Our App has Ratings in both extremes equally, does this mean our app has a UX issue? Some users are die hard fans of our app and others are haters, based on the reviews. We are confused on how to fix this.

App Rating equal on both extremes

App Link: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id640516535

  • 11
    Without including any of the reviews or screen shots of the app or anything like that we aren't really in a place to judge why your ratings are that split. It could be that the app crashes half the time but is great when it works. It could work on iOS but not on Android. It could cater to technologically adept people so they vote high but those not familiar enough to use it vote low. It could really be anything from the amount of information we have.
    – DasBeasto
    Sep 25, 2015 at 17:55
  • 2
    I appreciate that you are respectfully trying to avoid promotion, but this is a case where including a link can be helpful. The accepted answer, as far as I can tell, was written by someone who tracked down your app and read the reviews. You might edit in a link for this specific question. Sep 25, 2015 at 18:49
  • 1
    @JonathanHayward I've now added the link in the question.
    – codetiger
    Sep 26, 2015 at 4:06
  • It doesn't mean anything in and of itself.
    – DA01
    Sep 29, 2015 at 21:47

7 Answers 7


After looking at some of the reviews, I'm finding a few common problems that relate to UX.

  1. People want to import their own models. They expected this to be an option.
  2. The instructions are unclear. Since this is an animation program, the learning curve is going to be a bit higher than normal. Consider making some tutorial videos, or documentation.
  3. People feel ripped off because you charge for most of the models. Consider providing more free options.
  4. Remember, this is a free app and you're trying to monetize it with in-app purchases. You're going to piss some people off. You'll just need to live with some bad reviews.
  • 4
    Good analysis. And chimes with my points. People wanting to import their own models is an unmet expectation - it doesn't do what users want it to (do some research). The instructions being unclear are a communication problem. Tutorials and /or documentation are a good idea, but making your apps features self-evident is much better. And what to charge when is largely a processes of trial and error. It's probably better over the long term to get more happy users paying less, than have a bunch of unhappy users which put people off.
    – dwkns
    Sep 24, 2015 at 10:53
  • I disagree on point 3 to add more free options. The problem with in app purchases is mostly not the fact that these exist, the problem is often the lack of communication about it. Make it clear in the app store description and in the app itself. And Paul is right with point 4, some people can’t be satisfied. Also don’t forget to focus on the positive reviews too!
    – jazZRo
    Sep 24, 2015 at 11:41
  • Thanks to everyone who answered. Paul's answer is more easy to understand, though every answered helped a lot. 1, Import models option is available but users are not able to figure-out. So its a UI/UX issue here. 2. We have to work on instructions, its pretty old. 3. We've already made all characters free, the new ones to be added will be charged in future, right now we are targeting retaining users. 4. Do you thin switching to Ads will work out?
    – codetiger
    Sep 24, 2015 at 12:10
  • 5
    People hate ads. Don't use them unless you have to. And to jazZRo's point he's right, in-app purchases are not a bad thing per-say, it's how they are communicated / implemented and the balance you strike between what is free and what is paid for. The best examples provide a good set of features/content for free, but the really cool stuff is paid for.
    – dwkns
    Sep 24, 2015 at 15:23
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    The one thing that annoys me in apps I install to try is, even though I know it has IAP, they're not separate, so when I click on something I expect to work, I get a big "BUY NOW" pop up. I personally prefer if when they're all wrapped up in a show, and if any add UI elements, they're hidden until I buy them.
    – TMH
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:02

Yes, you do.

Something is upsetting a significant portion of your users. The experience they are having is, to put it politely, sub-optimal. Therefore you have a User Experience problem.

I suspect however you were actually asking if you had a UI problem.

Without more information it's very hard to know what the problem actually is. But here are some likely candidates.

1) Users can't achieve what they want or expect to. You have a UI problem. Usability test your product.

2) It doesn't solve your users problems. Do some user research find out what they really want.

3) Users are buying / downloading by mistake. You have a communication problem. Your product description may sucks or you're making claims that are not true.

You need more data. Are there any written reviews that can give you clues? Have you done any usability testing? Have you surveyed your users?

Remember the best way to find out what users really think is to ask them. Concentrate on the unhappy people, they will tell you much much more than the fanboys.

