Article in User Manual category.
What Makes a Successful Mobile App
Making a mobile app is the easy part. Chances are you’ve gone to a developer and designer, who has kindly walked you through the entire…
Making a mobile app is the easy part. Chances are you’ve gone to a developer and designer, who has kindly walked you through the entire process, and helped you create an amazing app that looks great, and works perfectly. Unfortunately, often even amazing apps that don’t get the attention they deserve. Oftentimes, they get buried in app stores, never to be seen again.
If you don’t want to get lost in the app store grind, here are some suggestions to make sure that your new app, gets the attention it deserves.
Start at the Beginning
Many apps require a sign-in (social media platforms, and e-commerce being the biggest culprits here) before users get a chance to experience the full product. Signing into a mobile app may seem like a relatively simple process (remembering your password aside), but there are a few pitfalls you need to ensure that you avoid in order to keep your customers happy.
Firstly, never underestimate the impatience of mobile device users. You can bet that an app user is always on their phone, and if they can’t access your app they will delete and forget about it. An easy way to avoid user frustration with sign-in is by connecting your app to social media platforms, that users are already signed in to, you streamline the process making your users immediately happy with your app.
Extra registration steps as simple as typing a username and password are enough to deter some people from using the app. Obviously sometimes this cannot be avoided, but offering alternate options if possible is a must-do.
It may sound obvious , but marketing is a big help. With the excitement that you have surrounding your new app, it becomes easy to forget that others need to learn about it as well. They need to know what it does, and is it worth downloading, and possibly even paying for.
Marketing starts before you even launch your product. Build excitement through campaigns on social media, or tech blogs, maybe even get some people to test the app early in order to generate buzz for excellent word of mouth. There are many strategies you can take in the realm of traditional marketing, and you need to try out a few to find the one that suits your product and company the best. Of course, not everyone is going to want your app, so you have to ensure that your are properly targeting your efforts to an intended market. If too much is focused on a broad marketing, you could be putting too much money into people who won’t give you any back.
Traditional marketing, however, is just a first step. There are only so many people that are going to download your app because they saw your advertisement, and only a certain demographic of people will see blog reviews and press coverage surrounding the release of your product.
There are multiple ways get the buzz going, and if you are struggling you can always hire an agency to do the work for you (obviously depending on budget). Of course the most important thing to do bottom line is: spread the word to the right people.
Spreading the Word
A key platform in generating buzz for your app is by using Invites. In the age of social networking, people love sharing useful, fun, unique, or novel information with their friends. If they get an invitation to test out a new product you can be sure they will post about it, or recommend it to their friends. Invites also, promote exclusivity, which makes people want something even more so, than they thought they did. Even the biggest companies, such as Google, use invites to begin promotion of their new apps/features.
Just sending out an invite is a first step. There should also be follow-up, and incentives are a great way to initiate follow-up. Have your users get something from sharing! Allow them to advance to the next level, unlock hidden features, or in-app bonuses, if they send invites to their friends. Give them a reason to keep inviting friends.
Make sure you are not the one doing all the work, by integrating social-functions into the app, that go beyond the sign-in. By adding social elements, you give customers an easy way to share their usage, and attract lots of possible new downloaders. Also, it should keep users coming back for more and have more reasons to share their use of the app.
Make it Simple
There is a lot to be said about the effectiveness of a well designed user interface. Your user interface should be two things: organized and easy. This goes back to the impatience of smartphone users. If they can’t figure out how to access features or feel inconvenienced, your app is in danger of being deleted. It’s something that is so important to get right, and stay in contact with your developers and designers so you can work with them on the best interface for your app.
Consider what the most important functions of your mobile application are, and make those prominent and easily available. Your users don’t want to have to spend time figuring out how to access the basic features of your product, so organize them into intuitive categories and put them somewhere obvious. If your app is based off of a website, try and translate as many of the best elements to the app, so customers know immediately where to go, and don’t spend time searching for what they want.
Keep in mind that there are certain places on a device’s screen that are more accessible than others due to the way most people hold them. certain locations on the screen are hard to reach and certain motions are hard to execute without dropping the device. Keeping that in mind, optimize your device so the most important or popular features are easily reachable.
Finally, listen to your designers and developers. They know what they are doing, and have good insight into what works and what does not. Even if you feel strongly about something they disagree with, take the information that they give and think before disregarding them.
Keep your app updated, and working. A good app can have a long life, and enjoy lots of success. Follow the advice here, and your app might have a fighting chance in this difficult market.