The Top 5 reasons why apps fail

28/09/2021 20mins
Ramesh Ch


Mobile apps are flooding the app stores and the count is just growing day by day. You and me have used and even shared with our friends many app. But there are also apps which launched and disappeared forever without enjoying much success. For such apps, in layman’s term we say, they had a great idea but it was sheer bad luck. Well the fact is, always it is not bad luck that plays the trick for your failure. Sometimes if  you fall short in doing your homework and the app just fall prey to it.

A mobile app is downloaded, installed and used by users when they find it very useful and value adding in their life. For example, ‘WhatsApp’ is a great chat app and let’s us be in touch with our dear ones via text, images, videos, audio voice record, etc. Similarly, ‘CandyCrush’ is widely used by many these days to kill their boredom and enjoy a fun, colourful and relaxing game of one/two in between. Now if I am to list the names to such engaging and useful apps, the list would be unending. But if you have an app or an idea worth developing into an app – what you should bother is not my list of useful apps, rather you should think why your app is not in my list or whether your idea has the potential to become part of my list.

Without discounting the factor – ‘Bad Luck’, if you ask me why apps fail ? Well, I believe the following 5 reasons top the reasons why apps fail:

1: Lack of Proper and Adequate Market / Audience Research : Most apps might contain a great idea and would be a dynamic solution, but they fail in practice due to improper segmenting, targeting and positioning. Doing a complete market research is definitely a tedious task, it demands a lot of your time and effort. However doing a proper and adequate market/audience study will help in creating more engaging and effective user cases and position your app effortlessly. The best form of app marketing is when your mobile app market and promote itself. Getting answers to few of the following questions will help you develop your idea into an excellent app serving many as a great solution:

Is there a growing market for the type of app you desire to develop?
Does your app solve a certain/any specific problem?
Would people want to use your app?
Will your app make life easier ?
Will your app be worth sharing with others?
How clear and definite are you about executing your idea as an app?, etc.
An app without a clear purpose and fixed target is sure to fall nose down in the current highly competitive and dynamic app market. So make sure you get your market frame right before you get down with the wireframe of your solution.

2: Ignoring Platform-specific best practices : Different platforms like Android, iOS, Windows,etc., have their respective interface guidelines and practices. In each platform various icons, common buttons and images operate differently. For example, the back button and Home function are more android specific and is not found in iOS. In native iOS apps there is no concept of side menu bar, whereas side menu is a common UI element in android. Similarly various UI components differ in android and iOS. When doing cross-platform app development, it is highly important to build the app keeping in mind the differences. A well ideated and efficiently build app can fail to engage users due to such platform related nuances.

3: Lack of Intuitive UI/UX : User experience is one of the vital contributor towards success of an app. Users feel frustrated and cheated with your mobile solution if they have to exert themselves to carry out basic functionalities in your app. Users prefer to interact and engage with an app that understands their actions and supports to make their life easy. Multiple reasons cause a poor user experience, a few causes include : long loading time, slow app performance, long registration process, distracting icons, etc. There is no problem in becoming creative, but make sure you don’t do it at the expense of user-experience. The platform your app serves also influence the UI/UX and so do consider the specific platform interface guidelines when you do the UI/UX design for your app.

4: Improper Testing : It is very rare to develop an app completely void of any sort of bugs. However, it is observed that majority of the bugs is actually identified by the users. To avoid such a situation, leading to most of the negative reviews for your app, it is important you do a well structured testing of your app before you launch it.

5: Fail to take timely actions on user reviews : Let’s say, your app has bugs and few initial users mentioned it as review. However you failed to do proper social listening and respond to the review on time. This too is a big factor in failure of your app. Understand that the new generation users are ready to give you a second chance only if you listen and respond to their valuable reviews. So never leave the ground after you have uploaded your app because actual work begins once your app is live.


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