3 Common App Development Mistakes You MUST Avoid

If anything has changed the way we live and work in the 21st century, it is apps. A somewhat common phrase that is used is ‘there’s an app for that’. That saying perfectly encapsulates what apps have become to people in the modern world.

Apps are being used to do virtually everything. People use apps to transact business with their banks, communicate, create, manage their daily lives and work.

Apps have become so common that it is safe to say that almost no one goes through a single day without making use of one app or the other.

Once seen as an option only favored by the very tech savvy, apps are not only being used by everyone but being created by more and more people and companies.

It is not only individuals that have come to appreciate the benefits of apps. Companies in all niches have embraced the concept of apps for connecting with their customers, making sales and sharing content.

Publications now disperse their content through apps, companies are now offering their services through apps and anyone who doesn’t join the app games leaves themselves at risk of being shut out from millions of potential customers and being cut out of the market overall.

This has led to a slew of companies either creating their own apps in-house or outsourcing the app creation. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but due to the nature of apps and the way they are being created these days, it is a tricky process.

Apps were thought of in the past as a complicated feature that was best left to tech enthusiasts and were somewhat ignored by the general public who believed that the process of creating an app was overly complex.

As time has gone on, app-making as a craft has been made much more accessible to the masses. People with little technological background can now create apps almost instantaneously and at little cost.

This cheaper and easier system of app creation has given rise to many amazing apps and has given users access to a lot of amazing features that they otherwise might not have gotten.

Many companies are hopping on this and putting out their own apps. After all, the process seems simple enough. However, it is far from simple.

One downside of the ease of app-making is that those who put out apps tend to forget about the many complexities of a successful app. It is easy for a company to get carried away by the ease of creation that a lot of mistakes can be made along the way.

Companies might find themselves putting out apps with abandon and only realizing some errors after the app is done.

For an independent app developer or someone just experimenting with app creation, this might not be too big of a deal.

However, for a company, this can have severe consequences from loss of millions of dollars in investment to alienation of their client base.

There are a lot of mistakes that can be made in the process of app creation, but these are the most popular, particularly for those who are doing it for the first time.

Mistake #1: Not Knowing what their users want

For a company, putting out an app can seem like a good and profitable idea on paper. In reality, a lot more goes into making an app (or any product) successful than just putting it out. The ‘build it and they will come’ principle doesn’t apply here.

To have users actually download and use an app, it is imperative that the company give them what they want. This could mean market research or studying competitors. Either way, putting out an app that doesn’t tailor to what your user base is in need of is bound to fail.

Beware also of creating an app similar to another simply to take advantage of a common trend. The best apps incorporate elements from other successful apps in a way that makes them unique.

In terms of these user needs, there are a lot of them, but some of the most important and common are:


The biggest selling point of any app is its features. Push Notifications. Reminders. Ease of payment. The most important reason why people get apps in the first place is to take advantage of their various features.

What this means for a company that wants to put out an app is that the features that are most popular and in high demand from the users need to be taken into account and added to the app.

Certain features were once marketed to users as bonus points, but are now considered the norm and standard for apps in that niche.

Ignoring user needs in terms of features can also be catastrophic for a company. This means that people who do download the app will be left unsatisfied and will probably leave poor reviews, discouraging anyone who might have considered.

It will also make it difficult to keep up with the competition. If your business’ app is lacking in the features that users want, you not only risk losing some of your customer base to the competition but also make it harder to convert new users.

Before the app-making process is embarked upon, a list of the essential features that are prevalent in apps offered by competing businesses should be compiled, as well as the features that are high in demand by users.


Apps have over time transcended the traditional use and have expanded their use in user’s lives. No longer limited to the app itself, users now want the functionality of their apps on all devices and in all facets of their browsing experience.

This requires the right plugin for apps. Plugins not only make app functionality more advanced but increase the chances of an app actually being used rather than forgotten about and drives engagement with the app.

Some businesses make the mistake of ignoring plugins altogether and not offering them. This limits your app functionality and might turn off some users.

For certain kinds of apps, having a plugin isn’t even an option but a non-negotiable necessity.

Before putting out an app, it is important to study and understand what types of plugins are already on the market for the type of app you will be offering.

Understand what type of features that the current apps offer and the types of functionality that the users are already used to.

These days, an app can’t sell itself with the basic features like in the past. A lot of add-ons and external features including plugins.

