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Nine Reasons Your App Sucks


Jul 22nd 2013 at 01:24am by GiveMeApps

You may think we’re being harsh here, but there are a zillion reasons as to why your app isn’t squeezing out a few pennies, let alone a few million and a buyout by one of the big guys. Developing an app to put to market may be fun and cool, but it takes a lot for it to be rewarding. We took a bit of time to round up nine reasons as to why you can’t brag to CNN about why you’re not Silicon Valley’s lastest millionaire and superstar just yet. We hope this is informative and please do comment. 

1. It’s All In A Name, Stupid!

While it sounds elementary, have you actually thought about what your app icon should look like? Have you thought about the name of your app? What about which platforms to release it on? Simple things like an eye catching icon and a “rolls off your tonuge" app name can make all of the differnce. Do you think Angry Birds would’ve sold if the icon featured a bird smelling a flower? How about if your app icon was one color, say blue, with the title of the app in the icon. Seriously, I’d continue to scroll down the app listings, click the red X and move onto another app, or go to a differnet app store and ignore the greatest app ever created because it looks like crap. So how about we go on or oDesk and hire a real graphic designer to design that icon of yours. How about we be a little more creative with that app title. I doubt Facebook would have went far if it were called “Contact Everyone".

2. Your User Interface Sucks

The UI on an app is analagous to the storefront of a business. Sure that restaurant across the street may make the best Italian Food in your neighborhood, but do you really want to go to a restaurant covered in graffitti, laced with dirty windows, hard to read signs, and loiterers with filthy clothes hanging the establishment entrance? A poorly designed or underdesigned interface will turn people off from using your app, period, even if it is the best thing since sliced bread. Don’t underestimate word of mouth either. Poorly designed apps will quickly bring bad reviews attached to it if you do manage to get a few downloads.


Stay away from using native-factory buttons. They’re boring and show lack of creativity (e.g. laziness). Come up with unique color schemes for branding. Consider clean, uncluttered design displays. Fonts are everything. Obviously that Arial font is key for the web, but if you can embed fonts, even better. Using exotic or unique fonts sparingly will give your app a unique look. Have often used functions readily accessible and not locked to certain pages or buried under crowded menus. Make sure links and buttons are clearly labled, and be certain that everything is communicated clearly to the user using everyday and easy to understand language.

3. The App Version Of Your Website Stinks

Now that smartphones are pretty ubiquitos and have full blown web browsers, developers are playing catch up. Plenty websites and apps have “mobile versions", but many of them are cumbersome in comparison to surfing on your venerable Desktop PC. The answer to this is creating and marketing a dedicated app for access to your site, formatting everything for and taking advantage of certain features on the target device. This doesn’t always work as inteneded however. For example, the Wikipedia app for Android Tablets way less functional than the actual website. Lack of functionality of Facebook Apps on all platforms still requires you to log in on your PC to access certain features not available in the app versions (ditto for the WAP versions). People complain about pictures loaiding improperly, broken links, pinch and zoom unavailable on phones with touch screen and more. Some websites have third party apps which run slower than the actual website leaving users scratching their heads. Keep in mind that dedicated apps should give users a faster, more streamlined experience. Otherwise, what’s the point?

4. Your App Isn’t Innovative Enough

Really? Another boring caldendar app? There are so many apps which do the same exact things. Think of organizers, planners, calendars, crossword puzzles, photo sharing, to-do lists. However one app always rises from the ashes which renders all others as inadequate and acts as the standard by which others will soon find themselves modeling themselves after. Think of Task Apps such as Quick Launch List and Punch In, Graph Apps such as Info.gram, Texting Apps like What’sApp Messenger and Photo-Sharing apps such as Instagram. Developers took an existing (already popular) idea, made it more interactive, more personal and super-intuitive. These apps could have easily been created by existing companies who make similar apps for desktop PCs who have larger budgets, but it took brainstorming by the little guy to capatilize on an existing idea by making it better through innovation. Info.gram for example allows users to make interactive graphs. 

One of the coolest apps we’ve come across is the iKandl app which lets users send actual cupcakes with a candle in it which they can actually blow out by blowing on the screen. Now that’s innovation on a calendar app!

