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Best Practices

General

How to Build High-Performance Apps: Development, Beta, and Production

Your app’s user experience could make or break its overall success—the overall app uninstall rate after 30 days is 28%, and sometimes those customer losses also come with negative reviews that deter future downloads. So how do mobile teams optimize app speed and stability to avoid the uninstall? Planning for perfection in mobile app performance starts even before the first line of code. Apps with standout technical performance come from teams that prioritize quality at every stage of the mobile app life cycle, from ideation to release and beyond.

Designate teams and ownership

Establish clear areas of responsibility for quality issues from the outset of the development process. Developers can use these team and code designations within platforms like Instabug to create automated alerts and forwarding rules to reduce time spent assigning urgent issues later on. Developers can complete fixes faster, then get back to coding, building new features, and expanding on future release and revenue opportunities.

Integrate quality tools into your app and workflow

Take a proactive approach by arming your team with app quality tools. Preparing for the inevitable—bugs and crashes—will ensure you’re ready to respond immediately to any issue as soon as you start testing. A mobile-first observability platform like Instabug gives insight into your app performance and user experience throughout all stages of development.

Iterate on features and performance

During future development cycles, apply improvements using valuable customer feedback collected throughout the development process. Technical details and qualitative user insights enable developers to balance fixes with new features and releases that customers will look forward to.

Make bug reporting easy

One of the biggest challenges for testers is writing effective bug reports. They’re time-consuming and require extensive contextual data to be useful. With Instabug, beta testers (and production users) can simply shake their phone to report a bug, and Instabug automatically compiles all the additional environment information.

Collect qualitative user feedback

Building “sticky” apps is an iterative process that requires ongoing communication with your users. Connect with your testers and users through surveys, in-app chats, and feature requests. Using direct communication methods like these to interact with customers can boost your App Store rating, and businesses with 4 to 4.5 star ratings or above earned 28% more in annual revenue, on average.

Monitor and track changes in performance

Analyzing app performance is crucial during the testing stage. Bugs that make it through to the production phase typically cost up to 85 times more to fix than they would have had been discovered during testing. It’s much cheaper to catch and fix flaws during the development and testing phases than it is to respond during production, when issues could impact live users—and ratings.

Use next-gen crash reporting

Free crash reporting tools are popular, but they don’t capture all of the crashes (or crash-like behavior) your users could experience. Issues such as OOM and ANR errors, app hangs, and C++ and NDK crashes can be devastating to the overall user experience. Detecting every crash is the first step to debugging every crash, and Instabug’s comprehensive reports give your team crucial insights needed to make those fixes.

Set performance goals

Metrics matter—you’ll want to track and set targets for performance metrics like app launch duration, content loading times, UI hangs, network transactions, and key traces. All of these factors contribute to higher user satisfaction and retention. Align your team around using Apdex scores to assess the user experience with one comprehensive and robust performance metric.

Manage emerging issues with alerts

The most proactive way for teams to address quality issues is through the use of alerts. When new code or network failures cause sudden drops in performance, resolution time is critical. With Instabug, you can configure alerts for general or granular aspects of app performance and set automatic team assignment and forwarding rules so your team is addressing an issue as soon as it happens.

Prioritize fixes by impact

Not all bugs or crashes are created equal. Instabug automatically flags performance issues by severity or number of users impacted, allowing you to prioritize the most urgent fixes. Once those issues are identified, you can use code ownership rules to assign tasks to appropriate team members, avoiding redundancies and time-wasting manual processes.

Update often and monitor releases

The top-grossing apps update roughly once every two weeks. Such agile release cycles correlate with higher user engagement and satisfaction. But with every release comes the possibility of new bugs or regressions, so monitoring and alerting are essential parts of the update process. Velocity alerts, for example, capture new high-impact issues, while regression alerts loop you in when closed issues reappear after a release.

Engage with users

Increase app stickiness by using in-app announcements for onboarding and new features. Then keep collecting user feedback to keep your app’s reputation strong. Using Instabug Surveys, you can route positive reviewers, or NPS promoters, to the app stores to leave reviews, while you can solicit private feedback from detractors. Maximize positive reviews and minimize negative reviews to save money on customer acquisition costs.

Full observability during all stages of the app development lifecycle enables developers to make data-driven decisions about how to prioritize and solve issues that impact the user experience. Instabug’s app quality platform provides developers with vital information at every stage of the DevOps cycle, empowering teams to be more agile before, during, and after a release with accurate real-time data and feedback. Your data can help you identify and resolve app issues and prevent customer losses, closing the gap between your adoption and usage goals that much more quickly.

Instabug’s triple threat of APM, Crash Reporting, and Bug Reporting tools will empower you to optimize your app’s performance and deliver the high-quality experience your users expect and deserve.

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