Today’s mobile app users frequently experience touch gesture usability issues, according to a new report by mobile app analytics platform Appsee.
The report analyzed 1,100 apps within the first half of 2017, and found that on average, approximately 18 percent of the gestures on an app’s ‘Login’ screen are unresponsive.
An unresponsive gesture is a mobile touch gesture that occurs on a part of the app’s screen that does not have any interactive controls/functions. No matter whether a user performs the same gesture once or multiple times, the mobile app does not make any response. For example, a user taps on an icon that looks like a button and the app does not respond.
Unresponsive gestures can be an explicit signal of a user experience issue within an app. They can be caused by a technically flawed UI component, a non user-friendly design element, defective or bad mobile ads, and many other factors.
Moreover, unresponsive gestures were found to have an interesting association with app quit rates. For example, screens that had an unresponsive gesture rate of 25 percent or higher, saw an average of 13 percent of navigations to that screen with a direct quit by the mobile app user.
Appsee also discovered that in terms of app categories, Gaming apps exhibited the highest rates of unresponsive gestures. In addition to app categories, Appsee assessed unresponsive gestures by operating system (OS), device, and other common mobile app screens.
Despite the fact that unresponsive gestures are a common occurrence across mobile apps, many mobile professionals are actually unfamiliar with the term or existence of these errors. Up until a few years ago, most mobile app analytics tools did not track these types of mobile touch gestures.
If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?
“This was the case with unresponsive gestures and the tools available on the market,” says Appsee’s CEO Zahi Boussiba. “Unresponsive gestures were making ‘sounds’, in the forms of confused or frustrated users, yet no tool was tracking this specific input activity.”
Today, with the industry placing more of an emphasis on UX than ever before, new, robust tools have entered the market so that mobile professionals can better track, understand, and optimize their users’ in-app experiences.
In order to track mobile touch gestures, including unresponsive, an increasing amount of mobile app owners have begun to employ touch heatmaps. Instead of tracking touch gestures on a numeric basis, mobile touch heatmaps provide visual context by displaying the exact location of touch gestures on each screen, the type of gesture, and frequency level.
The mobile apps that had utilized Appsee’s touch heatmaps to monitor unresponsive gestures, saw an average 37 percent decrease over the three versions following a release with Appsee.