Tag: mobile

Wine Blogger’s Conference 2015

Hi there Wine Bloggers!

Thank you so much for coming to my talk today – I hope you found it useful! If you’re in my talk right this minute, you can follow along with my slides here. If you’re active on Twitter, I’d love to follow you back. I am also, like all humans in 2014, on LinkedIn.

As promised, if you’d like a PDF version of the Most Important Thing exercise or the Mobile Readiness Checklist, you can find them here:

The Most Important Thing

The Mobile Readiness Checklist

Here is a link to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. The resources on that page are an outstanding resource.

If you found my talk interesting and would like to learn more, here are some places to start:


If you found my talk interesting but wish it had moar code, I can’t recommend highly enough Brad Frost’s This is Responsive github site.

Finding Hospitality in the Numbers


It’s always a funny thing when you find a problem you weren’t expecting – especially when spending time with usage data, taking a moment to blink once or twice and consider why something looks odd can really bear dividends.

When doing a fairly standard rundown of the support statistics for our in-app support, I noticed that, despite making up about 40% of our userbase, our Android app users were submitting as many support requests as our iOS users. This meant that an Android user was almost twice as likely to contact support as an iOS user.

This seemed strange – I did some digging. Was the Android app more difficult to use? The app store rating for the Android app was actually higher than that of the iOS app. It was also noteworthy that the Android users accessed the in-app FAQ about half as much as iOS users – perhaps for some reason Android users tended to speed past the FAQ and go directly to support? Perhaps the FAQ wasn’t displaying properly?

Like anyone feeling stumped, I brought the question to the team, hoping someone would find some insight where I didn’t – and it turned out that our Android application in fact offered more points of access to support than the iOS app – that is, the Android app offered folks a chance to reach support at points of failure and error messages, whereas the iOS device did not. All of these additional access points did not require a customer to go through the usual flow of FAQ before reaching out to support.

Mystery solved. We’re increasing the number of access points to support in the iOS app.

Working on the mobile apps has revealed to me again and again that the lower the barrier to entry is, the better you’ll be able to hear from your customers. They have a lot of valuable things to say – given the opportunity, they’ll help you to make better things.

If you’re keeping track, yes, this is the second story about working with the mobile team where I end up increasing the number of incoming support requests. Yes, I am the worst.

Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence.


Over the last month or so, I’ve been working closely with our Mobile development folks to take a closer look at the way we provide support for and through our apps.

One of the greatest points that was illustrated to me very clearly was one that I’d heard probably a hundred times before but never really internalized: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

What do I mean when I say this? Let’s take a look at the Android and iOS Forums for the WordPress App. Here’s Android. Here’s iOS. These forums are not what you’d call super active support forums – maybe 2-3 posts and replies a day, all answered fairly quickly and accurately by folks who can help.

When I started in with the mobile support work, I imagined that the response from customers to our in-app help option would be fairly similar – low-volume, fairly straightforward, entirely in a language I speak and understand.

This was wrong – very wrong. Our in-app support (powered by Helpshift) received 1400 support requests last week. That’s 200 new issues opened every day, larger than our forum activity by an order of magnitude.

By including access to support within the application itself, we lowered the barrier of entry, and suddenly we found ourselves with truckloads more support requests – requests that we never would have had access to using only forum-based support. While it may be more work in terms of sheer reply volume, it is also offers far more insight into the app and our customers, and we are already improving the app experience using these new insights.

Assuming that the low volume of support requests in the forums indicated a low level of demand for support was an example of confusing an absence of evidence for evidence of absence. Simply because we did not see them, or offer them an outlet to be heard, did not mean that that need for support did not exist.

Remember that your customers might have needs and questions you’re not hearing because they don’t know how to tell you. How can you listen in a new way?