Have you ever wondered what people love or hate about an application? Marco Arment, developer of Tumblr and InstaPaper has compiled a list of the most commonly used unique words in 5-star and 1-star Apple App Store reviews. Using a script to crawl the reviews of the Top 100 apps in the U.S. App Store, he came up with the following lists. Words are listed in order of most frequently used.
awesome, worth, thanks, amazing, simple, perfect, price, everything, ever, must, ipod, before, found, store, never, recommend, done, take, always, touch
waste, money, crashes, tried, useless, nothing, paid, open, deleted, downloaded, didn’t, says, stupid, anything, actually, account, bought, apple, already
Bold words are adjectives or likely to be used as adjectives in context. (From Marco.org)
It’s interesting to see simple in the 5-star list, as it shows that people have an expectation of ease of use in an iPhone or iPad app. Also curious is the presence of price sensitivity in both the 5 and 1 star reviews with words like worth, price, paid, waste and money. It seems that people like to get their perceived worth out of the apps that they pay for.
So what makes a successful app? If you’re a developer, just make an app that is awesome, amazing, simple, perfect, and don’t charge too much for it, and you should have a hit on your hands. Sounds easy enough.