11 Common Mobile App Development Mistakes To Avoid

Top 11 Mobile App Development Mistakes You Should Totally Avoid

With more than 6 million apps as competition in the mobile apps industry, you cannot afford to make these app development mistakes.

Updated on :
January 13th, 2021
Twinkle Kalkandha
Twinkle Kalkandha
Product Strategist

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was a man of limited words. In an interview he once said, Walmart’s success was led by ‘good decisions’ which came from ‘experience’ which further came from ‘bad decisions’. Today Walmart tops the Fortune 500 list with an estimated annual revenue of $514 billion.

The mobile apps industry is no different. You’ll find hundreds of examples where even famous CEOs and founders have committed blunderous mistakes, despite having some of the best mobile app ideas of their times. That’s how one learns.

With more and more smartphones being created every year the number of mobile applications has significantly increased simultaneously. To make such apps there are many excellent top app development agencies which are responsible for developing some of the best mobile app ideas which are currently in development or customer use. Developing a mobile app is a long and never-ending process which implies there are bound to be mistakes. It could be at any level at any moment which can embarrassingly cause your app to falter.

Analyze your mobile app mistakes and requirements before others do

People are quick to notice if there’s any fault in your app. Interestingly, there might not be any visible fault yet your app might be lacking features in comparison to your competitor’s app. This is also a plausible mistake. To build an app, your team needs to be dedicatedly focused and aware of the smallest things to be fully accurate.

While nothing can stop from an error to occur, there are some generic ones which you should purposefully avoid. Below is a list of those common mistakes which any and every app development should refrain from committing.

You may be losing out on business due to these app mistakes

It’s true that mobile apps have better chances to earn profits. But, at the same time your motive for developing a mobile app should be clear. Mobile app development is a lengthy, expensive and a time-consuming process so if you plan to make one do an extensive study on the same. More the downloads and retention rates your app gets, the more lucrative it will be for your business. Understand what the requirement is, why do you ‘believe’ your business will do better if it gets an app version.

Decide what’s best for you, plan out everything which should include hiring a mobile app development company or to hire a team of developers, market research, budget allocations, competitor research, etc.

Not researching your target market

You are making an app- who all shall use it? Do you have a target market or target audience to whom your app is directed towards? For a successful mobile app, one of the key primary steps is understanding your target market. Identifying the target market helps you to realise the purpose of making an app. To help you further, you can start by asking the following questions

  • What is the pain point(s) your app intends to solve?
  • How is your app helping?
  • Who should be using your app?
  • Why only your app is the best for the cause?

You must keep in mind the audience demographics which will help you target them systematically and your app’s objective to be more clear. Psychological demographics (Personality, behaviour, habits and values) also play a vital role in the same.

Budget allocation: setting up unrealistic cost plans

As mentioned earlier that mobile app development is expensive, for the process to go on smoothly, you need a robust financial plan. To build a mobile app, you need a separate business model. On interactions with the app development agency/team, you will get to know the app development process step-by-step.

There are costs involved in designing and developing a mobile application, testing it, onboarding costs, marketing costs, bugfixes costs and many other costs which are very important for the app to function. At times, a company spends millions of dollars for an app yet it flops horribly. Never blindly shell out obscene amounts of money without fully speculating the outcome. The more technology you induct, the more it will cost. For eg, techs like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality cost a whopper.

The bottom line is you need to plan out every capital investment copiously right from hiring an app development company to marketing the app.

Competitors’ threats not taken into consideration

Competitor research is extremely crucial before and during building a mobile app. Try to find out who your competitors are, see what their online presence is like, try to comprehend and analyse their marketing strategies, find out on how many platforms have they made their apps available in, check out their ranking in the app stores, go through customer reviews and feedback and study industry reports.

If their apps are doing significantly well, try to find out the X-Factor in it. What are the things that make those apps stand out? Is it the design, the features or the UX? This also brings us to an important point- do not replicate what they have done just to gain a competitive edge. Steve Ballmer, the co-founder of Microsoft, took directly on Apple’s many creations and lost out. For example, Zune came at a time when iTunes already left an indelible mark. Another big example is Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, which was a major investment by the company yet it’s no-show cost the company almost a billion-dollar in losses.

