Image by: Jason A. Howie
By Alexa Hughes
If you had a flash of insight and want to have the best chance at creating a really successful app, one of the best places you can look for inspiration is in the traits that popular apps adhere to. Really it comes to down to a few simple things.
#1) Make Sure Your App Solves a Problem
Even if the problem is just boredom, something that all successful apps have in common is that they solve a problem. When an app becomes super successful for solving a problem, it is because the people who use it find it so helpful or convenient that they can not imagine not using it all the time. If an app doesn’t solve any problems it won’t be thought of us a necessity. Consider what other apps already try to solve the same issue you are addressing, and what could be made better about those current options.
#2) Make it Easy to Use
Even the most tech savvy people out there are not going to spend a lot of time using any type of app that isn’t easy to use and have a flow to it that makes sense. Remember that we are trying to solve problems here, not create new ones by making things more difficult than they need to be. The interface of an app should be easy to use, and it should be functional at the same time.
An easy to use app will also be available across a variety of platforms, devices, and brands. You don’t want to get people excited about your new idea and then not be able to share it with them.
#3) Update Your App Regularly
If it’s good once it’s good always right? Wrong. Think of an app like your fitness routine, nothing happens if you don’t keep working to maintain it and get over plateaus. For one thing, there are probably some minor issues in the way any app is run that can be fixed with regular maintenance. For another thing, to stay fresh and keep up with the competition you might want to revamp things every once in a while.
Think about Instagram, the most popular photo sharing social app and how often it gets updated. They regularly make small changes such as fixing glitches, and they also make big changes like adding more filters (to keep up with the changing screens of smart phones, adding video options (to directly keep up with their competition), and and constantly making the interface easier to use.
#4) Keep it Cheap
To get an app of the ground it usually helps if it’s free. Charging a lot for apps can work if it is seriously unique, amazing, and comes from a trusted source, but otherwise you have to make it a little easier on the consumer. Offer a free version with the option to upgrade for a small fee to get people using your app faster.
#5) Make it Memorable
Your app needs to be memorable, whether this is coming from the purpose of the app itself or what features and layout it has. If your app solves a common problem that isn’t too exciting, think of a fun way to make interesting and unique anyway. The best app is not going to get much attention if it doesn’t look appealing.
Making your app memorable is also about making sure that it looks different than your competitors apps. Otherwise people might get them confused which can drive some business to begin with, but will not create a loyal fan base who you are counting on to spread the word about your app to their friends.
#6) Count on Customer Interaction
Any great app is going to have a customer service department that actually communicates and delivers. Like a music artist needing fans to buy songs, any app is only as good as the amount of people that are downloading it. Listening to your users is going to point you in the direction you need to go when you are making changes to your app, and their loyalty is going to help spread the word about your brand.
To keep the customer happy you need to be consistent and make sure that the app delivers what it promises. Hype is good, when it is accurate. Tricking people into downloading your app with false promises will lead to people ditching fast…and writing poor reviews for other potential customers to see! Take the time to make the app right and then promote and market the heck out of it.
Let us know if you have any other tips of successful apps that you have noticed along the way, or of you will be incorporating any of these tips into your own app creation!