Slow load times and big file sizes will kill your app—especially outside North America. How do you deliver rich content and still have happy users? Join our latest VB Live event, where we’ll take a deep dive into best practices for both the mobile web and apps.
You have one chance to make a good first impression when a user downloads your app, and too many games are blowing it. Of course, you’re eager to show off your gorgeous graphics, your slick gameplay, your endless delightful content, but your users can’t enjoy themselves if they’re finding themselves continuously stuck on an endless loading screen instead.
If they’re not able to get into your game within a few seconds, and if there are big pauses and delays in gameplay—people just don’t have the attention span for that. They will leave, they will unsubscribe, they will uninstall, which is the ultimate unsubscribe.
And outside the U.S., the high-speed wifi and robust mobile data infrastructure Americans take for granted may not apply, so you could be dead in the water right from the start if your user has to wait for the app to download in the first place.
“We try first to have the smallest amount of baggage in our applications, while trying to give the most complete experience,” says Martín Domínguez, CIO at Etermax.
They’re the company that created the quiz app Trivia Crack, which was only knocked out of the “most downloaded app in the world spot” by Snapchat in 2016, according to App Annie, and has been downloaded more than 200 million times. Across the world. They’ve launched in more than 35 countries, so they need to be intimately familiar with what it takes to make sure their games move fast the first time and every time.
“Start with a small app,” Domínguez says. “Make the user experience on the first level immediate. And when the user is engaged and wants to see more, then we offer the extra levels. And when the user needs any other features, keep downloading them only when they’re needed or when they really need the access.”
But then the trick—and it is tricky—is to offer the fastest download experience for the user, wherever they are in the world.
“In our country, Argentina, it’s really difficult to have a steady internet connection when you’re not on wifi or an internet provider,” Domínguez explains. “I myself don’t download any update from the app store if I’m on 3G or GSM. I only download the update on wifi, and that’s the standard here.” That is far from unusual in countries across the globe, and download speeds are usually up to the CDN.
So your best bet is not just to keep the app small, but keep files as small as possible, by any means necessary.
“We’ve learned from experience that any kind of asset optimization is really great for any app,” says Domínguez. “For us it’s really important for us to keep the application small to give a good first impression for the user.”
He recommends keeping apps no larger than 200 or 300 MB, if possible, and keeping an eye on file size is essential.
“We use TexturePacker for most of our textures, and we saw a lot of change in our file size when we used CompressPNG, or when we pack the texture in more than one sprite for example,” Domínguez says. “But don’t duplicate assets–have just one sprite with all your assets and reutilize it in different places where you need it.”
And they’re always looking for new ways to add new content to their already rich apps while optimizing load times, speeding up downloads to not miss a step.
“We reached 25 million users per day on our best moment in the United States,” Domínguez says. “And we’re trying to keep up with that success by making more games and give great experiences to our users.”
To learn more about how a global superstar app keeps its users in every country happy with their loading times, what technologies you should get your hands on, and more, don’t miss this VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
In this VB Live event, you’ll:
- Identify the best practices for optimizing load times for games with rich content
- Find out the risks are if you fail to optimize load times, including the dangers associated with global reach
- Discover what to do first, and which technologies can help you get there quicker
- Secil Watson, EVP Head of Digital Solutions, Wells Fargo
- David Holtkamp, CEO, Crimson Moon
- Jonathan Meson, CEO, VisualBlasters
- Martín Domínguez, CIO at Etermax
- Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat
This VB Live event is sponsored by Akamai.