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This is about testing your app solution in the wild – with actual, real potential users

This is about testing your app solution in the wild – with actual, real potential users

able to do is put it in front of target users. Your goal is to get your gaming app in front of gamers, to get your taxi app in the hands of people who take taxis frequently, to get your payment-processing app in the hands of merchants who need it.

Measuring Good There’s one more thing you need to think about before you start coding: making it super-easy for users to send you feedback

In these early stages, don’t make a user dig around your app to find a feedback form: make sure it’s front and centre and makes it easy to get in touch with you with feedback. Reactions to the early versions of your app are key to success, and you want to use real user feedback to tune the direction in which you’re heading. I would love to think that all the people using your app would be happy to send lots of feedback all the time, but the reality is that you hear only about the extremes: the great experiences and the very bad experiences. But, to make your app a success, you need a systematic way to understand the experiences of all your users, what they are actually doing on your app, and what they like and dislike about it. How do you keep your finger on the pulse and figure out what’s going on? Analytics is the answer. You can include snippets of analytics software in your app so that you can automatically track what every single user is doing on your app – what they are looking at, what they are clicking, how long they spend performing an action and at what point they open and close the app. Analytics tools give you a powerful visualisation of this information on both an individual user level and a level that shows you what the population of users is doing on your app. How you interpret this information, i.e. what insight you can glean from it, and what you should do as a result – well, that is an art! One of my favourite solutions, which is also one of the new market leaders, is mixpanel. This tool gives you a powerful way to view your users on an individual and group level, allowing you to see precisely what they are doing every time they fire up your app. There are plenty of solutions out there for analytics – and it can be a bit overwhelming selecting one. Starting off, I would recommend putting in two solutions: a robust free solution such as Google Analytics (which has been

You should be shooting to get it into the hands of at least a few hundred people, ideally up to a thousand or so

improving in leaps and bounds on the mobile side) and something like Mixpanel, because of its powerful communication capabilities and its very powerful ability to segment and analyse your users. We’ll delve more into that in the next chapter. Other solid solutions are Flurry (it’s free, has probably the biggest footprint, but lacks powerful segmentation and its geographical filtering is weak), Localytics is very good (though it doesn’t have as wide or robust a feature set as Mixpanel), and then Kontagent (we found it to be quite a bit behind the other solutions, and focused a lot more on sales rather than product or engineering).

Successful Internet and app entrepreneurs are obsessed with metrics. If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it. From the start, you need to both focus on the correct metrics and make sure that you have the analytics in place to measure them reliably. Let’s start with a simple and powerful framework made popular by the entrepreneur and super-angel investor behind the 500 Startups accelerator and Seed Fund, Dave McClure (he was also the director of marketing at PayPal for three years). There are five types of metrics to remember (they are quite pirate-like – AARRR): • ACQUISITION: users downloading your app from a variety of channels; • ACTIVATION: users enjoying their first ‘happy’ experience on your app; • RETENTION: users coming back and using your app multiple times; • REFERRAL: users loving your app so much they refer others to download it; • REVENUE: users completing actions on your app that you’re able to monetise. You’re going to need to define specific metrics in each one of these five categories as soon as possible; some of them are going to be specific to your app, your market and your business model, while others are going to be pretty similar no matter what type of app you’re building. One thing to remember is that all your metrics should be valuable and actionable, and they shouldn’t just be vanity metrics. Valuable metrics are ones that drive decisions. All these are best explained with concrete examples, so let’s look at how Hailo did it.

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