Why did your app users leave and abandon your app?
Your plan should focus more on app retention than app acquisition these days as it’s getting more difficult than ever. Back in the earliest days of app marketing, publishers and developers focus more on acquiring new users. The problem is, most of them can’t retain their users.
But why users leave? Although there could be a lot of reasons why users were abandoning your app, the most common one is something to do with some technical issues and errors. So let’s check this ten common technical problems that annoy your app users:
Let’s make it clear first; I’m a publisher, not a developer. Since I’m not a code guru, this section is highly based on this awesome article from CIO.com where Dimensional Research conducted a survey about mobile app performance for Hewlett-Packard. You can read the article here: Mobile app users prioritize performance over price.
I will also use some data gathered by Compuware. You can read more about Compuware’s survey data from this article on Tech Crunch: Users Have Low Tolerance For Buggy Apps – Only 16% Will Try A Failing App More Than Twice.
(Tech Crunch doesn’t put a source link on Compuware’s data, and I also can’t find it myself. If you have any direct link to Compuware’s survey data, please let me know so I can credit them with a link.)
Here is the list of 10 technical issues that can ruin your app uninstall rate:
#1 Doesn’t Work On First Launch
The first impression lasts.
According to this useful data from Compuware, seventy-nine percent (79%) of respondents will only try an app once or twice if it failed to work the first time while only sixteen percent (16%) reports that they will give more than two attempts.
Also, seventy-nine percent that won’t try to open or launch your few more times is absurd. Although you can’t predict what will exactly happen when your app is initiated by your newly acquired mobile app users, the best thing to do is to create a superb first impression. Make sure you’re app start fast on beta tests, responsive and have an excellent and engaging onboarding process. You can also cut the extra splash screens if you have any, or cut those signing up phase and add those later after onboarding process.
#2 Slow App Launch
App launch speed is one of the most common technical issues that users prioritize.
Also, based on the same survey made for Hewlett-Packard, most users expect to load in four seconds or less. Sixty-one percent (61%) of respondents expects your app to load in four seconds or less while thirty-nine percent (39%) of the respondents expects your app to be fully launched in four seconds or more.
Here is another data from Compuware’s study where it also reports that most users expect your app to be fast and furious when launching. Based on this study, eight percent (8%) of mobile app users expects your app launched in less than one second. Twenty percent (20%) of mobile app users expects your app launched in one second. Thirty-one percent (31%) of mobile app users expects your app launched in two seconds. Twenty-one percent (21%) of mobile app users expects your app launch in three seconds. Lastly, twenty percent (20%) of mobile app users expects your app launch in four seconds.
#3 Unresponsive App
If you have a slow app, you probably also have an unresponsive app. Most of the time, app speed is tied with your app’s responsiveness.
According to the same survey made for Hewlett-Packard, after your app loads, forty-nine percent (49%) of respondents expects your app to respond in two seconds or less while fifty-one percent (51%) expect it to respond 3 seconds or more. Although the respondents are divided in almost equal, you should always thrive for a fast, snappy, and responsive app. Remember that the majority of the users prefers a better app performance.
#4 Bugs, Glitches, and Errors
Avoid having any bugs, glitches, and errors that can disappoint your mobile users. Always perform a beta test whenever launching a new app or update. Sometimes, even after few tests, there are still undetected bugs and errors.So, be sure to respond quickly on this matters and fix any errors immediately. Having notorious errors on your app can easily ruin your reviews, brand, and user base.
Here is an interesting data based on the same survey made for Hewlett-Packard when asked how often they experience issues with their mobile apps. Thirty percent (30%) of respondents said never experienced issues with their mobile apps, twenty-two (22%) of respondents experienced multiple times a year, nineteen percent (19%) undergone multiple times a month while twenty-nine percent (29%) said to experienced multiple times a day.
#5 Crashes … a lot
Crash once, shame on my phone. Crash twice, shame on your app.
A mobile app that crashes unexpectedly is one of the most annoying things we can experience using apps. It’s so annoying, irritating and frustrating, especially for apps that don’t have autosave feature and requires you to save manually. App crashes can be caused by many factors like bugs, insufficient RAM, connection issues, etc. and it is your task to pinpoint what’s causing these problems immediately.
Based on the same survey, fifty-three percent (53%) of respondents said that they experienced “severe” app issues during the last six months. Serious app issues consist of crashes, lack of responsiveness and the other main technical problems.
#6 Drains Battery
Battery-eater apps is a result of a bad design and optimization.
Almost everyone hates apps that are excessively draining battery. Mobile users are getting mindful of their smartphone’s battery usage. There are a lot of articles that helps mobile users to find out what’s causes their smartphone’s poor battery life, and the most suggested tip is to uninstall apps that consume a lot of battery even in idle mode.
#7 Apps Running In Background
Apps running in background have two adverse effects; one is it drains the battery even for a little bit and second, it consume precious RAM. Some users found it annoying and always trying to delete these culprits with the help of hundred of articles, tips, and guides how to detect, stop and delete those apps.
#8 RAM Leak
A result of a bad design app.
