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The State of Mobile Experience 2023: Our latest report explores the challenges facing app users and mobile engineers

We’re excited to release our first-annual State of Mobile Experience report, which explores key trends, challenges, and opportunities in mobile through the perspectives of both app users and engineers.

Mobile has overwhelmingly become the technology we rely on every day to help us navigate through work, school, travel, and most other parts of life. Not only do we rely on it heavily, but we expect it to work for us when we need it – and to work well

The problem is, sometimes mobile apps don’t work as well as we need them to in the moment. At Embrace, we understand this reality better than most because we’ve always been in the business of helping engineers build and optimize experiences. 

But even we were wondering what the scope of the problem was when it came to making mobile better. That’s why we embarked upon a 3-part research study to understand the State of Mobile Experience in 2023, the results of which we’re excited to share today. 

We talked to both app users and mobile engineers to get their perspectives on the good, the bad, and the frustrating when it came to app experiences. We also analyzed data from our own platform to benchmark how different industries were fairing in terms of their app performance standards. 

All of this research helped us validate something that we, as a solution provider in mobile experience engineering, had already observed: user demands are very high, but user experiences don’t always live up to those demands. Additionally, engineers understand this, and that’s why monitoring has become so crucial to maintaining healthy apps. Our Head of Product, Andrew Tunall, noted:

“Mobile users’ high expectations for speed, stability, and ease of use are going up and to the right. Without the right toolkit, mobile engineering teams are blind as they try to deliver great app experiences. And if you miss the mark, the result can be really poor app reviews and uninstalls.”

Read on for some highlights from this report. 

App Users’ Frustrations

  • Speed is crucial: 1 in 5 users won’t wait more than 5 seconds to log in to an account, complete a purchase, or play multimedia. 
  • Issues are too common: 48% of users say they experience an app issue daily. Reported issues include slow startup, slow images, freezing, crashes, and unresponsive buttons. 
  • App users are most frustrated by crashes (64%), unresponsive buttons (58%), and freezes (58%)
  • Users are not afraid to uninstall: 60% of users said they would uninstall an app that has crashed a few times.

Top Development Challenges for Mobile Engineers

  • User monitoring isn’t easy: When asked about the key challenges engineers are facing in app development today, monitoring app performance topped the list.
  • They’re worried about specific app performance issues: Mobile engineers are most concerned about remedying crashes and slow app startup. However, users don’t rank slow app startup as one of their top frustrations.
  • Issues have consequences: Engineers’ biggest concerns are the loss of brand trust stemming from frustrating app experiences and bad reviews on app stores. App deletions also rank highly on the list of concerns.

More detail on these findings, plus further insight into user and engineer perspectives, as well as upcoming trends in mobile, are available in our full State of Mobile Experience report. You can download it here.

Also, be sure to check out our conversation with developer-focused analyst firm, Redmonk, on some of the key takeaways from the study.

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