KPIs for Product Managers

KPIs for Product Managers: crash rate

Learn about the importance of measuring crash rate as a key performance indicator (KPI) for product managers.

As a product manager, your success is often tied to how well your product performs. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you measure and track your progress towards your goals. One of the critical KPIs for product managers is crash rate. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into understanding crash rate, exploring the factors that influence it, measuring and analyzing it, and strategies for reducing it.

Understanding Crash Rate as a KPI

Crash rate is the percentage of times that an app crashes or stops working for users. It's a crucial KPI because it reflects the overall quality and stability of your app. High crash rates can lead to negative user experiences and reviews, decreased engagement, and poor app store ratings. On the other hand, reducing crash rates can improve user satisfaction and retention, boost app store rankings, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Definition of Crash Rate

Crash rate is calculated by dividing the total number of app crashes over a given time period by the total number of app sessions. For example, if your app has 1000 sessions in a day and crashes 10 times, your crash rate would be 1%.

Importance of Monitoring Crash Rate

Monitoring crash rate is crucial for product managers because it helps you identify issues and prioritize improvements that will have the most significant impact on user experience. By monitoring crash rates, you can quickly identify patterns and trends that indicate the root cause of crashes. This information can then be used to develop targeted solutions that address the underlying issues.

It's also essential to track crash rate over time, as it can be an early indicator of larger issues that could affect your product's long-term success. By tracking crash rates over time, you can identify trends and patterns that may indicate larger issues with your app's architecture or design. This information can then be used to make strategic decisions about future development efforts.

How Crash Rate Affects User Experience

High crash rates significantly impact user experience and can lead to users quickly uninstalling an app. When an app crashes, users lose any unsaved data and may have to restart the app, leading to frustration and wasted time. Frequent crashes can also erode user trust and lead to negative reviews, which can harm your app's reputation.

On the other hand, a low crash rate can significantly improve user experience and lead to increased engagement and retention. Users are more likely to recommend an app that is stable and reliable, leading to positive reviews and increased downloads. A low crash rate can also improve your app's reputation and lead to higher app store rankings, which can drive revenue growth.


Crash rate is a crucial KPI that reflects the overall quality and stability of your app. By monitoring crash rates and taking proactive steps to reduce them, you can improve user satisfaction and retention, boost app store rankings, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Key Factors Influencing Crash Rate

Several factors can influence your app's crash rate, including app complexity and architecture, device compatibility and fragmentation, network conditions and connectivity, and user behavior and interaction.

App Complexity and Architecture

The more complex an app is, the higher the likelihood of encountering issues that lead to crashes. Moreover, inefficient app architecture can create bottlenecks and crashes. For instance, an app with a lot of features and functionalities may have a higher crash rate than a simpler app. This is because the more features an app has, the more complex its codebase becomes, and the harder it is to maintain and debug. Additionally, if an app's architecture is not optimized for performance, it may lead to memory leaks, crashes, and other issues.

Device Compatibility and Fragmentation

With hundreds of different device models and operating system versions, it's challenging to ensure that your app works seamlessly across all devices. Compatibility issues often lead to crashes, especially when updates are released. For example, if an app is designed to work on the latest version of iOS, it may not work correctly on older versions. Similarly, an app that works well on one Android device may not work on another due to differences in hardware and software configurations. Fragmentation is a significant challenge for app developers, and it requires careful testing and optimization to ensure that an app works across all devices.

Network Conditions and Connectivity

Many apps rely on network connectivity to function correctly. Issues like slow Wi-Fi speeds or cellular network signal strength can cause crashes or make an app run sluggishly. For example, if an app requires a stable and fast internet connection to load data, it may crash if the network is slow or unstable. Similarly, if an app uses a lot of data, it may cause the device to run out of memory and crash. Developers need to consider these factors when designing and testing their apps to ensure that they work correctly under different network conditions.

User Behavior and Interaction

The way users interact with your app can also affect the crash rate. For example, users may trigger crashes with repeated taps or swipes on the screen. Similarly, if an app requires users to input a lot of data, it may lead to errors and crashes if the input is incorrect or incomplete. Developers need to design their apps with user behavior in mind and ensure that they can handle different types of user interactions without crashing.

In conclusion, several factors can influence your app's crash rate, and developers need to consider all of them when designing and testing their apps. By optimizing app architecture, ensuring device compatibility, considering network conditions, and designing with user behavior in mind, developers can reduce the likelihood of crashes and create a better user experience.

Measuring and Analyzing Crash Rate

Measuring crash rate accurately requires tracking user sessions, crash reports, and other app metrics. It's important to understand how often crashes occur and what factors may contribute to them.

