App Review Tuesdays

[Tweet : ADN : nvALT]

**Updated: ** I didn’t know about it when I thought of this, but there’s a relatively large initiative already started by Luc Vandal called #RateFriday. I don’t care which day you choose to do your civic App Store duty, I’m just happy you’re doing it.

Here’s a thought, albeit a slightly cheesy one: let’s institute App Review Tuesdays. It’s like Casual Friday, but it will make the App Stores better places instead of just revealing your poor understanding of Business Casual.

App Store reviews matter to App developers, especially those who have apps priced over $2.99. An honest review is helpful to other potential buyers, and a few (valid) good reviews can make a big difference.

The problem I see most often is that people use reviews as a customer support forum, leaving bad reviews based on bugs that could have been easily addressed by going straight to the developer. By leaving a one-star review on an app you’re otherwise satisfied with, you’re affecting the developers rankings while simultaneously preventing them from contacting you to help you out. It’s a lose-lose.

On the flip side, if you attempt to contact a developer and don’t receive a response, or get a response that only makes things worse, a review stating such can be helpful. I’ve never met a good developer or company that would let that happen, so negative reviews help weed out the truly bad or scammy devs.

The best way to help your favorite developers out in the App Store is to leave positive reviews wherever they’re deserved. A rating is great, and a thoughtful review is even better. When it comes to $20+ apps, interested customers are going to read a few reviews and make a decision pretty quickly. Give them something worthwhile to read.

Also note that apps you might have reviewed before may deserve updates. The App Stores separate review counts by versions, so as updates and fixes come out, you might want to revise your ratings and reviews.

So here’s what I’m thinking. Set a repeating reminder in your favorite task management app or in your calendar to spend 5 minutes on Tuesdays dropping in a review for your latest favorite app (or apps). For me, this should probably happen weekly, given the rate at which I accumulate and test out apps. It might be bi-monthly or monthly for “normal” people.

If App Review day rolls around and you’re not sure what to drop a rating on, just open up a Spotlight search in Finder (⌘⌥-Space), type in “kind:app” and arrange by “Last Opened.” See what you’ve been using for the last week and take your pick. Then go make a developers day!