iPhone Life magazine

3 Reasons Why Most Apps Fail

Did you know there are more than 750,000 apps in Apple's App Store with another 700,000 available in Google Play? And this is what’s really mind-blowing: More than 65 percent of those apps will never even recover the cost of the initial investment. That means most app developers fail to make it in the app industry, and that’s a pretty serious issue…

Naturally, I wanted to understand what these developers were doing wrong so I could avoid the same fate. I wanted to be among the top 10 percent who make bucket-loads of cash.

So I did my dirt. I downloaded a lot of apps and studied all of the content I could get my hands on. I even contacted a number of successful app developers to put my questions to them.
 
This is what I discovered: Most app developers aren’t really sure about what they’re doing. Ok, I know this doesn't exactly sound like a groundbreaking realization, but please hear me out. Most people don’t know what an app needs in order to succeed in the App Store. Once you realize what people are doing wrong, you can avoid the pitfalls and thereby develop more successful apps. It’s not rocket-science. Here are three areas where apps fail:
 

1.  User Interface & User Experience

 
Fundamentally, the interface design is the art of laying out the screens and screen flow of an app to optimize your users’ experience. We focus on buttons, layout, and color. 
It’s all about trimming the "fat" and keeping the experience simple. Why? Because people are both lazy and impatient – don’t worry, I am too. So that makes it twice as important to spend the time to get it right.
 
Every app development team has at least one UI/UX designer. This is an area where people fall over so the do-it-yourself mentality definitely does NOT apply.

 

2) Monetization

Monetization in itself is a huge subject and deserves a lot of attention. You see, there are a variety of ways to monetize an app such as pay-per-download, in-app purchases, and free with ads, which I covered on in my previous post. The efficacy of each monetization strategy will depend on the type of app you're developing.

Be careful of using in-app purchases too aggressively. No one likes to feel as if they are being pushed into purchases sold and is a sure way to lose user engagement.

Ads can be really damned annoying, and I have literally deleted apps on the spot for exactly that reason. If you’re going to charge the user to download your app, make sure your graphics and description really sell the benefit of your app. People don’t like ugly apps.

Think carefully about what monetization strategy to use, because this decision will either make or break the success of your idea.

3) Marketing
 
Sadly the "Good Ol' Days" when an app could make a million bucks within its first month in the App Store are truly over. That means you and I need to get a little bit savvier. The good news is that marketing a mobile app doesn’t mean you have to sell your house. But you may need to learn a couple of new skills...
 
We can use online marketing tactics, AppoDay type services and even other people's apps. But the best strategy of them all is App Store optimization. Like search engine optimization, App Store optimization is about utilizing strategies and techniques to make an app or website easier to find by searchers.
 
Finding Your Way
 
Developing apps isn’t all that hard. Once you’ve done it a few times you learn what works and what doesn’t. If you’re developing an app right now or thinking about doing so in the future, my number one advice to you is this: Get your hands on as much information as you can and just keep learning. You’re going to make mistakes, that’s unavoidable. But if you go into it with at least a little bit of understanding, at least you’re not just taking a random stab in the dark.
 
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Logan Merrick's picture
Logan is a tech junkie born and raised, with a strong interest in the wonderful world of app development. In fact, he both owns and works in a successful app development company in Melbourne, Australia, called Buzinga. He also develops his own mobile apps through his new app business, Lofty Interactive. Logan has been featured and published in Digital Marketing Monthly Magazine, App User, The Australian Appreneur, Channel 7, and Manhattan Media. He's also authored Getting Started with Your App, Advanced App Marketing 2.0 and The App Monetisation Guide, which are all available from the Buzinga website.