If you’re an app maker, there are probably a million dreams that you have in mind regarding its success. I mean who likes an application with around 1000 downloads and that too by disappointed customers? Exactly! No one. Applications like these disappear in the deepest and darkest corners of Google Play Store and Apple App Store and eventually get discontinued. A clear waste of arduous work and hard-earned money. This is one of the many reasons why sometimes app owners feel hesitant when investing their time and money on applications.
Here’s a question: Ever heard of Google Wave? I’m sure you haven’t. That’s mainly because before you got the time to discover what that is – the application got discontinued. Here’s another example, ever heard of Lifestage? Facebook’s attempt to copy Snapchat completely? Well, you probably can’t really download it now since it just got discontinued today. Facebook has successfully copied some features from Snapchat and has outscored the application with them. Yet, Lifestage was one of those bad experiments with the Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V key that you don’t want to repeat again and again. Let’s have a look at what were the major reasons why the application failed:
Lacked Originality – The application badly lacked originality. It was – without a shadow of a doubt – a blatant copy of snapchat together with the filters, the lenses and much more.
Badly Marketed – Don’t get me wrong, most tech gurus knew what the app was, but did you? Of course, you didn’t. That’s one of the many reasons why the app never made it into the big leagues.
Unsatisfactory Experience – Most users that used the application didn’t really think of it as a competitor to Snapchat. The whole user experience was unsatisfying for most users.
As we bid Lifestage a horrendous farewell, we come to the understanding that even applications by Google and Facebook can fail. There are several applications in the industry that fail badly. What’s even worse is that most failed applications repeat the same mistakes again and again. Let’s have a look at what these mistakes:
Mistake 1 – Bad targeting
If you’re going to target senior citizens for an app that’s made for kids and youngsters, you’re obviously going to fail. Bad audience targeting is one of the biggest reasons why applications fail to make it to the big leagues. Consider sitting down with digital marketing experts to make sure you target your audience with precision.
Try breaking things down. Instead of just strategizing how you’ll target youngsters, elaborate further. Break your targeted audience down into age, region, behaviors and much more.
Mistake 2 – A Bad User Interface
We’ve talked about the impact of UI on applications and the app users. A bad user interface can turn out to be an audience-repeller, if you may. Think of it this way – why would a user spend $200-$700 on a smartphone to download and use an application with a bad UI? Exactly the point.
And hey, right now I’m just talking about the free applications, not the paid ones. Why? Well, because there is no way someone would actually pay for an app with a hideous UI.
Mistake 3 – Stupid Marketing Strategy
So, you’ve got an app that functions perfectly with a great UI as well? Awesome. But hey, what good is that application if you don’t know how to market that application. Flaws in your marketing strategy can become a huge issue for your application. It can very well be the deciding factor between a successful application and an application that doesn’t really make a difference on the masses.
A marketing strategy by experienced professionals is necessary. Marketing experts usually understand the behavior of your targeted audience. Hence, marketing your app the way your audience wants to see it.
Mistake 4 – Untested User Experience
The user experience is undoubtedly one of the most important factors on your application. It should also come to notice that since the User Experience and the User Interface go hand in hand, one becomes the reason for the fall of the other
Hence, with a bad UI, the UX is also directly affected. With a cluttered design, you will directly affect the experience of your user. And THAT, isn’t something you want to mess with as there is nothing worse than a bad UX for a user. It is perhaps a direct route to the delete button for the application.
Mistake 5 – Lack Of Originality
If there’s one thing that I always stress about, it’s original and innovative ideas. I’ve done that before in several of my blogs and I’ll probably keep doing it till the end of time. If there’s one thing that will always remain the deciding factor for an application’s success. Consider this small fact, what good would you do your audience by making a similar application to something that they’ve already been using? Exactly, no good.
It is great to be competitive but perhaps, be a competitive copy like Instagram – rather than being one like Lifestage – no pun intended. Understand that users around the world are being introduced to something new in the shape of an application every day. If you are going to present them with something they already have been using for a long time, why would they even make the switch? Exactly the point. By going over the same features, your app would merely be the second preference and of course no app owner would want that.
All in all, I wouldn’t say these are the only mistakes that all app owners make. There are several others. Yet, these are the 5 mistakes that app owners usually make repetitively. Feel like there’s something that I missed out on? Feel free to add it in the comments section.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.