What is App fatigue and what to do about it?

In 2008, when app stores where introduced, there were 500 mobile apps available. Fast forward to 2021: Android users are able to choose between 3.48 million apps, Apple’s App Store offers 2.22 million apps to download for iOS. It’s no surprise that smartphone users today are overwhelmed with a multitude of apps in nearly every niche and category, resulting in App fatigue.

When you consider the average smartphone user uses between 60-90 apps, each one hitting them with push notifications and emails, it is easy to see why they might feel overwhelmed. This could also be the reason you are having difficulty growing your user base.

The good news is that you can cut through the noise to grab users’ attention using the right approach.

What’s App Fatigue?

Before we begin, let’s define App fatigue. In a nutshell, App fatigue is a result of apps becoming too ubiquitous in modern life. App fatigue is caused by the sheer number of apps and constant notifications. We’ve grown weary of them, rather than being excited about them.

App fatigue is something you’ve probably experienced. How often, for example, do you get excited about an app that a friend suggests? You can also download it, but you will turn off push notifications as you assume that it’s too much.

What causes App Fatigue?

There is an app for every situation, and sometimes there are several. Many smartphone users are still enthusiastic about the variety of apps that are available, according to our survey. More than 45% of users say that they love the idea that there is an app for everything.

This seems to be contrary to the notion of app fatigue at first glance. Users can become overwhelmed by all the apps available, but they still like having so many options.

However, they have realized that they don’t have the time to do everything and need to be more selective.

Forrester research has shown that smartphone users spend nearly half of their mobile screen time (46%) on one app, and that their top five apps receive a staggering 88%.

If your app doesn’t have the ability to penetrate your users’ inner circle, you will just be another app that they swipe past to find the one that’s there.

Excessive notifications and advertisements are the second leading cause of app uninstallations. If you want to reduce app fatigue, the overall user experience must also be enjoyable.

How to Get Rid of App Fatigue

App fatigue can be reduced by giving your users what they want. Simple, isn’t it? Just give your users the experience and functionality they want, so your app will stay on their phones.

1. Focus on Your App’s Core Purpose

App developers can find simplicity scary — it’s safer to include every feature and the kitchen sink in your app to increase its value. However, simplicity is often better for users.

Your users may be attracted to new bells and whistles for a brief moment. They can distract from the core purpose of your app and its functionality, which could lead to many users leaving. It’s better to concentrate on the best features of your app and do it well.

This is the growth strategy Whatsapp used in order to become the most widely-used messaging app of the world.

They were focused on creating a simple, secure, and reliable messaging platform with the most important features users want, such as message receipt confirmation, integration with existing contacts, and no extra features that could distract from their purpose.

2. Listen to your users

Are you unsure of what your users are looking for or how your app can best help them? Your app and your users have all the information you need. The app’s usage data records the actions of your users while they interact with it. It will tell you which features they use the most, when they use it most and other details.
However, not all data will be able to tell you why. To ensure accurate insights, you will need to collect qualitative, anecdotal evidence.

This is an example of the process at work in Bumble, a dating app. They introduced Bumble BFF to their platform to help users find business and friends.

3. Make your Push Notifications Count

Users receive approximately 46 push notifications each day. If you want your app notifications to grab their attention and not be an annoying nuisance that causes them to uninstall it, you need to ensure that they are relevant to what you’re sending.

It is ideal to make sure that each notification you send corresponds with the reason users downloaded your app.

Duolingo is an excellent example. Consistent practice is key to learning a new language. It can be difficult to keep up with, so they use creative push notifications.

4. Treat New Users Well

The average app user will delete an app within 6 days if it fails to live up to expectations. You have to demonstrate the value for your user right away – starting with the onboarding process. Your app was downloaded by your users for a reason. Let them know that they made the right decision by helping them to immediately see the results or benefits they seek from your app.

Venmo is one example of an app that does all this well. The app was created to make it easy to send money to friends. The first thing they show new users is a live feed from Venmo transactions by other users around the globe. This allows new users to see all the ways the app can help them, and also gives them social proof.

5. Let the Data Guide You

Your app and their experience using it must be integral to their everyday lives to avoid app fatigue. Your app’s data is the key to making sure it is indispensable. Our qonnect platform helps you to obtain the data that you need for your apps and drive the development of your mobile services.

Are you thinking about developing a mobile app? If you want to know more developing mobile apps, then we’d love to hear from you. Book a meeting or write us an email to get in touch. Follow us on our blog app to stay up to date.

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