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Did Your App Fail? Here Are 6 Possible Reasons

Did you spend a lot of time, money, energy to create a great app, launched it, got some downloads, got some paid users (or not), and after 6 months or a year, you see the app is going nowhere? Did you wound up wishing someone would buy your startup?

With over 2 million apps in the Google play store alone, it is of little surprise that the competition is high and fierce. In the age of internet, you can make a buckload of money if you own a mobile application, but there is a catch. Truth is, there is more than just one catch, but to put it simply – you must do it right.

In 12 years of working with entrepreneurs, after witnessing so many failures, I can tell you that there is no shortcut to success. But the good news is that if you check some metrics, there is no reason to stress yourself out.

So, it essentially boils down to one question – what the hell did you do and where on earth did you go wrong?

Some common speculations include not brainstorming with your partner, being picky about designs, lack of involvement in the journey of your app development, and shortcomings in marketing.

Emerge again, this time differently.

Given that you have a good budget, working on your product from scratch should not hurt. The budget can be managed by next quarter. But what about a startup?

A startup however will generally have low budget or depend on investors. A failure hurts a startup so bad, that often at times it is forced to pull down.

So, let’s discuss what will help you launch your app smarter!

If you are planning on developing a mobile application be aware of the following aspects for  better result.

1.  Choosing the right technology

Startupreneurs are often confused when it comes to choosing the technology used to build the app. The confusion arises between hybrid and native technology.

You need to understand that if you have chosen hybrid tech and the final product is not a native application, it is expected of your customers to dislike your app.

This is because non-native apps run on browser engines the performance difference between a web page and web app is the same as the non native app.

Related read: Have An App Idea? What’s Next?

Most users today are accustomed to use top quality apps like Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat – which work flawlessly without technical glitches. So when you launch a non-native app with performance issues, users are likely to uninstall it.

Want to opt for cross platform technology? React Native, Xamarin, or any Native technology is the best choice for you.

2. Too many or too less features.

A chat app that adds up as a music streaming app? Or a music streaming app with an in built  chat app? Let me stop you right there.

Most users are looking for something specific to their needs – nobody needs a flashlight app with sound effects. Adding more features not just increases your cost, but the size of the app as well. Again, no one wants to download a flashlight with size 20 MB.

Let me tell you why having too many features make users uninstall the app. Three reasons.

  • Users are looking for a fast and hassle free solution. With too many features, you are moving away from the from the goal of solving the issue.
  • Feature overload might slow down some phones. This will lead to uninstallation.
  • Users with small screens might find it inconvenient to use an app with too many interaction options at the home or any other screen. And for some, it will just be plain confusing.

At the same time, every app needs a basic set of features to function properly. If you are creating a MVP, make sure that a user can address their pain points with this app. Put yourself in the shoes of the user and use the app for yourself.

3. The app was not well tested by the developer

Your app developer was probably on a hurry to deliver the product before the deadline while you are under the impression that the app is ready to be used.

Once users go through a bad experience, they are unlikely to reinstall the app. Of course, no app, even the best ones like facebook and instagram are free of bugs and it is close to impossible to release an app without minor glitches.

However, if not tested properly the app could be so buggy that crashes are inevitable. Users are very likely to delete your app if it crashes or hangs. Most negative user reports in Google Play Store related to crashes. And each poor review is like a nail to the coffin of your app. Once deleted, a user will not reinstall it.

Image result for app failure

Beta testing is strongly suggested in this case. Beta testing helps developers to tackle different objectives of the product so that it can be improvised further. Quality is one of the primary goals and objectives of beta testing.

Make sure that your app goes through these 7 beta testing stages prior to final launch.

  • Quality check — Beta testing to evaluate the overall user experience and ensure that the app meets the overall functionality.
  • Idea validation — It is done based on user interactions and helps to determine the user acceptance of certain features.
  • Usability tests — Beta testing allow to get the actual usage pattern of the app since different users react differently and based on their usage you can redesign your apps.
  • Performance measure — You get a benchmark of the performance of your app during beta testing as your app is used in a wide variety of situations and environments.
  • Regression check — Beta testing will allow you to make quick bug fixes and release new built without losing users or bothering about updates.
  • Early adopter validation — Remember early users are the best PR, they spread the word and encourage other users to use your app. With beta testing, you can distribute your app to make such early adopters.
  • Track cost — You can test your app in the market at low cost through crowd testing platforms like Test Birds, Elusive Stars, and Beta Family and reach out to thousands of professional testers.

4. Your app had a poor onboarding

Not a lot of product owners think about onboarding. In fact, an understanding of better onboarding only comes when you see a lot of users downloaded the app but they uninstalled after few days or stopped using it.

The key aim of onboarding is to make sure that users get what they were looking for and solve the issue they were trying to solve.

To get your on-boarding perfect you need to follow some simple guidelines.

Give an overview — To achieve this you need to highlight the important areas of your app while keeping the app screen itself visible. In this way, users would be able to easily locate the functionality they are looking for.

Related read: 7 Point Mobile App Launch Strategies in App Stores

Show them the value of your app — You need to show the key strengths of your app by utilizing a few screens as possible during onboarding and proceed to engage further after having a smooth onboarding experience.

Ease the registration process  most app users hate long registration process. The easy solution? Social media login integration or any other one click login that does not take more than a minute. And if the app does not require this information, you might as well skip this screen.

Tell them what to do to reach the next step — Guide your users step by step, to provide a great onboarding experience. Use short, contextual information instead of long ones.

We all develop mobile apps, but while developing we miss one of the most important essences — We forget that whatever app we build, it must generate a personalized experience. An app is something that helps your business to stay connected with the customer 24/7. So you need to multiply your mobile app’s experience, just as your consumer demands.

5. Did you make a marketing plan?

Most entrepreneurs are in too much of a hurry to start the development and release the product. They fail to do enough brainstorming or planning on marketing the app.

And it’s not always that they don’t know that marketing is required. Often we also tell them to start marketing. But what we find is that they are not all serious about it or they don’t know the impact of it.

Hence the result becomes obvious. A great product doesn’t sell itself. You have to find out the channels to market, you have to know the ways to distribute the product. Without that, how will your app reach out to the users, why will the users stay engaged to your app?

I recently did a video where I discussed what strategy you should follow to market your app. Go through that video to see if you are at all following any of those strategies.

6. You failed to monetize smartly

One of the primary goals behind creating an app is to earn revenue from it. But many entrepreneurs fail to see the user’s perspective while doing so. The result? A poor user experience that ends up with uninstallation.

What exactly are we talking about here?

Ever came across apps with video ads that you cannot opt out of? Full screen ads every 2 mins? Or apps with high price in spite of fierce competition? If you did, you might want to avoid that!

The solution?

Notification based ads

Ads that take a small area of the screen and does not interfere with the UX

In app purchases

Video in exchange of points

SMS marketing

What’s your take?

We understand the pain it takes to create an app and the stress when it fails. Which is why we provide a unique solution for all your app based needs. From development to delivery, we take care of everything. To know more, contact us here.

Swarnendu De

Swarnendu is the Co-founder and Lead architect at Innofied. For the last seven years, he has been working with numerous JavaScript technologies including Backbone.js, Node.js, ExtJS, Sencha, and so on, and has developed more than 50 complex JavaScript-based applications thus far. He is the author of the book Backbone.js Patterns and Best Practices. Swarnendu regularly writes at his personal blog, Innofied Blog, the Tuts+ network, and provides support and assistance for JavaScript, Sencha and much more around the web. You can reach him through his website at http://www.swarnendude.com or via Twitter at @swarnendude