There’s finally some “scientific” proof that iPhone users have serious A.D.D when it comes to their application use. It seems that after the first month there’s a steady decline in the use of an application. It seems like captain obvious-like analytics, but now that I think about it, this graph is pretty representative of my usage patterns. The only real difference is that instead of my interest in the application lasting about a month, it actually lasts about a week. I could easily rhyme off the apps that have lasted longer than a month on one hand–Civilization revolution, Twitterific, GuitarTool Kit, and Lexic. Outside of those five applications, there’s more turn over on my phone than… Well, I’m sure you can guess.
What is it that encourages throw away applications?
Whoever figures it out might hold the keys to prolonged success on the app store. Could it be that the utility of an iPhone app is far less than we’ve expected, or is it casual gamer syndrome? I’m willing to bet that it’s a little bit of both, all mixed into one. Lack of multitasking means that we usually have one app to accomplish one particular thing. For instance, Birdbrain monitors your twitter usage and determine who’s adding you and unfollowing you. Twitterific is for actually using Twitter. Both are excellent apps, but I only have so much time on my hands for Twitter play. If it’s a toss up between seeing who’s adding or unfollowing me, and actually goofing off with some people on Twitter, I’ll choose the later nine times out of ten. This isn’t a slight on Birdbrain in any way. It’s a slight on the AppStore mentality of one problem, one cure, one application. The Flurry report points out that the biggest category for iPhone and mobile apps is social networking. I think that this plays right into the graph’s downward slope, and wonder if there’s a direct link between the two. Would the graph look the same if we eliminated social networking applications from the study?
Most iPhone games have a very short shelf life. A game is played to completion and usually offers very little replay value in most cases. The price point of $0.99 doesn’t help either; making it extremely easy to hop around from one application to another without much financial burden. Instead of researching the best app within a category before we make a purchase, we can just purchase three or four of them and try them all. I’m not complaining. I’d rather try four or five applications myself and make an educated decision on which app is the best for my work-flow, but again, these practices also contribute to the downward slope on the graph in question.
One thing is for certain, developers seem to have somewhere between a week and a month to really hook a user and convert them into a loyal customer. If there’s ever been a moment to ensure that your application runs smoothly and effectively, it’s from day one. If you aren’t focusing on the user experience starting from day one you’re in for a world of hurt, because if you hope to implement things in the future it might be too late as user’s will have moved on.
Via Cult of Mac