On App Review Mechanisms

Marco Arment on his approach to requesting app reviews from his customers in apps he's developed.

My strategy to get good App Store reviews is simple:

1. Make an app good enough for some people to love it. By nature, you’ll lose some people along the way, but that’s OK: an app that strives to satisfy as many people as possible will usually only get people to kinda like it, not love it.
2. Accumulate a huge surplus of goodwill from those customers with a combination of step 1, usefulness, delight, and adding more functionality over time.
3. Make it easy to rate the app with a button that’s never annoying or in the way, like the Settings screen.

This is one facet of why I love Marco's apps and will choose to use them over others. The passive aggressive “Do you like our app?” which leads to two different options for providing feedback is one of the things that grates on my nerves1 the most in an app. Oftentimes it causes me to leave the app altogether to avoid having to make the right decision to get back to what I was doing in the first place. That's a terrible experience for a customer to have and Marco's advice is solid wisdom to other developers.

  1. I'm looking at you Urbanspoon and MileIQ.