The sharing economy is the idea that you can rent almost any service or product imaginable, exactly when you need it. From food delivery (like Postmates) to a ride (Uber) to a person to help you build bookshelves (TaskRabbit), it’s all there.
The idea is built on convenience and mobility, so it’s only natural that apps would play a large part in a company’s success or failure.
But some surprisingly prominent companies have mobile experiences that make you want to scream at every designer.
In its first broad analysis of apps and the sharing economy, ARC from Applause looked at 48 apps and ranked them based on quality. This metric included the entire experience of the app — both the quality of the service itself and of the app’s interface. And to qualify, these apps had to have over 150 app store reviews.
The ranking was based on an 100-point scale, with 67 being around the average for all apps (both in and out of the sharing economy). The sharing economy apps didn’t score well, lagging behind all others by an average of 8 points.
Though many of the highly-rated apps didn’t have many user reviews, Rent the Runway, a designer dress and accessories rental place, and traffic-navigation app Waze, both landed at the top of the chart. Hovering near the bottom were Couchsurfing, Etsy, TaskRabbit, and Kickstarter, though none of these have experiences that are primarily driven by mobile.
Freelancing marketplace Elance was dead last, scoring a dismal 17.
With the continued rise of companies like Uber, the sharing economy is poised to become even more central in our overall economic system. In a recent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 43% of consumers say that owning today actually feels like a burden, and 83% think the sharing economy makes life more convenient and efficient.
Unless you’re using the Elance app. See the chart below.