Estimates put the number of smartphone users around the world at close to three billion. Many brands are taking advantage of this trend by developing their own mobile apps intended to provide value to their target customers and make it easier to enjoy their product or service. It’s good marketing, but not all app development projects end up producing the next hit—or a functional app, at the very least.
To prevent a potential disaster, you must understand what causes apps to fail in the first place and know how to troubleshoot projects that show signs of going awry. These will not only spare you from any additional expenses, they will also help ensure that you develop an app that will produce awesome results for your business.
Why do mobile apps fail?
This question is broad with plenty of possible answers. There are simply too many reasons a mobile app project can fail, but what you need to keep in mind is that most of them are within your control. Many of the factors that influence your app’s potential for success make themselves felt even before the final product hits the app stores.
What five factors cause apps to fail?
Android and iOS are the two most popular platforms for mobile apps today. They may not be too different on the surface, but developing an app for one isn’t the same as creating for the other. Some brands choose to develop an app for both, but if you don’t have the luxury of a large budget, you will need to select just one. Your choice should depend on your target audience and what the app’s features will be. For instance, regions like the U.S. have more Android than iOS users, so the former could end up being the more practical choice.
2. User experience
Your mobile app should be user- and mobile-friendly, intuitive, and useful. It also needs to be fast, so factors like loading speed, accessibility, and the login process deserve attention. If your app takes time to do what it’s supposed to or it doesn’t offer much more than the competition does, users will not see the point of keeping it in their device.
Have you ever heard of Google Wave? No? It was supposed to revolutionize the way you communicate, but not a lot of people even remember it existed. Although the app showed promise, it failed in marketing. You can’t just leave your app in the stores, you need to sell it. Study SEO for apps and create a marketing plan whose steps your team will execute religiously.
4. Competitor analysis
Your competitors are creating apps, too. But don’t feel down if they do end up releasing their app before you do. Take it as your cue to analyze their process and learn from their experience. Apply what they did right to your own app and marketing plan, and avoid the things they did wrong. As the adage goes, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”
5. App testing
Releasing your mobile app to the public without prior testing is one of the surest ways to a disaster. Not only will your app be shunned, it might even get a lot of negative reviews that will discourage other users from even considering downloading it. Put it through rigorous mobile app testing to ensure it’s functional, blog- and glitch-free, and that it offers a positive experience to its users.
How can you resolve your mobile app project woes?
No app or development process is ever perfect and a few mishaps here and there are inevitable. What matters is how well you handle the situation and what you do to ultimately remedy the problem. Here are ways to resolve problems you may encounter over the course of you developing your mobile app:
● Do your research
Some ideas sound revolutionary on paper but end up flopping once they’re actually rolled out. To prevent the pitfalls of unreachable goals and failed expectations, prioritize research and make it the very first step in your development process. Find your target audience and understand their needs, motivations, and characteristics, and determine how your app can help resolve their pain points. Think of the best way to sell to them. Additionally, look into your competitors’ apps—or their efforts to create their own. Anticipate which resources will go into the project and how much money you’ll need compared to what you own.
● Hire the right people
You don’t have to know how to code to come up with a good app. But you will need an expert developer if you want one that your users will want to download. Populate your team with people who know what to do and who will contribute to your app’s success. Hire a great graphics artist and a competent copywriter. If SEO and marketing aren’t your strongest assets, you can hire people to do those things for you, too, if your budget allows it. Needless to say, an experienced team will cost more than a less seasoned group would, so make sure to account for these when you do your research and plan your budget.
● Prepare a marketing strategy
So your app is finished and is posted at the stores. You may even have had a few hundred downloads. Still, these aren’t reasons to be complacent. Even the best products will not get the attention they deserve just because they’re good. You’ll need to sell your app to your intended customers so that they will pay attention and download it on their devices. It doesn’t matter if you or another person is handling marketing—make sure a marketing plan is drawn for your app.
Although your app is exclusively mobile, make sure your marketing efforts cover several channels. Organize events, collaborate with others, advertise on social media, or start word-of-mouth discussions. Just make sure that your marketing efforts take your target audience’s preferences into account to keep it tight and streamlined.
● Test your app as many times as needed
Do not underestimate the effects of even just a single negative review. Bad publicity still being publicity works in some cases, but more often than not, it has spelled disaster for mobile apps. Just imagine how many apps are currently in the app stores offering the same service. Users won’t download your app to give it a test run, that’s what the average rating is for. The higher your rating is, the more likely that users will download your app.
That said, it’s important to put your app through rigorous testing to ensure it meets stringent standards. Do not just look at its visuals either; test its speed, functionality, and user-friendliness. Get rid of glitches and bugs that can ruin the experience for users.
● Ensure efficient management
Developing an app is no easy feat, so the team leader needs to be on top of everything. Do not be afraid to delegate responsibilities, but keep in mind your subordinates’ present load and their skillset. It will be your task to ensure that everyone is executing the different steps of the process as planned.
Investing in a mobile app could do wonders for your brand’s reputation and potential for success. It’s also a great way to take advantage of the popularity of mobile technology and the internet. But it could also be a costly process, especially if you don’t take steps to avoid errors. Think things through before jumping on the app bandwagon, ensuring that developing one is aligned with your business goals.
Have you ever tried developing an app? Tell us about your experience in the comments.