Apps follow various life cycle structures depending on their demands in the market and their ability to provide user experience. An app can start with first-time open and end at deleting step in next time or it can start with first-time open and end at after usage of 2-3 months or it is also possible the app has no end. App’s lifecycle is affected by many factors as per users’ and app developers perspective.
Apps have specific milestones in between the way from app stores to mobile device. Understanding its lifecycle is as important as its design and development. Most of all apps are ensured with design, purpose, users’ desire and easiness to accomplish task, but still they lack something which lead them to end as soon as they reach the users’ device. What apps lack in actual is first-impression effect on users. Popular apps like Evernote, Whatsapp, Candy Crush Saga and others are well stocked with first-impression effects and easily get an opportunity to leave second impression and so on.
Hence, to extend the lifecycle of app, you have to first understand it, learn some stages and implement them to build a milestone.
Stage 1: Factors Affecting Users’ Decision to Download an App
If I go to purchase a hammer, its grip, head and price will be first to catch my attention. Similarly, if I go to purchase an app, I will first look for its price, description, screenshots, and videos – the most affecting factors of users’ download decision. You must craft these factors the same way you design the app itself.
For e.g. You can see a screenshot of Evernote here. Look at it and examine it. Does it reveal the purpose of app? Yes, it does. It reveals the aim of app: “Write and collect everything that matters to you”. It also portrays the features of app.
Your app’s first impression determines whether the user will come again or not. At first time, users don’t have any task in mind. At that point, they are in a mood of taking a visit of app. They check out features in front, subtleties may get unnoticed. That means your app’s upfront design and features needs to prove that your app is different from others and it has to engage users in a way that they return back to complete a task.
Stage 3: Second Time Visit – Primary Task Achievement
If app successfully leaves its first impression, users will surely pay a next visit along with a task to fulfil. Now it’s time to contemplate: what would be the users’ primary task at second visit? And how you can make that task to achieve effortlessly and superficially for users? Getting an answer of both these questions will either expand your app’s life or put it to the end if you fail to play the cards correctly.
Stage 4: Complex Task Achievement
Surviving through three stages means you have created a good impression in users’ mind. It also means that users’ are expecting many things from your app. They think like if your app can do primary tasks snugly, then it can also help them achieve complex tasks. They will get deep enough to explore more paths and options available within the app. They will anticipate whether the app fits perfectly to their needs, so that they should keep it for later use. To make users say “yes” for app, give them options to unlock advance features.
Stage 5: Updates or Upgrades
This is another way helpful to accomplish Stage 4. Keep updating or upgrading your app to make users feel that how much they need the app. Constant updates and upgrades will maintain the interest of users in app.
Users are always looking for free apps. When they are in search of achieving some task through app, they first jump to apps. No doubt, they will get what they want for free as the market is noisy with too many similar-feature apps. So, try to keep your app free or atleast go for minimum price model.