Mobile app development has become increasingly popular, but the number of apps that succeed is much smaller than the number of apps that fail. As competition in the app industry increases, it’s becoming more and more essential to create a high-quality product that really solves people’s problems and stands out from the crowd.
Unfortunately, many developers fall short of this goal due to one or more common mistakes that can cause an app to fail, usually before it ever reaches the market. This article will look at 15 significant causes of mobile app failure and how you can avoid them as you develop your own apps.
1) Lack of target audience research
We’ve all heard of startups that produce a great idea, develop it, launch it…and go out of business before they’ve even had a chance to pay their first bill.
The issue is not necessarily in developing an app or product people want; but rather in thinking that you know what people want before conducting research. Before you begin development on your mobile app, you should take into account your target audience by completing surveys, focus groups, and other research efforts to ensure you’re making something people want.
If you already have an app that is underperforming, analyze your data (perhaps with help from third parties) to figure out where your issues stem from and make necessary changes accordingly. This way, you won’t lose money just to make money!
2) Unfriendly User Interface
An application’s user interface is critical to its success, which means you have to focus a lot of attention on making it look great.
To get customers to love your app, you need something more than just a pretty face. A compelling UI allows people to get straight to your application’s value; otherwise, you risk losing customers.
If people have trouble using your application or are confused by how it works, they’ll abandon it before they give it a chance.
Ensuring that users can easily access everything they need without confusion is essential for creating an app successfully. To make your app’s UI friendly, consider what needs to be visible at all times for customers to use it effectively.
3) Not resolving real-world problems
In developing your app, take time to consider whether or not people really need it. People don’t want their lives disrupted unless there is a clear value proposition for them, even if your app idea is absolutely amazing.
Does your idea solve a problem people are already having? If not, you may have a hard time getting users onboard. Instead of making an Uber for x that isn’t needed or doesn’t add value over existing solutions, think about building a new solution that will make things easier for people in an area they want help.
Be sure that your solutions make sense when thinking about real-world applications of your solution – ask yourself would I use it? Over and over again until you arrive at something valuable.
4) Insufficient testing time for the app
With so many mobile apps on today’s market, a common mistake is underestimating just how much time and testing will be required before you get it right. Not enough time for testing can lead to all sorts of problems. If users don’t like your app, they won’t use it and that won’t help you achieve your goals. To reduce the risk of failure, make sure you have enough time to test and receive feedback.
If you’re going with a fairly complex design, plan on spending an additional month of development time for every iteration you want. This will also mean increased costs, so make sure there is enough money in your budget. Not only that, but it may take longer than anticipated.
5) Underestimating the legal costs
According to a study from Deloitte, 90% of respondents cited a shortage of internal resources as one of their top reasons for mobile app failure. This is easy enough to remedy: if you’re launching an app in-house, make sure that you have adequate time, space, and finances available.
If it’s important enough to build (as it should be), then make sure that resources are allocated appropriately. And don’t forget about customer support – if your app needs fixing or has bugs, users will expect a response.
No matter what platform you choose for your mobile application development service provider, ensure that there is a streamlined way for users to reach out with questions or comments.
6) Not having enough money for marketing
If a company cannot properly allocate resources toward marketing, design, product development, and customer support, it will not be able to deliver an effective mobile app. Poor resource allocation can lead an otherwise robust app down a dark path.
Ensure that your app has a solid support structure before releasing it into production. Always keep an eye on where your sales are coming from and what channels you’re using for customer support or else your app could lose traction in all of these departments.
If you want customers to return to using your mobile application, you need to make sure that they can access it easily by having live representatives ready.
7) Incorrect price estimates
If you price your app too high, it will fail. If you price it too low, it will fail. Get the pricing right. You need a rock-solid business plan that includes cost estimates for design, development, hosting, marketing, product management, and other overhead expenses involved in getting an app into the market.
Then multiply by 2x or 3x depending on how competitive your market is: The higher end of that range is what you should charge for your apps if you want them to be profitable long term.
8) Poor resource allocation and support structure
Building a successful mobile app takes money, time, resources, manpower, and expertise. And it’s not just about building an excellent mobile app. You also need to get your product in front of users—so marketing and PR campaigns need to be in place.
If any of these aspects are overlooked or underdeveloped, it can lead to disaster. Developing a great product that no one knows about doesn’t do you much good.
