Catching that elusive 5 star App Store rating.

After months of hard work (and all your cash) you’ve finally levelled up and launched your app to the App Store. You’re eagerly awaiting to see how your pride and joy will be received by the public. You keep a very active watch on your App Store page while the downloads creep up and the reviews start to roll in. But wait, no one has given your app a 5 star rating yet? Surely something must be wrong.

It is. However it has nothing to do with your app. The current rating system is flawed and you will never win. If your app doesn’t have a 4–5 star rating we assume something is wrong with the app, when in fact it is more likely an issue of perception.

This really came to my attention the other day when I was prompted to “rate my experience” of an app I had just installed from the App Store. I awarded said app a rating of 5 because:

  1. It didn’t crash. Which is a HUGE accomplishment and;
  2. It did what it said it would do.

However, this particular app has a rating of around 3.8 so (breaking every rule of the internet) I read the comments. There were multiple 1 star ratings because “My driver smelt bad” or “The taxi was dirty”. This is a great example of why your app will never be the star attraction you hope it will be. The public are rating you on so much more than just your app. They will rate you on your company, customer service, brand and any political issues, all from within the ratings section on your App Store page.

This misconception is due to the constant raising of our expectations with regard to technology. We’ve forgotten how wonderful and amazing this tiny, powerful device we hold in our hand really is. We have grown to expect it to do things we don’t even know we wanted nor needed it to do.

So if you are expecting that very rare 4.5+ rating, be prepared. It’s not just as easy as having a perfect app. — It’s having the perfect product.