Mobile app development is not an easy task. Even with a team of experts on board, mistakes are bound to happen. However, some mistakes are more critical than others and can determine whether your digital business succeeds. In this article, we’ll go over the most common app development mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
1. I don’t properly research user needs
Mobile app development is no different than any other kind of development in that research takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. One of the most common mistakes business owners make is thinking that their needs are aligned with the needs of their customers. Which usually doesn’t happen. When you initially think of creating a mobile app for your business, your next instinct should be to do some user and market research to validate the idea. Don’t jump straight into app development.
2. Copying your web or desktop application
Another very common mistake is copying your existing web or desktop application and “wrapping” it as a mobile application. This is a big no-no when it comes to creating a smooth and enjoyable user experience. When you create an app, you need to ensure that it is optimized for the specific platform you intended it for (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.). App users are used to their operating system’s interface, so simply copying your web or desktop product will create chaos. The application will not be usable and will confuse the user.
3. Focusing on too many platforms at once
Similar to the common mistake above, many companies try to launch for all platforms at once and make the mistake of not adapting the user interface to a specific platform. If you want to cross-platform app development, you need to pay attention to native features and interface elements and include them in your app.
4. Adding too many features and functions
Another common mobile app development mistake we see is adding too many features to mobile apps. There are still many people who believe that the more features their mobile app has, the happier the users will be. But this myth has long since been disproved. Adding more features to your mobile app just for the sake of it can cause problems. Users will get overwhelmed and lost in your app and subsequently delete it from their phones. So when developing an app, you need to think about what users need it to do and what they want, instead of adding features left and right.
5. Designing a bad UI / UX
Among the list of mistakes in mobile app development, poor UI and UX are responsible for many users simply deleting mobile apps from their devices. Design is one of the most important stages of the mobile app development process, so to build a successful mobile app you either need to hire an excellent team of designers or outsource it to a software development company. One way to avoid this mistake is to test with target users.
6. Wanting to be our Product Manager’s
Handbook Series, we talked about how it’s impossible to achieve perfection when it comes to mobile app development. Not only that, it’s hard to “get it right” when you first launch your mobile app. And that’s what holds a lot of people back. They delay the launch or update thinking they can perfect the mobile app. But this is not something that app developers can achieve. There will always be things that even after extensive testing you cannot be prepared for. And so it’s a natural part of the mobile app development process to make development mistakes that you’ll need to fix along the way.
7. It doesn’t test properly
Speaking of mobile app development mistakes – some of them can be avoided with proper testing and quality assurance. One of the most common mistakes in mobile app development is insufficient testing. When developing a mobile app for any platform, you should schedule tests along the project at different stages of development. It doesn’t matter whether you are developing an app for your business that will only be used internally or a large app available to a wide target audience in the mobile app market.
8. I don’t listen to user feedback
Okay, so you’ve successfully launched your app, but you, your developers, and designers can’t sit back and relax. Creating mobile apps doesn’t end with launch. Every app should be constantly improving, and one of the best ways to find areas that need some tweaking is to listen to user feedback. Surprisingly, not many developers and app owners do this. A common feature of the app that can help you be closer to users is a “feedback” tab, as well as reviews on the mobile app market (Google Play, App Store, and more). This way, you always get a steady stream of ideas for improvements and stay in touch with the user’s needs.
9. Non-coordination of development with marketing
One of the mistakes mobile app owners make when building a mobile app is not coordinating the app development process with your marketing strategy and timeline. Because what’s the point of launching a great mobile app that no one will know about? Therefore, you should have a marketing strategy in place and align your marketing efforts with the development process to ensure that you start promoting your app early and get leads before it even goes live.
10. Tracking the wrong metrics
Another common mistake mobile app owners make is tracking the wrong metrics. In this way, you can create a false sense of success and security and ultimately slow down the growth of your business. For example, let the number of downloads. If you’re just watching it and you see the number going up on every platform – it seems great, right? Well, not necessarily. Because tracking this metric alone is not a realistic representation of customer behavior. They can also download your app and delete it after 5 minutes. Therefore, in addition to the number of downloads, you should also track user retention, customer lifetime value, etc. If you want – here is an article on the best SaaS metrics to track.
11. Failure to adapt to market changes
There is another big, big mistake when it comes to mobile app development. And that’s not adapting to market changes. Similar to not listening to user feedback after launch, many mobile app owners don’t do further market research after validating their app idea. But the market and its needs are constantly changing. Even with a pandemic, you can see how quickly market trends come and go. The best way to ensure that your application evolves with the overall market is to keep up with new research articles, reports, and industry statistics.
12. Poor budget management
Mobile apps often “die” due to poor budget management. Because, let’s be honest, mobile app development is neither fast nor cheap. Most of the apps you see on the market today have had their owners charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to run them. So when the budget is not managed properly, you will run into problems in terms of later updates, marketing, bug fixes, etc. The best way to avoid this is to create a budget plan that is as detailed as possible and stick to it strictly. Of course, when it comes to mobile app development, it’s really hard to predict everything, so your budget should also take into account unexpected problems, additional developers needed, setbacks, etc. It’s really hard to create such a budget to benefit from outsourcing. developing your mobile application for an external agency.
13. Insufficient communication during the project
Mobile apps are created by people and then people use them. This means there is always room for human error. And more often than not, such mistakes do not occur when teammates do not communicate properly. Sometimes there are issues with which co-founder to listen to when they disagree. Sometimes misinformation spreads like wildfire in a project team. The best thing you can do to prevent this when working with an internal team is to set up communication processes and tools, get everyone on board, and set a clear communication structure.
14. Not preparing for updates
Most apps (Android, iOS, and others) get regular updates. Some once a month, others once every 6 months. And it is a natural part of the life cycle of all applications. However, sometimes the app developer doesn’t consider the need for updates, forgets about them, delays them, or simply doesn’t push them out for any other reason. And from the customer’s point of view, it’s not great. Updates must happen because they fix issues, and bugs, improve app performance and introduce new features. Whether you’re working on your app in the future or right now, you need to immediately start gathering customer feedback and create an updated plan that outlines key updates and their features.
15. Choosing the wrong development team
When it comes to mobile apps or any other apps, you can develop them in three different ways. First, you can hire your in-house specialists and engage and manage them yourself. Second, you can pay an outsourcing company to find these people for you. And they take care of all the work processes, costs, and the onboarding process. Finally, you can hire a company that specializes in web, desktop, or mobile app development (depending on your specific needs) and pay them to shoulder the entire process for you.
Choose your development approach carefully
All three approaches have their pros and cons, which I won’t go into in this post. However, because there are so many variables, you can easily choose either the wrong specialists or the wrong company to associate with. Building apps of any kind is a complex business. As a result, the partner you choose to build them with will greatly influence the outcome. It’s important to find a company that aligns with your values and goals and has a proven app development process so you can feel safe and cared for as their customer.
If you’re looking for a great agency to help you with mobile app development (or web or desktop development) – contact us and let’s get your project started!