Stuffing a plethora of features on the mobile app

When you conceive a mobile app idea, you imagine it having a lot of things. Yes, you should but in an orderly way. It happens a lot with businesses that when they finalise an app, they embed so many features that it becomes too much for the users to handle. You may argue that your app is feature-rich but it’s actually not.

Including too many features will not only confuse your users but will make your app heavy as well. You need to constantly remind thyself of the purpose of your app. It is to put a lid over your target audience’s certain problems and with so many features, your users may find themselves in some sort of a labyrinth.

Pro Trip: Do not confuse good UI with more features and create a roadmap which should include easy tasks and gamification methods which will help a user to use your app and meet the objective.

Not investing in cross-platform app development

Before you select the platforms for your app, ask yourself questions like what do you want your app to accomplish, what is your budget and what features your app shall exhibit? These are the first steps to develop an app. This demarcates the platforms you choose for your app.

There’s no doubt a native application is powerful and the most classic type of apps. But they are costly as well. Cross-platform application development is comparatively inexpensive but are equally fast. With a single codebase, your app can be developed for multiple platforms including Android and iOS. To build a mobile app for cross-platform, the developer needs to have knowledge of frameworks like Flutter, Ionic, React Native, etc.

Insufficient testing during the development phase

Testing is one of the most critical stages of app development. Consider this, your app comes with an exceptional concept, amazing features, will most likely guarantee an amazing UX but it has so many errors and needs bugfixes that it doesn’t get launched. What a waste! Even if your app gets launched, as per reports only 79% will give it a second chance and 0nly 16% for a third.

You obviously want your app to be smooth and show the user its true potential. That’s why sufficient testing is extremely mandatory. Test your devices on every device so that you can ensure your app works without any glitches on any kind of device.

A test report by the quality assurance team is created and maintained to avoid further similar mistakes.

Ignoring MVP- minimal viable product

MVP or Minimal Viable Product is a concept where you test run an app with minimal (but key) features to get initial feedback on its performance. You release the additional updates later on. While developing a mobile app, MVP can help you in a lot many like-

  • Conservation of time, money and effort by ensuring your project is heading towards the right direction or not.
  • An assessment of your app’s impact on (target) users.
  • If all goes well, you can gradually add additional features to enhance your app functionality.
  • It enables a faster release. If the feedback is overall positive, developers can proceed with motivation and work on the grey areas.
  • You attract investors

With saving a lot of money and low risk, you proceed in the right manner. Even if your app doesn’t turn out to be good, your mobile app development process doesn’t go away in vain as you get to learn a lot from it.

Unimpressive UI/UX designs leads to an unimpressive mobile app

When you intend to build an app, you need to understand that your User interface design (UI) is the face of your app that will communicate with your user and User experience (UX) will always leave the first impression of your app on the user’s mind. So, if you are unable to provide them with a clear, yet purposeful UI/UX option, forget about developing a ‘successful’ mobile app.

As per global reports ‘Customers who have a negative brand experience on mobile are 62% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future’. So, if you do not wish to develop a mobile app that actually ends up negating your business, rather than promoting it; you need to ensure a user-centric and effective UI/UX design inclusion. The following features could help you with its basic requirements:

  • Ensure a simple, yet classy design; as the user must not feel overwhelmed while opening the app.
  • Give appropriate importance to the app functionalities, after all users are on your app, looking out for them.
  • Make proper use of colors and images as they are known to have a stronger memory retention prowess.
  • Use typographic hierarchies to highlight what is more important. It is the simplest and the classiest way to do it.
  • Ensure, videos do not make your app heavy as this may lead to users leaving the app due to greater load time.

Do not put in any heavy form fillings for the users as it may dismay them and they might simply close or abandon the app. In fact, the overall user experience and design plays a major role in how many users download the app and then retain it within regular usage.

