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07.04.2022
Charline Jéhannin
Mobile performance
Blog

Monitoring your mobile performance: which Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) solution is right for you?

As nearly 50% of website revenues are generated from purchases on mobile devices, it has become mission-critical to get a handle on mobile performance and the mobile user experience, all sectors combined.

Why monitor mobile performance?

People believe that the e-commerce sector tends to be less affected by poor user experience on mobile. Not so! The banking sector least of all, since 70% of bank clients regularly check their accounts on the mobile application. In addition to external applications, the experience on internal applications or intranet sites is just as vital. Whether mobile devices or applications are used by conductors in railway stations, in production at a factory, or on recruiting platforms, every error or unavailability negatively affects employee productivity.

What are the performance criteria for mobile usages?

Mobile website

Performance is an important part of users’ digital journeys. In fact, recent studies like the one by Doubleclick find that full loading of a screen correlates strongly with marketing indicators for conversion. More than half (53%) of all users leave a mobile website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
Apart from loading times, it is important to measure the following metrics:

  • Time to Interact (TTI), the time until the page can handle user interactions (click, scroll, etc.)
  • Speed Index, which determines whether the visual display is completed speedily by measuring the progression of page display
  • Google Core Web Vitals:
    • First Input Delay (FID), which measures the time from the moment when the user interacts with the page for the first time and the moment when the browser is able to respond to the interaction
    • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) corresponding to the time it takes to display the element that occupies the largest display surface of the screen
    • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) which represents the stability of the display

Mobile application

For native applications, there is no technical standard to measure the visual loading of the screen. We advise differentiating between:

  • the time the user spends on the screen (“screen display” time). This is a metric which closely represents the user’s behavior, but counts time for inactivity and reading information
  • the initial loading time of the screen. Because this is often made up of several modules (main class, webviews, etc.) it is difficult to reconstitute. For this you could rely on a ‘custom’ metric which a developer can set as a timer at relevant points in the code.
  • the fluidity of refresh during use can be measured in frames per second (FPS). The ideal in terms of performance is 60 FPS, which provides an impression of maximum fluidity (for instance in scrolling through drop-down lists).

How to monitor mobile applications

There are 3 approaches, each with its specificities in deployment, measurement, and diagnostics:

  • SDK (“Software Development Kit”) involves inserting the technology directly into the mobile phone application to collect measurements.
  • Real-User Monitoring is the equivalent of the SDK, but for web applications, and is a good fit for progressive web apps
  • Robot technologies which are external to the application and therefore non-intrusive.

Comparison of types of mobile monitoring solutions

SDK

SDKs are the most suited to monitoring iOS or Android native applications. The SDK can see 100% of user sessions and provides you with very sophisticated diagnostics. However, because it is installed within the application, deploying it can be quite complex.

RUM (Real-User Monitoring)

RUM can monitor all web-type applications, including progressive web apps. It instruments the web components that are on the application to achieve visibility into its operation. Like SDKs, it can see 100% of user sessions.

Robot

The robot can monitor web applications as well as native applications. It is outside the application, which means that it can measure even your outsourced systems.
Automated measurement performed by a robot can measure the time a test user spends on the screen, with visual controls that can be broken down into different steps in a transaction. In the event of a disruption, the step where it occurred in the transaction can be identified by screenshot.

What’s the ideal solution for monitoring mobile performance?

The ideal solution for monitoring the performance of mobile services must be able to:

  • monitor native apps as well as progressive web apps
  • include a dimension for geographical area of measurement (local, regional, global)
  • provide for the essential and sensitive question of security, for example with multi-factor authentication (MFA), Zero Trust
  • operate with real devices
  • be up to date with the most recent versions (iOS, Android)
  • detect incidents
  • offer good ergonomics; user-friendly

How Ekara can help you monitor your mobile applications

Ekara Mobile is an offer that rises to all of these challenges. It can monitor every type of device (iPhone, Samsung, and others), with coverage from over 20 locations around the world. We have real devices in our smartphone farms: iPhone 15, Samsung Android 10, and more.
Ekara Mobile makes Android mobile devices available to you in the cloud. This way you can virtualize the applications installed. The solution allows for easier deployment of variants of Android configurations as the need arises. You can collect performance measures for regional markets (Europe, USA, etc.) or for different system versions (Android 9/10/11).
Ekara also provides a graphical Studio for creating your mobile user journeys. Within this no code Studio are graphical blocks which correspond to the actions that users perform time and again on mobile devices (tap, swipe, drag & drop). This way, it is very simple to build your own user journeys.

To find out more, why not watch the replay of our webinar on mobile performance.