Forrester predicted that 46% of the global population will use smartphones by the end of 2016 and they were spot on. According to Neilson report, 89% of the time spent on smartphones is spent in using mobile apps. According to Google, 25% of mobile apps are never used while 26% of mobile apps are abandoned after the first use. These statistics highlight both the opportunities and threats in app development industry.
Despite this, mobile app development industry will continue to grow but how can your business benefit from this boom is critical. For this, you will have to avoid these five mistakes to create a mobile app that outshines the competition.
1.Develop Apps for Multiple Platforms Concurrently
Although, there is nothing wrong in creating a mobile app for different mobile platforms things start to go haywire when you do it simultaneously. Save your time and minimize the app development costs by focusing on one platform at a time. The advantage is that your product (app) will reach the marketplace (app store) quickly. More importantly, you can easily make changes to your mobile app, which is not easy if you develop for multiple platforms simultaneously.
Most small businesses launch their apps on iOS and give it a little time to mature before taking it to Android. There are many such examples but the best example in this regard is Instagram. Instagram started their journey with iOS and expanded their user base to 30 million users before launching an Android version of the app. Don’t let the fast paced nature of the app development business trick you in creating apps for multiple mobile operating systems simultaneously. Start with one and after your voice gets heard, jump to the second platform.
2.Going Overboard With Features
Once you have chosen a platform to develop a mobile app for, it is time to decide on the core features of your mobile apps. Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist who has invested in hot startups like Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare said, “Mobile does not reward feature richness. It rewards small, application specific, feature light services. I have said this before but I will say it again. The phone is the equivalent of the web application and the mobile apps you have on your home screen(s) are the features.”
Do not go overboard with features because it will give your mobile app any advantage and might confuse some users as well. More importantly, most users will use only a handful of these features. Just focus on the essentials and eliminate the rest. Make sure that all the features work as planned. It is much better to take your time and release a polished mobile app instead of rushing through the development process and launching a buggy app. Rescheduling your mobile app launch will cause less damage to your business and its reputation than launching a flawed mobile app.
3.Neglecting User Experience
“At the end of the day, it is how the user remembers the experience. Focus on key experiences”—Shawn Borsky
Probably the biggest sin an app developer can commit when developing a mobile app is ignoring user experience. When you do that, the users abandon your app. They will never use your mobile app but will share the negative experience they had with your app with others, which is what you do not want. Alan Cooper has a solution to this problem, “If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likable person: respectful, generous and helpful”
Mobile users have different demands and expectations as compared to web users. Web users might give you some flexibility but mobile users do not. They want everything to work flawlessly without much hassle. With the number of alternatives available to mobile users, they will quickly abandon your app and move on to the other option just after one poor experience with your app. As an app developer, you should focus on improving the user experience of your mobile app to the point that it persuades the users to use your app regularly
4.Designing Complex User Interfaces
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”—Leonardo Da Vinci
Complex user interfaces for a mobile app can not only confuse and frustrate users but can also leave a bad first impression on them. No matter how useful your mobile app might be, if the users cannot figure out how to perform the basic tasks, they will surely ditch your app and might use another app. There is nothing worse for a business than losing customers to their competitors. Thankfully, app developers can easily prevent that by developing user-friendly mobile applications. Make tutorials in order to assist users on how to use your mobile app.
5.Post App Submission Marketing
There is a common misconception prevailing in the mobile app development industry that you should only start marketing your mobile app after it goes live on the app store, which is wrong. If you want your mobile app to go viral, then you will have to create some hype for it. That is where aggressive mobile app marketing before its official launch comes into play. Experts suggest that you should contact the media 2-4 weeks before the launch in order to create a buzz about your mobile app. Get influencers on board by sending personalized emails highlighting what your app is all about and what it does. Don’t forget to offer them an opportunity to use your mobile app before it is available to everyone else.
Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others. If you are making any of these mistakes, then now is the good time to stop them. Whether it is lack of attention to user experience, developing a mobile app for multiple platforms or loading your mobile app with too many features, these mistakes are hindering your mobile app. Do not let them come in the way of your mobile app success.