User Feedback in the AppStore
“User Feedback in the AppStore: An Empirical Study” is the title of the new paper by Prof. Maalej and Dennis Pagano which has been recently accepted for publication at the renowned conference “IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering” RE 2013.
This research will be presented by Prof. Maalej at RE 2013 in Rio De Janeiro.
Dennis Pagano and Walid Maalej
Application distribution platforms – or app stores – such as Google Play or Apple AppStore allow users to submit feedback in form of ratings and reviews to downloaded applications. In the last few years, these platforms have become very popular to both application developers and users. However, their real potential for and impact on requirements engineering processes are not yet well understood. This paper reports on an exploratory study, which analyzes over one million reviews from the Apple AppStore. We investigated how and when users provide feedback, inspected the feedback content, and analyzed its impact on the user community. We found that most of the feedback is provided shortly after new releases, with a quickly decreasing frequency over time. Reviews typically contain multiple topics, such as user experience, bug reports, and feature requests. The quality and constructiveness vary widely, from helpful advices and innovative ideas to insulting offenses. Feedback content has an impact on download numbers: positive messages usually lead to better ratings and vice versa. Negative feedback such as shortcomings is typically destructive and misses context details and user experience. We discuss our findings and their impact on software and requirements engineering teams.