App developers don’t always understand why one app fails while another succeeds. It’s not always readily apparent, but there are some common causes that consistently derail even the best apps. If your mobile app isn’t shining like the star it is, one (or more) of these might be why.
1. Failing to Market Early and Aggressively
Marketing the app is as important as good design. Smart marketing gets the word out and builds excitement in your potential user base.
Getting the word out isn’t something you start doing after your app is deployed. As soon as you have solidified the design strategy (what the app will look like, what it will do, and how it will be different from the others), it’s time to start generating the buzz. Hit social media. Buy online and mobile ads. Use email marketing and other techniques to get folks excited about and looking forward to getting their hands on it. Don’t stop marketing after it’s released! Consistent marketing breeds consistent results.
2. Creating a Desktop-Like Interface
Some mobile app development companies look at apps like miniature versions of a desktop website experience. It isn’t. Mobile users expect a design, interface, and experience that is unique to mobile devices, as well as catered to their platform (Android, Apple, Windows Phone, etc.) Study the differences and build a tailor-made mobile UX.
3. Failing to Follow Protocol for the Platform(s)
Each app store has its own requirements, as well as helpful recommendations. This means that you will be building the same app as many times as you are reaching platforms. Be prepared to build for the differences among the operating systems, even if this means you will have multiple release dates, one for each platform you are targeting. It’s well worth the trouble when your app is successful across platforms, which few apps manage to achieve.
4. Beta Testing In-House
Outside opinions are dangerous. They can be harsh, reflect a lack of understanding, and might even be hard to get. But your own developers simply can’t be objective about their projects. It takes outsiders to identify features that aren’t intuitive and find hidden bugs that don’t show themselves except under certain circumstances that only come up in real world situations. Take the risk and the time to get outside beta testers.
5. Allowing Feature Bloat to Creep In
Has your app got a case of the chubbies? Eliminating some of the extra features will trim it back down to a manageable size.
There is a fine line between a powerfully useful app and one that’s so bloated with features that the UX is demolished. Each feature adds complexity, development costs, the potential for bugs and security vulnerabilities, and a clunky UX. Find the happy medium between having a lot of great features and bloating the entire interface.
6. Failing to Build in Analytical Capabilities
You would never dream of building and managing a website without analytics (think Google analytical tools), but mobile app development companies do build apps without the ability to monitor things like performance, user numbers, peak usage times, design, and content. Build analytical capabilities into the app so that you can improve and manage it over time.
7. Neglecting Regular Updates and New Versions
Each time a successful app offers a new and improved version, they generate more buzz about the app and more users. Regular updates ensure the security of the app (be sure to address security vulnerabilities as they are identified) and improve the performance. When the changes are significant, consider a new version instead of just a regular update. Install the capability of sending notifications when new versions or updates are available for your app.