15 Major Causes of Mobile App Failure and How to Avoid Them


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Mobile apps can turn into massive successes or unmitigated failures, and the difference often comes down to the amount of hard work and care that went into development.

If you’re creating an app, it’s essential to do your research, choose the best development approach, & make sure you have the right tools in place before you start building your first feature.

Here are 15 major causes of mobile app failure you’ll want to consider before releasing your first product to the public.

1. Not Resolving Real-World Problems

The concept sounds great, but is it solving a real-world problem? If not, then no one will want to use your app. It doesn’t matter how stunning it is or how much funding you have raised – if no one wants to use it, there won’t be much point in launching.

When figuring out whether or not you’re trying to solve a real-world problem, make sure that your solution adds value over what people are already doing with their time & money.

For example, imagine you are working over an app that suggests restaurants based on what your friends are doing at the moment. Is there any added benefit here? Users can check Yelp for all of these types of recommendations.

Why will anyone download it if there is no advantage in using your app versus doing something else? It may be cute or fun but if it isn’t solving a problem in some way, no one will use it.

A lack of focus: If you’re creating a mobile app for personal reasons instead of professional ones, you’ll end up with an app that is not helpful to a large section of customers or clients.

For example, if you want to create or develop an app as a hobby for children suffering from Down syndrome or as a way to raise awareness about ADHD, there is very little chance those apps will succeed.

An app has to have some professional utility to appeal to anyone other than you or your family. Having a passion for an idea is great, but it’s not enough when you’re trying to start a new business—because, without customers, there won’t be much of a company!

2. Lack of Target Audience Research

Users tend to change their perceptions. Conducting usability testing and surveys is a great way to understand better who your target audience is. If users don’t find your app helpful, they won’t use it. Without testing, you can wind up developing an app no one wants, which will fail.
Source: statista- time spent on research

To avoid having an app nobody wants, research before starting development to ensure you’re making something people want. For example, if your idea is for a new video streaming app, it might be better off as a web application rather than a native mobile one.

By reading through mobile user research data collected from the mobile analytics software, mobile UX experts know exactly how users behave in their mobile environment, which metrics affect engagement rates, conversion rates, and retention rates.

Using this info, they can develop solutions that truly solve problems for users instead of just creating flashy apps for display on your phone.

3. Unfriendly User Interface

Some mobile applications still think it’s OK to ask users to fill out long forms on a touch screen. It is rarely a good idea and can lead to user frustration, causing them to abandon your app and look for an easier and more intuitive one.

It would help if you had an easy-to-use user interface that allows people to get straight into your application and get value from it. Otherwise, you risk losing customers before they ever use your product. Try and keep things simple; if you make it hard for people to figure out how to use your app, they won’t stick around for long.

For example, Path has an excellent interface. It’s intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for users to find their friends and connect with them. It also has a social component;

Even if you don’t know many people yet, you can share pictures and post updates about your day. This gamification keeps users engaged and happy—and that keeps them coming back again and again.

4. Failing to Choose the Right Launching Platform

Your first stop should be identifying which mobile platform—iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc. — and ecosystem best fits your product and customers. Each app platform has its benefits. For example, Android offers a plethora of audience and hardware options, but iOS users tend to spend more on apps.
stats for mobile apps
Source: statista-leading app stores

After choosing a platform, you need to make sure you’re developing for it properly. Not all developers are created equal, so make sure you hire app programmer with years of experience. They must have a proven track record in building apps for that specific mobile operating system.

You can also choose not to develop an app if your business model doesn’t require one. However, If you do decide to build an app, make sure you’re thinking about how you can provide value without it too.

5. Insufficient Testing Time for the App

Mobile apps require a fair amount of testing. They’re so complex that only about 4% get released without any bugs at all, as per Failory. Even after apps have been tested, there is no shortage of updates and improvements based on user feedback.

If you do not put in enough time in testing your app or use adequate testing tools, it can fail to get your app into people’s hands. It takes more than one iteration for an app to become famous; it takes time and iteration after iteration until it does!

Many entrepreneurs may end up wasting hundreds or thousands on developing an app that gets never used due to failure in planning and development. Don’t fall victim to cutting corners; make sure your app gets thoroughly tested before launching!

