What Makes A Good Mobile App?

Creating an application that is going to be that “breakthrough” piece of software can be kind of difficult, actually it can be incredibly difficult. There’s no sure fire way to build an application that will go global, it’s just something that doesn’t happen on a consistent basis. Although this is true, it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever accomplish this feat, it will just take the proper planning and execution of the ultimate plan! Developing applications is a tedious and time-consuming process, and in some cases it can even be one that costs a lot of money.

what makes a good mobile app

Trial and error is something that you’re going to need to get used to when it comes to developing your own app, because if you don’t you might not be where you want to be in the end. There are an abundance of important traits you need to perfect if you’re going to develop that multi-million dollar application, but what if you don’t know about them? ASO is a new term that people haven’t been talking about much, but we’re going to get into that a bit later.

This article is going to walk you through some of the key components regarding a great application, it’s a well-known fact that many people whom download applications are only looking for the best of the best. Competition has gotten incredibly steep these days, it isn’t like 2010 where everybody was putting out an application and cashing in on it (of course it wasn’t that easy, that’s just a bit of exaggeration). You need to be aware of what consumers want if you’re going to succeed, so going about the development process the right way is going to save you money, time, and maybe even some grey hairs from appearing.

Select a Demographic

Like anything else in business you need to know what you’re doing when it comes to the product, and it’s especially important to know who you’re actually selling to. You aren’t going to make an application that helps people find senior residency companies (unless that’s what you were going for the entire time) when you’re trying to target a younger demographic, you need to know who you want to buy your app. When you’ve got the demographic you want to go with you can move on to other things when it comes to an applications development, but you should always be aware of who you’re targeting before getting into the big stuff.

Seeing as its 2014 now you might want to select demographic that would be “financially appealing”, which simply means select something that will favour some profits. The older crowd is just starting to get into the new technology phase, so it’s almost like you’ve missed a period where you could have capitalized on older consumers. This is why a younger demographic is ideal, because it allows you to be more creative with your design and the development of the actual application itself. Some of the applications that are selling these days aren’t even new ideas, they’re just targeting the right demographic at the right time.

Do It Better

Even if you can’t come up with a brand new idea, you can always do an old one much, much better. There are tons of apps that do the exact same things, and at this point it’s almost like you need to make one that’s similar in order to introduce yourself as competition. Instagram wasn’t the first application out there that shared photos with your friends, they just did it better than any other photo sharing app had ever done before; hence the immense success that they’ve found themselves having. If you aren’t a creative mind it’s completely fine, all you need to know is how to improve upon the old.
People like what they already know, so when you’re making an application that’s similar to a best-seller on the marketplace you should always be as different as possible (as redundant as that sounds). Instagram was great with the way they marketed their application, even the icon is a memorable image that sticks in the consumers mind. Take notes from those who have already made it to the top, but don’t steal their entire book!

Marketing

Marketing an application is actually much more useful than people give it credit for, you would be surprised as to how many people would download an application just because Snoop Dogg endorsed it. It can be hard to figure out your marketing scheme at first, but it’s nothing that you can’t overcome with a bit of time and work ethic. Try to find out what your target demographic enjoys and appeal to them that way, if they like sports try to get a professional athlete to endorse the product (and if they like music get a musician, etc). It’s not foolproof, but it gives you a better shot at being successful than no marketing at all would.

Some people don’t have the budget for marketing, which simply means you need to be creative with your plan. Give out invitations to a beta version of your application, or simply just promote it through local word of mouth. There are an abundance of things you can accomplish for your app, and marketing is just one of them.

Make It Pretty

Seriously, make your application as pretty as you possibly can. The better looking the UI (User Interface) is for your app, the more efficient and successful it’s going to be. People don’t want to see an application that is cluttered with advertisements or just straight up doesn’t work, so you need to make sure that you’re doing your due diligence to avoid these problems. Do a bunch of testing before you release it to the public, you want to be able to say that you perfected your application before you put it out there for purchase. This goes double for the icons that represent your app, because nobody is going to want to open a low-quality application icon (it just looks cheap and rushed!).

Bugs and other glitches within your app are completely undesirable, which is why you should find and remove absolutely every single one (I know that’s nearly impossible, but do you best and you should be fine). Users aren’t going to recommend a buggy application to their friends, so if you make sure there aren’t any in the first place success come as easy as pie.

ASO (Application Store Optimization)

This is a brand new term to most people (but it shouldn’t be to application developers). It’s exactly like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but it’s pertaining to applications as opposed to search engines. This means that you need to soak up some information if you want to be as successful as possible, and there’s quite a bit to learn when it comes to ASO. It’s reported that there were about 1.2 mobile users who were downloading applications in the year 2012, which only means that number has increased (seeing as its 2014). Not taking advantage of a traffic source like this would be blasphemy in the world of applications, so it’s always a great idea to know how to go about optimizing your apps. Android and Apple iOS are the main companies regarding applications, and this is because they’ve each developed a mainstream smartphone software.
Things like the title and description of your application come into play here, but there’s a lot of ground to cover regarding ASO so we’re going to safe that for another article (detail is completely necessary when you’re discussing application store optimization). There are on-page and off-page ways to improve your applications ranking in the app store, and once you’ve learned every last one of them you should be able to optimize your way to the top (if you’re application is creative enough!).

Author: Paul Andre de Vera

Paul Andre de Vera's diverse technical and creative background and entrepreneurship has led him to build successful online properties. In addition to Paul Andre's business ventures, he's formerly the SEO/SEM Manager at SuccessFactors- an SAP company and now the Director of SEO at SmartRecruiters. On his free time he is learning to become an ASO ninja.

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