Cr-app updates

Posted On: Sep 18, 2015

So, apps. Love em' right!? Thousands of functions, features and purposes all bundled under that little icon on your phone or tablet.

It's great to know that in those moments where there's nothing else to do, time to kill or eye contact to be avoided, you have that little treasure chest of applications to call on, giving you endless places of solace whether it's for the latest news, catching up on everyone's photos of dinner or a quick (or not so quick) round of gaming.

Great!

Except, I'm frequently frustrated by the same problem, and game developers, I'm sorry but I'm looking at you.

Now, being a developer myself (some may question that) I totally get the need for urgent bug fixes or incremental updates to patch a hole in the source code somewhere, I get it, it's sensible and of course the right thing to do.

But here's my problem.

As I write this I'm on a train back home from London, the phone reception is patchy for 2g so forget any reliance on 3 or 4g. So I've shrugged off browsing for now but I can still jump on to Angry Birds and pass the time. Win!

Actually, lose :(

When I launch the app I get a pop up saying, to continue playing I need to update, really!? I don't have the data signal to do that, and there's no option to update later, it's now or, well not never, but pretty much now if I want to fling birds at pigs for an hour.

As a UX practice, this is pretty bad, as a user I shouldn't have to face an absolute like this, would you expect this situation any time else?

"If you want to do X then you need to do Y first"

"But I can't do Y yet, I will, but at the moment it isn't possible or necessary"

"If you want to do X then you need to do Y first"

And so on.

Surely it's possible to defer the update for now, what's so critical that I can't play now (offline I might add) and update later?

I hate roadblocks in any user journey, it's an instant red mark against your brand/product/company.

We should always be able to offer a compromise to the user, give them the opportunity to continue their journey but make them aware that an update etc is needed but it isn't a blocker to the immediate experience.

So as it stands I didn't get to play Angry Birds, but I did write this article so every cloud...

  • UX
  • Apps
  • mobile
  • web development