
  42. 42. I downloaded a few apps including Google Talk
  43. 43. The free Google Talk downloaded ok. But when it rebooted my system, my Bold started spewing error messages like “java exception.” Lots of them! See next slide.</li></li></ul><li>Where’s the [Not OK] button?<br /> After I downloaded/installed Google Talk, my Bold had errors & reset to default Rogers O/S footprint, without any of my saved information.<br />Background is gone as are all my photos. Icons are moved (some programs are missing). The keyboard #’s wouldn’t work, only the QWERTY letters. The “airplane” mode icon is missing. SMS’s and Emails in both inbox and sent items are gone. Email config is gone. Kept my contacts, WiFi and weather settings intact, though.<br />WARNING!!! PAINFUL!!!Who should I blame?<br />
  44. 44. What are your customers saying about you? <br />Evangelize? Neutral? Criticize?<br />* Actually written by RIM …<br />Your revenue growth depends on creating customer loyalty for your software<br />
  45. 45. Three Dimensions of Customer Loyalty<br />Company success determined by different types of loyalty<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Acquisition<br />Retention<br />Business<br />Programs<br />Business<br />Programs<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Firm<br />Firm<br />Product<br />Development<br />Lifetime<br />Lifetime<br />Acquisition<br />Value<br />Value<br />Marketing<br />Marketing<br />(cross/up<br />-<br />sell)<br />Value<br />Value<br />Sales<br />Sales<br />Service<br />Service<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Development<br />(cross/up-sell)<br />Retention<br />Based on research by Dr. Bob Hayes, Ph.D.<br />www.businessoverbroadway.com<br />
  46. 46. Three ways to grow business<br />
  47. 47. Customer Loyalty Indices … sample questions<br />How likely are you to upgrade your MOBILE APP from Freemium to a Paid subscription?(Please rate us on a scale of 0-10 where 0 = Extremely Unlikely and 10 = Very Likely)<br />Would you buy this app from us again?<br />How likely would you be to recommend MOBILE APP to a friend?<br />What’s the main reason you’d give for recommending MOBILE APP?<br />How likely are you to purchase different types of APPS from us?<br />What’s the main reason you’d want to purchase different APPs from us?<br />Retention<br />Advocacy<br />Purchasing<br />
  48. 48. Customer Loyalty Qualitative + Quantitative Response<br />How likely would you be to recommend MOBILE APP to a friend?<br />(calculate an average %)<br />Evangelists<br />Fans<br />Advocates<br />Angels<br />Missionaries<br />Promoters<br />Detractors<br />Critics<br />Passive<br />Neutral<br />Ambivalent<br />What’s the one thing we could do to improve that rating for MOBILE APP?<br />
  49. 49. Plot verbatims according to biggest impact from recommending behavior<br />This is the stuff you want to do<br />Critic Neutral Evangelist<br />Loyalty<br />Low High<br />Profitability<br />
  50. 50. Starting a Customer Loyalty Measurement Program<br /><ul><li>Someone in the Executive Team must sponsor it</li></ul>Don’t delegate leadership or the program will fail<br />Get outside help to set it up<br /><ul><li>Measure constantly and consistently
  51. 51. standard survey tools
  52. 52. at regular events or times; when the user registers, disconnects, upgrades, hits a high score
  53. 53. Incorporate metrics into executive management meetings
  54. 54. Watch for quantitative upward trending … if things are going up, that’s good!</li></ul>Contact Dr. Bob Hayes, Ph.D. for more help on customer loyalty measurement<br />www.businessoverbroadway.com<br />
  55. 55. Townhalls<br /> You can’t make great software without the user<br />Townhalls can be live or virtual events<br /> I learned this technique at Intuit, adopted from similar practices at Toyota<br />
  56. 56. In Mobile, Standard Usability Research applies<br /> Lab-based (using a camera to record the session)<br /> Diary-studies (asking people to keep a diary of how they have used their mobile phone and any problems they encounter)<br /> Storyboard paper prototypes (running usability testing on a paper-based version of the site, using mobile phone screen-sized pieces of paper)<br />http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-usability/mobile-usability.shtml<br />In mobile, accessibility to users and handsets is a problem<br />Today, we’re going to learn a technique known as a “Townhall”<br />