Finding and fixing RAM/Memory leak should be done during the beta testing process. Although not all users will able to detect this kind of technical issues, RAM leaks can cause problems with the user’s device like slows down their smartphone. Here is a quick guide from Google Android Studio to help you investigate your app’s RAM usage: Investigating Your RAM Usage.
#9 Too Hefty Cache
Saving too large cache can also annoy your users.
Caches are for good; they can make your app quick and faster, and although it’s not recommended to delete cache, users still find it redundant. The problem is, we all know that cache can quickly become bloated and humungous (wot?) without the users noticing it. Most users hate it and unlike RAM leaks, monitoring cache has never been easier with the help of so-called cache cleaner apps.
#10 Too Large Unnecessary File Size
Too much file size can also trigger app deletion, in particular for an app that users doesn’t feel the need to consume large memory. Mobile users want to free up some space on their smartphones when downloading new apps, and large unwanted file size is in the top of the list.
Large file size can also affect phone performance. To give you an idea how large file size can affect some devices. Here is an interesting report from Android Police: (PSA: Some 16GB Nexus 7s Experiencing Severe Performance Issues With Less Than 3GB Of Free Space Remaining) In this article, some 16GB Nexus 7s device reportedly experiencing some serious performance issues with less than 3GB of free storage space remaining. That’s roughly eighty percent (80%) of apps remaining storage space.
Although the main problem is from the phone itself, the best way to avoid experiencing this kind of issue is to delete old apps.
The only apps that survive issues of this nature are the essential apps like email apps, Google apps like YouTube and other useful apps. I think Facebook app is a good example of this. Even though the Facebook app is notorious on devouring too much storage space, cache and RAM (even in idle), users ignores this cause they feel it’s essential to them.
#11 Slows Down Overall Phone Performance
According to the survey made for Hewlett-Packard, ninety-six percent (96%) of respondents said that app performance is crucial.There are many reasons why most smartphones or mobiles device suddenly experience poor performance. Sadly, few of them are caused by certain apps. Like I said before, resource-hungry apps like apps running in background, apps that consume a significant amount of cache and file size, and so on.
There are many reasons why most smartphones or mobiles device suddenly experience poor performance. Sadly, few of them are caused by certain apps. Like I said before, resource-hungry apps like apps running in background, apps that consume a significant amount of cache and file size, and so on.
Most mobile users can detect if your app causes their smartphone’s recent poor performance. And it is easier than you imagine. If app users are experiencing immediate issues like unresponsiveness and substantial lag, the basic logic to solve this is to uninstall their most recent downloaded app. Yup, sad but ces’t la vie.
But should you worry about this? I mean, it’s just logical thinking, right? Yes, you should worry about this. If you do a quick Google search, there are articles from authority sites that are suggesting to delete apps that causing this issues. Some of them also have a step-by-step guide like this great article from Hongkiat: 5 Common Causes To Laggy Android Devices (And How To Fix Them).
#12 Connection And Syncing Errors
Connection errors are one of the major issues that should be resolved immediately.
Connection and syncing errors are like the mortal sin for apps that need to be constantly connected to the internet. Issues like this should be fixed as quickly as possible, or at least users must be informed about the ongoing server issues straightaway.
Failing to do so might lead to the poor user experience which may result in poor ratings and reviews which can lead to users abandoning your app or game. Although, we can’t convince all of the users to “Hey, just wait. It will be fixed in a few couple of hours.” You can at least try to compensate your users.
Here is a real life scenario handle just right: About a week ago before writing this article, an online mobile game called VainGlory experiencing some issues on their South East Asia server. The first thing they do is to acknowledge the issue and inform users about what is currently going on the servers, and that they are currently fixing the problem with the servers.
They also inform their gamers who are affected by the SEA server’s issue, and they will be compensated with some boost to their account for 96 hours. They fixed the connection issues; they make gamers glad, and they make players play more their games. Somehow, some of their users still left a bad review and rating. You can learn how to handle negative user reviews here: How To Handle Negative App User Reviews.
#13 Not Optimize For Some Mobile Device
Honestly, this is a very rare issue, especially these days because of our ever-evolving technology. But mostly, issues like these occurs on mobile games.
The average specification of both Android and iOS devices can almost handle any app you throw at them. The only problem why some apps still failed to work on these powerful little devices is, sometimes the app itself isn’t optimized for the particular type of device.
Take Pokemon Go as an example of the mobile games that isn’t optimized to reach all the target audience. For Android devices, the minimum requirements to run the game is 1GB and the OS should be Android 4.4 (KitKat or above). The minimum requirements are low actually, but although we understand that game requires that specification to run the game, few people can’t play it due to system requirements. Also, on the very first version of Pokemon Go, some devices with Intel SoC can’t properly run the games due to incompatibility. Nonetheless, Niantic able to fix it after few updates.
We all know acquiring new users easier nowadays while retaining mobile app users is getting harder than ever. Don’t let your mobile app users walks away with these thirteen common technical issues. Make sure you have a clean and optimized app. You can also hire better developers to fix issues occur along the way.
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