When not done right, an app can easily become a marketing expense for nothing. Read this post and you’ll know what you need to do today to avoid falling into the six most common traps that doom most apps right to the scrap heap.
It’s 7:45 a.m. on a Monday, and you’re running late for work. You jump in the car and pull out your phone to get directions, but instead of finding your way to the office, you find yourself staring at an error message.
Your favourite navigation app is down for maintenance!
This is just one of many ways in which an app can fail its users, and it’s not a pleasant experience for either party (the company or the consumer). We’ve all been there – the app won’t open, it takes forever to load, or the content doesn’t match what you’re trying to accomplish.
Whatever the reason may be, there’s no denying that this kind of thing is annoying. Countless app developers and publishers are trying to build apps that are bug-free and provide an amazing experience for the user, but things don’t always go as planned.
As a matter of fact, 80 -90% of all apps are tried once and never again!
And when you factor in that there were over 5.4 million apps on Google Play and App Store combined in Q1 of 2022 (at the time of writing), you can see why it’s so important for your app to be a cut above the rest.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder businesses wanting to take advantage of people’s ever-increasing interest with apps are searching for ways to improve their chances of success.
There are several reasons why apps fail – and by understanding them, you can begin to turn the tide in your favour and get your app on the road to success.
Here are six reasons your app may not be working out and what you can do to change it:
6 Reasons your app Might be dud and how to fix it
There are many reasons why apps end up failing in the marketplace – here are some of the most common:
Lame App idea and Concept
Truth be told, the app industry has been very profitable for a long time now. With that, the temptation to create an app and make some money is getting stronger and stronger every day. However, coming up with something unique isn’t always easy and that’s why a lot of people try to copy already existing ideas and apps.
A bad idea can be the absolute most crippling factor when it comes to making an app. When you’re developing your idea, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and convince yourself that your app is the best thing since sliced bread.
Unfortunately, many publishers are taking the cliche “you don’t have to invent the wheel” a little too seriously and are cranking out apps that are far too similar to established ones. And what you happen to notice about them makes you roll your eyes.
Here’s the harsh reality: Though there are thousands of apps created each year, it’s the original ones that make all the money. The thousands of others fall by the wayside and become merely a blip in the app store’s history.
So what can you do to combat this? Here are a few suggestions:
- Before you begin building your app, take a step back and ask yourself questions like, “What makes my app unique?” or “Is this an idea that will resonate with others?” If you can’t answer those questions in a way that excites you, then consider walking away from the project now, or taking another look at what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.
- If you’re going to follow a trend, make sure it’s within reason!
- Tweak existing ideas – try to create something that improves upon what already exists by filling a gap or solving a problem more conveniently. For instance, offer comprehensive or complementary features or functions that are missing from similar apps.
- Don’t be afraid to invent the wheel – if you have an original idea that no one has ever done before, don’t be afraid to pursue it! Just make sure your idea has mass appeal and not just something you like, but other people will too.
Bad market Research
Market research is the bedrock of any successful business endeavour—and that goes double for an app that could potentially be used by millions of people across the world.
It may seem like a hassle, but there’s no way around it: you need to study your target market and identify their needs. You must know what drives them and what makes them tick; you need to know who your competitors are and how you can offer something unique that fills a void in their lives.
Market research needs to be as specific as possible and should include detailed information about competitors and potential partners. For example, don’t just say “the market is the entire population of people who own smartphones.” Instead, go deeper. Break down each demographic into groups based on age, gender, location, income level, ethnicity and education level. What do people in these different groups have in common? What do they want out of an app? How often do they use apps? How do they feel about your idea? You will be better prepared to create an app that hits the mark for your audience if you know what makes them tick!
Not conducting market research is like flying blind in a plane, there’s no way to know where you’re going or even if you’re going in the right direction. If you don’t do your homework about the market, your app is destined for failure before it even gets off the ground.
Terrible user Experience
User experience is everything when it comes to apps. You can have an amazing product, but if the user experience isn’t frictionless, people won’t use it.
