Marketing or Good UX - What can save your app?

calendar25 Sep 2021

Right now, there are millions of apps on app stores (Play Store and App Store). Some of them are extremely successful and take place in the top ten apps list while some of them find it hard to even stay afloat in the highly competitive app market. Coming to the main focus of this discussion, what do you think is the reason for the failure of these apps? Marketing??

Well, the primary goal of marketing is to create and enhance brand awareness and drive conversions which leads to an increase in customer base. To achieve this, companies implement a variety of marketing strategies, campaigns, events, etc. In the past, say a decade or two ago, such strategies were used to do a decent job in attracting and retaining the customer base. But in 2021, these strategies are often called “Gimmicks” and simply not enough to compensate for a poorly designed application.

Everybody thinks that marketing is the ultimate key to save any application or product or service. But that is 100% not true. The thought that people will buy anything and everything provided it is nicely wrapped is completely wrong. This strategy at least won’t work with applications. Why? If your app doesn’t do a good job, then there are a ton of other apps that can do the same job maybe in a better way.

Instead of spending hours and hours on marketing strategies and thinking about how or what can convince your users to download the app, those efforts should be spent developing a good UX that has the power to retain your future users and outperform your competitors’ apps.

How do users use applications?

From a basic alarm and reminders to ordering food and booking flight tickets, we use apps for literally everything. Today, we have apps for every little thing. And not just one or two, hundreds of apps are available in both app stores that are competing against each other.

Then how do users find these apps? Is marketing the only way to spread the word? Honestly, finding an app through the app store is a famous way, with more than 40% of smartphone users across the globe browse the app stores for new applications. Having said that, finding apps on search engines is just as popular as browsing the app stores. Lately, search ads have also been proven to be quite effective in increasing brand awareness.

Sadly, the story doesn’t just end here. Users abandon apps with the same speed as it took for them to find the app. Getting the user to download the app is only half the battle. 25% of the apps were only accessed once after being downloaded by the users.

If you think using the app for a week puts the app in a safe place, then you are wrong. The average retention rate for an application after 90 days is hardly 30%. This translates to almost 70% of users abandon the application within three months.

Why does app abandonment happen?

The biggest question is what makes a user abandon the app? Well, the primary reason for app abandonment is terrible UX. Who wants to use an app that doesn’t work properly or lacks too many features? It is easier for a user to find an alternate app that works smoothly than to keep using a poorly designed app with limited features or functions.

1. Basic requirements of users are not met

Users abandon an app that either doesn’t perform as per their expectations or when it didn’t meet the basic requirements that they downloaded it for. More often than not, this happens when developers (Whoever owns the app) don’t understand or spend enough time on market research to understand what their users want and why they want to use an app for a particular activity.

2. Takes too much time to load

The attention span of a user is extremely low these days. Also, the entire point of having a mobile phone and an app is to get relevant information as soon as possible. This actually applies to websites as well. When an app takes too much time to load, the probability of app abandonment increases with it.

3. Bad user onboarding experience

What is onboarding experience? It refers to the tour guide or tutorial that comes with a mobile application. It basically shows how to use the app. An app can mess up the user onboarding experience when the tutorial doesn’t do its job or makes things more complicated for the user. There are various aspects that contribute to a bad user onboarding experience such as obscure information, unclear navigational instructions or steps, etc.

4. Terrible UX

Of all reasons, a bad UX is a primary reason behind the failure of thousands of applications. You might say that user experience is subjective. That’s right but when most users say the app has bad UX, then the app has bad UX. The goal of good UX is to offer the user a smooth experience while doing what they wanted to do on the app.

How to make sure the application has good UX?

  • The application should meet the basic needs of the user.
  • The app should be easy and simple to use.
  • Users should easily navigate and find whatever information they want within seconds.
  • Avoid selling users’ data to third parties.

Why a good UX is a necessity?

A good UX for an application is not a luxury, it’s a basic need. Users use applications because they find them useful and help them in doing their tasks more efficiently and effectively. If this is not what your app does, then your users have no reason to download it.

The point of having UX in the app is to make sure that your does what it is supposed to do. For example, reaching from point A to point B. Now, UX determines the performance of the application and whether the performance is up to the users’ expectations or not. A successful application is the one that performs well and provides what the users want and expect from the app.

A good UX helps users achieve their goals and complete their tasks in a much easier and simpler way. Whereas a bad UX just leaves your users frustrated and makes them regret why they downloaded your app in the first place.