  57. 57. Who is at a Townhall?<br />Team Members<br />1 team member to be Facilitator<br />1 coordinator to handle logistics<br />1 note taker for “stream of consciousness”<br />Bring in others from the team to participate (support, development, sales, executives mandatory) … virtual townhalls can have many<br />Recruiting customers<br />12 participants is great<br />Contact day before townhall to confirm / remind<br />Ensure customers have directions and parking instructions (pay for parking if needed); if virtual, clear instructions on how to log in<br />Townhallstake approximately 2 hours<br />
  58. 58. Prepare<br />Prepare two flipcharts before meeting<br />Put your company or software logo XXXX on page 1 of bothflipcharts<br />On flipchart 1, page 2, write:<br />“Take a few minute to jot down:”<br />3 things you like about XXXX<br />3 things you dislike about XXXX<br />3 opportunities that we’re missing”<br />On flipchart 2, page 2, write:<br />“This is what we’ll do:<br />Record your ideas / issues (private time)<br />Vote to prioritize ideas / issues<br />Discuss top ideas / issues”<br />Cover both flipcharts with page 1<br />On wall, clear three large areas with the titles “Like” “Dislike” and “Opportunities<br />
  59. 59. Townhall Opening Comments<br />Welcome … XXXX is built on customer feedback! We want to hear from everyone … facilitator will guide conversation<br />Describe process briefly<br />Flipchart #1: Customers to write down answers to 3 questions<br />Flipchart #2: Describe process<br />Results will be summarized and communicated to the rest of the XXXX team We can’t promise anything today, but rest assured your thinking will be evaluated for production<br />Pass out post it notes … make sure everyone uses the same colour for the same question. In a virtual situation, everyone in the group could email you with each question as the subject line.<br />
  60. 60. Get Ideas Recorded<br />Ask participants to write down 3 answers to each of the following questions1:<br /><ul><li>What do you like about XXXX, XXXX'sproducts,XXXX'sservices, the waywe market/sell to customers, theway we support customers, training,etc.?
  61. 61. What do you dislike about XXXX?
  62. 62. What are the opportunities we're missing?</li></ul>Give as much time as needed … 10 to 15 minutes?<br />XXXX team collect post-it notes and stick on wall … consolidate comments into categories<br />1Ensuring that participants actually write down their answers will help “commit” them to the discussion.<br />
  63. 63. Prioritize by Voting<br />Once all post-it notes are on wall, pass out 10 little sticky dots to everyone<br />Everyone should stand up and review what’s on the wall. That includes XXXXstaff -- you can discuss, but don’t try to solve problem … “seek to understand.” Askquestions to dive deeper intoproblem. XXXX staff can get dots of another colour, optional.<br />Customers place their dots on the sticky notes that resonate the most with them. They can allocate their dots any way they want; 10 on one note if they like<br />Virtually, go through each issue with the team voting in a chat room<br />
  64. 64. “Seek to understand”<br /> On flipchart, list the top priorities from each category based on the # of dots<br /> Then … “Seek to understand” … dive into each priority … involve customers in trying to understand. Spend only a little time on “likes” and much more on “dislikes” and “opportunities”. Ask customers how to solve it.<br />
  65. 65. “Low hanging fruit”<br />This is the stuff you want to do<br />Importance<br />Low High <br />Difficult Easy<br />Ease of implementation<br />
  66. 66. Follow Up … Close the User Feedback Loop<br />Immediately following townhall … team meets to discuss process and improvements for next time.<br />The facilitator or coordinator prepares a list of customer comments, along with the number of votes and any additional suggestions or commentary. <br />Include the “stream on consciousness” notes taken<br />Team meets to summarize and take action<br />“Close the Feedback Loop!”<br />“This is what we heard”<br />“This is what we’ll be working on.”<br />
  67. 67. Thanks!<br />November 10, 2009<br />Stephen King, CEOstephen@mob4hire.com<br />

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