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February 6, 2024

10 Key Mobile Application Development Mistakes to Avoid

If you want to create a mobile app, you need to consider the most common mobile application development mistakes to avoid them. We are here to help!

Aliaksandr Mazurau

Lead iOS Engineer

Developing a mobile app is a thrilling journey, but it can also be a bumpy ride. As seasoned engineers know, bugs are inevitable, but it's the mistakes that can be a real headache. Unlike bugs, mistakes happen due to a lack of expertise or not foreseeing something. And the worst part? You can't always fix them. From development difficulties to huge costs and losing users, the consequences can be dire. So, if you're embarking on a mobile app development adventure, make sure to read about these top 10 mobile app development mistakes and avoid them.

Moving forward blindly, without considering store guidelines from the beginning

When you've got a brilliant idea for a new mobile app and you're eager to start developing it right away, check out the mobile platform's store guidelines first. This will help you understand if your app idea meets the platform store's requirements. You don't want to be caught in a situation where you must recreate the entire app after publishing it for review! So, take the time to read the guidelines carefully and make any necessary changes or legal adjustments to your project concept. 

Moving forward blindly

Underestimating the importance of selecting the right tech stack

Choosing the tech stack for your project is a crucial decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. There are several essential factors to consider, such as security, reliability, scalability, and meeting all project requirements. Otherwise, it could force you to rechoose development technology and reimplement functionality, which can significantly impact your timeline and delay your app's release.

But that's not all! Choosing a tech stack that lacks scalability could make finding engineers with the necessary tech requirements a nightmare. And if you use unreliable technologies, your app could be vulnerable to severe security issues. So it's important to choose a tech stack that not only makes engineers' lives easier but also guarantees your app's long-term success.

A technology stack is the combination of technologies a company uses to build and run an application and the development project. Choosing the specific technologies that go into a tech stack defines the future prosperity and efficiency of the app.

Ignoring security and data management on a daily basis

Security is one of the most critical aspects of mobile app development. With the growing concern about data leaks and user privacy, it's essential to make sure your app is secure to avoid becoming a weak point.

Ignoring security
  • One of the most common security mistakes is storing secure data like API keys or secrets in a public repository like GitHub. This can compromise your app's security and access control, leaving it vulnerable to attackers.

  • To protect your app's data in transit, using secure communication protocols like HTTPS is important. This prevents eavesdropping and interception of data, making it harder for attackers to access sensitive information.

  • Mobile apps often use APIs to access external services, but these APIs can also be a target for attackers. It's crucial to ensure that APIs are properly secured by using API keys, rate limiting, and authentication to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches.

  • Encryption is also a crucial part of mobile app security. Sensitive data should always be encrypted using strong encryption algorithms and implemented correctly to protect it from attackers.

  • Finally, it's important to store sensitive data securely on the device by using secure storage options like the iOS Keychain or Android Keystore.

Remember that ignoring these rules can lead to security issues and put your app and users in danger. So always prioritize security when developing your mobile app!

Stepping into a poor code path even once

Sometimes, in an effort to get things done quickly, engineers may write poor quality code. This can manifest in various ways, such as code with high coupling and low cohesion that is difficult to maintain or code that exhibits buggy behavior.

Poor code quality is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of issues in the codebase, including slow implementation, messy code, and the use of obsolete libraries or frameworks. Additionally, code repetition can lead to costly refactoring.

Stepping into a poor code

If left unchecked, poor code quality can severely impact software delivery and even bring development to a halt. Ignoring the root causes can result in long periods of refactoring or a complete rewrite, which can be costly and time-consuming. Therefore, it's important to address poor code quality early on to prevent it from becoming a major issue in the future.

Being overly creative and not taking into account app rules

It's no surprise that every app architecture and development process has rules that must be followed by engineers. If these rules aren't followed, it can lead to a number of issues.

For example, not following the rules can make onboarding new engineers to a project really complicated. The team will spend ages explaining the development flow and process, and new engineers may struggle to understand anything.

Being overly creative

It can also turn changes from a normal activity into a disaster. Every time you have a request to update something, it will be a struggle as everything is so unstructured. Moreover, if you have a chaotic process that only the team knows how to work with, then you're tied to the team players. Making changes to the project would be really difficult because the "creative" project process and flow of knowledge will be tied to specific individuals.

On the other hand, if engineers follow the stated requirements, you won’t be dependent on specific team members, and they'll be flexible to changes and easily able to implement new features. So, it's essential to follow the rules and requirements set in place for the development process.

