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In 2020, revenue from mobile apps reached close to $190 billion, both through app stores and in-app marketing. And mobile app use has long since surpassed web app use on PC and laptops.
No business that wants to remain competitive can survive and thrive without a mobile app.
But here is the other statistic that must be considered. Studies show that at least 25% of mobile apps are uninstalled within a month of being downloaded, and 80% of mobile app users stop using their downloaded apps after three months.
Why are so many mobile apps abandoned or unused? Certainly, because users have lost interest or no longer need the products/services offered via the app. But just as often, it is because the user experience has not been a good one. And when the user experience is not good, the business owner of the app loses that customer/follower.
Poor user experience is usually the result of app development mistakes and poor performance.
The “cure” for this is to be proactive in the development phase by first asking yourself some key questions:
- What is the purpose of the app?
- What exactly do you want the app to do
- How are users going to achieve your purpose?
But this does not guarantee an app that will provide an amazing user experience and keep those users engaged and staying with you.
You must ensure that your or your development team has not made some of the common mistakes that result in failed apps.
This list of those common mistakes should help drive the development process and beyond.
Mistake 1: Making Your Mobile App Like Your Desktop App
Most business owners/marketers do not develop their own apps because they are not skilled in software development. While they may have marketing backgrounds and enhance their skills through study, such as a digital marketing course in Noida, they are not techies. And so they hire developers for their websites and their apps.
Most developers have had plenty of experience developing desktop apps, but mobile apps are a “different story.” If a developer sees a mobile app as just a smaller version of the desktop one, then smartphone users trying to use the mobile version will not have a good user experience.
Consider, for example, just one difference. Desktop app users are seated at their computers with larger screens and usually more time exploring and navigating around. People on their mobile apps are “on the go.” They need much briefer chunks of information, broken up and navigated easily with swipes and fingers that are sometimes a bit fat.
In short, the objectives and experiences of mobile apps must be quite different.
Mistake 2: Trying to Make a Mobile App Mimic a Website
Brands want to be memorable. They have certain colors, logos, etc., that consumers come to identify with that brand. Giving the same “feel” and “look” with these things is understandable and should be carried over into mobile apps. The mistake they make when developing mobile apps, though, is they want to provide the same functionality that their websites offer to users.
Making a mobile app into a mini-website misses the whole point of having the app at all. If a consumer wanted all of the functionality, he would simply access your website instead. It, too, is available on all mobile devices. When he accesses your app, he wants a simpler, more streamlined journey.
In short, consumers access websites and mobile apps with different purposes in mind. If your website and your mobile app are serving the exact same purposes, there is no reason to have an app at all.
Mistake 3: Your App Has Too Much to Offer
Many businesses have email marketing campaigns. They know that each email should focus on one message only, or their recipients will become confused and irritated. While mobile apps will certainly have more than one feature, too many will have the same negative effect.
Researching what your target audience uses most on your website and/or your website will tell you which features your customers are using the most. These are the ones you want to incorporate into your app. Once you have identified these features, craft a roadmap for your developer that includes just these functions.
Now you will have an app that is not “heavy” and taking up a lot of space. What’s more, you can always include a link to your full website in the app so that users who want additional functions can get there easily.
Mistake 4: Trying to Develop a Mobile App for Too Many Platforms
The vast majority of mobile app users are on smartphones. And they either have Apple or Android devices. Thus, they download apps from the Apple iStore or from Google Play. When you develop your app, at least in the beginning, you have one choice to make: do you develop two separate apps, one for each store, or do you develop a hybrid app that will function on both? Newer technology has made these hybrid apps amazingly functional on both platforms.
Make sure your developer has the expertise for both platforms.
You can ultimately develop your app for the few other platforms that are in use. But you will not pick up many users. Better to let those users use your website app.
Mistake 5: Developing “Heavy” Apps
Mobile devices have limited space, storage, battery life, and screens compared to laptops and desktops. Any app development must take into consideration these limitations. An app that is taking up too much space will be one of the first to be dumped.
When you have provided your developer with all that you want your app to do, you must discuss how to reduce the size of the app and yet still meet your users’ needs.
A skilled developer will have several options to achieve size reduction:
- Remove and/or ruse resources
- Minimize the use of library resources
- Compress PNG files
- Crunch PNG an JPEG files
- Reduce and/or eliminate any unnecessary code
- Use WebP file format
Even if you do not understand how all of this is achieved, or even what it means, it does give you the “jargon” to use when talking with a developer you are considering. And be certain to ask that developer for examples of other mobile apps he has developed and references from clients.
Mistake 6: Failure to Use the Right Testing Procedures
Any developed app must be tested before its launch. And it must be regularly tested on a scheduled basis to ensure that it is continuing to function properly and within the right context.
App developers run tests once development is completed and ready for launch. But unless a business owner contracts for regular long-term testing, that testing is up to him.
The best testing procedure is really done in house conducted by actual people who download the app and use it. When business owners fail to have real people download and use the app, they do not know if it is working properly. It is the best way to know if the app developer has really done his job.
Other testing involves running analytics that most marketers already run on their other content – number of downloads in a period of time; number of users accessing the app over a period of time; which parts of the app are most popular, etc.
When businesses fail to test regularly and often, problems with an app can go on for some time. Users who have bad experiences with an app will dump it rather than have it take up space. If they are really loyal, they may connect to your website, but don’t count on it. If you want to read about some failed testing nightmares, order case study writing on the subject. You’ll get lots more information on how things go horribly wrong.
Mistake 7: Not Soliciting and Studying User Reviews
You may be testing and finding that your app is working well in all of its functions. Be sure that you have a link for users to write reviews, and promise a discount/coupon on that link when they do so. That review can be a short survey, allowing the respondent to provide both good and bad points and make suggestions for improvement. You will also want to ask which functions are the most-liked and which are never used. Studying reviews should drive your continued evaluation of your app and how you should consider modifications.
Ignoring user reviews tells them that they are not important to you, and that is never something you want a user/customer to feel. They will go where they are appreciated and valued. And consumer who is considering your app for download will often read others’ reviews before doing so.
Mistake 8: Not Being Ready to Install Updates
Things change. Once an app is launched and tested for solid functionality, a marketer’s job is not over. Consumer needs and demands change. It is the responsibility of the business, not the app developer, to keep an “ear to the ground,” to monitor the competition, and to see how a mobile app needs to be modified, eliminate functions, modify others, and add new ones. User reviews should also be used for this analysis. And when updates are needed, it’s back to the original developer. Using a different developer could cause some issues.
Getting It Right
Developing, maintaining, and updating a mobile app involves some work on the business’s part – finding the right developer, identifying exactly the purpose(s) of the app, understanding audience needs and preferences, ensuring that there are no “snags,” and performing updates as they make sense. There needs to be a strong relationship between business and developer – one built on trust and continual communication.
Interested in developing a mobile app? Jackrabbit has you covered. Contact us here.
About The Author
Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at WritersPerHour with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.
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