If your company’s app wants to compete with others within the same market, it has to have a good plugin to offer potential users.


The reason that people download and use apps is to make their lives easier. Apps do this by performing services for their users.

These services include organizing, aiding payment, communication and sharing information.

While the creation of an app is for the business’s benefit, it also has to perform some form of vital service for the user.

Before the app is put out, the developer has to have a clear idea of what services the app will provide for the users.

People in different niches have different expectations in terms of the services that the app will render and falling short of these expectations can be disastrous in the long run.

One way to make a company’s app stand out is to offer a service or services that no other app in your niche offers.

Apps like Uber did this by offering transportation services in a way that hadn’t been done before. As a result, they have been able to secure their place within that niche market.

This will require a lot of market research, but it will be helpful to examine your niche market and determine the problems that consumers within your niche are facing and determine how your app will help to solve these problems.

The essence of this is to ensure that your app provides the services that your potential users will want rather than be just another app in the app store. 


Ever since apps exploded unto the digital world, their capabilities have been ever-expanding and as such, users have become used to a certain standard of quality with regards to apps.

Also, because there are literally thousands to choose from, users have a wide range of choice and can easily switch apps at any given time.

If a company is to put out an app, they must be sure of the expectations and quality levels that consumers in their niche are already used to and make sure that their app meets these expectations.

Many companies make the mistake of basing their apps on brand loyalty. After all, if certain users are already familiar with their brand, they will definitely be loyal to the brand’s app.

This is however untrue. While brand recognition can open some doors in the app world, the app being offered must be a certain level of quality if the company is to maintain any of its momenta.

This is because there are probably already dozens of other apps which offer similar functionality as yours and if yours isn’t up to expectations, users will likely have no trouble switching to another app.

This is a continuous process as the app must continue to adapt and improve to continue to meet user’s changing expectations.

Mistake #2: Not Utilizing The Technology to Its Full Effect

Backend not meeting basic infrastructure

Most people who use apps have encountered some truly terrible apps in their lifetime. One of the worst examples is probably apps that crash every few seconds, are riddled with glitches and don’t seem to be able to get anything done.

These glitches range from being unable to access certain functions to the app not starting at all. Most users might be able to tolerate a glitch here and there, but if an app is unable to perform even the basics, it shows that very little effort was put into the app and most users will simply delete it.

These apps are usually the quickly and cheaply made ones that are unable to stand the test of time and are usually discarded from app stores soon after.

Many companies on their first try at apps make the mistake of releasing apps with poorly-done backends that cannot support even the most basic of functions and applications. When released, these apps do nothing but frustrate users and give the company a bad reputation within the app world right off the bat.

This is, however, quite common when companies release their first apps for a number of reasons.

One of the reasons is that companies are in a rush to get their apps out as quickly as possible and either cut corners or don’t pay enough attention to the backend and simply release the apps.

While the app might be out in time, it doesn’t leave a good impression and might even permanently turn away some users. There are even large corporations who have the

In the long run, no app is better than a terrible one that doesn’t serve its purpose.

When creating an app, it is important to invest adequate time and resources towards making a good app and not just throwing any half-baked app into the market for the sake of doing so.

This includes creating a strong backend that can support everything from the basic functions to even the more complex ones.

Overly Complicated App Features

On the other end of this spectrum are apps that are overly complicated in their functions.

Apps by their very nature should be fairly simple for the user to operate and not overly stressful.

Many developers when outing out apps strive to make theirs the most unique and cutting edge. The problem that often occurs is that in the process of doing so, their app ends up being difficult for the user to operate.

This could be in the form of the app having too many features and functions that it is impossible to make sense of them. Like anything technology-related, it is counter-productive if there is too much going on in one single place.

The might also be the problem of its features being too complicated to understand, regardless of their number. Apps, unlike more complicated pieces of technology, are supposed to be understood after a few uses. This is why they don’t usually come with complicated user manuals like you would find in a car.

The average user expects that after fiddling with it for a few moments, they should be able to figure out how to use the app. If this does not happen, they will likely get frustrated and look for something simpler.

Apps are supposed to make the life of the user simpler, and it will be hard to accomplish that when the user has to struggle to even understand the app.

This, your app interface should be simple to understand and its most basic features should take center stage. Its features overall should be well defined and not too complicated.

