Discover Performance

HP Software's community for IT leaders // September 2014
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How you’ll follow your mobile user’s fingertips

Unless you know user actions at the device level, you’ll never know—or be able to efficiently fix—the user experience problems hiding in your app.

The bottom line

What: Mobile monitoring must extend to the last mile—the user’s eyeballs.
Why: Your app lives or dies at the user’s touch.
How: Monitor specific interactions, not just crashes, and quickly assess potential fixes.
More: Check out the free trial of AppPulse Mobile from HP’s Pronq.

Everyone wants a five-star app. But what merits a flurry of five-star reviews in an app store? Performance. How your app actually delights or frustrates users is key—and something that performance monitoring has to be able to tell you.

You’re already looking at server utilization, crashes, and other data, but for most users what matters is what happens when they touch, pinch, or swipe the screen. If they don’t get the response they expect, at the near-instant speed they expect it, how will you find out? By reading the one-star ratings and cranky reviews?

You need to close that last mile and understand exactly what an unsatisfied user did when the app didn’t perform. Detailed insight is increasingly available, and IT ops teams will need to aggregate and drill down into a variety of metrics that go right to the user’s fingertips. HP’s new AppPulse Mobile tool does it with something we dubbed the FunDex. This scoring system provides two unique values: a unique benchmark for the mobile user experience, and actionable information that can focus IT’s efforts to make the most effective improvements to the app. Call it what you will, you need an easily understood way to tell, at a glance, whether your users are happy.

Measure performance

Measuring performance shouldn’t mean just looking for crashes, but crashes are the big events that get the most attention. Your app might be filled with small errors that, together, degrade the user experience without ever causing a crash. What if 10 percent of users are experiencing crashes, but 40 percent of users are annoyed by lagging performance when they swipe left on a certain screen?
 
You need the ability to monitor native and hybrid apps on users’ devices while the apps are running. You need to measure things like the perceived user response time, which is the time from the moment the user touched the screen to the time the UI updated all of the relevant data associated with the user’s action. Most of all, you need this information to be discovered automatically and categorized into type of action—and get the info in near-real time.

Focus on what matters

Once you have the data, you need the ability to focus on what matters most. You need to know the problems in all of the major areas—performance, usage, stability, and utilization—and how much they’re affecting the overall experience, so you know which problems to address first.
 
Then, you need the details. Is password validation taking 10 seconds? Does the back arrow on a certain page work fine, while swiping back is causing a crash? Is the old version of the app working well while the new one is experiencing device utilization issues? Is the app functioning great for most people but struggling with connectivity issues for users in Brazil?

Improve the experience

Once you have all of that data, you need the ability to act on it. You need to not only see the details of major errors and crashes but also get detailed recommendations for how to fix them. When you have the error-causing action and the OS version that is experiencing the problem, you have a roadmap for improving the user experience.

Make your app more fun

We’ve previously written about the value of advanced mobile monitoring to the entire enterprise. With a dashboard view into how all factors are coming together to delight your users, you’re able to make sure that you’re delivering value through this increasingly important face of your business. A FunDex score creates both the overview and the detail you need to master the complexity of the mobile era, and gives you feedback for optimizing your infrastructure, future development sprints, even the overall business model.
 
For more on using AppPulse Mobile and the FunDex to improve the user experience, check out the free trial through Pronq by HP.


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