App Definition Statement and Core App Metrics

Thursday 28th of November 2013 09:25:47 AM

  Toggle Advanced Options


A short description of exactly what your app does (i.e., an elevator pitch). One of the best ways to come up with an effective App Definition Statement (ADS) is to set these four parameters in stone:

  • Purpose: the purpose of your app is more or less the exact ADS. Think about what problem you are trying to solve with your app. What are you trying to accomplish?
  • Audience: who will be your target demographic? Will it be real estate agents, young kids, surfers…? If you just say, “Everyone will like my app,” you will find it incredibly hard to find an audience, which is crucial. Finding your app’s intended audience before you begin building it is one of the most important steps.
  • How They Use It: how will your users actually use your app. Will they be sitting down on the couch while watching TV and browsing through your app? Will they be running and exercising? Will they be asleep?! This last question might sound silly, but there are apps that track your sleeping habits, and require you to be asleep to do so. Defining how your audience will actually be using your app will give you a better idea of how to design it effectively.
  • Core Functionality: what will your app do? This can be similar to the Purpose, but try to focus on the exact features of your app. Limit these features to only the most necessary ones. This is often only one sentence.

Example for a picture voter app

  • Purpose: Find interesting photos and vote for the ones you like.
  • Audience: Photography enthusiasts
  • How They Use It: During spare time they will browse through photos casually
  • Core Functionality: Vote for your favorite photos
  • App Definition Statement: PictureVoter is an app to find interesting photos and vote for the ones you like.

Important app metrics to track

  1. Downloads: while downloads alone can't determine if an app is a winner, they still play a role in measuring its success. For the freemium model, the more downloads, the higher the probability your app will succeed in converting free users into paid ones. And if the app does cost money to use, the download metric is even a bigger deal. Make sure you put your download numbers in perspective with the number of active users. Measure how many people download and use the app, and monitor whether the app gains or loses popularity over a certain period of time or during a particular campaign. You can also track the statistics about the devices and platforms your app is used most on.
  2. Engagement: this is what Snapchat and Instagram’s valuation was made up of: A cornucopia of highly-engaged users accessing the app at least once daily and in most cases, several times every day. You want your app to emulate this model and have high engagement. You want consumers to use your app every day, making it an integral part of their daily lives. While engagement is measured by how frequently users come back to your app, the metrics can vary. Engagement can measure frequency of opens, duration or usage, number of screens used and conversion rate for events. Depending on your app's goal, these metrics will tell you if your users consider your product indispensable.
  3. Retention: you not only want your user base to grow but also want to make sure people are staying. One way to do this is by updates. Every app goes through an evolution -- from its launch to a number of release versions, which may have feature and bug fixes or enhancements. These updates tend to occur after research or user feedback. Make sure you listen to the users, especially the ones that will go the extra mile to install an update for an enhanced experience. Tracking this metric will help you to determine the usability of your app and not just that, but also the value that users find in your app’s features, new and old.
  4. Specific goals: most developers have a certain vision of how each user will use their app, usually envisioning a specific task to complete. When tracking specific goals, look at the steps or events that you want users to accomplish and look at the percentage of people that are completing those actions. Engagement, retention and goals can be tracked by integrating analytics tool into your app.

Seven main reasons mobile apps get uninstalled

  1. Forced social logins (19%)
  2. Privacy concerns (23%)
  3. Intrusive ads (29%)
  4. Bad UI / UX (42%)
  5. App takes to long to load or is (frequently) unresponsive (48%)
  6. Complex registration / log-in experience (68%)
  7. Annoying / too many notifications (71%)


Acknowledgement@13-11-29 15:17:01 by Brett Kromkamp

The App Definition Statement (ADS) concept is copied almost verbatim from the article The iOS 7 App Challenge: Update #2.