The Value of User Experience Monitoring for Mobile Apps
Consider adding some detailed monitoring so that you can react to critical issues, as well as find new ways to optimize your app based on usage patterns.
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Maximizing and providing the best possible user experience is the top requirement for all mobile related products – and the top priority for their developers. Today’s mobile users expect apps, games, and the mobile web work flawlessly regardless of where and how they use those features. In this perspective, monitoring a native app, game, or website in production is important, but it’s even more important to get the right metrics out of that monitoring data and understand how to build better end-user experience.
Introduction to User Experience Monitoring in Mobile
We’ve discussed synthetic mobile monitoring a few times, and as that practice isn’t too new, it also has things that are strongly derived from the desktop world. Something that has worked well on desktop may not be as successful with mobile related things.
Therefore, building an end-user experience monitoring for mobile apps, games, and web must be fully mobile-first and monitor exactly the right things around use cases. In short, User Experience Monitoring (UXM) is a modern monitoring practice for mobile. It is a form of synthetic mobile monitoring (also known as proactive mobile monitoring) that replicates real user interactions for mobile apps, games, and websites. The monitoring results guide developers to improve their apps and enhance the app user experience.
User experience monitoring measures all critical aspects of native mobile applications, even mobile games and websites on mobile devices. It leverages all aspects of the mobile platform (software and hardware) and makes 24/7 monitoring of service availability, compatibility, and accessibility easy and effortless.
The whole point with user experience monitoring is that it works identically to how a real user would use the app, buy services, interact with app’s features that communicate with some back-end implementation, etc. The use case would be identical to real-user monitoring (RUM), but there wouldn’t be actual users doing anything. All interactions would be replacated as test scripts and other simulated inputs.
The Benefits of User Experience Monitoring
First of all, user experience monitoring utilizes an identical set of equipment, hardware, and software that would be used by an end-user. This makes monitoring and all its data trustworthy and accurate. Preventing any sort of performance, compatibility, and usability issues is a significant part of working toward better user experience. And when looking at this from the developer’s point of view, preventing something that may have a negative impact on their mobile product, their business, and their brand, is something that should be taken seriously.
User experience monitoring has six unique benefits over any other form of mobile monitoring, and those are as follows:
Any issue should be visible as soon as it happens. When using UXM, all details about the app's behavior, launch, execution, and interaction are provided with network stack information, screenshots, and additional log data. With these test results, users can optimize and fix any issues related to their product running on different physical locations and networks. User experience should be monitored 24/7, and intervals should be as short as possible to provide information when something isn’t working.
Getting only the right data. With real user experience monitoring, nothing is simulated or emulated. That’s the basis of getting only reliable and trustworthy data about the user experience, performance, stability, and usability of your product running and working for end users. User experience monitoring should provide all necessary network, OS/platform, and user level details that make debugging and fixing those problems quick and easy.
Easy to set up, even on the other side of the world. As we’re talking about monitoring that happens in a real network in a real physical location any place in the world, it should be easy and effortless for its users to get things up and running. All business and performance critical information should be on real-time, providing fine-grained details about those form factors for user experience.
The most secure way to monitor apps. The best competitive advantage in user experience monitoring is that nothing gets out to users, who could exploit your app. UXM enables monitoring of applications, even in beta, so you don’t need to go through tedious app release cycles. You just upload your APK or IPA to the service and select the locations/networks to get your monitoring checks going.
Improved app quality and better perception by users. Probably the most fundamental value that user experience monitoring offers is the metrics achieved from real-world execution. That gets you the right data to improve those factors for improving user experience.
Use of existing test automation assets. Because mobile apps are built today for a large number of different devices, user personas, and segments, they should be thoroughly tested before publishing them out to users. Test automation has been an instrumental way to get various aspects of a mobile app tested in an automated process, and this is something that is available in UXM experience monitoring as well. With sophisticated test automation combined into a monitoring product, you can build any levels of test automation into monitoring process. Using open-source test automation frameworks with monitoring makes creation of complex and highly sophisticated tests easy and effortless.
The Most Valuable Features of User Experience Monitoring
Compelling features that make end-user mobile monitoring easy, quick, and effortless are important for all products that aim to hit certain audiences and provide stunning user experiences with features and performance. There are few distinctive features in UXM that make it unique when compared to all other monitoring techniques:
User testing for native apps, games, and mobile web. User experience can be tested and monitored at different locations, using different networks, and a variety of different important metrics can be fetched and monitored during the process. User experience monitoring doesn’t limit its functionalities or use cases to the mobile web only but provides the first mobile native app monitoring capabilities for its users.
Reuse of Appium test scripts. If you use Appium for mobile app testing, our UXM also takes those Appium test scripts and allows them to run at any location around the world. This enhanced reusability will improve the testability and results.
Application, transactions, pings, and back-end integrations. If you are working with a back-end, want to get an app launched and get all possible metrics and data about its performance, or simply get data about a monitor check, then UXM is highly encouraged.
Real network traffic and data (no emulation). Mobile apps rely on third-party service providers like CDNs, ad networks, e-commerce platforms, and social media networks to get things done. With UXM, you can manage all third-party services, get all the data that your app is pushing for those third-party services, and see and inspect network traffic and stack traces. Clear and comprehensive reports can be obtained, and all details of performance, compatibility, usability, and user experience can be combined into one, cohesive report.
When things go wrong, you must know about it, instantly. In user experience monitoring, many things can quickly pass users by, but sophisticated scripts take care that nothing gets by them. You’ll get notified about problems and any issues instantly, and via different preferred channels.
Availability and Performance Means Revenue Generation
If your website is down and you are not aware of this, your business quickly drops to zero. When any blocking issue, problem, or slow-down happens on your asset, you should be notified as soon as possible and get instructions of how to get rid of the revenue blocking issue. As with everything else covered, UXM helps there, too.
Published at DZone with permission of Ville-Veikko Helppi, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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