6. Incorrect App Store Optimization

Most people think their job is done by simply having a presence on Google Play or Apple’s App Store. However, getting an app into those stores isn’t nearly enough to drive significant growth and achieve success.

The placement of your app among search results is primarily based on metadata that you provide to each store upon launch—but it’s not a one-and-done deal.

To reach consumers who will download and use your app regularly, you need to consider how your marketing efforts relate to those already in place from platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

7. Underfunding

One of the biggest causes of mobile app failure is having too little money. This problem arises when startups spend all their money on design and development, leaving nothing for testing, promotion, support, or maintenance.

It’s hard to get sufficient data on how often companies run out of money before finding enough users to generate revenue. Still, it happens often enough that several firms have started developing new app financing strategies designed to fill in these funding gaps.

• What are your risks for running out of money?
• Are you sure you have enough?
• Have you tested your assumptions about how much it will cost to launch your product?
• What are your options if things don’t go as planned?

You can’t know until you do some research and think through potential worst-case scenarios.

8. Inefficient Marketing Strategy

If your product is excellent, but no one hears about it, then you’ve got a big problem. With mobile apps growing in popularity, many companies build their products first and figure out how to market them later—which often leads to failure.
app development market stats
Source: statista- top app marketing challenges

The best way to avoid app failure is by creating a solid marketing strategy for your product before building it. You should know who you want to reach and what you’re going to say before making an app or mobile site.

Don’t let lack of planning ruin everything! With several affordable marketing services available, there’s no excuse to start promoting your idea early on. It could save you time, funds, & heartache in the long run.

The no-plan mentality can also hurt other aspects of your business too—for example, if you don’t create a marketing strategy for offline promotions, how will anyone find out about that excellent new feature?

Effective marketing means maintaining awareness across multiple channels at all times, which requires preparation ahead of time. Without goals and a plan from day one, successful apps can quickly lose steam without due diligence on marketing tactics and outreach campaigns.

9. Poor Customer Support

Slow response times, miscommunication, and inadequate training can derail any mobile app. With nearly 30% of app users abandoning an app after one use due to insufficient customer support (KISSmetrics), optimizing your customer experience strategy is essential for preventing mobile app failure.

However, many businesses neglect to invest in their Customer Success/Support team; according to The Balance, Small Business Support workers need years’ worth of specialized training—and an array of technical knowledge—to be effective.

When Customer Success/Support workers aren’t equipped with these skills, your business suffers. For example, many small businesses invest in customer success technology but fail to invest in extensive training for those who will interact directly with customers on a day-to-day basis.

This lack of preparation can lead to poorly implemented solutions that slow business growth rather than enhance it. All it takes is one lousy interaction between your support workers and an angry client to ruin your company’s reputation—and your app’s star rating—for good!

How you handle customers speaks volumes about your brand identity, ensuring that it’s consistent across all channels. Make sure you have the perfect game plan before you launch so that when questions arise, you know exactly how to handle them!

10. Buggy Updates Lacking User Feedback Consideration

In today’s world, clients have more power than ever. If you ignore what they say about your mobile app, it could spell disaster for your company. Without user feedback, you can’t grow sustainably.

Customers may love a particular feature when it first launches, but chances are their feelings will change over time. For example, that catchy intro animation at launch might get annoying if left unchanged in an update that comes out three months later.

To avoid driving users away with updates and keep them coming back for more features down the road, make sure to put their wants and needs first by always incorporating user feedback into development cycles from start to finish.

11. Overlooking Security Threats

If there’s one thing we should’ve learned over the past decade, it’s that internet security is paramount. Yet, even with apps earning more access to our phones, which essentially hold all our essential information, companies still fail to see mobile app security as a priority.
Source: statista-detected malicious packages

For example, apps can easily upload an entire user database—including personal data like names and addresses—and expose it publicly on servers. To keep your business information safe & secure from hackers, consider investing in mobile app security software or services.

Even something simple like encryption can go a long way in keeping your users’ data secure against cyberattacks. After all, you don’t want someone else claiming credit for your hard work!

