15 mistakes to avoid in mobile app development

 In Business, Design, Marketing, Mobile App, Mobile app development

It isn’t uncommon for businesses to be fascinated by the mobile app. In many of our previous blogs too, we have discussed the need for the same and how having a mobile app can be game-changing for the business.  With so many app development courses doing rounds and even college students engaging in developing apps, one thing that needs attention is the common mistakes one makes in mobile app development. While we know that almost every single developer has a checklist to ensure that the mobile app matches all the standards, yet we felt that there is a need to have a checklist of the mistakes in app development too.

Such a checklist, just like a feature checklist can be essential to avoid the unnecessary pitfalls which negatively impact the user experience. So, we thought about it, did a bit of research and came up with a list of 15 mistakes in app development that you should try and avoid.

The 15 Mistakes in App Development

Failure in Need and Want Assessment

One of the initial mistakes in app development that most developers tend to do is that they fail to assess the need and preferences of the customers. Not doing market analysis before starting can result in situations akin to serving meat to a vegan! Application development is no joke and requires a considerable investment of time, money and human resource. A prior analysis of the target customer group is thus necessary to validate whether the idea is worth pursuing or not. This also provides for a roadmap to channelize the application idea and provide a better avenue of customer acquisition & retention. 

For instance, let us look at multiple apps that fail. A specific category under this would be the apps aimed at kids less than 5 years of age. About 87% of the apps launched in this category fail. Now, most apps in this category forget to understand that it isn’t the kids who are going to download the app. It will be the parents who will do it and hence while the content has to be as per the kids, it has to match up to the parent’s expectations too. A simple thing to understand and it surprises us how a lot of developers do not avoid this mistake in app development.

Poor User interface

The first thing a person sees while opening an app is its interface. For that matter, the decision for whether the app has to be installed or not is also taken on the basis whether the interface images look good or not! A lot of times, app developers fall prey to the misconception that the user will be decently tech-savvy and end up making one of the biggest mistakes in app development. 

Let us take the example of Payment apps such as Stripe or even PayTM. Most of the people find it hard to get accustomed to them. If we talk of the Indian scenario in specific, a lot of small-time vendors or even vegetable sellers use PayTM. Now, to expect that they would be tech-savvy enough to wiggle their way around on the app will be a major folly. We hope you understand the concern here. 

A good developer will thus take into account a more simplistic approach while designing the app so that it is friendly to the user who is going to use it. Suppose one is creating an alternate language typing app. One will have to keep an option for the user to choose their preferred option right in the beginning because a few clicks required in a foreign language will be too much to ask for. 

It is important to note that outlined augmented interfaces that challenge the users to navigate from one screen to another, usually discourage them to use the app. The user experience has to be the topmost priority and any such mistakes in app development which kill that experience should be avoided.  A proper app flowchart with necessary options can thus be created in the very beginning so that all the possible problems in the interface and the user expectations can be laid down.

Adding too many features

As the saying goes, “Too much of anything is bad”, and it holds true in the case of application development. It isn’t uncommon to fall prey to the temptation of having it all in your app. This compulsion to include all the features is another one of the most common mistakes in app development which even the most experienced of the developers make. The developers need to remember that there is one major solution which the app is offering. Every other thing in the app has to revolve around it. It is an app, after all, it isn’t Google so be specific!

Neglecting platform strength

Applications have two platforms at their disposal, to be launched, namely, Android Play Store and iOS Apple Store. So it is a pertinent decision as to which platform to choose for the same. Android has a wider user base across the world while iOS has supremacy when it comes to privacy and security and a premium feel to it. So depending on the niche and selling proposition of the app, the platform needs to be selected. One can also create an app which is compatible with both the platforms but that will come at an additional cost. So, before you decide which platform to choose, think of what you want to achieve through your app. You can also read our blog on the same topic to get further insights.

Not considering the MVP

Another one of the biggest mistakes in app development which a developer should avoid is to not have an MVP.  An MVP essentially pertains to core limited features of the app and can ensure that the app gets installed by the users. In addition, an MVP means that multiple updates will be made to the app which keeps the users hooked. A right communication can be of great essence in this context. However, make sure that your MVP has all the bugs and technical issues taken care of. If the app is developed with lots of bugs & errors unchecked, you can surely go to the devil’s lane after its launch. 

Having no Value proposition

This isn’t a mistake in app development. Having no defined value proposition at all is a recipe for disaster.  It is important to have at least some competitive advantage or a defined value proposition. It is important for the developers and the firms to understand that an app which is just there will never be downloaded. It has to either solve a problem or it has to have a solid communication going around it. While the latter isn’t a long term strategy to follow, yet, it is way better than having no value proposition at all..