Before the app is even released, beta testing should be done with users who have little experience with the app. A good idea would be to have them use the app for the first time without any prior guidance. If they are unable to figure out how to use the app after a few tries, revisions should be made.


Not developing for the right OS

Operating Systems are one of the most important factors which determine just how well software can be used on a device. Operating systems below certain versions are practically useless and most device owners have come accept the importance of having an up to date OS.

When apps are created and released to the public, they are designed to be compatible with certain Operating systems and not with others. This means that depending on what OS your app is developed for, you can either have access to almost all devices or can be very limited in terms of your potential user base.

It is quite easy to make mistakes when developing an app in terms of the OS.

The first mistake is developing an app for an OS that is obsolete. For example, if your app is only compatible with an Operating system that becomes redundant in 2013, your potential user base is made very small as most users would have upgraded their operating systems.

It is, therefore, necessary to make sure that your app is compatible with the newest and most used operating systems on the market to ensure the widest possible user base.

Another mistake is creating an app for obscure or barely-used operating systems. Your market for your app is really only as large as the number of people who use the OS you are designing for.

An app designed for Android and Apple operating systems will have a larger base than those designed for say, Blackberry.

If an app will have any chance of success, it needs to be developed for the right operating systems.

It isn’t enough to merely develop an app but to develop an app that is accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

With every OS update and release, your app has to be reviewed and you need to make sure that it is compatible with the new OS and if not, the necessary adjustments should be made to make sure that this is corrected.

Mistake #3: Not Using the Right Developers

App development can be plagued by many problems during its launch, but it is also very common for many mistakes to be made during its inception, particularly when it comes to deciding who makes the app in the first place.

Some of the common mistakes made when considering the app development are:

Thinking Outsourcing is the trick

Because apps are more common than ever, app developers are also more widespread. More and more people are getting into the business of creating an app and this in itself takes off some of the burden from those who want to put out apps but aren’t developers, like companies in this case.

The problem with this is that those who want to put out these apps become too reliant on the outsourcing process with very little input on their part.

Some companies choose to make use of app generation services or use free templates. These options look very easy and cheap on paper, but are probably not a good option. This is because the app created will likely be a poorly-made one which users will be turned off by. Also, app stores are also beginning to push back against these poorly-made apps and reject them from the app store.

Another common option for companies looking to create apps is to simply outsource it to a developer and have it made for them. This in itself isn’t a bad option and can actually be very beneficial.

The problem arises when the company outsources app creation duties and doesn’t get involved at all in the creation process.

It is very tempting to simply pay someone to make an app for the company and kick your feet up, but with no input on the app making process, you will have no input on the app-making results.

No one knows their target audience better than the company itself, and during the process of making the app, should be involved and specify what needs to be included, rather than leaving the developer to create blindly.

Thinking You Can Develop and Not Update

Developing an app and putting it out to the public can come with very unique challenges, but a whole new set of challenges come up after the app is released.

Many people and companies feel that after an app is released and gets positive feedback that their work is done and that they can forget about the app altogether. This is very incorrect and is an important factor in why a lot of apps gain momentum but die off after that.

The online world is always changing and at any given time, new features and content are always being put out to the public and as such, apps need to stay on top of these.

For example, a few years ago, push notifications on apps were not as common, but are now the standard for almost all apps. If an app were to have been released a few years ago and didn’t update to using push notification, it would have likely been forgotten about.

The same thing goes for shareability. In the past, apps weren’t as easily shareable as they are now. These days, having share buttons to put out content from apps on social media is the norm.

These two examples show just how much apps have evolved and will continue to evolve.

When a company puts out an app, it must begin to revise and update it periodically and equip it with new features that keep it up to date with the trends.

There is also the matter of operating systems. Operating systems for various devices are updated from time to time, and after a while, certain apps become incompatible with the newest OS release. If such an app isn’t given an update to make it compatible, it becomes obsolete and gets discarded.

All companies who own apps should constantly update and make sure that their app not only has the latest features but is compatible with all the latest operating system releases.

Thinking You Can Do Everything

Companies who need to release apps might choose to hire the services of an outside developer or might choose to create the app in-house. Should they choose that latter, they have the advantage of more creative control and a more hands-on approach.

The danger in this is that it is easy to fall into the idea that you can do everything.

As much as a company can exercise more creative control and create the app in-house, there is likely a limit to what the company can do in the creative process unless they specialize in creating apps from the get-go.

