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How to Make a Failing a Good App


Once upon a time, two tech-savvy developers teamed up and created a social app, so they built a location-based check-in feature in allowed users to share plans with friends , and a photo sharing feature. They called it Burbn, and, while it was well developed, it didn’t test well in several markets. While users weren’t working with the check-in and plan-sharing features, the picture sharing feature was very popular. The two men pulled down Burbn and decided to regroup, looking critically at their app and focusing on sharing pictures. They simplified the app, added a few photo filters, and focused on iOS app development. Soon after, they launched Instagram. After torrid growth, expansion into Android, and racking up tens of millions of users, they sold the app to Facebook for $1 billion, and it remains one of the most popular apps in history.

Yes, you may have heard this story before. And yes, it took an amazing confluence of right time/right place to hit that sweet spot of success in mobile app development. What stands out for us in this story, however, is the process these two men went through to get it right. Many app developers aren’t willing to admit that the app they’ve spent so long ideating, developing, and launching may not be viable as it is. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not just possible to revive a failing app…it actually might be an advantage to watch the performance of an app and react appropriately to the relevant feedback and lessons learned. If you have launched and experienced an app that isn’t living up to high expectations, you have incredible insight and ideas as to how what not to do, and research will guide you towards solutions that will result in a good app  as opposed to a failing app.

How to Start App Development?

If you’re at the point where your app is failing and you’ve decided to take it down, you’ve already made quite a few extremely difficult decisions. And these tough calls don’t only involve you; it’s likely that you’ve worked with several team members who are all looking to you for guidance and explanations. They need calm guidance, emotional strength, and, most of all, a rescue plan.

Here at Koombea, a lot of our best apps have resulted from helping a failing app succeed. We have a formula and process to revive apps and find the strength and weaknesses of those apps in order to revamp them and relaunch them to the marketplace.

So, whether it’s Koombea, or a different app development partner, there are plenty of experts out there who can rescue apps. So, the best place to start is to find a new app development team.

App Development and User Experience

The reason many apps get low usage and/or low ratings in app stores is because of poor user experience (UX). App users have plenty of apps available to them with clean UX and seamless designs that make them easy to use. Apps that have a clunky UX and require too much information from the user are going to get uninstalled and the users will likely find a competitor app with a better design.

We find that many app owners take shortcuts when it comes to UX for budget reasons but in reality, a poor UX is more expensive that a great UX in the long run. If you go with the wrong app development company or freelance developer and your UX turns of users right away, all the marketing dollars that you spent on getting the user to the app in the first place are wasted when they decide to uninstall your app.  If you have a retail app and the UX is too complicated to use when checking out, then users will abandon their shopping cart—once again losing your company revenue from your app. From a development standpoint, not having a great UX in the first place before launching an app, you can expect to have to shell out more money in order to fix and update it. With all these things considered, it makes sense to allocate enough budget for a clutter-free UX before launching your app. If you’ve already launched the app but have concerns about your UX, a new app development partner can save your app and totally turn things around.

Koombea’s Approach to Revive Apps

Here at Koombea, we have rescued plenty of apps (from payment collection software like Payix, to security apps like GuardOwl) and thus have created a methodical and scientific approach to analyze what is making an app fail and what you can do to make an app succeed. Our approach and code reviews are what sets us apart from the competition. If you bring your app to Koombea, you can expect the following:

  • Technical discovery
  • Advice on how to improve your UX
  • An analysis on how you can meet your business goals and objectives
  • A code quality review assessment
  • And more!

We have a team of skilled app developers who assess the current state of an app and work with app owners to understand the parameters of the app from a functional standpoint, a UX standpoint and a technical standpoint. One of the main things that our team will assess is how UX translates to complexity and whether or not the app is too complex to use.

Speed and reliability issues are also tested. Sometimes the UX is good, but,the previous developer and/or designer didn’t do a good job catering to the provisions the app has and the app crashes easily.

Koombea Has a Dynamic Team to Salvage Your App

At Koombea, we have a team of business analysts who assess risks and the potential of apps. They put together an in-depth workshop with app owners to determine what the issues are that are keeping an app from succeeding and they make recommendations on how to address their business and technical inadequacies. The business analyst also does a code review and produces a code quality analysis. Between the code review and the UX recommendations, the business analyst does a thorough analysis and multiple meetings with each app owner.

Our team also meets with app owners about business objectives strategies that can help their app do better in the market opportunity. At the end of all these assessments, the app owner is presented with a technical document and they can choose to work with Koombea on the steps we outline.

To ensure that an app can grow and scale while maintaining functionality, we have a talented DevOps team that will ensure you have the right infrastructure in place to handle a lot of growth.

How Koombea Saved Payix–a FinTech App

Payix is a leading FinTech company that provides collections tools, payment processing resources and business intelligence solutions to U.S lenders and auto dealers. Payix helps their clients connect with borrowers and improve payment collections and communication with their mobile app.

Before they discovered Koombea, Payix had issues with their third party developer. Particularly, when it came to scaling up and meeting their business objectives. This third party developer just wasn’t able to keep up with Payix’s growing needs and run the app efficiently.

Koombea’s ability to quickly step in and rescue Payix was what made Payix choose Koombea for their development partner. Within hours of taking over Payix, Koombea was able to transition Payix with no disruption to the app’s services. Some of the criteria that Koombea developed for Payix includes:

  • Partnership transparency with regular feedback and weekly check-ins
  • A quality app that allowed issues to be quickly identified and resolved
  • A dedicated team focused on QA
  • A full team of digital strategists, software engineers and designers highly skilled at developing FinTech apps
  • A thorough understanding of payment card industry data security standard

Once the project was completed, Koombea delivered a flexible and scalable app that Payix was able to ramp up business growth with.

Final Thoughts

If you have an app that’s not performing as well as you had hoped, you don’t have to give up on your app and call it a loss. There could be a number of reasons that explain why your app isn’t succeeding and here at Koombea, we have the skilled team members who can help you figure out why your app isn’t performing well, and,how you can fix the issue or issues. So, rest assured, hope is not lost yet!

Do you have an underperforming app that you think could benefit from an analysis from Koombea? Read more about our rescue services and let us know if you’d like to set up a free consultation!



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