Statistics prove that in 2018 approximately 21% of downloaded mobile apps had only been used once. An innovative and well throughout UI/UX design can not only ensure larger number of downloads, but also direct sales and better marketability with a good word of mouth from the user itself. It is thus, rightly said that a dollar spent on user experience can actually provide an ROI of 100 dollars. As a mobile app owner, you definitely cannot miss out on this aspect of app development.

Miscommunication leading to mobile app mishaps

When creating a mobile app for your business, try and envision it, as not just an app; but as your major source of sales, brand image, marketing opportunities and business tool. So, you need to develop it accordingly and you need to communicate the same to your app development partnering company. You need to clearly state your app objectives, its goals and functionalities; time and again to ensure that there are no misforgivings in their understanding.

‘Miscommunication’ is a major app development issue that can cost you a lot of app development time, efforts and thus, money. Picture this, a miscommunication during the design stage could lead to an unrequited functionality or utility in the development stage. Yes, this issue can be or rather will be noticed during testing or prototype developments; but then the app developers will have to again go down to the design stage; leading to wastage of efforts on the current model as well as the efforts that would go in the development of a newer one.

So, if you wish to avoid all this trouble; ensure clear communications with your mobile app development teams. This only does not include goals and design objectives, but also regular feedback and checks on their adaptability. Your mobile app is your baby, being developed by somebody else. So, you need to ensure that everything stays clearly defined, with complete transparency and with you in the loop at all stages. And trust us, there is nothing like too much communication in this context.

Unscalable and Unreliable apps can tank anytime..

When you intend to create a mobile app, you put in a lot of effort, time and money into it. After all, it is your dream project to take your app idea to the masses. But, what if your idea is doomed to tank right before it’s about to achieve that success for you. This is exactly what happens when a mobile app development team builds an unscalable solution.

Mobile apps are meant for growth, to create success stories. But, if their development does not inculcate requisite tools for easy extensions, higher number of user records, higher amount of data; later on added functionalities, more products and services on offer; your app is headed towards a disaster.

In today’s world; wherein technologies like ‘clouds’ are being created to provide easy scalability options to all technology solutions; creating an app that cannot scale with business growth and evolution is like throwing an apple from earth towards space and expecting it to reach the clouds. But, it will fall only after a short flight.

Not giving importance to feedback, reviews and ratings

The most directly informative way of knowing whether your app is doing well or not is by the general reviews you gather. Be it on the application stores, social media, website or any other place, every review counts and should be taken seriously, especially the ones highlighting an important aspect.

The above image represents how resolving negative feedback resulted in a huge improvement in ranking and visibility.

It’s also important to know that users generally do not leave any feedback unless they encounter a problem with the app, therefore, if you find positive responses for an app, that means, it really is doing something different. According to research, 90% of consumers consider positive reviews as personal recommendations.

“90% of consumers consider positive reviews as personal recommendations.”
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After building a mobile app, testing it and marketing it, you should focus on the reviews and rating it generates. You can also introduce a pop-up rating and review feature in your app after a user has used your app for some time. Positive rating help in increasing user retention, doubling conversion rate, making your app more visible and creating a supportive community.

Try and mitigate these app mistakes to avoid all kinds of business disasters…

Mistakes are stepping stones to everything. Despite being fixated to your app, there will be more than one problem as you aren’t solely dedicated to your app, there are teams who are looking after it. But the important thing is not to make decisions that might completely throw you out of bounds. Roy Raymond, founder of Victoria’s Secret, one of the largest women’s apparel and beauty products companies, had sold his company to Leslie Wexner (whose company L Brands presently owns it) for a meagre sum of $1 million as it was nearing bankruptcy. Within years, the company became a billion-dollar enterprise. Raymond, who couldn’t do better business later on and was dealing with a torrid love life, leapt off the Golden Gate Bridge (1993) to end it all.

While the above was a tragic story of fate, the problems listed above are general ones which you should never commit purposefully for a smooth development process. Developing a mobile application is a fun thing to do if done with tenacity, therefore, avoid common mistakes and keep it up.

Next up

Tricks and procedure to strategize and develop a smart app business.