In other words, your app should be like a well-made cocktail – the ingredients should be seamless and everyone should love it.
- Fast loading;
- Attractive design, consistent theme;
- Intuitive navigation;
- Incorporating features that make your app accessible to people with disabilities;
- Relevant features (not too much or less);
- Robust security etc.
Users notice all of those things, and if they don’t like them, they’ll find another app that does what yours does but better or easier. You need to put as much focus on good design for your mobile app as you do on functionality.
Surprisingly the solution to this problem is simple: work with a reliable app development team with proven development experience who can help you take your app from concept to a fully realized product.
Closely related is…
Lack of proper app Testing.
Even if your app has great features and solves a problem, it won’t be successful if it doesn’t work properly.
It might seem like a good idea to limit testing or to test only during certain phases of development, but apps are complicated and need to be tested throughout their lifecycle. A thorough testing process will help ensure a seamless user experience.
If you don’t test your app thoroughly before releasing it, you can expect to receive bad reviews from users who are dissatisfied with the performance. They may also uninstall it after using it once or twice, which is bad for your app’s reputation as well as your brand’s reputation. So make sure that you test both the frontend and backend of your app to ensure everything works correctly.
Oftentimes, we see this problem arising in most cases where an individual coder is hired to write an app. We have had clients come to us with an app that was developed but has a high number of errors or bugs. This is because a majority of the time, the programmer is not a specialist, and does not know how to test the app for quality assurance and usability.
In such a case, the app needs to be tested by both users and experts to ensure it works as it should before going live. On the other hand, most app development teams have testers on their team that do extensive testing throughout the development process. This means that when you get your final product it will work and be ready for launch.
Congratulations! You’ve created a useful app, it works well and has a nice design. It’s ready to go out into the world, right? Not so fast. There are still a few more steps before you can call it a day. The next step is to get your app in front of potential users and make sure they know what it does and why they need it. If you don’t do this, no one will be able to find your app, which might as well be a tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it: If you’re not making noise about your app, how will anyone know it exists?
Your primary marketing tool for your app will likely be its description in the app store where it’s available for download. But that isn’t the only place you can promote your app; there are plenty of other ways to get new users: advertising, blogs and social media are prime places for getting the word out about your innovation, so don’t forget about them as you set about establishing yourself in the market.
Handling app Monetization as an Afterthought
Failing to properly plan and strategize your monetization model before you even begin development can be very bad for your app. You need to have a solid plan for how you will make money from the get go. One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that you can build your app and then worry about how to make money from it later. This is a sure-fire way to fail because there are so many different options out there—you need to understand which one is going to work best for your app, what kind of revenue it will generate and how it will integrate with your users’ experience.
Ignoring users Feedback
If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this point: once you’ve released your app, you’re still not done – listen to your users. This is one of the most crucial steps in any piece of software development, yet it’s often overlooked or skimmed over by many developers and companies.
If you put out an app without having a plan for what to do when your users start giving you feedback, then it’s likely that the app will fail. This doesn’t mean that you need to make every single change that people ask for, but if there are certain aspects of the app that are causing widespread frustration among users—such as crashes or bugs—you should address them as soon as possible.
There are many ways to gather feedback from users such as through social media channels, surveys and by monitoring app store reviews.
Starting with a solid release will set you up for success, but it’s how you handle the challenges that come after release that will determine whether your app will ultimately live or die. If you stick with it and continue to adapt to the market and its users, you can find yourself with a long-lived, successful app.
If you want to make sure that your apps don’t fail and succeed, keep this checklist handy. From validating demand for your app to putting together a development team, these factors can help you stay on track and make sure that the final product is worth your client’s investment. Whether you’re working on your own or with a team, the six points above are good to keep in mind. As always, the greatest asset of any business is its customers. The best strategies in development are useless without having a great product idea that people ultimately want to use.
Angela Spearman is a journalist at EzineMark who enjoys writing about the latest trending technology and business news.