Appsee’s Mobile Industry Glossary
All the industry terminology you need, at your fingertips
Daily app launches = a metric that measures how many times the app is launched in a day. This metric can be used not only for measuring an app’s popularity, but also whether there are certain times of day, week, or month when the app is launched more times than usual.
Action cohorts = an analysis of users who completed a certain action and then another action within a given time frame, and how much time passed between the two actions.
App not responding (ANR) = when an app becomes frozen and unresponsive to user gestures. A common cause of ANRs is long running code that freezes the UI thread. Other causes may be unrelated to the code, rooted instead in other components such as the operating system.
Conversion rate = the percentage of users who completed a desired action, such as register, complete onboarding, or make an in-app purchase.
Events = any interaction between the app and the user, for example a tap on a button, a swipe on the screen, an in-app purchase, a pop-up, or even a crash.
Funnel = the journey a consumer takes from the first lead to the final conversion. The funnel may include various actions leading up to, or failing to lead up to, a conversion.
Killed by User = when a user encounters a usability issue that makes them “kill” the app, meaning they quit the app and remove it from their background apps.
KPI = Key Performance Indicator. The metrics you use in order to measure how successful your app is.
Lifetime value (LTV) = a metric that measures the cumulative value of a user for the company over a given time period. This metric can vary according to each brand’s needs.
MAU, WAU, and DAU = Monthly Active Users, Weekly Active Users, Daily Active Users. A daily active user is a user who engages with an app in the timeframe of a single day. A monthly active user is a user who engages with an app in the timeframe of a month. These are all metrics that can be used to measure the success of an app.
Navigation paths = a visual analysis of how users navigate between the different screens and buttons of the app.
PII = personally identifiable information, meaning information that can be used to identify, locate, and contact an individual.
Qualitative app analytics = Qualitative app analytics analyze apps and websites not just by numbers, such as number of downloads, but by specific user behavior.
Session = a single user’s entire journey through the app in a single launch, from the moment they open the app to the moment they quit.
Session length = the length of time a user is using an app. For most apps, this is typically the time that the app is open in front of a user’s eyes. Sometimes this may include the time an app is running in the background, such as a music streaming app.
Session recording = a video recording and/or breakdown of actions made by one user over a single launch of the app.
SMAC = an acronym for social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies.
Touch heatmap = a visual analysis of all the gestures made by an aggregation of users on a single screen in an app. Touch heatmaps can show popular areas on a screen as well as usability issues such as unresponsive gestures.
Unresponsive gestures = a usability issue in which a user taps or swipes on a screen and the app does not behave the way the user expected it to behave, resulting in a gesture that gets no response from the app.
User flows = a visual analysis showing how users are experiencing the app, what screens are the most popular and what screens may have usability issues.
API – Application programming interface = a set of functions that the program uses to get the computer/operating system to do things. The API defines what it wants the code to do with the libraries. Programmers use APIs to make their work easier while working with various technologies. For example, they can use libraries written in a different language than the one they’re working on. What is the difference between an API and an SDK? An SDK is a kit that enables developers to create new things. An API allows two languages to communicate with each other. An SDK usually contains an API.
Build file = a build file gives the compiler details on what you want in your program: what libraries, what versions, optimizations and limits, etc. This is important because you want your build file to be good so that later on, as you keep developing your software, your code will become more complicated, and if your build file is good you won’t have as much trouble adding more elements to the software, and when you make changes, the build file will help keep everything from collapsing.
C# (C Sharp) = a relatively old language developed by Microsoft and used for a wide variety of purposes, including developing apps.
Class = a “family” of objects in object-oriented programming.
Class structure = how you identify certain attributes of each class.
Compiler = a compiler turns programming languages into a lower-level language that a computer can understand.
Dependency manager/Package management system = a set of software tools that automate the process of installing and upgrading software so that it’s consistent, and helps you manage the libraries that make the program run. This helps increase scalability.
HTML5 = the fifth version of HTML and a language which can be used alongside other languages to create apps for various devices.
Identifier = how you refer to certain elements in the code.
Java = a programming language used to create the Android operating system and typically used to develop Android apps.
Memory location = where elements are found in the computer’s memory, referenced in digits.
Native apps = apps developed for a specific platform in a language that is designated for that platform. Because they are written for one platform instead of several, native apps tend to run more smoothly than hybrid apps. To run a native app on different platforms, you would have to write it each time in the corresponding language, meaning it would take longer and be more expensive to develop.
Object = a variable, function, or data structure; a location in memory with a value and referenced by an identifier.
Objective-C = a programming language developed by Apple and used for iOS before the company began using Swift.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) = an open-source programming language used originally to create web pages and now also for creating apps, for both iOS and Android.
Python = a popular programming language for apps, named for the comedy troupe Monty Python.
Ruby = a programming language that is easy to learn and can be used to create apps for Android, iOS, and Windows.
Scalability = the ability of a system to keep working even when you add more elements to it.
SDK – software development kit = an SDK is a set of software development tools that help create application for certain software packages, operating systems, etc.
Swift = a programming language created by Apple and used for iOS, based on Objective-C.
Subroutine = a sequence of instructions that make the program perform a certain task, packaged as a unit. This unit can then be used in programs wherever that particular task should be performed.
Xamarin = a platform that enables programmers to easily create apps using C#.
Empty state = an empty state is a type of UI design that’s intended to keep app users engaged when there’s no relevant data to display.
Flat design = a type of UI design that uses minimalistic style elements, with the goal of creating a clean, sharp, and streamlined user experience.
Friction = an element of design that causes users to leave or quit. This may be a large amount of text, a dissonant color scheme, a badly-design menu, or faulty navigation.