12. Coding Flaws

It might appear evident while reading, but you have to make sure your mobile app has been built well from a technical standpoint. If it doesn’t work when it launches or contains bugs that make it difficult for users to navigate, you could be in trouble.

Flurry data shows there are more than 400 million instances of bad apps per month. In other words, if your app is faulty when launched, you’re going to have a lot of angry customers who won’t want to do business with you again in the future.

13. Underestimating UX Challenges
User experience is a huge factor in determining whether a mobile app succeeds or fails. It’s easy to write an app that seems intuitive and fun to use, but if it takes too long to analyze how to use, offers preliminary design, or misses vital features, users will quickly lose interest.

It will help if you put as much time into making sure your UX is as good as possible with development. That way, users won’t have any trouble using your product from day one.
They’ll be happy, which leads to word-of-mouth marketing, leading to more significant downloads and more business opportunities in general. It’s a win-win for everyone involved in creating and using your app! For example, an app that is poorly designed can discourage users from using it at all.

Paying attention to user interface details during testing is essential to creating a seamless experience for your users. The last thing you hope for is for end-users to have a bad experience while downloading your app!

14. Bad Prototyping

Prototyping is one of the most underrated and misunderstood steps in creating a mobile app. Too many developers, designers, and project managers view prototypes as something to do only when necessary—such as after you’ve done all your research and know what needs to get built.

However, great prototyping can save you time and money by helping you visualize your ideas early on and answer questions before they become issues. Even if you think you know everything about what you want to build in advance, it doesn’t hurt to prototype quickly to see how things will look—and if there are problems or missing elements that need fixing or improving.

How are other apps already doing it? If you create an app in a competitive field, see what works and doesn’t with existing apps. It allows you to identify other developers’ mistakes so that you don’t repeat them yourself! It will save you valuable time and prevent you from making costly mistakes.

15. Missing Timely Delivery of the App

The team might assume that it will be easy to create a mobile app, only to discover they need additional resources and time. They may rush things and forget that mobile applications require testing and monitoring after deployment, like any other technology.

It’s no surprise that an app’s time to market matters. From a startup’s perspective, users are more likely to download your app if it’s available on their mobile device right when they need it. So why wait?

Depending on your app’s complexity, take advantage of prototyping software and tools to create, test and deploy your mobile app in just days. If you opt for custom development instead of rapid prototyping, you should expect an average nine-month lead time before you can deliver your first mobile app.

With rapid prototyping, you’ll spend less time coding and more time getting feedback from real users so you can get an additional head start on user adoption.

Final Words

There are many causes for app failure. If you’re in it for success, be sure to avoid these common pitfalls discussed above! If you avoid all of these mistakes, your chances of becoming successful will significantly increase.

However, if you’re still not sure what you want to do with an app or why you want one in the first place—don’t worry! After all, many businesses discover they don’t need one, but it never hurts to know your options.

Keep these things in the note as you start thinking about your mobile app. And if you’re ready to create an app for your business, contact a leading mobile app development company in India.


Question: Can I hire a developer at a rate as low as $5 per hour?

Answer: How often have you come across an ad that says Apps developed for $500 or Developed on a $5 per hour basis? Probably dozens of times. These ads (spam) drive home a critical fact that developing mobile apps isn’t as expensive as many people think.

If you surf or browse the internet, you will find hundreds of companies claiming to develop applications at meager prices, but what about quality? Is there any point in paying next to nothing for an app if it doesn’t look good or works erratically on any platform?

Marketing comes in handy; many companies target newbie programmers offering them upfront money and promising a big project at a meager cost.

Question: What are the Leading Android Apps in 2021?

Answer: As per statista, the Leading Android Apps include the following:

#1: Instagram- 30.76 Million Downloads
#2: 456: Survival Game- 23.37 Million Downloads
#3: Telegram- 21.68 Million Downloads
#4: Snapchat- 21.1 Million Downloads
#5: Garena Free Fire Max- 20.67 Million Downloads

Varun Bhagat
Varun Bhagat is a technology geek and works as a Sr. IT Consultant with PixelCrayons, a web & software development company in India. He possesses in-depth knowledge of mobile app development & web development technologies and helps clients to choose the best platforms as per their needs.


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