App Success Indicators and Challenges: Top Four

App Success Indicators and Challenges

Building, analyzing, and learning about mobile apps is the basis of its development. To develop a long-term strategy, you need to set success criteria and measure performance. In addition to the type of app you develop, the business objectives you have will also contribute to defining success.

Before you begin any development work, you should have a clear understanding of what your product will accomplish. To gauge the performance of your mobile app, you need to monitor a few success metrics.

Four main success metrics

1.     Metrics of marketing or app launches in general

  • Traffic to websites, microsites, or landing pages
  • Backlinks to websites, microsites, landing pages, or content
  • Authority of the domain
  • Mentions of brands and products
  • Growth of social media audiences
  • Vitality and engagement on social media
  • Increasing the number of email subscribers
  • Click-throughs, opens, and unsubscribes from email

2.     Metrics for acquiring new users

  • Daily Active Users) should be increased
  • Monthly active users) should be increased
  • DAU per daily session should be improved
  • Increasing retention rates
  • Reduce the number of churning customers

Mobile app launch success is largely determined by the number of users acquired, but substantial download rates are meaningless without active users.

Two metrics are key to determining whether a mobile application is successful:
  • App engagement
  • App retention

An effective retention strategy is built into the core experience of the product in order to ensure high retention rates. Monitoring engagement and retention metrics will help improve the lifetime value of the app.

An article in this issue explains how to create an unusually sticky mobile app by taking a proactive approach to user retention. 

3.     Metrics related to user actions

  • Conversions should be increased
  • Sessions should be increased
  • Intervals between sessions should be reduced
  • Usage of features and engagement within the app

4.     Metrics for measuring business performance

  • Revenue growth
  • Conversion rate increases
  • Products for upselling
  • Reducing acquisition costs
  • Enhance the lifetime value of customers
  • Reducing abandoned shopping carts
  • Recommendations

It’s important not only to monitor the performance of your own product, but also that of your competitors. 

To be effective in achieving business and product goals, you need to identify the right success criteria for your mobile app.

There are several other common challenges involved in developing mobile apps

Why apps fail can be attributed to a variety of challenges

1.     Overruns and delays in projects 

The most significant challenge facing companies trying to ship their products is delays. Large, complex projects are particularly prone to this problem. There are a number of reasons why delays occur, but poor processes, inadequate capacity planning, dependencies, and talent shortages are often to blame. 

Product delays are often explicitly linked to budget overruns. It is true that “time is money” in this situation. A product’s total cost increases with the length of time it takes to release it.

How to Handle product delays and cost overrun?

It is impossible to avoid delays and budget overruns at the outset of a project. However, it is possible to minimize time and budget risks by following these steps: 

An iterative approach to product design

Trying to achieve absolute perfection with version one is one of the biggest barriers to product success. Aiming for perfection is subjective, so not getting to market quickly means you’re not able to catch up. You can continually improve your product based on user feedback if you ship quickly and frequently. 

Developing a capacity plan (reliable speed)

Improper capacity planning often leads to product delays and budget overruns. Budgets and timelines cannot be accurately estimated if team capacity can’t be accurately estimated. The ability to predict velocity with a reasonable degree of certainty requires a process for determining team capacity and comparing it with project requirements. 


Both time and budget can be negatively affected by the inability to adapt to changing needs. You can better manage time and budget when you incorporate flexibility into your app development process. Thus, your velocity can be maintained better. 

2.     There is a lack of in-house talent and experience 

Mobile projects are typically handled by in-house development and quality assurance teams (incorrectly). This assumption can be true in some cases. Most often, though, there is a shortage of mobile developers, particularly when employees are not trained in this profession.

Apps are often developed by in-house teams who assume they can quickly learn smartphone technologies. 

Here’s how to handle it

Hiring talent or partnering with a specialized app development partner are the two main ways to fill talent gaps. Due to operational limitations, hiring new employees is often impossible, so sourcing a specialized partner makes sense.

If your vendor cannot fill those skill gaps, make sure to check with them. The following aspects should also be considered in addition to project experience: 

  • Teamwork skills 
  • Transferring and retaining knowledge 
  • Having experience with similar projects 
  • Processes for managing change
  • Process of development in general 

 You can take into account concerns such as meeting product requirements, managing change, and reducing risks (time, budget, and personnel, for instance).

3.     Differing priorities among stakeholders 

In addition to throwing off timelines and affecting scope, changing priorities can devour budgets as well. It is also a major reason why apps fail when they have rigid development processes that do not cope well with change. 

Dealing With It
  • Being flexible and adaptable in your process is essential to dealing with changing priorities and requirements.
  • The best way to adapt to change on the fly is by following a process that accounts for it.
  • You can pivot without wasting time or resources if priorities or requirements change due to product evolution or stakeholder reevaluation. 
  • It is inevitable that mobile apps will undergo changes.
  • Supporting change management with a product requirements document (PRD) is a great idea. 
  • In the absence of a PRD, you can easily lose sight of your original app concept and all the requirements associated with it. 
  • In mobile app planning exercises, most projects involve various systems, subsystems, and features, and it’s the PRD that displays their complexity.
  • Documenting development handoffs accurately ensures that errors and unnecessary changes do not occur during handoffs between team members. 
  • During the development process, external factors such as user demand, technological advancement, and competitive threats emerge.
  • In the PRD, the initial requirements are specified and the actual requirements are determined.
  • As a result of these unexpected realities, you and your team may feel you and your team need to take a U-turn in development.
  • PRDs serve as a means of considering the necessity of change in relation to your product goals, rather than speeding up the implementation of new requirements.

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