NBC created an app so fans and followers could tune in in real time, space-time coordinates be damned. Cool idea, right?
When you find the app on Apple's App Store, you might notice the user ratings and that they skew to the poor end of the rating scale, by about 2:1. The first version has 2,783 one-star reviews, with 1,252 five-star ratings. The new version, out since August 1, has a comparable ratio: 535 one-star vs. 309 five-star reviews. I don't know about you, but my curiosity was piqued.
"Messy mess of nothingness." --upstatenyguy
It seems like NBC launched the app before doing simple usability testing. In the five minutes while I had the app on my iPad until I deleted it, I noticed two problems:
- When you open up the app, you're presented with an array of viewing options, a broadcast nirvana for Olympics fans. However, no matter which one you select or how quickly you go from video to video to do a little sampling, you are forced to watch a Citibank TV spot.
- Don't even think about using the app unless you know all your cable TV coordinates. Some one-star reviewers noted that they do not have cable which is why they wanted the app. Others, like me, have cable, but have no idea what our login and password information is because we don't email our cable company.
Are you creating the app to extend your brand or to gather big data and bombard viewers with commercial messages? Nobody objects to commercial messages but being held hostage by commercial messages is a big turn off, resulting in angry fans and a backlash to the creativity and innovation that went into the app to begin with.
If you're going to create an app that also serves as an asset or platform for sponsors, create it in plenty of time before your event and invest in usability testing. Improve it so people want to download it, and not delete it.