Mobile App Abandonment

One of the most discouraging statistics for all app professionals out there is that people abandon the majority of apps they download, some even after using them just once.  Some practices to consider:

Avoid Interstitials:  Google+ analyzed their own use of interstitials and ultimately abandoned their use.  They found:

  • 9% of the visits to our interstitial page resulted in the ‘Get App’ button being pressed.
  • 69% of the visits abandoned the page. These users neither went to the app store nor continued to our mobile website.

Onboarding:  the first few moments users spend with the app are need to be executed flawlessly.  Don’t ask for too much information and make it easy.

Ease of Use:  your app must be intuitive to use.  Consider developing a progressive experience where users are gradually exposed to increased complexity.

Permissions:  privacy is one of the main reasons why people decide to abandon apps.  Spell out which permissions you need and why.  Make registration optional and clearly state what you’ll do with the data (and how you’ll protect it).

Notifications and Ads:  don’t be annoying!  Push notifications can be a great engagement tool, but exercise restraint.  Analyze your audience and optimize to meet their needs.

Monitoring:  in addition to usability sessions, capture and analyze actual usage patterns.  Understand where and why users pause … and never come back.


For further reading:

  1. Annoyed By Mobile Sites That “Ask” You To Download Their App? You’re Not Alone – Jul 23, 2015
  2. Google+: A case study on App Download Interstitials – July 23, 2015
  3. Download that App! The Art of the Interstitial – Accenture – 2016

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