Talk with other developers who have successfully launched apps before you begin, or speak with a digital marketing company that has experience working with startups that have created apps for consideration.
Keep your communication channels open as you move forward on all levels of development so everyone involved will be prepared for what comes next.
9) Poor customer support
If a user has a problem with your app, they won’t hesitate to leave a bad review if you don’t respond quickly.
When users have an issue, they want solutions – preferably within minutes! Also, be sure that you monitor your feedback and any reviews left in-app or on other channels (social media, Google Play/App Store).
The feedback that sounds off may be pointing out problems you weren’t aware of. Don’t ignore it! Make sure you check them all regularly so you can keep an eye on your app performance and usability issues.
Engaging users is just as important as gaining new ones. If someone has already downloaded your app, it means he/she is at least somewhat interested in what it does.
10) Buggy updates lack the user feedback consideration
While it’s true that most bugs are caught during initial testing, some end up slipping through. This can leave you with an app that doesn’t work properly for your users, resulting in negative reviews. And when people don’t like your app, they don’t use it and ultimately uninstall it.
So, keep an open channel of communication with your testers so you know exactly what is going on once your software hits Apple or Google Play.
If you have specific features that need testing or problems with parts of your application previously not discovered in testing (particularly older devices), then be sure to include those in notes for testers. Never forget to give clear information on how they can contact you with questions!
11) Overlooking Security Threats
While most apps don’t need a network or hardware that is up to par with national security, it’s essential for app developers to remember that cybercriminals are a genuine thing.
While working with app designers, in particular, I’ve seen firsthand how many times an otherwise fantastic application fails because of poor design around security features. There is never a reason not to create additional security features for mobile apps: whether it be for login information or wireless transfer.
We live in an increasingly secure world, and people are becoming less and less willing to trust their bank accounts, personal information, and more to something other than secure networks.
12) Coding flaws
Code is only as good as its weakest line. Take time before your app launches to check for bugs and invalid code, whether you outsource development or do it yourself.
Before launch, develop a strategy for removing unnecessary, redundant features for your core goals. After launch, be sure to have a process for quickly patching security holes in case of an attack from hackers.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for coding flaws, but doing your homework beforehand can make a difference.
13) Missing timely delivery of the App
If you’re in a position where time is of particular importance, then it’s essential for your team to fully commit themselves to bring an app live on time. This may mean allocating additional resources or giving your app developers a deadline so they aren’t tempted to cut corners.
If you need help finding out when an app will be ready, we offer mobile development timelines here at iMobileSoft – and they are entirely free! You can use these to determine when an app might be prepared so that there are no surprises down the line! After all, ensuring that deadlines are met is one of our core values.
We could tell you how much experience we have with meeting tight deadlines (and surpassing them) but instead, we’ll show you
14) Bad Prototyping
Prototyping your app early in development can save you a ton of time—and money. Seeing something work helps everyone on your team understand how it’s supposed to function and get an idea of its look and feel.
It also makes it easier for you to tweak ideas as they emerge during development, rather than having an entire team (or budget) built around them.
A poorly designed app could be a significant drain on resources that doesn’t meet users’ needs or expectations, so sketch out how each feature will look before building it.
15) Underestimating UX challenges
There’s no silver bullet when creating a successful mobile app. However, there are a lot of steps you can take as an entrepreneur to help ensure that your app won’t fail from a technical or usability standpoint.
Poor user experience (UX) is one of the top reasons for app failure, so being proactive about UX early will save you development time. Because there are many factors that go into an optimal UX, it’s essential to hire a skilled designer who understands how customers use mobile devices and is committed to optimizing their customer experience while they use your app.
In order for designers to be effective at creating an ideal user flow, they need information—what are users trying to accomplish? What results do they hope will occur?
Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your app. If it’s not meeting your expectations, don’t be afraid to make changes or do something different. And most importantly, don’t go into business with unrealistic expectations about what mobile apps can do for you; there are certainly plenty of ways they can help, but they won’t turn an unprofitable restaurant into a money-making machine overnight.
Investing in development without a plan will only lead to failure. Follow these best practices and tips as you venture into mobile apps and new businesses. Also, don’t forget to hire mobile app developers having expertise in the latest app development trends. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing this later!