Ignoring feedback while redesigning

One can say that mistake in app development is something which people tend to commit in their usual lives too. App updates are crucial to the success of the application. Frequent update convinces its customers that the application is not abandoned and there is a constant endeavour for improvement. One can never build a perfect app in the first go. So the collection of necessary information and feedback from valuable customers to make changes and re-design the app should be a constant process of quality control. Most apps fail in the same and thus prove to be an unsuccessful one.

Not prioritizing Encryption

Security and Privacy are the thumb rule for any digital development these days. One cannot even enable auto-notifications. Consent is required in everything that involves data sharing and app development is no different. Data breach and privacy intrusion by hackers has become a common phenomenon in this digital age. So mobile apps need protection from invaders and unwanted intruders, but more often than not, this aspect gets neglected. A lot of developers still live under false assumptions or aren’t well versed with the nitty-gritty of the security and privacy guidelines. This may sound surprising but about 37% of the apps which vie for approval on the app store face disapproval because of privacy concerns. Hence, inadequate encryption and privacy issues become another one of the major mistakes in app development which the developers need to avoid

Neglecting Update and ROI RoadMap 

The ultimate aim of the creation and launching of applications is to earn revenues and enjoy returns on investments. Hence, it is pertinent to have a dedicated plan in place to ensure that the app can be monetised well. While this may not look like an exact implication of app development, yet the developers have to play a significant role in it. Starting from laying out a plan for updates to creating and launching them in time- everything needs to be planned. A systematic procedure is required to be initiated from the inception to suffice the punitive gains. Apps can require a fee to use or they can use an in-app-purchase interface. Appropriate monetization should be of careful thought for by the stakeholders.

Not undertaking adequate testing

There is this crazy hurry to launch the app. Not testing it adequately or not testing it at all is one of the biggest mistakes in app development which developers tend to commit. It looks okay to counter the bugs later but that is not how it is supposed to be done. Once the mobile app is on the play store, or even worse, downloaded into the mobile there are no second chances for the mobile app. While we understand that testing the mobile app takes time and it can be a tedious procedure, yet it is not a good enough excuse to not test the app. The point is that if a faulty app reaches the mobile phone of a user and it creates a problem then, it will probably never be installed again.  

Unplanned market launch

The age of digitization has brought in a lot of changes in marketing dynamics, especially with growing competition and market saturation. Entering the market without a planned launch is a sure-shot path to doom for the products. Applications also stand no exception here. Apps will go unnoticed if they are not backed by carefully crafted marketing strategies. Choosing a target segment and then positioning the product is the very basic and most important step to take before putting the app on various platforms. Further, adequate campaign optimisation strategies also need to be put in place to ensure that the desired results are obtained

Expecting immediate ROI

It is noteworthy here that hardly 1% of the mobile apps on the app stores make money within the first few years of their launch. Hence, becoming impatient and making random changes to the mobile app or frequent changes to the app strategy becomes another one of the big mistakes in app development and launch. While re-evaluation and constant optimisation are important, yet one needs to be patient enough to let the changes sink in.

Ignoring the “3 Click rule”

Most apps tend to defy the thumb rule functionality to limit the clicks to not more than 3 clicks to reach to the desired area of interest. Under the pressure to make the mobile app look fancy and sophisticated, the developers often tend to commit this common mistake in app development. Creating a defined flow in the very initial stages of app development can help one avoid such mistakes later. In short, it is important to map the user journey.

Ignoring Compatibility

Consistency and coherence in the content designed, under the digital interface, is very important for the success of the mobile app. One cannot make the app look different on different pages. The consistency of the design needs to be maintained. Also, if the mobile app is an extension of the website then the same brand guidelines need to be followed. It is important to understand here that this is necessary to create a good brand recall.

Considering  app an extension of the website

The heading for this sounds ambiguous right. Much like the idea that a lot of people have when they consider an app extension for a website. It is important to understand that while having a mobile app is good for many businesses, it isn’t best for all! It will be a grave mistake for a bottle manufacturer to have an app of their own. They can probably have a mobile app for internal use to manage their inventory or other such operational bits but a B2C app will not make sense. A lot of businesses, however, choose to ignore this basic logic.


We have mentioned the points which we felt are the most important mistakes to avoid in app development. While we have tried to keep this list as holistic as possible, we may have missed out on some or the other points. 

Hence, there are two things which we will want to say as we conclude this write-up. The first is that if you are happy with what we wrote, feel free to get in touch with us. We will be happy to assist you with your app development. Second, if you feel that there was some key point that we missed, feel free to write back to us! We will be happy to revise and then help you!!

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