Too Many Apps for That: App Fatigue

Too_many_apps_for_that-_App_Fatigue

Ten years have passed since Apple granted the trademark of “There is an app for that” in 2009.

“… If you wanna check snow conditions on the mountain, there is an app for that. If you wanna check how many calories were in your lunch, there is an app for that. And if you wanna check where exactly you parked the car, there is even an app for that. Yeap, there is an app for just about anything…” 

Remember? Well, maybe, this was the situation in 2009. However, nowadays, things are getting a little bit more complicated. From users’ point of view, there are too many apps for a single thing. And if you are an app developer, here comes another challenge: Do you have a great idea? Probably, there is already an app for that. 

This is where app fatigue begins…

What Is App Fatigue?

As of the second quarter of 2021, App Store and Google Play Store have over 5.7 million apps combined. This abundance leads users to suffer from “app fatigue,” meaning that users are tired of the growing number of mobile apps. However, it is not actually that there are fewer downloads than before. Users are just becoming more selective about which apps they keep on their smartphones and in use. 

app_fatigue
Source: Statista, Number of apps in leading app stores, 2021

If a user chooses to download your app among a copious number of competitors, congratulations! Now, let’s think about the same situation from your users’ point of view by considering the concept of app fatigue: You have just downloaded another app to use your phone’s memory and possibly become a burden to your device. Or you have just downloaded an app to bring substantial value to your life, which is worth sparing the memory. If an app succeeds in this negotiation, it means that it has an engaging experience adding something meaningful to users’ lives.

As an App Owner, Why Should You Care About App Fatigue?

Let’s look at some app fatigue statistics: On average, an app is deleted in 5.8 days after they’re last used. It is worse news if you have an entertainment app since the number decreases to less than a day (0.5 days) for this category. 

Even if your app survives this period, this doesn’t mean that it is heavily and extensively used. Becoming an app that users spend time with is another hurdle. App fatigue research shows that users spend around 80% of their overall app usage on their top 3 apps and 96% on their top 10 apps in the US.

Considering these facts, how do you think your app would fare? How will it become essential when there are overarching numbers of apps similar to yours out there? Does your app actually solve a problem your users’ might have? If yes, how does it do so compared to other apps that aim to solve similar problems? Do users feel better off after using your app? For example, are they more productive, happier, relaxed, or healthier? Are they enjoying their time spent in your app? Or are they annoyed by the number of notifications they are getting? There are many questions you should ask yourself to avoid app fatigue.

How to Beat App Fatigue as a Mobile App Owner

What problem does your app solve in users’ lives?

Your app should be vital to your users and give them a solid reason for using your app. Whether their aim is keeping up with the news around the world, connecting to their friends, listening to music, or buying houses. Listen to your users and figure out what they are expecting from your app. 

How are you different from other apps?

Apart from delivering what your app promises to the users, it is also crucial how you are providing it to them. Some important reasons people delete apps are because they need space on their phones. In addition, perhaps the app is draining their battery. Other issues with app performance might be related to CPU power usage, data caching, crashes, or freezes.

app-crashes
Source: Medium

Delivering a seamless app experience also relies on not only technical performance but also simplicity and ease of use. Minimizing the complexity of registration, onboarding, and usage of the app improves the user experience. Asking for too much information and forcing users to social login in the registration process pushes users to uninstall your app.

How do you convince your users to get on board?

Obscure and long onboarding sessions cause users to slip away. Although using innovative technology and industry trends is essential for your app, getting users to learn the features and how to use the app might be trickier than you think.

app-fatigue-onboarding
Source: Shopify, an example of long and dense onboarding

You can create your app with elements and features familiar to users to improve the onboarding process. Keeping the balance of familiarity and newness is important to keep users. One of the best examples of these formats is stories. You can use stories to save time in educating users and also to inform people during the onboarding stage. This method can provide you with a significant advantage in avoiding app fatigue.

How do you convince your users to keep coming back?

As mentioned above, being installed on mobile devices for five or more days is not enough for an app to hold a remarkable place in users’ lives. Hence, you need to deliver an engaging experience to make them want to visit your app again and again. This is where gamification, as an effective strategy to handle app fatigue, steps in. 

By gamifying the experience on your app, you can create curiosity, trigger competition, and motivate your users to become loyalists of your app.

Storyly to Fight with App Fatigue

Apps will continue to be around; however, app fatigue pushes apps to add more value and improve user experience. By putting your user to the center and understanding what they are looking for, you can combat app fatigue. 

At Storyly, we believe that stories are an impressive way to bring a fresh perspective into your app to avoid app fatigue by eliminating complexity. Check out how you can dive into the world of stories to increase the value of your app with Storyly. 

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