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I have recently noticed some "high-profile" apps like facebook and twitter randomly displaying pop-up windows to get me to rate their app. Seems to be a fairly new trend...good idea?

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I always give them the lowest possible rating if they interrupt my browsing that rudely. Not scientific or indicative of anything, of course, but there will probably be others who do the same. –  Roddy of the Frozen Peas Jan 27 at 20:33
    
When will users realize that Free Apps come at a cost? We have spoiled them for too long in my opinion. It should not be unreasonable to display ads and ask them for a rating, even if it does slightly disrupt the experience--Its a Free App. We have created an environment that is very difficult for apps to make money--and it is sadly our own fault. –  MikeD Jan 27 at 21:03
    
Er, what? Who said anything about free apps? If you show an intrusive popup saying "RATE MY APP!", I find it irritating. It's as if I were walking down the street and someone stepped in front of me and thrust a sign in my face. I have to stop and deal with it, and since I'm now irritated it probably won't be favorably. However if it's done seamlessly or unintrusively, I won't mind -- Huffington Post or another online news site recently started showing a one-question survey as a "answer this and then keep reading" sort of thing. It had a very obvious 'decline' option. I actually answer those. –  Roddy of the Frozen Peas Jan 27 at 21:10
    
I don't disagree with anything your saying--I hate answering surveys or have anything pop up on my screen. I am just saying that we, as developers, have created an environment that has set certain expectations for users-and it has made it difficult for apps to generate revenue. –  MikeD Jan 27 at 21:21
    
@MikeD You see the same in paid apps. It has nothing to do with free-as-in-beer. It is an annoying thing, though I get why it is needed sometimes. Note that apps asking for a 5-star rating get a start deduced for doing that if I do the rating. –  André Jan 28 at 8:58

7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Interrupting users is typically not good UX, something to keep in mind when you are asking them to rate your app. Having said that, I am typically OK with a one-time popup as a reminder. But if it shows up again I will mention it in my review.

Another idea to consider is an easy to remove banner at the top of the screen. That would encourage users to rate the app without preventing them from using it.

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Thanks @mcrumley, love the idea of an easy to remove banner at the top. Encouraging the users to rate the app is important, but pop-ups can be a risky move. –  MikeD Jan 28 at 16:59

This kind of behavior is caused by the marketing need of app getting rated by as many people as possible, and this is the most efficient way to tell someone to do it - just interrupt his casual workflow with the app by displaying a popup. It's obviously nothing but another pop-up ad, and about these, everything has been written through the 90s and early 2000s. They're simply annoying. However, the action of rating the app is a single activity, so if it really has some marketing effect on the app sales/downloads - and my strong bet it has - then it's probably a good idea to sacrifice some UX and make people give your app a little popularity. Just don't terrorize them with the popup again and again, if they refuse e.g. 3 times...

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As far as Ux goes, in my experience

  • Intrusive pop-ups are a bad idea.
  • Forcing user to do anything he hasn't chosen to is a bad idea.
  • Surprises are a bad idea.

What's a good idea then ?

Opt 1: You can have a thin horizontal section with a question followed by stars such as

Please rate : * //user clicks one of the starts, end of story.

Note: You'll have to consider when to show this and when to take it away depending on the work flow of your app. Showing this all the time may be distracting.

Choose styles for this section such that they don't stand out in relation to your app's main content. Non-intrusive, optional is the idea.

Opt 2: You could ask the above whenever they update from app store or similar.

Opt 3: If space permits, the usual tab/view with the above question/stars option followed by text area for feedback can be done too. You can label the tab as 'Rate'.

Opt 4 You can also use settings or such a general section to have this there, again if space permits.

As a user I rarely rate any apps or websites though, not sure what the general behavior is. You could also design your app logic to collect data to infer user experience based on this data but this isn't the Ux option. It's more of an algorithmic way of doing it. I honestly don't know how easy or difficult it is to do it this way but it should be possible.

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There are a couple of things to think about when you are doing this:

  • You are interupting them, so make it very easy to get back to where they where
  • Only prompt people to review it if you know it will be largely positive, it can and has back fired
  • Don't expect everyone to do it. I always think Ebuyer have a very good, integrated system

I understand why you might want to do this from a business perspective, perhaps offer them surprise reward in your app to soften the blow.

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I am fine with it. They mostly ask you to rate after 5-10 uses of the app. A one time feedback request is fine.

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From my own experience with a 2+ million downloads app: yes, asking the user to rate your app is definitely a good idea! My app's average rating skyrocketed after adding such a prompt.

The important thing is to only show the prompt after the user has used your app a few times.

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The link you mention doesn't actually explain much. The only snippet of information is an implementation issue (your use of a specific library), but that's not relevant at UX. How did you come to the conclusion that "The important thing is to only show the prompt after the user has used your app a few times."? –  André Jan 28 at 8:55
    
That's the same as other people mentioned in their answers: it annoys people to be greeted by a pop-up dialog right after installing the app. Just as it annoys me that you're editing and questioning my answer for no reason. :D –  TomTasche Jan 28 at 12:33

Edit for clarity: I wouldn't use an actual push notification. The following images are to demonstrate a graphical implementation of a modal vs. a banner.

As @mcrumley said, I always find this a lot more annoying:

iphone modal

and this a lot less annoying:

iphone notification

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1  
I have never seen a rating request being pushed. I only ever saw them in the form of a popup when already working with the application itself, like in your first screen shot. –  André Jan 28 at 9:01
    
Agreed, I meant something more along the lines of a banner in the app, not an actual push notification –  smurf Jan 28 at 14:19

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