Using the App Engagement Index to measure an App's Effectiveness

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Using the App Engagement Index to measure an App's Effectiveness

It's tough to measure mobile app success, but Forrester has come out with a very good framework for doing just that: The App Engagement Index. It's a great tool for gauging the success of media, communications, and entertainment apps, although it's not as useful for purely business apps such as airline and banking ones. The index is based on a simple premise: The more engaged a customer is with an app, the more effective the app is. To create the index, Forrester engagement and behavioral for more than 100 apps. Based on what it found, Forrester created four separate engagement indicators: popularity, commitment, frequency, and time spent. Popularity is a simple metric, and measures how popular the app is among smartphone users. Commitment measures, in Forrester's words, "the share of users that access the app on a weekly basis. A high share indicates that the app is able to maintain a steady portion of returning users. Frequency measures how many days an average user accesses the app over a specific period of time. The more often people use the app, the more value they get from it. Time spent measures the average amount of time that a users spends with the app. Again, the more time a user spends with an app, the more successful the app is in engaging him.

Calculating the Index

Using these metrics, Forrester created and index that rates apps on a scale of zero to 1,000, with zero meaning no engagement, and 1,000 the most possible engagement. The calculation is straightforward: Simply add popularity + commitment + frequency + time. Based on the score, Forrester ranks apps into four categories: Intriguing (scores under 150); enticing (scores between 150 to 249); engaging (scores between 250 and 349); and addicting (scores over 350). Most apps, Forester found, fall into the intriguing category --- 77 of them. It includes apps such as Hulu Plus and HBO Go. Thirty apps fall into the enticing category (it includes NFL Mobile and other sports apps); ten apps fall into the engaging category (including games such as Candy Crush and Words with Friends); and only nine fall into the addicting category (including social networking apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). As for the most engaging app of all, it's Facebook which had a perfect 1,000 engagement score.
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About Author

Dion McCormick
Dion McCormick

Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, is a recognized expert on agile application development. He helps enterprise development teams around the world transition from slow legacy approaches to high-performance mobile, web, and desktop development using the Alpha Anywhere platform.

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