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Brands' Mobile Apps Frustrate Users


Nearly four in ten mobile users (38%) say they're dissatisfied with most of the apps currently available from their favorite brands, and 69% agree that if a brand's mobile app isn't useful or easy to use, it contributes to a negative perception of the brand, according to a survey from EffectiiveUI.

Mobile is a key part of the brand experience for many: 76% of mobile app users say brands should have mobile apps to make shopping or interacting with them easier.

Though the apps market is relatively new, user expectations are high: 73% of mobile app users expect a company's mobile app to be easier to use than its website.

Echoing the experimental nature of the market, most users who download and use apps do so based on recommendations and good user experience, rather than the brand that released it. Only 18% of mobile app users consider the brand name when deciding whether to download an app.

Below, other findings from the study by Harris Interactive and EffectiveUI.

What do users want from branded mobile apps? Usability and experience are more important than brand name alone: 74% of mobile app users want ease-of-use and 75% want apps to perform as expected.

When things go bad with apps, people spread the word: 32% of app users say they have told others about a bad experience with a mobile app. Some 13% have avoided downloading applications from a brand because of a previous bad experience with another app offered by that brand.

By contrast, 66% of app users have downloaded an app based on a review or recommendation, and 57% have recommended an app because of a positive experience.

Rise of Mobile Apps Culture

One-third (33.1%) of US wireless subscribers downloaded a mobile app in the third quarter of 2010, up 2.5 percentage points from 30.6% in the prior three months, according to separate research from comScore MobileLens. That level is nearly equal to the 35.1% who browsed the mobile Web during the same period.


Some 67.0% US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.4 percentage points from the prior three month period, while accessing of social networking sites or blogs via mobile device increased 1.8 percentage points, comprising 23.2% of mobile subscribers.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Downloading vs. Using Mobile Apps

Nearly one-quarter of US adults (24%) say they use mobile apps, though 35% say they have apps on their phones, according to Pew Research.

Many adults who have apps on their phones, particularly older adults, do not use them, and 11% of cell owners are not sure if their phone is equipped with apps.

Among cell phone owners, 29% have downloaded apps to their phone and 13% have paid to download apps.

About the data: The survey of 781 online adults who download and use mobile apps was conducted in October 2010 by Harris Interactive. Pew data is based on a telephone and Internet survey of 2,252 US adults age 18 and older, conducted by Princeton Survey Research International from April 29 to May 30, 2010.

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  • by Justin Souza Mon Nov 15, 2010 via web

    Many of the mobile app experiences created by brands over the past year were driven by a competitive “me too” environment. They simply looked to check the box that they were hip to the exploding mobile app market. Often neglected in the process was an adherence to the brand and product management acumen that prevails in every other element of these businesses – accountability for delighting the customer. The sophistication around managing the user experience of mobile apps and the mobile web are moving at warp speed pace. Over the course of 2011, brands will shrug off the unknowns of the mobile experience, moving from experimental art to quantifiable science.

    Follow our mobile user experience blog at

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