Mobile teams are singularly focused on crashes. Understandably so — they are the simplest to identify and diagnose. BUT crashes account for less than 1% of your issues! You still find errors and your users are still complaining.
With mobile apps, we are conditioned to think of all performance issues as ‘crashes’. That’s because
a) there’s a tendency for users and business people alike to rush to the term ‘crash’ when it may not really apply, and
b) there are limited tools on-par with their desktop counterparts for identifying and diagnosing mobile app performance issues.
So, even though the performance issue may deal with an inhibited experience (the app is taking so long time to load that it appears frozen), it’s treated like a crash. Ask yourself:
- When you fix a crash, how often does it really impact the experience of any user?
- How often is it in the background?
- How often does it affect a small number of users who don’t contribute to the app or app community?
- How often does a user just re-open the app anyway?
The truth is, most crashes are a fender-bender, but we treat them like 50 car pile-ups.
Instead of solving every issue, shouldn’t we be focused on solving the most important ones? If you are constantly distracted with minor performance issues that affect just a few low-value users, then you’re not spending time improving experience and heading off a serious error that could kill-off lots of high-value users.
The logic is the same whether you’re an engineer or a business person: focus on what matters and de-emphasize what doesn’t. This brings us right back to the need for mobile-first tools purpose-built to help engineers and their mobile teams quickly assess and resolve performance issues.
One of the unique things that Embrace does is let engineers stitch together user sessions. So, if the user experienced a crash, but then just immediately re-opened the app and all was fine, maybe it’s not worth solving that problem right now. We surface that data and visualize it so the engineer, product manager, or other member of the team can easily dig in and decide the appropriate course of action.
This ensures the most mission critical performance issues get the attention they deserve, relieves pain for engineers, and keeps users happy. And that’s what it’s all about.