Hamburger button = an icon that denotes a list of options or additional features. The hamburger button is a controversial concept in design, and goes by many names, including hotdog, pancake, double oreo, sandwich, tribar, triple bar, or options button.
Human Computer Interaction = the study of how humans and computers interact, and how design helps facilitate that interaction.
IxD – Interaction design = an approach to design that focuses on how the user interacts with the product.
Least effort = the principle of least effort states that people want to do the least amount of effort in order to achieve a result. UX/UI designers need to keep this principle in mind when creating the interface of the app.
Microinteractions = Microinteractions are tiny actions that take place while completing a bigger action, such as confirming the payment when completing a shopping cart funnel. They are important because they can create habit when users 1) know what they’re supposed to do and 2) do it repeatedly. Example: pull-to-refresh on Facebook.
Onboarding = the process a user has to complete in order to onboard, or begin using the app. This may be a sign-up process for a social media app, a subscription process for an entertainment app, or a personal information submission for a health or fitness app.
Persona = the practice of creating a persona for each type of user or customer, in order to create an ideal product for them. A persona is fictional but based in research, and presents a typical, average description of the user, including their personality traits, average age, background, preferred social media channels, the websites they frequent, et cetera.
Personalization = when certain features or screens of an app are personalized for a certain user or type of user, in order to provide a more seamless user experience.
Prototype = a visual representation of the app, more finalized than the wireframe and providing a more accurate representation of user interactions.
Responsive design = a design that ensures that the app continues to look good across different devices and operating systems.
Skeuomorphic design = as opposed to flat design, skeuomorphic design tries to imitate the real-life objects on which it is based.
Usability = the degree to which a product is easy to understand, use, and learn to use properly.
Usability test = when you allow a group of test users to use your app and report back on their experience of it.
Wireframe = a blueprint for the design of an app. The wireframe includes each element of the app and how it will be structured, as well as user interactions.
A/B testing = the practice of testing out two (or more) different designs, app versions, or ads on real users in order to decide which one is better.
Agile = an approach to product management, particularly software development, which tries to achieve maximum efficiency and flexibility by working in short “sprints” and holding frequent, short meetings called “scrums” to review the work and plan the next sprint.
ARR = Accounting rate of return. The amount of profit (return) you should expect from an investment/initiative. In SaaS, it means how much you get from your subscribers.
Beta launch = when you launch your app but only to some users, in order to iron out any final wrinkles and get more reviews on the app prior to launch.
Go-to-market = a plan of how the product will be launched, priced, promoted, and sold.
Lean = an approach to management based on the idea of continuous improvement. Lean incorporates frequent small changes with the goal of achieving maximum efficiency, or in other words, creating the best possible product for the customers (according to research) with the fewest possible resources.
MVP (minimum viable product) = the first version of the product that the company deems good enough to deliver to users, usually to early adopters. Delivering the MVP can provide the company with some early feedback and analytics, helping the team improve the product before the next release.
Roadmap = a plan or strategy document plotting out the product’s objectives, the steps to achieve them, and the company’s vision for the product.
Use case = an imaginary scenario of how and why a certain type of customer will buy and use the product.
Value proposition = a description of the product’s value to its intended audience.
Waterfall = an approach to product management, particularly in engineering and software development, characterized by “phases” or “stages”, typically the planning or “requirements” stage, followed by analysis, design, coding, testing, operations.
Call to action (CTA) = a phrase or sentence meant to incite readers to complete an action. “Call now”, “Try our product for free”, “Visit us today” are all common CTAs.
Cost-per-Lead = an important metric for marketers, meaning how much it costs the company to create one lead.
Churn = the percentage of users that you lose over a given period of time.
Evergreen content = content that never becomes irrelevant or outdated, and can be used continuously over a long period of time.
Guerrilla marketing = a marketing strategy that uses low-cost, efficient, and sometimes innovative methods to reach potential leads.
In-app messaging = messages sent to the user by the brand within the app, usually in the form of a pop-up message. This is a way to let users know about updates, new features, special offers, and other news.
In-app purchase (IAP) = an option to purchase extra features, content, or subscriptions within an app. These can be virtual currency, subscriptions, power-ups, boosts and special powers, shortened wait times, and many more. In-app purchases are quick and seamless to use.
Inbound vs. outbound marketing = two types of marketing efforts that go hand in hand:
Interstitial ads = full-screen ads that cover the interface of an app during transition points such as pausing a game.
LOPA = Leveraging Other People’s Audiences. A growth-hacking technique that involves collaborating with other companies or individuals, and placing marketing content on websites, blogs, or social media channels in order to gain the attention of their audiences.
Loyalty programs = a marketing strategy that gives customers special discounts, offers, or gifts in order to keep them coming back to the brand. Read more on loyalty program best practices here.
MQLs = marketing-qualified lead. A person whose level of engagement is high enough to indicate that they are likely to convert. For example, an MQL may have filled out a form or downloaded some content from the brand’s website, or perhaps placed some items in a shopping cart but didn’t yet complete their purchase.
Multi-channel marketing = marketing that is done across several channels, and gives potential customers several options for converting. For example, a brand can use a website, social media, email marketing, and telemarketing simultaneously. Customers can then choose where they prefer to make their purchase via the website, email, social media, or an actual store.
Opt-out = the option to not receive any marketing content. For example, marketing emails include an opt-out link that removes them from the sender’s email list.
Referral program = when a company offers its customers a reward, discount, or some kind of incentive, in exchange for bringing in a new customer. Sometimes the reward is offered to both the referrer and the customer they bring in.
Remarketing by intent = When you target potential customers for the second time after they’ve already shown interest in your product, for instance by visiting your website or starting to fill a shopping cart but then abandoning it.
TOFU, MOFU and BOFU = the different stages of the sales funnel.
USP – unique selling proposition = the company’s features that stand out over the competition’s.