Obviously, there are many different kinds of mobile apps, and they have any number of different purposes for many different businesses and organizations. Still, I think there are plenty of common flaws in app design that most mobile app users (and developers, for that matter) can agree are a nuisance capable of determining whether or not that app remains on devices, instead of being deleted.
In particular, I believe these three flaws can make or break the popularity and user loyalty of almost any mobile app:
Push notifications are a great way to engage users and keep them coming back to the app, but it can be challenging to find the right balance between too many pushes and too few pushes when deciding your push notification strategy.
Not enough push alerts may result in users forgetting about your app, and potentially deleting it from their device when they realize they’ve stopped using it or caring about it. But even worse is sending too many pushes, as it will likely annoy users to the point of turning off any push notifications from your app, assuming they don’t delete your app entirely out of spite.
A great way to address this need for balance is to offer a Notification Center within the app, one that lets users decide specifically which types of push alerts, if any, they will receive from your app. It empowers users with a sense of control and minimizes the chances any amount of pushes you send out will bother them.
The login screen is the first interaction your app has with new users, so it’s important to make the process as quick and easy as possible.
It’s common practice these days for app developers to allow users to log into the app via Facebook, Twitter, or other social network, because it just takes one tap for your user to get permission from your social app and log in.
However, not all apps are allowed to do this (apps for businesses that are tied to internal networks, for example); so if users have to fill out information in a form to be verified and login to use the app, make sure that form is clearly visible, designed well, and easy to complete.
As mobile devices have iterated and become more advanced, apps have used more and more data. For example, consider both the popularity of camera-oriented apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, plus the evolution of mobile cameras with more and more megapixels.
The end result is images that take up more storage, leaving little space for other popular apps such as Uber or Facebook (which itself uses a fair amount of storage), and even less for apps that aren’t as popular or social. If an app requires storing too much data locally on users’ devices, they might eventually delete it simply because they need room for their photos and other apps.
App developers should find ways to compress data, avoid storing data on the device when possible, and use the cloud when it makes sense. Easing the burden on a user’s device storage will make it much harder for them to justify deleting the app when they’re scrolling through the list of how much data each app uses, which is what I do each time I get the warning that I can’t take a photo because my storage is full.