It is no secret that despite the best of efforts, some mobile apps inevitably fail. On the other hand, some mobile apps may look very simple, yet they continue to excel in the market year after year. So, what are the differentiating factors between successful and unsuccessful apps? It is certainly more than just functionality. A lot more.
The success of an app is usually measured by parameters such as a number of downloads, the percentage of target users, usage metrics, in-app purchases, paid downloads and so on. App development companies intending to launch a new app must carefully study these parameters of other similar apps — both successful and unsuccessful ones — and come out with a plan to maximize success. Moreover, the first few minutes of interaction between the app and the user can make or break the deal, and even if users download a given app, it is not necessary that they will keep on using it. However, a careful management of several factors can mitigate this risk. Here are a few things app developers often overlook that may lead to potential failure in the market.
Research, Research, Research
When comes to conceptualization or the core “app idea”, instinct may not be enough. An idea which looks strong but has no concrete research to back it up is set up for doom. Through research, the idea must be validated to determine whether or not the target audience really needs it. What problem will it solve? How will it be different from other similar apps in the market? What will be the “driving factor” for people to download and use the app on a continuous basis? You and your team might love your app idea, but it is foolishness to simply assume that the audience will like it too. There must be enough research to ensure that you are stepping foot in the right direction. Moreover, the research done in the initial stages will also aid in evolving an attractive marketing plan to release the app in the market and communicating the app’s Unique Value Proposition effectively.
Understanding Platform-specific Nuances
When building an app for a particular platform, it must be borne in mind that your target users are people who very comfortable with a particular platform, say Android or iOS. Your app must be able to use the same platform-specific nuances — for example, swipes, gestures and controls— that users are accustomed to. To ensure a consistently good user experience, it is vital that deep efforts are made into optimizing app performance across different platforms, capitalizing on UI/UX best practices and making the whole experience simple, intuitive and hassle-free. A typical use case could be of a user who uses the same app both on her Android phone and iPad; the app should be built with platform differences in mind; yet deliver smoothly on all of them.
Lack of proper testing is one of the leading causes of app failure. Inadequate or improper testing that does not account for worst-case scenarios, unexpected user behaviours and exceptional situations can severely affect app performance in different conditions, leading to crashes, errors and those dreaded negative reviews on app stores. A rigorous testing mechanism, on the other hand, is one wherein the Software Tester constantly focuses on improving the app through continuous involvement in the development and post-development stages. The 5 Cs of testing is a great approach to keep all bases covered. Mobile apps go through several stages of development and improvement. App companies who continuously invest efforts in studying app metrics and improvising performance can win users’ hearts over and over again.