Usability problems are an inevitable part of any mobile app. Some can be identified and resolved via basic analytics, while others can be discovered in testing settings.

However, there is one usability issue that’s lurking in the majority of apps, unbeknownst to most mobile app professionals. That issue relates to mobile touch gestures and are described as “unresponsive gestures”.

An unresponsive gesture is a mobile touch gesture that occurs on a part of the app’s screen that does not have any interactive controls/functions. No matter whether a user performs the same gesture once or multiple times, the mobile app does not make any response.

So, how often are unresponsive gestures occurring on mobile apps, where are they happening, and better yet why? Appsee‘s newest report on 1,100 apps seeks to provide some answers on touch gesture usability trends. For instance, in terms of screens, Appsee found that on average, approximately 18 percent of the gestures on an app’s ‘Login’ screen are unresponsive.

Appsee also discovered that certain app categories exhibit notably highest rates of unresponsive gestures. In addition to app categories, Appsee assessed unresponsive gestures by operating system (OS), device, and other common mobile app screens.

Yet, despite the fact that unresponsive gestures are a common occurrence across mobile apps, many mobile professionals are actually unfamiliar with the existence of these errors. This is due to the fact that up until a few years ago, most mobile app analytics tools did not track these types of mobile touch gestures.

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

“This was the case with unresponsive gestures and the tools available on the market,” says Appsee’s CEO Zahi Boussiba. “Unresponsive gestures were making ‘sounds’, in the forms of confused or frustrated users, yet no tool was tracking this specific input activity.”

Now with the industry placing more of an emphasis on UX than ever before, new, robust user experience and usability tools have entered the market. With these tools mobile professionals can better track, understand, and optimize their users’ in-app experiences.

For tracking mobile touch gestures, including unresponsive, an increasing amount of mobile app pros have begun to employ touch heatmaps. Instead of tracking touch gestures on a numeric basis, mobile touch heatmaps provide visual context by displaying the exact location of touch gestures on each screen, the type of gesture, and frequency level.

The mobile apps that had utilized Appsee’s touch heatmaps to monitor unresponsive gestures, saw an average 37 percent decrease over the three versions following a release with Appsee.

To learn more about trends in unresponsive gestures and associated causes, download the FREE report.

touch gesture report download