Once upon a time, the desktop computer reigned supreme and was considered a revolutionary device. As time went by, more and more individuals felt the need to be portable and because of this necessity, the laptop was born. At present, computing devices have gotten smarter while their sizes have gotten proportionally smaller. Smartphones, tablets, and phablets abound, enabling most anyone to be connected and propelling the mobile app to the spotlight. It is said that close to a billion individuals will be owners of smartphones by the year 2015 and there will be a corresponding number off apps that will need to cater to what users may want.
Applications don’t have to be needed in order to do well in app stores; sometimes all they need to do is entertain. With the influx of developers and apps they’re creating, coming up with an application that stands out has gotten much more difficult. Novelty plays a part in an app’s success but there are more that gained recognition simply by taking something that has already been done and improving it. Here are some aspects that any app developer must put a lot of thought into and give their app a shot at the big leagues.
Identify your target market
A wise app developer will first identify the market they want to reach and stay tuned to it. Once there is enough data to know the demographics of the individuals who download and install the app the most, there should be something done to keep their loyalty while attracting others in the process. Some paid apps may opt to slash the price as a promo while free apps may take measures to ensure that the ads that keep them running don’t interrupt a user’s experience. Create the necessary buzz and make it a point to let the target market know that there will be updates or fixes.
Users respond to app developers that take an interest in what they have to say and their engagement may mean free exposure for the app. The app’s market will dictate pricing and design so when a developer knows the demographic he’s trying to please, there will be better decisions made for marketing as opposed to trying to pander to practically everyone in the hopes of maybe getting lucky.
Checkout the Mobile App Development Guide for more info and sources on Target Marketing and Visibility.
Listen to your users
Give users the help they want, be it in the form of updates or fixes for bugs. It is one thing to see an app to completion, but a whole different thing to keep it running at its best. Update the app whenever there is a fix to be made or a feature to be added. The best apps are those that have people who work tirelessly to give their users the best experience they can possibly have, void of inconvenience. The best app will be one that can adapt to changes and if something was done and negatively received by users, the developer should be able to easily revert it back to its older state without disrupting service. Remember: it takes much less time to delete or uninstall an app than it is do download and install it.
Concentrate on the UI
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a lot of variations on any one kind of app that does any one specific function. However, there will always be one at the top, having beaten all the others. A quick look at this app may show that its User Interface, or UI, is the one with the best design. After all, an application’s appearance and functionality are pivotal to how well it’ll do. After uninstalling, they could even post negative reviews, pushing that app further down the line.
“…it seems that too many fall short when it comes to engaging users. Mobile analytics firm Localytics has found that fully 26 percent of apps are only used once after being downloaded. And all those branded apps that businesses are launching to leverage the exploding mobile touchpoint are faltering even worse: A Deloitte study found that 80 percent of them are downloaded fewer than 1,000 times.” (Scott Davis, Forbes.com)
In this case, the more streamlined and complete interface is likelier to win fans than overly flashy or complicated UIs. Despite how apps are meant to work, a developer or designer must still find a way to include the necessary elements without overwhelming the user with too much. The choice of font and even its size will matter, as will labels and the location of certain buttons. The user interface is the app’s chance to make a first impression and engage the user – make it count.
Mobile applications are exactly that –mobile. With this in mind, an app must be designed in such a way that it will perform at its best on a mobile device. The application must be snappy, clean, and made to showcase its main function. Make use of what a mobile device has, such as GPS or a microphone. Don’t try to replicate a web program without making tweaks that will optimize the application for mobile viewing or use. There are mobile devices that have almost as much computing power as laptops and desktops but mobile applications must always be designed with the portable device in mind.
Unfortunately, there is no set recipe for an application’s success. It takes brilliant ideas that nobody have ever thought of before, in ways that have yet to be done. However, even the best ideas may be rendered useless when executed poorly. Rushing into something to be the first for the sake of being the first won’t do any good, either. Despite the seeming boom of the app market, it is still considered rather young and there’s no telling what kind of apps will be available in the future. Nevertheless, for as long as there are developers out here who can come up with solutions that will aid users with simplifying their lives or amusing them, the app market will be alive and well thanks to its army of innovators.