7T - SevenTablets, Inc.

Mobile App Analytics Best Practices: How to Improve UI, UX, and Performance

Read Time: 5 minutes

It took a bit of exploration, but you finally found an app with the specific functionality that you need. You were excited to explore the UI, but now, you can’t seem to find—much less master—the feature that originally prompted you to click the “install” button. Oh, and there it goes. It just crashed. Forget it; you don’t have time for this. You quit the app for the first and last time as you embark upon another search for a new app.

In the world of consumer-facing apps, 77 percent are uninstalled within 72 hours after the initial download, while a mere 5 percent of apps are still on a user’s device at the 90-day mark. Substandard UX is cited as a top reason for uninstalls and low user loyalty.

When hiring a mobile developer to create your app, it’s essential that you consider UX. App analytics provide you with a mechanism for evaluating precisely how users are interacting with the app interface. This insight will allow you to streamline and optimize your app so you don’t subject users to a frustrating UX. An experienced developer can implement tracking for various front-end and back-end analytics, generating data that will help you identify key trends and user habits. You’ll glean some important information, such as the degree of user-friendliness and overall engagement levels, user paths, functionality, and how users are actually utilizing the app. You can also learn what your UI “pain points” are and the app’s effectiveness at obtaining your objectives. With this data, developers and app owners can refine and optimize in a manner that promotes a positive UX while also helping your company boost ROI by meeting app-related conversion goals.

What Kind of App Analytics Data are Most Important?

When most people think of app analytics, they think of general “vanity” analytics, like the total number of app downloads or active daily users. But this type of data accounts for a very small piece of the picture.

Some of the most useful front-end metrics include the following:

  • App crash reports – These reports include data on the app version, device type, operating system, and what was action was taken time of the crash. This can be helpful when trying to replicate a problem during the QA testing process.
  • UI, application response, and screen rendering times – This data indicates whether the app is performing in a fast, smooth manner or not.
  • User paths data – These metrics offer insights into exactly how users are interacting with the app (and how you can improve the app’s UI/UX to make it more user-friendly and increase conversions ).
  • Daily active users – This gives you an idea of whether your user base is growing, shrinking, or stable. It’s a far more important figure than total downloads, as many people download then later delete or ignore the app.
  • OS/device compatibility data – This data provides key insights into the QA testing process. You may find it’s advantageous to aim for compatibility with a larger number of devices and/or operating systems. Conversely, you may find you’re investing resources to ensure compatibility with devices and operating systems that are rare amongst your users.

Some of the most helpful back-end metrics include:

  • Server response time – Server response time metrics are useful when determining if you’re allocating sufficient server resources for your app. For example, Apple requires a 500 millisecond upload speed for your app to be accepted into the App Store. At 7T, we ensure every app we produce has a response time of 200 milliseconds or faster.
  • Time to first byte (TTFB) – This piece of data is key for evaluating the responsiveness of your servers or network. It’s a measure of the timeframe between the point when a client makes an HTTP request and the point when the client receives the first byte of data in response to that request. A “slow” app would have a high TTFB.
  • TCP Connection Times – The TCP connection time refers to how long it takes to connect to the server, making for a three-way handshake when the connection involves SSL. A lengthy TCP connection time frame would result in sluggish responsiveness and a poor UX.
  • The number of HTTP requests – This data indicates the quantity and frequency of HTTP requests. Each HTTP call signifies an instance when the app requests data from a server. This translates into more data usage and a longer loading time.

It’s important to work with a developer who can configure your app so it automatically exports these vital data sets to a user-friendly mobile app analytics interface. They should also have the ability to generate custom reports as needed. Once you begin tracking key data sets, you’ll gain a better understanding of strengths, weaknesses, and precisely how people are interacting with the UI.

Why Are These App Metrics So Important?

When you have user path data and insight into how your app is performing, you’ll be well-equipped to plan for future updates and UI/UX improvements. Responsive app maintenance is an important part of UI/UX best practices. Still, it’s vital that you monitor these data sets following app updates and alterations. Don’t be surprised if you see unexpected consequences, particularly during the early days while you’re still becoming acquainted with your user base. When developing an app or implementing updates, you can only make educated guesses. This can cause differences between what you expect to occur and what actually occurs. The gap widens further when you account for the many variations that exist among users, including device type, operating system, and connection speed.

The aforementioned metrics allow you to:

  • Achieve a better balance between the app’s data usage levels and the amount of data stored locally on the user’s device
  • Identify areas for improving app speed, responsiveness, and overall UX
  • Determine exactly how people are interacting with the UI
  • Evaluate the efficacy of the app’s architecture
  • Identify user tendencies and habits
  • Focus your QA testing efforts on the devices/OS versions that are most common amongst your user base
  • Implement shortcuts and architectural revisions to ensure the UI aligns with how people are actually utilizing the application’s features and functions

Remember, it’s not just consumer-facing apps that benefit from this data and insight. While issues surrounding uninstalls and user loyalty are not chief concerns for B2B apps and enterprise apps, UX still matters. If the company’s app isn’t used consistently or if it’s sucking up more time or data than necessary, your application falls short of its true potential. This results in a poor return on investment. To see a maximum ROI from your app, the architecture and features must closely align with user tendencies and needs.

Much of the battle can be won by entrusting your company’s app development project to an experienced team of tech experts. Our developers can create native and hybrid enterprise apps, B2B applications, B2C apps, and stand-alone consumer-facing apps. Serving Dallas, Austin, Houston, and beyond, 7T has a world-class development team based in the Texas Triangle. We have developed a unique, open-source platform called STAX, which gives us the ability to build apps using a robust, well-engineered framework that slashes development costs and time-to-market by 35 to 40 percent. Contact us today to discuss your app development needs.


Prototype Your App to Success

Chase Uvodich

Chase Uvodich is the leading UI/UX designer at 7T (SevenTablets, Inc.) Chase has designed several of 7T's most successful apps through his unparalleled understanding of user experience and outstanding creative direction.

Chase holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design.


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