10 Mobile App Development Mistakes You Should Avoid

Mobile apps usage has witnessed skyrocketing growth in recent times and there is absolutely no doubt this growth will continue in the future as well.

Mobile apps are changing the way millions of consumers go about their daily lives.

But not all apps are successful; there are those that are like mayflies.

They get to live for one day and the very next day POOF! They are gone. Uninstalled.Deleted.

After putting tons of effort in mobile apps development and spending a huge amount of money on app store optimization, you definitely don’t want your user to uninstall/delete your app.

So how do you go about avoiding this scenario? You do that by staying away from certain mistakes.

Here are 10 blunders you must strictly avoid while creating a mobile app for your business.

1. Not Choosing the Right Platform

So you are all set to develop a new app.

You choose iOS as your platform, thinking monetization will be easier on the App Store.

Wait. Stop and rethink.

This is where you are letting ‘stereotyping’ come in the way of choosing the right mobile OS for app development.

Apple and Android have been the two champions of the mobile market for quite a long time. But market reach, however minuscule, of players such as Windows Phone and Blackberry OS cannot be ignored. For e.g. there are plenty of countries where Windows Phone has captured a large portion of the market share. If you are targeting these countries, you might want to get yourself a Windows Phone app, as well as, an Android app.

iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows: Where should your app go?

The answer should be based on considering various aspects like the app’s target audience, development costs, monetization model, technical features and most importantly, future prospects.

2. Think of great apps, not intrusive ads

Yes, in-app ads are ideal for app monetization, especially if the app is free for download. There is no denying that.

But hold on.

Imagine those full screen and video ads loaded with graphics, impacting the app’s usability. Wouldn’t that be a source of annoyance?

These teeny-weeny ads in every nook and corner of your app will lead to an overall negative experience; this makes your app intensely unappealing to the target audience.

But, what if you still need to use ads and at the same time ensure they aren’t cause for nuisance. How do you advertise and still make sure your UX doesn’t go for a toss.

The answer lies in testing.

Make sure the appearance of the advertisement has been customized as per the design and layout of the app and does not compromise on its user experience.

3Don’t be Pushy

Pop-up notifications are all over smartphones these days; and they can be excessively annoying if they are irrelevant.

A pop-up notification is an incredibly powerful medium to increase user engagement and retention rates. But you must decide the when/what/where/to of sending these notifications to the user.

You need to send these notifications to the right user at the right time.

Make sure these notifications become a part of your app marketing strategy rather than a source of irritation for your users.

4. Performance, a Far Cry from Expectations

Does your app suffer from any or all of these problems?

1.  Freezes at the drop of a hat
2.  Uses too much device memory
3.  Drains the battery at the speed of light
4.  Takes forever to load
5.  Has a fat finger problem
6.  Delivers an unsatisfactory UX

If yes, your app is showing signs of poor performance. No prizes for guessing poor performance destroys app reputation. If you are doing nothing to sort out these problems, you’ll find users leaving negative reviews on the apps download page. Prospective users will see these reviews and ratings and prefer to download some other app.

What’s more, current users will start uninstalling your app from their devices.

According to 44% users, if an app doesn’t perform as expected, they delete it immediately.

5. Annoying Tactics

Why would you want to force your app users to follow your social media accounts?

If these accounts are worth following and good enough, your users are eventually going to follow them.

Pushy tactics such as posting on the users’ wall or sending invites to their friends without their knowledge is going to infuriate your users more.

The result of such tactics is obvious: Your mobile app will be dumped.

6. Inconvenient User Interface

Designing an app is not just limited to aesthetics. User experience also plays a pivotal role.

In order to provide a unique experience, don’t opt for a layout that looks great, but is too complex to understand.

Opting for an easy to understand layout and functionality for your mobile app will ensure maximum user engagement.

7. Pestering the Customer to Update and Rate the App

Asking users to rate your app once or twice is absolutely reasonable. It’s only through positive ratings that you will be able to increase product visibility and encourage more downloads.

But if you are going to keep asking the user to rate your app every now and then that will undoubtedly get on the user’s nerves. The requests to rate your app should be relevant and come at the right time – for example, when a user has decided to uninstall it or let’s say when you have introduced a major update.

The same goes for updates. Introducing updates every other week will cause a lot of inconvenience to the users. Ask yourself if the update is really needed and let the users know why the app needs to be updated.

Lessons to be learnt:

Don’t ‘impose’ the need for feedback. Let it come naturally from the users. And once you receive this feedback, make sure your app update centers on user feedback.

8. Not Keeping the Target Audience in Mind

While creating the mobile app, has your target audience been taken into account or is the app centered on your own (business) needs.

If it’s the latter, your app is destined to fail. Your app needs to be user driven in order for it to succeed.

Good apps are created keeping the needs of their intended audience in mind: users’ age, gender, interests, specific geographic locations etc. – all of this, needs to be kept in mind.

An app that focuses on intended users and their needs will be more effective.

9. Forcing the User to Disclose Personal Details

Think about it. Why would a torch flashlight app need any access to your phone book?

It sounds downright ridiculous, doesn’t it? So, why have we mentioned a torchlight and access to the user’s phone book?

To reinforce the point that you must not ask your user for more information than what is really necessary.

10. Is your app a copycat?

Does your app have a unique element?

Do your users want to keep coming back to your mobile app, because there is no other app offering the same kind of functionality/features?

If yes, congratulations, you’ve got a successful apps on your hands. If not, then you’ve to work harder to make your app, truly one of a kind.

In this crowded digital market, apps that are simply carbon copies of other apps won’t survive. Its unique features and functionality that make a user pick an app.

Bonus point:

If you want to be more confident about your app’s ability to succeed amongst cutthroat competition, have your app beta tested by as many people as you can. These should include stakeholders and also people who aren’t remotely connected with app development in any way.

This will give you a better idea about the scope for improvement in your app.

The Wrap

By avoiding these mistakes, you are sowing the seeds of success for your mobile app.

The key is to put on your app’s users’ shoes and create apps that add value to customers’ lives. Keeping asking yourself whether your app is staying true to its user driven goals throughout app development; this will ensure your development efforts don’t veer in the wrong direction.

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Hiral Atha is the Founder and CEO of MoveoApps. She started coding even before she entered high school and today, she helps clients develop impactful mobile apps for their business. With over a decade of experience in mobile, she leads a team of young and experienced developers. When not leading an ambitious app development project, you’ll find her playing board games with her 6 years old son and piquing his curiosity in computer programming.