First time use is my ultimate go/no-go test for a mobile app. And I admittedly have a low tolerance for issue or failures: zero tolerance.
The first time I try a mobile app on my phone I expect it to install quickly, load quickly, be easy for me to use, and work as advertised. Zero tolerance for speed bumps, poor UI, failure to meet expectations, etc. I immediately delete any app that fails to meet these standards right off the bat.
I recently tried the Bizzcard iPhone app. Seemed pretty cool...it only does one thing, which is to send a digital copy of your business card. The app claims the ability to import a pic of your business card for use. I tried it: the image size taken by my iPhone camera is too big for the Bizzcard app. Gone. Deleted. Might be a workaround or a fix. Don't care. It didn't may the cut at first use. Don't have the time or the willpower to fuss with it.
Ditto for Photoshop for the iPhone. The process for linking my existing Adobe Creative Suite account to the iPhone app was too hard. Too much manual input. The mobile app wouldn't accept the login info from the web account. Gone. Deleted. Fail.
I don't think I'm alone in this...the Low Tolerance club membership has been growing over the past few years. And I don't think it only applies to mobile apps.
I had a recent discussion with a customer who just killed a SaaS project and went back to their legacy ERP applications. You'll love this. Their provisioning went well, their partner brought up a conference room pilot in days, and set down the customers team of super users in front of the app. Question 1: "How does this work?" Answer: "We'll conduct a half-day class to teach you navigation." The questioner immediately got up and left the meeting without another word...walked by to her office and called the company lawyers: "Terminate the subscription and partner contract - today. We're done." She is VP of Finance. Her reasoning: "A four-hour training class on basic navigation tells me the app isn't ready for our culture of zero patience for unnecessary difficulty. They can come back and try again when they're ready. In the meantime, we don't have time for that nonsense." Well-known company, good mid-size SaaS vendor, strong partner. Gone. Deleted. Card-carrying member of the Low Tolerance Club.
BTW, this particular story? Not an isolated incident by any stretch of the imagination. In today's marketplace, software users have high expectations and low tolerances when it comes to the first use experience. Get it right and you have a customer; blow it and you're irrevocably out the door...recovery not likely.
First use...it's the key to customer adoption. How do you handle it? Feel free to share with the class if you have something that works...