A study conducted by analysts at Compuware, an American software company, showed that 80-90% of all downloaded apps are only used once and then eventually deleted by users. If you want to be in that successful 10%, you have to carefully think over the launch of your app.
Having made hundreds of websites, landing pages and apps, we’ve been faced with a lot of launch setbacks. After analyzing the entire process, we’ve come up with five important rules one should consider before launching an app.
Check your Interface
Concentrating on the technical perfection of the product rather than its user friendliness is one of the most common mistakes in web development. Despite the fact that UI needs to be tested before the launch, almost no one actually does it. If you would spend a day or two observing a few end users, and improve your interface accordingly, your product will be more likely succeed.
Although Apple is known for a pixel perfect user interface, sometimes even great engineers make mistakes. The company has exhibited several examples of bad UI that can drive you crazy. For instance, users on Quora vented their frustration with single pop-ups in iTunes with long text messages and obnoxiously frequent password requests. Others said they disliked the interface of Apple applications including: iTunes, Apple Music, and iTunes Connect. Moreover, tech journalist Jim Dalrymple, who has been covering Apple and its products for more than 15 years, harshly criticizes the UI of Apple Music in his article ‘Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it’, which points at the frustrating process of adding music to your library, broken buttons and more.
Set a Fixed Number of Features
Be careful with adding new features; divide the nice-to-haves and the things you really need. This is essential when you plan to launch under budget, on time and with no bugs. It is always better to launch a product, which has a few functioning features than a product that’s packed with several inoperative features.
While it’s not intuitive that a simple set of features is better than an uber-sophisticated application, we believe that’s indeed the case. So let’s look at some wildly successful apps that are characterized by simplicity.
- Instagram: Bought for $1 billion, over 100 million users
- Dropbox: Worth $4 billion, over 100 million users
- Twitter: Worth $8 billion, more than 500 million users
Think carefully about the server-side scalability and prepare accordingly. This step is absolutely critical for a stable, working application or website. Imagine that in order to promote your product you have started an ad campaign or placed your product on a platform like Launchingnext, Betalist or Producthunt. If you’re lucky, you’ll start experiencing rapid growth immediately. However, if you haven’t prepared for that growth, it turns out you’re not so lucky after all. In that instance, all that traffic will likely mean you’ve also crashed.
You’ve probably heard of the “Pokemon Go” app and its early struggles that were caused by unexpected traffic. The app reached 50 times more traffic than expected, IGN reported. According to the technology news site, Recode, Pokemon Go has about 9.5 million daily active users in the US alone. Among them are 4.3 million players on iOS and 5.25 million on Android.
Google’s Director of Customer Reliability Engineering, Luke Stone, stated that he had never “taken part in anything close to the growth that […] customer Niantic experienced with the launch of Pokémon GO.”
Hunt for bugs
Fourthly, a buggy, slow app or website is the last thing you want to use often. So, do not blame your visitors if they’re not coming back after a painful initial interaction with your app. User experience matters, and with good QA testing, you can find and fix bugs before the majority of your users have the chance to see them.
Bugs conceal more dangers than you may imagine, especially when they’re security bugs. Earlier this year we’ve learned that Uber bugs allowed hackers to gather details on rides, drivers and passengers. Uber, as a result, had to fix a slew of security bugs, which were discovered by the security firm, Integrity. They found 14 security compromises within the company’s websites and mobile applications. If the company’s engineers had detected this security problem before the app launch, they would have saved a lot of money, protected their valuable data and saved their reputation.
Focus on your goals and success metrics
Before your product launch, think about what your goals are: sales, customer happiness, bottom line, market share, etc. It is important to realize what you want to achieve, what problems you want to solve and how much money you want to get from it.
You also need to know what metrics are crucial to understanding whether your web product is reaching its goals. You can measure downloads, new users or active users, conversions, inner payments etc.
Judging by number of downloads within a time period, Prisma is an extremely successful app. It became a runaway success when it was launched in iOS on June 2016. In just a few weeks, the app was downloaded more than 10 million times globally.
Have a smooth and successful product launch! Feel free to share your ideas or concerns or ask us questions!