  • 1) Most users were complaining on too many In-app Purchases and in the last update we made all free. 2) Many people say they don't understand. We are not able to guess why.
    – codetiger
    Sep 24, 2015 at 7:06
  • 2
    If you don't have any analytics in the app yet I'd recommend adding some. Track how users use the app, do they tend to quit after hitting a paywall for IAP? Do they get part way through creating something and stop?... If so what was the last thing they were trying to do?... Maybe that feature is too confusing?
    – scunliffe
    Sep 24, 2015 at 10:29
  • Too many in-app purchases will always put people off. Remember that once someone has made a poor review, it's unlikely that they will return and change their rating. So only analytics from when you did the free update can tell you anything now.
    – dwkns
    Sep 24, 2015 at 10:55
  • And the only way to find out what people do/don't understand is to ask them. Do some user testing and you will very quickly find 80% of your problems. It doesn't have to take long or be expensive. Check out usertesting.com/product/mobile-application-testing and magitest.com and uxmag.com/articles/eight-lessons-in-mobile-usability-testing and mobtest.com (I have no affiliation with any of these).
    – dwkns
    Sep 24, 2015 at 10:57

I think this kind of abnormality points to a subjective, emotional problem rather than objective one. At some point users see something in the app that literally appalls them. For UX issue to cause such high emotions, it has to be big.

My guesses without reading the reviews would be:

  1. The app doesn't meet one of the big user needs, and it is not clarified in the description, so users are very disappointed at a certain point when they see they have downloaded something that is not going to help them (despite it was hinted so in the app info).

  2. The app fails users at a certain crucial point, maybe at the end of a long process, or right at the conversion climax.

Any other factor that could cause such strong emotional response, could work, too. Maybe your strategy changed recently with prices getting higher or your social channels are transmitting a message the userbase strongly disagrees with (think Martin Shkreli).


First of all, sorry for general answer.
If there's an average rating present, I wouldn't rely on that rating at all.

The reason is simple: users would like to have their opinion the most important one. Sorry, psychology is inevitable.
And what's the most effective way to alter the average, if not adding a very small (1) or very large (5) value to the dataset? Any rating between min and max will have less influence, and is seen as inferior option, effectively making the choice boolean.
Also, users tend to leave bad rates (often with rude comments) if they encounter any problems with app, even it's their own fault (e.g. installing on incompatible device even if there's a list of supported ones). Anonymity in the web is the main reason of such trolling.

Users that rate honestly , with constructive feedback, are, unfortunately, in minority. Issue is not specific to App Store, Google Play and YouTube, which both used 5 star rating, had the same problem. YouTube solved it with like/dislike (boolean) rating.

  • Thanks, I agree the later part of your answer. However our doubt with having extreme responses is, Users who take time and really understand the app are giving 5 Star. Others who just expect things to happen in just 2 clicks hate the app coz they have to do a lot of work. This assumption is very much related to the UX. So if we improve UX/UI slightly we thought we could add more happy users.
    – codetiger
    Sep 25, 2015 at 10:58

I would say that the ratings you're getting can't be considered as conclusive but may be indicative of something that you need to investigate further.

I'd try analysing the comments and then running some further test with your users; maybe a simple NPS survey about a particular feature that users are mentioning or, for a more detailed approach, even a Kano Model analysis for a few key features to find out which of them users cannot envision using your app without.


This is good news: it might happen that your site has two different audiences, and you are targeting a single one.
You might try to find out who they are, may be by posting a survey to those users who rate you low.
Once you are done identifying them, you might build another persona and validate your design with this new member on board.
Or eventually set a segmenting artifact in the landing page and make a set of pages more suited to the low-raters needs.
This additional audience might be an interesting business opportunity.


The fact that you have more 1-star ratings vs 5-star ratings indicates a problem, of any kind, UX or not. Your app company should look into why so many people dislike your product - it may be UX related, or maybe not.

  • 1
    Whoever you are downvoting me can disagree all you want, but the fact is he has 270 (218+52) people with 1-2 star reviews, and only 255 (53+202) 4-5 star reviews. The 3-star reviews are neutral. Sometimes people really dislike updates in the new version, or there's a bug that hasn't been fixed yet.
    – user70848
    Sep 25, 2015 at 14:53
  • 7
    I think the problem with your answer is that it just states that there is a problem (what the OP asked about) without giving any reasoning at all. The answer offers virtually nothing except for your opinion.
    – Tibos
    Sep 26, 2015 at 5:23
  • 1
    And how can anyone claim that there is a UX problem, specifically, without user testing, without understanding the business requirements, and without knowing if the app is doing what it is supposed to do? There is a problem, that is a fact. However, to claim that it's a UX problem, specifically, vs any other reason, which other people have, really is an opinion. In fact, one of the last comments I see on iTunes says "Thank you for following my app crash suggestion" and leaves 5 stars. Bug! If the OP is expecting us to download the app and test it, that's out of scope IMO.
    – user70848
    Sep 27, 2015 at 15:00
  • 1
    +1 This is actually the best answer for the question that was asked. This is essentially pointing out that something is wrong, but there's no way to determine what that might be looking solely at a list of star ratings.
    – DA01
    Sep 29, 2015 at 21:49

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