The mobile app development industry is currently thriving, and increased growth is expected in future. Apps are transforming the world, and literally defining how people go about their daily routines. However, not every app is successful. In fact, a recent study focusing on retention metrics on Google Play apps established the average app loses over 95 percent of its daily active users within 90 days of the initial install. Stunning, right?
After spending several hours and resources tweaking, polishing, and reworking an app, you definitely do not want it to be part of the above statistic, right? How can you evade this scenario? Simple, keep away from certain blunders, even if you’re an experienced app developer. Here are the five easiest ways to doom your next mobile app development efforts.
1. Starting off on the wrong foot without clear goalsSo, you think you have an app-worthy idea and you quickly start to develop a new app. Wait. Stop and think again. Even the best ideas can be doomed if you start with unclear goals. Importantly, before even beginning to create an app, ask yourself the value it will provide to users.
Have you done enough market research to understand users and the environment the app will be deployed? Have you outlined clear expectations about the building costs from the beginning? Have you meticulously planned how you will develop your app, from start to finish? Which platform(s) will be most appropriate for your app? With misaligned goals, building an efficient mobile app is virtually impossible, and the chances of failing increase.
2. Incorporating too many features
After outlining your goals, you just need to focus on adding many features to the app to increase user engagement. That is the best thing to do to succeed. Right? Very wrong. Period. In real sense, incorporating too many features is one of the easiest ways to doom for your next mobile app. Achieving satisfactory user engagement comes from doing more with less, and not dropping features haphazardly throughout the app.
Currently, users like fast, convenient, and simple applications, instead of complicated applications crowded with features that consume bandwidth and complicate their experience. Overwhelming apps are normally uninstalled and deleted within seconds after download, especially by millennials who like a fast and simple lifestyle, and make a good chunk of app users in the world.
Therefore, it is better you keep things focused and only include features that will not weigh down your app. Concentrate your energy on a few core functions that will really provide value to users, rather than going overboard with the bells and whistles.
3. Taking shortcuts and reusing old code
Words that make an app developer happy: “Code is code, and reusing old code is important for saving both time and money.” In mobile app development, as much as reusable code is important, you should also remember that technology and coding frameworks constantly undergo changes.
Reusing old code could result in programing clashes and poor app execution. For example, if you reuse web.config entries in your new app, execution could be affected because of changes in the global configuration settings. Also, an application that required 100 lines of code last year could be completely easily in 20 lines of code this year. So, before going for the existing code base, make sure its reuse is worthwhile. If it’s not, avoiding the shortcut of reusing it in your new app development project will save you loads of headaches, especially if someone else wrote the old code.
4. Falling into the trap of being your own beta tester
Many app developers assume the best way they can build a better app is to be their own beta tester. After all, they’re the ones who developed it and know how it works better than everyone else. Sadly, as an app developer, such a thought will hinder you.
Since you know your app pretty well, you’re less likely to try the truly weird things that real beta testers attempt. A fresh pair of eyes will dig into the infrastructure of your app, and point out mistakes and enhancements that are necessary for you to release an awesome product. If you do beta testing in-house, you won’t be able to evaluate the overall user experience and ensure the app meets the intended objectives, without any compromise in quality. Furthermore, beta testing externally will help you evaluate the performance of your app in extensive variety of environments and conditions, which is difficult to do in-house.
5. Forgetting to do post-launch maintenance
After completing the rigorous app development process, do you just sit down, fold your legs, and expect your app to be declared “the best app ever”? A big NO, because that is day dreaming—and in broad daylight, at that.
After launching an app, you need to be on your feet to make sure nothing is running off the rails. Does the analytics tracker indicate that users hardly spend time using your app? Take a day to look into the issue. Has a user complained that your app lacks enough white space, which makes it appear suffocated? Re-look at your lines of code. Or, has a slippery bug penetrated through the cracks, and is causing problems for users? Fix it as soon as possible.
Stay Focused & Meet Users’ Needs
Ultimately, developing apps is mostly about staying focused and ensuring you meet the needs of users. If you want to sow seeds of success, you should continually ask yourself whether the development process is on track with the user-driven goals. If you’re making simple mistakes, veering off the right direction and ruining your next mobile app development project is easy, regardless of your experience level. Most mobile app users are unforgiving, and will post 1-star ratings together with negative feedback if you fail to create an app that works properly.
Have you messed up an app development project before? Is there another way to wreck a mobile app easily? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.