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Five Insights On How To Make A Mobile App That Lasts

How to find weak points in the game before releasing it? How to built an application that will become viral? How to gain users trust? All of this and much more you can explore in this article.

Anastasiia Bobeshko, Blogger

January 20, 2016

8 Min Read

Remember, how many times you download some interesting mobile application or a game that interested you and abandon it after the initial try? So they became interesting in the first place, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot of things, actually. Details have the same value as a whole concept and they are the ones that drag user's attention right away. These little things can seem minor at first sight, but they define the first impression. The income that business owner can be sure to get directly depends on a number of users or players. In this article, I talk about some essential points you should pay attention to because they can affect the profit.

#1 App or Game Loading Time


With so many fish in the sea, if your game or application made a user want to download it, you already went further than many others, however, you should do your best to make him stay. And the first annoying point I will list today is screen loading time. Have you ever thought why enterprises and famous development companies spend a lot of time and money to accelerate their application or game? Well, in developers community there is one established truth that if an app/game is loading more than 10 seconds, you are in trouble because no matter how wonderful and unique your app is inside, no one will want to wait for it to download. Users have high expectations and are extremely impatient these days. They can spend hours and days using your application or playing your game, but they hate waiting. Every second of delay will cost you approximately one or even two users.

Tricks & Solutions:

If your app or game has some important features that take more time for downloading, you can set it the way these resources will be downloaded after landing page or menu appears. Besides, in case if an app or a game works using the internet, let users know that it's off while the app is still loading.
In addition, some business owners use another trick to engage users and win a couple of seconds of their patience while they engage in game development. Many 'heavy' applications and games contain an indicator that shows the loading progress. In that way, they demonstrate that the app is working and kindly ask to wait a little longer. In this case, use a well-designed background image to impress the users. You may add some animated elements to show the progress.


However, you can come across another pitfall - users will drop your application if it loads too slowly or the progress bar will occasionally freeze for more than 3-4 seconds. So do not forget to optimize the download time. For really heavy games and applications with enduring load time create a few steps downloading process and design a unique screen image.

#2 Registration and Statistics


Today, most of the applications require registration in order to give the user an opportunity to create a personal profile (for social apps), store personal information (for hosting services), comment or view news (for forums or news portals), save personal progress and share achievements (for games), etc. However, often it demands too many fields to fill in that drives users crazy and convince them to drop an app. Besides, apart from registration measures, many applications often collect statistics of their users, for example, age, sex, region and more. This there the danger lies, the more steps user should take to start using your application or play in the game, the more likely he'll delete it without hesitation before getting to the main point.

Tips & Solutions:

If you need to collect some information, do your best to leave only essential one that is really obligatory. If you want to gather more data, make a pop-up that offers users to take a part in some study. In that way, you can collect the necessary info without being annoying.



Besides, reduce the number of fields that need to be filled. For instance, place a composing scale for age, gender, location or similar information. If you use a registration page, ask only for an e-mail and password or simply offer authorisation via social networks.

#3 The Main Point


The essential thing to remember is that it takes user just a couple of minutes to realize if he likes your application or a game or wants to delete it immediately. When they see it for the first time all they want is to briefly scan it and figure out the main point. Many developers for some reasons decided that if they insert a comprehensive introductory tutorials (more on that later), complex animation or a lot of superfluous features, users will stay with them forever. That's not quite true, to be said. Users like it to be simple and intuitive.

Tricks & Solutions:

Developers' main goal is to get to the point straight away. If you feel an irresistible desire to tell users something about your application, then do that in a simple way. For example, use one pop-up to introduce a game or an application, its capabilities and main goals. Write maximum three sentences (but better just one) and don't forget about images.


Another example, you can create a few-second introductory video (the ideal time is not more than forty seconds). It can be played on a background as well.
After you are done with a brief introduction, show a user the main point. If it's a game, let him get straight to the gameplay. If it's a calendar, show users a set of dates. Everything should be understandable.

#4 Tutorials


This common mistake is worth books to be written. Want a bet? Include an interactive tutorial and in a matter of seconds, your new user will be long gone. People don't like such things like annoying hint bars all over the screen. Do you remember how do you hate parental control  when you were a child? Here is all just the same. You are a parent and users are your kids. They require attention, constant care and barely noticeable help.


Tips & Solutions:

Let users or players learn something for themselves, just like your parents did when you were little, allowing you make mistakes. Show them the basic principles in one quick tutorial if necessary and then, get out of the way. Give them space to experiment with the features you provided in the app or test the game capabilities.
Some guidances can be divided into parts for better understanding.
For instance, if it's a game we’re talking about, start with some training. Introduce easy actions that can be performed by players and then let them try their strength. Show them more complex tutorials when they will gain more experience in your game. If you need to place a tutorial in an application, give little hints when a user enters the new block or tab.
However, don't forget to include the full tutorial in some menu tab so that players or users can get instant access to it easily if they consider it necessary.


#5 Advertising


Advertising is probably the most annoying problem that the user faces and the main pinpoint of every app or game developer. With growing popularisation of free games and applications, ads became the only channel of possible earnings for most developers. Here it is essential not to overload an application or game with advertising and that's more important, show only relevant ads.   

Tips & Solutions:

You have two good approaches to include an advertising in the game or an app. First, you can select a small area somewhere along the screen to place ads there and constantly change them.


Second, you can create pop-ups that will be shown occasionally after some time spending in the app or game or as a break when the user reaches another level or score.  


Another great way to include interesting ads in the game or application is by showing app’s highlights. Such approach is one of the most convenient ways to introduce advertising in an application and make users ad-friendly.

The points made above can introduce the most common mistakes that developers make in order to strengthen the addictiveness of the game or application and give you a clue how to avoid these pitfalls.


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