Xava du/flickr

Xava du/flickr

According to a joint Google-Ipsos poll, many apps find themselves lost on memory lane.

In today’s fast-paced mobile world, consumer preferences can change as quick as the wind. So for brands, it’s crucial to create mobile apps that deliver a delightful experience to ensure active interaction with the brand while prompting users to return for more.

Picture it: you take the necessary steps, create a fantastic app, and — thank the stars — people are actually downloading it. There’s just one snag: as soon as users acquire the app, they forget all about it. As it turns out, this actually isn’t all that uncommon.

[tweetable alt=”According to @google and @IpsosMORI, 1 in 5 downloaded #apps are quickly forgotten by the #user.” hashtag=””]According to a recent UK-based study jointly conducted by Google and Ipsos, one in five downloaded apps are quickly forgotten by the user,[/tweetable] as the Drum reports. Why is this, and how can app makers remedy the situation?

The Statistics of Forgetting

The survey toured three broad categories of apps – shopping, travel and holidays, and restaurants and takeaways. Interestingly, the 1,200 consumers surveyed were not equitable in their forgetfulness; according to the statistics provided by Google, [tweetable alt=”33% of #travel, #holiday, 18% of #shopping and 17% of #restaurant #apps are quickly forgotten, says @google.” hashtag=””]while 33% of downloaded travel and holiday apps are quickly forgotten, only 18% of shopping apps and 17% of restaurant apps suffer the same tragic fate.[/tweetable]

Why the disparity? Well, the surveyors contend that users tend to download different types of apps for different reasons. Some apps are downloaded purely at the recommendation of a friend, while others are used to interact with a brand, such as for shopping apps.

It seems that the more the user can interact with an app – such as through looking for restaurant deals and shopping discounts – the less likely they are to forget about it.

Forgotten, But Not Gone

We all know the feeling, though. A friend recommends a great app, and you agree to download it. It’s slick, has all the features you need, and you can hardly wait to break it out. Then, months later, you discover it, lost and covered in cobwebs, in some dark corner of your home screen.

One thought to explain this phenomenon is that the app becomes a sort of novelty; you get a kick out of downloading it, but once the initial excitement fades, the app soon loses its relevancy and gets forgotten.

Following this line of thinking, many apps and their developers fight hard for your initial download — looking great, generating hype — but end up failing to deliver consistently in the long term. In this way, it’s essential that the app maker be highly sensitive to the evolving needs of the user, consistently engaging them through things like push notifications and open feedback.

Bringing it Back

But if you have a glittering brainchild of an app that your legion of followers has since forgotten, what you actually have is…hope. According to Google, the vast majority of users would be willing to use an app again that they once forgot.

The trick here is to respond attentively and flexibly to your customer base so as to ensure that your product continually pops back into users’ heads. A large part of holding their attention is creating an app that’s absolutely unique, one they couldn’t easily be interchanged for a competitor’s.

Think you’ve got a one-in-a-million idea but no end product to show for yourself? Be sure to make use of easy-to-use platforms like Infinite Monkeys, which provides the necessary tools to inexpensively create distinctive apps and curate their features over time. Moreover, the platform makes it easy to experiment to with various strategies in order to strike just the right balance.

App creation should be a conversation between you and an audience. So if you don’t want users to forget your app, make sure that everyone keeps talking.