One way to measure crash rate is by calculating the number of crashes per user session. This metric provides insight into how frequently crashes occur and how they impact user experience.

Tools for Tracking Crash Rate

Many software tools and apps can help you monitor and track crash rates. For example, Google Analytics can track app sessions and report crash rate, while Crashlytics provides detailed crash reports and analysis in real-time. These tools can help you identify when and where crashes occur, as well as the specific devices and operating systems affected.

It's important to choose a tool that provides comprehensive data and insights to help you make informed decisions about improving your app's stability.

Identifying Patterns and Trends

It's essential to analyze crash reports to identify patterns and trends that may point to broader issues that need to be addressed. For example, if crashes occur more frequently on a particular device or operating system, it may indicate a compatibility issue that needs to be resolved.

By identifying patterns and trends, you can prioritize fixes and make strategic decisions about improving your app's stability.

Setting Benchmarks and Targets

Establishing benchmarks and targets for crash rate helps set clear goals for improvement. For example, you may set a target of reducing your crash rate by 50% by the end of the quarter. This goal can help motivate your team to prioritize stability improvements and track progress over time.

It's important to set realistic targets based on your app's current stability and performance. Setting overly ambitious targets can lead to frustration and burnout, while setting targets that are too low may not provide sufficient motivation for improvement.

Analyzing Crash Reports and Logs

Reviewing crash reports and logs can help pinpoint specific issues and prioritize fixes. It's essential to gather as much information as possible to understand why the app has crashed and what led to the issue.

By analyzing crash reports and logs, you can identify the root cause of crashes and make targeted improvements to your app's stability. This process may involve collaborating with your development team to identify and resolve coding issues, or working with third-party vendors to address compatibility issues.

Overall, measuring and analyzing crash rate is a critical component of maintaining a stable and reliable app. By using the right tools and strategies, you can identify issues, set goals, and make targeted improvements to enhance the user experience and drive engagement.

Strategies for Reducing Crash Rate

Reducing crash rates requires a proactive approach and often requires changes to app development, testing, and maintenance processes. As mobile apps continue to become more complex and sophisticated, it is increasingly important to prioritize stability and reliability. Here are some additional strategies for reducing crash rates:

Implementing Robust Testing Processes

The more thorough and extensive your testing process, the better your chances of catching issues that can lead to crashes before they affect users. Consider implementing automated testing tools that can simulate various usage scenarios and identify potential issues. Additionally, consider involving beta testers in the testing process to gather feedback and identify any remaining issues before releasing the app to the public.

It is important to note that testing should not be limited to just the app itself. Testing should also include the integration of any third-party libraries or services used by the app. These libraries and services can often introduce compatibility issues that can lead to crashes.

Prioritizing Bug Fixes and Stability Improvements

Focusing on fixing high-priority bugs and stability issues can significantly reduce crash rates. Use crash reports and user feedback to identify the most problematic areas and prioritize fixes. It is important to have a system in place for tracking and addressing reported issues in a timely manner. This can help prevent small issues from turning into larger, more complex problems that can cause crashes.

Additionally, consider setting up a process for automatically collecting crash reports and analyzing them to identify common patterns or issues. This can help you proactively address issues before they become widespread and affect a large number of users.

Optimizing App Performance and Resource Usage

Inefficient use of resources can cause app crashes. Optimizing app performance by reducing resource usage can help reduce crash rates. Consider using tools to monitor app performance and identify areas where improvements can be made. This can include optimizing code, reducing the size of images and other media files, and minimizing network requests.

It is also important to consider the impact of background processes and services on app performance. These processes can consume resources and cause the app to crash or become unresponsive. Consider implementing strategies for managing background processes and services to ensure that they do not negatively impact app performance.

Ensuring Seamless User Experience Across Devices

Finally, ensuring that your app works seamlessly across all device models and operating system versions can help reduce crash rates and improve user satisfaction. This can be challenging, as there are a wide variety of devices and operating systems in use today. However, by testing your app on a variety of devices and operating systems, you can identify and address compatibility issues before they cause crashes.

Additionally, consider implementing strategies for handling device-specific issues, such as varying screen sizes and resolutions. By optimizing your app for a wide range of devices, you can help ensure that users have a seamless experience, regardless of the device they are using.


Crash rate is a critical KPI for product managers, as it reflects the overall quality and stability of your app. Reducing crash rates can lead to improved user satisfaction and retention, boosted app store rankings, and ultimately drive revenue growth. By understanding the factors that influence crash rate, measuring and analyzing it accurately, and implementing proactive strategies for reducing it, product managers can take steps to improve the quality and success of their products.