The bane of any developer’s existence is poor reviews, especially when the latter haven’t been earned; sometimes, users are just vicious over things like font changes. Keep that in mind when you watch the following clip: a few developers got together to read their own undeserved one-star reviews, and it’s pretty sensational.
An obvious riff on Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘celebrities read mean tweets’ skit on his ‘Live’ late-night talkshow, ‘Developers Read 1 Star Reviews’ is the nerd version of celebrity. It even features some developers you may be familiar with, such as James Thompson of PCalc, David Smith of Sleep++ (and many other apps with ‘++’ appended to them), Marco Arment from Overcast fame and Oisin Prendiville, developer of Castro.
The trio take turns reading one-star reviews, some of which go to lengths to insult the developer directly (Arment, in this case; a natural target as he’s fairly outspoken on social media).
Prendiville, however, suffers the ultimate head-scratcher. A reviewer says that if the app’s font size was a touch larger, they’d have given it a five-star review. Who knew users could be so sensitive to subtle changes?
We should note that these three developers absolutely get it right more often than not, so it’s not as if these one-star reviews are commonplace for them. Each app is uniquely interesting and useful, and all carefully adhere to Apple’s own guidelines for app development (all average four stars or better, too).
It’s a really funny video, and shows that while one-star reviews sting a bit, taking them in stride – especially when it’s about a font or app icon change – is a lot healthier than dwelling on them. More often than not, the apps that earned these poor reviews had a long list of other users praising the changes. You just can’t win ’em all, at least not every time.