Marco wrote a script to tease out the most commonly appearing words in 1 and 5 star App store user reviews and found some interesting trends. Among them, the word “useless” is surprisingly popular for 1-star reviews, and it’s often for pretty narrowly defined reasons.
Here are the most common words for 5 and 1-star reviews:
awesome, worth, thanks, amazing, simple, perfect, price, everything, ever, must, ipod, before, found, store, never, recommend, done, take, always, touch
waste, money, crashes, tried, useless, nothing, paid, open, deleted, downloaded, didn’t, says, stupid, anything, actually, account, bought, apple, already
The frequency of the word “useless” in 1-star reviews bothers Marco. “More than any other adjective, reviewers condemn apps they don’t like as “useless,” he writes. “Subjectively, I usually see this in contexts in which the app doesn’t have a minor feature that the reviewer wants, or where it doesn’t perform well in a rare use-case, so the reviewer unfairly declares the app “useless”".
What is it about the word “useless” that user reviewers are drawn to using it? Is it simply a fancier way of saying “fail?”