During the making process, outside help will likely have to be brought in for the more complex parts of app creation and if the company refuses to do so, they will likely end up with a poorly-made app.

In the age of DIY technology, companies might want to save on cost and use an app generator that creates an app for them instantly or might want to go at it themselves.

But at one point or the other, it must be accepted that they do not know everything and should seek professional help to create the app.

New things are constantly springing up in the app world and there are professionals who specialize in keeping up with these updates and making sure that new apps being developed are not affected by them.

The average company doesn’t likely keep track of new laws guiding app stores are the new features that spring up every day. Should a company insist on creating an app with no outside guidance on the app creating process, they will likely overlook some key factors and be caught unawares, either during the approval stage for the app store or after the app is released, at which point the damage has already been done.

Even if a company decides to make an app in-house, outside expertise should be considered.

Where BuildFire comes in

All these factors considered, app-making can seem like a daunting process, but by making use of Buildfire, a lot of the hassle can be skipped over.

A business might feel like they have to either outsource everything regarding app creation and end up with no creative control or do everything in-house with no professional guidance, but by using Buildfire, you get the best of both world.

We Can Build it for you

Buildfire specializes in building apps professionally and will ensure that your app is beautiful and properly built.

One of the biggest complaints among users and people who outsource their app-building duties is that the apps often come out with glitches and errors. This has gotten so rampant that both users and people who pay for app expect there to be errors and problems on the first try. With Buildfire, this won’t be the case and even on the first try, the app will be glitch-free with attention to detail.

App-making is very complex and is changing every day. New guidelines come out periodically that dictate what can and cannot be used in apps and how apps can and cannot be designed. The average company doesn’t have the time to keep up with these new guidelines, bur Buidlfire does.

Buildfire keeps track of what is new in the app world and makes sure that our apps reflect that with ease. This will prevent your app features and layout becoming redundant as soon as they are put out.

The apps we create are fitted with only the best and more recent features, so there is no question about whether your app will have push notification, easy shareability and so on.

With each new OS release, a new set of apps become incompatible and with time, obsolete. This need not be the case with your app as we make sure that each app we create is compatible with the latest version of the OS.

Another common problem among those who outsource app-creation is that they receive similar templates to everyone else.

This is done by app generation services who create a quick, cheap layout and proceed to give the same template to everyone that pays them. The end result is duplicate apps that have no distinction and confuse users. Another problem with this is that app stores are starting to ban apps that are created this way.

Fortunately for you, Buildfire makes it a point of duty to create custom apps. This way you can be sure that any app you receive from us is one of a kind and one that no one else has.

We Can Design It For You

Beyond creating the backend and template for an app, the actual outlay and design is equally important.

There is more to an app than the features working properly and it being compatible with operating systems. Whether we admit it or not, the aesthetics behind an app play a huge part in the success of an app.

Many people are able to technically create a functioning app but have no idea on how to work the design and make the app. That is where Buildfire comes in.

We design apps according to customer specifications and ensure that the final product is something that the company will be proud of and that the user will love.

No matter how well an app functions, a poorly-done appearance can easily turn away current and potential users.

While the technical part of app creation might be easily accessible to some, the design aspect is still quite tricky.

Some people once again choose to opt for mass-produced app layouts rather than have one custom designed for them. The end result of this is multiple similar apps crowding the app store and nothing to distinguish one app from the other.

While this option might save time and money in the short term, it gives the company a bad reputation on the long-term and neglects the entire purpose of the app which is to create a lasting impression among users This will not be achieved if your outlay is a cheap-looking one they have seen several times before in several other apps.

By allowing Buildfire to handle the app creation process, you are assured of an app template that is unique to only your app and one that can’t be found anywhere else.

Beyond this, all designs are created for each client’s unique requirements and in a way that appeals to the company’s unique audience rather than anyone who uses it.


Making an app is a tricky and taxing process, particularly if it is being done for the first time.

When the app is being made for a company and not a private individual, it brings its own new seat of challenges.

In the process, some mistakes are inevitably made which leads to waste of time and resources as well as frustration on the part of the users.

But by having Buildfire handle the making of the app, all these mistakes can be avoided and a quality app ensured for both the company and the users at large.

Ian Blair :BuildFire Co-Founder. I'm a digital marketer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. I'm here to help businesses go mobile and build apps more efficiently than before.