With more than 143.6 billion apps downloaded in 2021 alone, finding new ways to persuade consumers to interact with your app can be a challenge. The truth is that there’s an app for everything nowadays, and though people devote a third of their waking time to mobile apps, almost 1 in every 2 apps installed are uninstalled within 30 days. Below, we’ve put together some of the common reasons why people hit ‘uninstall’ and offer some tips from our app developers and marketers on ensuring yours stands the test of time on users’ home screens.


Difficult onboarding process

The hard work doesn’t stop once you’ve encouraged consumers to download your app: the next step is getting them to use it! The key to success is to develop an engaging and simple onboarding process that offers a clear introduction to what your app does, and tips on how to make the most of it. Your onboarding process should reinforce your company values and emphasise your value proposition. Focus on highlighting the core features of your app through a simple swipe mechanism when users first launch your application on their phones and save those less important explainers and tutorials for in-app messages down in the line.

Users should be able to download your app and start using it within 30 seconds to a minute. If you’re spending too long explaining your product, forcing users to watch a video or asking them dozens of questions, they’re not going to engage. Only ask for the information you need during sign-up, and implement Sign in with Apple or Sign in with Google buttons where possible to streamline this. One report found that sixty per cent of people said they have chosen not to install an app after finding out how much personal information it would use so stick to the necessities and remember that you can ask for more information down the line.


Too many unnecessary notifications

Although push notifications can be a great way to attract attention and get users to interact with your content, the truth is that nobody wants to be overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to notifications – some users are more sensitive to them than others, and some will outright refuse to turn them on. If you go too heavy and send notifications more than you should, the chances are that your uninstall rate will climb.

Some businesses experience as much as an 85% increase in engagement through their use of push notifications, so experiment with different frequencies and see what works best for you. Understand your average user, work out how often they want to be notified, and feel free to reach out directly to your beta testers to ask for their thoughts and feedback. Daily notifications and reminders might be acceptable in some industries but not in others, and timing is also crucial – don’t wake users up in the middle of the night or disturb them at work!


Usability issues

Although a good app developer should be able to create a stable, functioning app that works for users, it’s vital that you conduct thorough testing and look at crash reports to determine when your app runs into difficulties. There are lots to consider here, so we’ve broken it down:

    • Lack of feedback: If you don’t accept feedback on your app, users won’t stick around. Add a feedback form or email address in-app and also respond to any feedback on the App Store or Play Store to show users you’re listening to them
    • Unconventional gestures: Stick to the status quo. Don’t try to create your own gestures or design language that’s foreign or unfamiliar to users – you’ll alienate them and they might uninstall your app. Follow best practices from Google and Apple.
    • Poor onboarding: If your app is particularly difficult or complex to use, it’s vital that your onboarding is clear and straightforward. It’s worth checking the onboarding experience of similar apps in your industry to get ideas on creating your own.
    • Navigation problems: It’s important that users can find what they’re looking for easily, so review your app’s navigation. Don’t add content that’s not necessary – users shouldn’t have to memorise how to reach a certain page within the app.
    • Tiny text: Accessibility has never been more important, so make sure that the text and functional elements of your app are easy to read. Design finger-friendly touch targets and make sure there’s good padding between elements to avoid misclicks.
    • Poor error handling: When things go wrong, it’s important users know what they need to do. Use inline validation in forms (for example, if users don’t type in an email address, prompt them to do it, rather than say ‘error’ with no explanation). Doing so reduces frustration and ensures users can resolve the majority of their own issues.


They’re using a competitor’s app

In today’s competitive landscape, it’s vital that you work hard to defend your position as the authority in your niche – if you don’t, someone else will come along and attract your users. By adopting a continuous development policy, you can add new features and react quickly to changing market conditions to ensure you stay at the top of your game. Don’t deploy your app and sit back – it’s important to be responsive if you want to keep users coming back.

On the subject of competitors’ apps, it’s worth downloading a few to see what they’re doing differently. You might get some inspiration for new functions and features to further attract new and existing users. Look further afield and broaden your horizons when researching for your app – if you’re building a men’s fashion app, for example, look at similar apps across womenswear and eCommerce. The more knowledgeable you are about the wider industry, the more likely you are to find ways to differentiate your product and improve app retention.


At Zudu, we not only offer award-winning software development services to help you create an app that stands out from the competition but market acceleration services such as app store optimisation and pay-per-click advertising. Reach out to our team today to get started. 

Do you have a project in mind?
Let’s get to work.