5 ways to ensure your mobile app fails.

In 2023, it is estimated that the number of mobile app downloads worldwide will be 299 billion, with over 1.96 million apps available on Apple App Store and 2.87 million apps available on the Google Play Store. These statistics significantly highlight the competitive nature of the market and how many apps are easily accessible to users. 

Consumers continue to rush towards mobile apps, seeking functionality and an engaging user experience. The average UK user remarkably spends approximately 4.8 hours per day using mobile apps, which is a 15% increase since last year. This clearly shows the growth of mobile apps in the last few years. 

In a market flooded with options, your app has to stand out in order to succeed. Flipping this on its head, here are 5 ways an app is sure to fail. 


#1. Completely ignore User Experience (UX).

A positive User Experience (UX) is essential to fulfil user needs and of paramount importance in mobile apps. 

UX plays a key role in the success or failure of any mobile app. If your app doesn’t satisfy a user’s demands/expectations, they will most likely delete it and download an easily available alternative.

Even if the core aspects of your app offer value to the user, they will not continue to use your app if the user experience is poor. Unclear functionality, prolonged loading times and tricky navigation all mean a negative experience and make it unlikely a user will keep your app downloaded on their phone.

What you don’t want to do is spend a considerable amount of time encouraging people to download your app for them to uninstall it shortly after. 

Neglecting to keep the user at the forefront of your mind and disregarding UX is a quick route to ensuring a mobile app will fail.

#2. Have no clear plan.

One way to waste a significant amount of money is going food shopping when you’re hungry with no shopping list. In essence this is the same as creating a mobile app with no plan (with a lot more money at stake). 

It is important to strategically plan what you expect your mobile app to achieve and how it will fit into your target market. This will help to significantly reduce the risk of developing an app which doesn’t quite catch on, or perform as expected. A well-developed plan will evaluate where to best spend your budget and what functionality is crucial for the project at each phase of development. 

If your app vision is all singing and dancing with numerous elements and features then it’s best to split the development into phases. If you rush into a project expecting your app to have everything straightaway, it most likely won’t be possible within a specific timeframe and budget. This is why a clearly defined plan will significantly aid the project’s success.

Creating a successful mobile app can cost upwards of £10,000. The perception of success however will vary according to expectations and desired outcome. To be blunt, if you want to create an app to compete with the likes of Facebook or YouTube, a budget of £10,000 won’t get you very far. Therefore, a clear business plan taking into account your competitors is essential.

In essence, if you don’t thoroughly plan your project you could end up throwing money at an app which doesn’t meet expectations. This is a good way to run out of budget and have an app that doesn’t quite work.

#3. Don’t take advice on board.

Anyone who tells you your mobile app idea is bad and/or won’t work is not someone you necessarily want to be working with. However, it is important to challenge assumptions and ideas to ensure the best possible outcome. Most ideas can be tailored for success, and suggestions and improvements to your app are much more welcomed than a dead end.

Whilst this may be a slightly obvious observation, no idea is definitively right or wrong. The main thing about creative projects is that there is no clear pass or fail. If you know your market well you can develop an idea to suit the needs of potential users, with the emphasis on ‘develop’. If you create a mobile app without changing specific aspects throughout the course of the process then success would be nothing short of a miracle.

A high profile example to support this argument is the story of Apple. From near bankruptcy to generating billions each year, there is no doubt that assumptions were challenged throughout the course of their evolution.   

Ultimately no idea is intrinsically bad, especially in an arena as creative and extensive as technology and apps. But even the best ideas need input, advice and testing. By failing to engage with experts and users and take their advice on board, your first thought or approach is less likely to be adapted to meet the complexities of your mobile app project. This puts your app in danger of failure.

#4. Get started without any research.

Whatever your mobile app attempts to do, or the problem it aims to solve, research is always essential. If your app is for internal business use then there will be less need for market research and more focus on internal demands. However, if you plan to launch an app for public use there are many more variables to consider.

Yes, the UK mobile app market is growing, with the market set to increase in value from £2,748 million to £5,184 million by 2025, which is a great statistic to see. But it’s also imperative to consider your market. How many apps are already available in your market? Is the market congested? Are the current apps meeting user needs? Will your app meet user expectations? And so on.

Anyone can conduct a Google search and see that mobile apps are on the rise. However, you of course, don’t want to develop an app which offers less value than your competition, or fails to address user needs. 

With over 2 million apps available, you’re bound to face some level of competition no matter how niche your app idea may be. Therefore, it is essential to research what apps are currently available within your niche and see what they offer to users. Or better still, what they don’t currently offer.

There are many other important elements to consider when researching your target users and overall market. Disregarding the importance of conducting this thorough research is a shortcut to ultimate failure for your app.

#5. Improper testing.

As mentioned above, an app could have user needs at its core but if its functionality is problematic, users are likely to abandon it regardless of how promising it may seem. Everyone has probably experienced a sudden urge to delete an app which has frustrating quirks and issues. This is why mobile testing is a crucial and a prominent phase throughout any mobile app development. 

Mobile app testing is essentially the process of running rigorous tests to ensure functionality and usability meet the requirements of the app before it is launched to users. It is a vital factor in the development process and will determine success or failure in the pursuit of creating a high-quality product.

There are numerous tests which need to take place before launching your mobile app. This includes general types (functional, performance, usability, security, load) as well as mobile-specific tests (interruption, memory leakage, location, certification, installation, etc.).

It is best to test the app at each allotted phase. What you don’t want to do is get to the end of the development and notice bugs or issues which could have been nipped in the bud in earlier stages. Moreover, discovering issues which should have been solved previously can have knock on effects in later development phases, costing both time and money.

User testing throughout the development, with a small sample user-group is a great way to test the app against the defined user needs to ensure that it is meeting them. Ignoring this type of testing is a recipe for disaster.

Overall, it is crucial to highlight and solve issues during the development phase and before the app is launched.  Not doing so is likely to bring bad reviews and will increase the likelihood of a loss of app users.. 


Creating the perfect mobile app is no easy process and it’s likely you won’t get it right the first time, with changes taking place from idea to final product.

The performance of your mobile app could depend upon numerous factors, ranging from competition to being out-budgeted. But beyond factors out of your control, it is essential to get the basics right. Avoiding the 5 issues highlighted above increases the chances of your mobile app being a success.

As an agency full of experience in developing mobile apps, we know how to limit the risk of mobile apps failing. So, if you have an idea you would like to discuss, then get in touch to see how we can help.