If you want to achieve success with your mobile app, one of the key things to look at is what makes apps fail.
What do most app developers do wrong? What makes most apps disappear into the millions of other failures in the app store?
Today, we’re going to take a look:
Not researching their audience
Despite hundreds of blogs, articles and videos detailing the importance of market research – including our own blog here! – you’d be amazed how many app builders simply build what they think is a good idea, without checking if it’s what their audience wants.
Or, indeed, if there’s an audience at all for their chosen niche!
Just as any business that’s based on what the owner thinks is a good idea will never beat out a company started based on solid market research, an app that’s been thrown together simply to ‘make money’ will never beat an app that’s been created because it solves a problem the builder knows users have.
The thing about research is it’s not just about making sure that you meet a specific need of the audience. It’s also important to make sure that you deliver it in the right way.
See, even if you create a great app that solves a real need, if you don’t communicate this in the right way, you won’t appeal to your users in the same way.
To sum up: app builders that don’t do their research fail far more than those that do.
Remember the mobile game Temple Run? It was a brilliantly addictive ‘scroller’ game that got millions of people hooked.
Then, hundreds of identical clone games appeared and ripped it off.
Soon, you couldn’t move for ‘re-skinned’ versions that did exactly the same thing, but not as well and without looking as good!
What happened to 99% of those apps? They vanished.
There’s nothing wrong with being influenced by successful apps in your niche. Maybe you think one app’s color scheme looks great, or you love the way their login box is designed.
This kind of ‘borrowing’ is pretty normal.
However, you need to make sure that your app’s functionality is original. Don’t try to create an app that solves a problem, that’s already been solved by someone else!
Imagine launching a social network app in 2019 that was called ‘Friendface’, with a blue and white color scheme. You’d – quite rightly! – be ignored.
In the hyper-competitive app market, you need to make sure that your app does something your competitors won’t.
Any marketer knows the value of a unique selling proposition, and that’s just as applicable to the app marketing world.
You can differentiate in any number of ways, of course. Maybe the products you sell on your e-commerce platform are the cheapest around. Perhaps your customer service team promises to respond faster than your competitors. Maybe you target the premium end of the market, charging more but delivering better results.
However you choose to differentiate your app, make sure you do so. You must offer something no-one else does.
Apps that simply copy their competitors tend to become wallpaper.
A poor user experience
Another point you’ve seen us make before, for sure. But we’ll keep making it until we stop seeing apps that get this wrong.
Put simply, users have no patience with poor apps in 2019.
They want to delete your app, and they will – unless you give them a seriously good reason not to!
Not giving users a great experience from minute one might well be the most important cause for apps to get deleted and never used again.
Bad user experience can vary, of course. There are lots of ways to annoy modern app users, and they include:
- Not loading fast enough. Again, patience is short online in 2019.
- A long registration process. If users have to spent three minutes setting your app up before they can use it, you’ve already lost a lot of them!
- Hard to use. Apps aren’t the same as full software packages. Users shouldn’t have to read a full manual just to learn how they work.
- Asking for too much, too soon. If you’ve ever loaded up a new app only to be asked for your email address, phonebook, camera and microphone access straight away, you’ll know how annoying this can be!
Poor testing leading to more bugs
This is still a UX issue in a sense, but it’s worth separating into its own point.
It’s almost impossible to deliver an app that is completely bug free in its first iteration. In fact, we’d say it basically IS impossible.
That’s why it’s vital to go through a thorough testing process before you launch. Again, this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised just how many people decide to simply launch their app and hope for the best, reasoning that they simply ‘can’t afford’ to have it properly tested.
Needless to say, this is a false economy. If you invest time and money in proper testing, you’ve got a much better chance of achieving a return on your investment later on.
If you don’t…well, you’re likely to pick up far more negative reviews from users. And that’s something no app can survive.
Interestingly, a recent study showed that as many as 58% of iOS-based devices have suffered from apps crashing or components shutting down.
That shows you how widespread this kind of problem can be!
A poor launch
Getting a mobile app launch right is hard, tough work. It’s easy to under-estimate how important it is to get off to a good start.
However, you don’t want to go too far the other way and focus entirely on the launch and then get complacent if it goes well!
Put simply, a good launch should give the app store algorithms indication that users are downloading your app, using it and then enjoying it.
Essentially, your aim is to make a good impression with users!
How do you ensure a good launch? Make sure you have a firm marketing plan in place that dictates how you’re going to attract the attention of your users, how you’re going to gain reviews, and that your onboarding process – a key part of making a good first impression – is based on solid UX research.
A mobile launch isn’t a one-and-done deal, of course, but the more you can get right first-time round, the easier it’ll be to continue to refine your process later on.
App builders that simply put their work onto the store with a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude rarely achieve success, even if the app itself is of high quality!
As for app builders that don’t put effort into the launch and don’t have a quality product? Well, you probably know what happens to them – app store oblivion.
Get in touch
If you’d like to learn more about achieving success with your app, get in touch with Iconic Solutions today. Apps designed well on a UX basis with a solid marketing strategy can make a huge difference to your business – we’d love to help you achieve this level of success with your next app.
Call us today, or send an email. We can’t wait to hear from you.