Four Common Mistakes When Designing for Large Audiences

4 min read Hiren Adesara on Nov 1, 2022

When it comes to developing an app, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate not only what will work for your business now, but also consider the best way to iterate and scale your product. 

In this blog, we have identified some of the common app development pitfalls to watch out for and how not to make them. 

Here are four development missteps to avoid in order to increase your chances of building a high-performing, successful app that engages users.  

1. Prioritizing speed over flexibility

It is absolutely important to consider time to market, getting feedback from the customers, and revenue of the product. However, products built as a proof of concept (POCs) are often not built to scale. Once you have launched your product and as your customer base grows, you should pay attention to what parts of your product feature and its technical architecture will provide the most flexibility and control to you and your customers. These are the areas that you may want to focus on during the “growth phases” of your product to ensure that a large part of your customer segment can use your product, and that your product infrastructure would be able to manage the load of the growing customer base.

2. Losing focus of what’s important

As your product evolves, if a strategic focus is not maintained for the primary feature(s) of the product, the product will eventually become a hodgepodge of features that are not compatible or even related to each other. This can lead to customers not knowing what your product is for.  With ‘focus’, here we mean focus in investing in the feature to continue to be the market leading, and that focus has to be communicated to the end users through UI/UX positioning strategies. For instance, WhatsApp has many features like Status and Audio/Video calls, engaging with local businesses, and more but its primary use case is to chat with family and friends. If WhatsApp loses its focus on this very core feature, it is likely that it will see a decline in their active user counts. Similarly, Slack with its enterprise chat, Robinhood for trading, and PayPal to transfer money, each of which have many other features but they are all known for a single need. As long as they continue to be the best for this use case, these products will continue to grow and attract more customers.

Make common things easy and advanced things possible

As your application gains traction and as you build new features in your product, the right mindset to design a feature is to make common things easy and advanced things possible. That way the majority of users can continue to use your product with the utmost simplicity and ease, and advanced users still have the option to expand what they may want to do. In addition, I recommend the following basic principles, each one of them probably deserves its own blog:

  • Build niche features that everyone uses

  • Continue improving the simplicity and ease of what is important

  • Have a well oiled customer feedback loop process 

3. Not paying attention to your operational excellence early on

App reliability and scalability should not be overlooked. Modern users expect more interactivity and more speed in the applications that they’re using. Users wouldn’t want to use a product that lags and experiences outages every time they’re in-app. For apps with hundreds, thousands, or millions of users and devices interacting simultaneously, and apps that will continue to grow their user base, building an infrastructure for scale can be a major challenge if you don’t take into consideration the many moving parts early on in your operations improvement process. Ensuring that your core infrastructure is scalable will set you up for success in the long run because it improves the user experience, stickiness, and loyalty.

4. Building everything in-house 

Finally, you need to take into account the complexity and costs that come along with building, maintaining, and scaling your app infrastructure in-house. Building everything in-house requires dedicated developer resources to consistently maintain and monitor different code bases that could have easily been a library that you have imported, or a pay-as-you-go vendor that you could have used. To deliver apps reliably and at scale, you need global, scalable coverage that ensures high-speed performance no matter the network environment, device, operating system, or number of concurrent users. 

This is why many companies choose to build with a real-time provider instead of in-house because all of this is handled for you, which enables your team to seamlessly deliver a reliable, consistent, and fast user experience which your users will love. 

Setting your app up for long-term success

So, to make designing and scaling your app less challenging, don’t spend the time and resources reinventing the wheel. 

Thankfully, building a reliable app that can easily scale to accommodate your growth doesn’t have to be a daunting process. PubNub takes care of the infrastructure, so you can build and scale your app without concurrency limits or caps to focus on providing the best user experience for your customers.  

Want to try out PubNub? Talk to our team of experts to learn more about getting started.