Neglecting focus on architecture

What makes a good mobile app architecture? A well-suited mobile application architecture can make a significant difference. It can reinforce and accelerate the software development processes, providing a clear path for data flow that makes it easier to scale the application in the future. The right architecture can also enable better flexibility and implementation of Agile development methodology, making testing processes more simple and efficient, and streamlining future app maintenance. So a mobile app architecture can save businesses significant time and money.

What is mobile app architecture? It is a set of structural elements and their interfaces from which the system is composed, as well as their behavior in the framework of all structural elements. 

Prioritizing writing new code over reusing components

Capacity is often a major obstacle in most projects. While teams may want to expand, it is not always feasible due to financial constraints. Therefore, regardless of team size, reusing components is crucial. Code reusability refers to the ability to repurpose existing code when creating new software applications. This approach saves time, minimizes errors, and enhances code quality. Conversely, failing to reuse code can result in various disadvantages.

Concentrating only on advancing onward
  • More development time: While it may seem quicker to "copy and paste" code, it can be challenging to address issues in code duplicates.

  • Code maintenance: Not reusing code can lead to a large codebase that can be difficult to comprehend and troubleshoot.

  • Increased bugs: It is safer to use reliable and tested components rather than developing new ones.

Concentrating only on advancing onward and not testing properly

It is true that writing tests can add a lot of time to the project. However, tests make the product more reliable in terms of code quality. They help catch almost all bugs, even those that may not be apparent to the testers. Additionally, tests are not just about finding bugs in your code, they also help ensure that you understand the code you write and know what it is supposed to do.

Concentrating only on advancing onward without testing

Not testing software before release can result in various quality issues, like bugs, compatibility issues, and performance problems that can negatively impact the user experience. Poor quality software that is not tested can lead to a lack of trust from users and decreased user adoption. When bugs and compatibility issues are discovered after release, it can take more time and resources to fix them, increasing maintenance costs. Not testing before release can also result in missed opportunities to identify and fix problems early on before they become more serious and harder to fix.

Conducting code reviews infrequently

Even experienced engineers can make mistakes, so it's important to conduct code reviews. Working in a team is more efficient than relying solely on one person's expertise. The person who has been working on a feature for a long time can also suffer from blurred vision and miss errors. Therefore, it's beneficial to have each other check the code.

Code reviews can improve code quality by identifying issues like bugs, security vulnerabilities, and performance problems. They enhance collaboration, increase code readability, and ensure code maintainability. Additionally, code reviews offer a valuable learning opportunity for engineers to learn from their peers' experiences and different coding styles.

Code review is a quality assurance technique in which code authors ask other engineers to review their code before it joins a codebase.

Accumulating a significant amount of technical debt

Technical debt can be a daunting issue that can accumulate without you realizing it. Choosing to pursue the next feature instead of fixing bugs can be a dangerous mindset. Ignoring bugs can lead to several issues, such as decreased development speed, lowered team morale, and decreased retention rates.

Technical debt can slow down development speed as engineers need to spend more time fixing preventable problems instead of working on and delivering new features. Accumulated technical debt can also make it more difficult to understand the codebase, leading to decreased team productivity and morale. Moreover, unhappy or demotivated engineers are more likely to resign, negatively impacting the team's organization, workload, and overall performance.

Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.


Hopefully, you will take care to avoid these mistakes. It's not as difficult as you might think, and ignoring them can lead to even greater difficulties.

Imagine setting out on a journey without a map, blindly moving forward without any direction. The same is true for developing an app without taking into account store guidelines, choosing the suitable tech stack, or prioritizing security, data management, and more. By avoiding at least these 10 mistakes, you can set your project on a course for success. You'll be able to save development time, grow your project faster, and ensure that your app is secure and reliable."

📱 Why is user research important in mobile app development?

User research helps engineers understand their target audience's needs, preferences, and pain points. Neglecting this step can lead to apps that don't meet user expectations or solve their problems effectively.

📱 How can I ensure good performance optimization in my mobile app?

Performance optimization involves efficient coding practices, optimizing images and resources, minimizing network requests, and using caching techniques. Regular profiling and testing can help identify and address performance bottlenecks.

📱 How can I stay updated on the latest best practices in mobile app development to avoid mistakes?

Staying updated involves continuous learning and monitoring industry trends and technology advancements. Joining engineer communities, attending conferences, and reading relevant blogs and articles can help you stay informed.

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