Data reveals that around 90% of startups fail, oftentimes because they run out of money and resources.
As an app startup, you definitely want to get the most out of what you have. And one smart move is to avoid these common mobile app development mistakes that take a toll on your finances.
Not starting with a niche
Many app startups think that after creating their app, they can simply toss it out there and thousands will magically use their app.
Here’s the thing – without a clear idea of who your app is for, you’re wasting your time and money. Just imagine serving a spicy dish to someone who can’t handle spice!
So, set your target niche first. Start with building and nurturing a small audience and work your way up, like how those modern-day tech giants began. Here’s what you should do:
- Figure out what makes your app stand out and what problems it solves.
- See what other apps are doing and identify areas where you can stand out.
- Create your “ideal user” profile, including basic demographics, their interests and preferences, and so on.
What we’re really saying is, have a marketing plan. Know exactly which online platforms your target niche is hanging out and set clear goals so you know when you’re hitting them.
Assuming everyone uses an app the same way
A teenager and a retiree probably won't have the same approach to your mobile app – Gen Zs might prefer bite-sized, visually engaging content, while older audiences might lean towards long-form…
So, assuming that everyone wants the same things can lead you to create a confusing, user-unfriendly mobile app, particularly in the aspect of UI/UX.
This makes setting your target niche first – and really getting to know them inside-out – all the more important.
Your app’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) have a lot to do with whether users will want to use your app or not. In fact, the latest statistics show that 90% reported they stopped using an app due to poor performance in this area.
These are obvious signs of poor UI/UX performance that you must keep in mind throughout the mobile app development process. These include:
- Slow loading speed
- Responsiveness issues
- Poor navigation
- Low contrast
- Layout issues (e.g. text too small to read, graphics popping up and covering buttons, etc.)
Cramming your app with too many features
Whatever the reason may be – trying to impress investors, copying trends, or simply feeling like it – making your app too “feature-rich” isn’t going to entice your target audience. In reality, it does the opposite.
For instance, if you’re someone who wants to quickly edit a selfie, you’ll want to use a simple photo-editing app, not one with a maze of confusing sliders, curves, and advanced settings.
Even features that go beyond the app’s core functionality, like an excess of buttons or too flashy visual effects, can confuse and distract your users. Plus, they lead to app slowdowns and extended load times – a surefire way to make users frustrated and uninstall the app after the first try.
Again, understand your target audience and tailor your app for them. By doing so, you'll create an app that's "just good enough" for them, both in functionality and UX/UI.
Moving deadlines to create the “perfect” app
We all want our app to be the best out there, but thinking that changing deadlines will make it perfect is a mistake. This is because:
- your app launching might get delayed
- you could miss out on a lot of market opportunities
- your development costs will soar
Understand that perfection is an iterative process, and there are opportunities post-launch (e.g. user feedback) that will help you achieve the best version of your app.
So, stick with your deadlines. Use project management tools to make sure you and everyone you’re working with are on the same page. Always remember that getting your app out there and refining it based on user responses can be more effective than chasing elusive perfection.
Thinking of monetization at a later stage
Some will tell you not to worry about monetization early on and instead focus on building a community of like-minded people who will invest time (and money) in your app.
It’s good advice. However, there are downsides to not having a clear revenue plan from the get-go:
- If you don't have a way to make money early on, it can be hard to cover ongoing costs, which can stress out the development team or company.
- Starting with a free app can attract users, but later asking them to pay might be met with resistance. People who got used to a free app might not want to pay.
- Switching from a free app to a paid one might mean making changes to features or adding premium content. This could affect how users experience the app.
Regardless of which approach you take, make sure to consider both sides of the coin. And most importantly, plan ahead.
If you think about possible problems and how users might react, you'll have backup plans ready, which makes it easier to switch to money-making when the right moment comes.
Not seeking professional app development assistance
Let’s face it. Even if you can do everything, there’s just not enough time to handle it all on your own.
Which is why it’s smart to get help from trusted mobile app development professionals!
Sure, it costs money upfront, just like all those investments you’ve made that make your life easier today. However, it lets you focus on doing what you’re great at – envisioning the perfect app for your customers.
Even better news, you might actually save money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes that newbie app developers or startups often make (like the ones we talked about).