5. You’re Not Thinking Smartphone vs Tablet

You really think you’re going to get away with telling iPad users that your iPhone app runs perfectly on their tablet? You need to know your audience and be clear about what your app was designed for. Everybody wants sales, and yes apps designed for smartphones will run on tablets running the same OS. However you will build consumer confidence, and not waste their time by specifying that your app is optimized for a smartphone rather than a tablet. Seriously , some apps are nearly unusable on tablets because they were designed to run on a tiny 3.5 inch screen. Those awesome graphics will look cramped, and some functionality and formatting would be lost. For example, in some apps, objects may overlap, obstruct the view of another object, or worse yet, appear distorted. Lots of developers are creating tablet specific apps. Television and music related tablet apps available on all platforms and are seemingly popular. Video reigns king on Tablet Apps with the majority of Tablet Owners reporting using their tablet to watch videos of all kinds thanks to the available screen real estate. comScore reports that one in four smartphone owners use tablets and pay to watch video. (comScore, June 2012)

6. You’re Not Monetizing Effectively

Even if your app is free, if you’re not making any money, then you are a loser, plain and simple. There are so many revenue sources when it comes to selling apps and you should be taking advantage of every one. If not to make extra money, then definitely to fund your next app creation(s). Think about the scores of established development firms who make coin from selling their enormous app catalogs of which many are free downloads. 

Maybe you’re not Warren Buffet. Perhaps you don’t have a mattress stuffed with hundred dollar bills. Maybe you’re living in your mother’s basement. There’s still no excuse. App Stores like GiveMeApps have afilliate programs where your Developer or Sponsor can take a percentage of your revenue. This could allow you to have a developer commit to a project

7. You’re Thinking Like A Developer And Not A Consumer.

C’mon! Are you designing this app for you to use, or are you trying to get even the Queen Of England to download this app to her royal Android phone? Monetizing your apps can be difficult because of the amount of redundant, superfluous, generic, and overpriced apps that flood the app marketplace. Consider apps that require an upfront payment for a service that should be free, become quickly obsolete because of the rapidly evolving market, or are too expensive compared to similiarly functioning apps.

Although certain companies are doing their best to rid their stores of unnecessary, and obsolete apps, a struggling developer still cannot afford to not be less aggressive and competitive as possible when distinguishing their product. Consider your the feature set, functionality, and uniqueness of your app while in development. This will help your app stand out and give you bragging rights over exclusive features.

8. You Have No Video To Promote Your App And Therefore You Are Stupid

You have no video? Are you insane? Create a video for your app. Consider creating a video that demonstrates your apps features and workflow. A video is one of the most expressive and effective ways to show off your app’s interface and capabilities. And you don’t necessarily have to spend thousands of dollars on a production team. GiveMeApps is the best option to monetize your apps because they offer video reviews and blog reviews on applications for under 20 dollars. These reviews and videos will help customers see and understand what your app does and help you get more downloads. Many apps never make it big because there is no information about them online, but with new vlogger and blogger services on you can be sure customers can find out more information on your app and why they should download it.

9. Your Marketing Sucks

Put on your dunce hat. F minus for you! You don’t take the time to market your app?! There are more places besides the “app store", “play store", “marketplace" to sell your apps. You need to have a website to promote your app. Not all developers offer this. You don’t offer support. You have advertising inside your apps, but for the paid version, the advertisements won’t be there. Some advertising would be considered PUPS, potentially unwanted software. Usually also known as spyware or adware. Your app wants to many permissions. Why would a game app need access to my contact list? Why does it have access to my phone ID? No one wants to be bothered with advertisements in their apps. You don’t have any social media presence. You don’t take the time to keep your app up to date, if your app doesn’t stay up to date, it can go bad.

There are so many angles to marketing an app. The more angles you cover, the more chances your app can obtain the necessary publicity it needs in this now crowded market. Your app should have presence on social media. It takes very little time to purchase a domain name, purchase an app webpage template, put together a Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr page. Are you aware that some developer websites are their Blogspot page? App Stores like GiveMeApps offers extra services such as unbiased written and video reviews, social media promotion and advertising. Then of course, GiveMeApps is the only app store which gives Developers the full 100% of their download profits. You simply have no excuse. There is such a thing as undermarketing.


Now you have 9 reasons why your app sucks, and almost 100 solutions to make it unsuck. Creating an app can be easy depending on the complexity of the final product. Like any other market, getting money in the bank requires a concentrated effort, solid thinking and planning. There is no such thing as flawless execution in this game, as you’re in an ocean with many fish. No one can predict which apps are on the horizon, and which new technologies or ideas will take the world by storm. Whether it’s a take on a new take on an old idea (video game i.e. Angry Birds), an extension of an existing service (i.e. Call Friendsapp) or something truly revolutionary, many of the points expressed here will definitely help.

One thing we should agree on is your app should be profitable. The best way to start is to get your app into a store that will guarantee you receive every penny you deserve. One such store is GiveMeApps, the only app store which guarantees Developers receive the full 100% of their download profits. GMA

Article By Harold Everton, CEO and Founder of GiveMeApps. Contributions made by Wayne Temple, Jordan Banafsheha and Stephen Whalen