With smartphones and tablets outselling computers three to one, people now spend over five times as much online time on apps as they do on a browser. It’s clear that any online business needs to seriously consider developing a mobile app as a way to secure new customers and engage existing ones. However, with well over a million apps out there, and more being launched every day, how can you make your product stand out from the rest?
One way is to develop an app that solves a common problem. Apps for travel timetables, weather forecasts and taxi firms are among the most popular, but there’s no point in simply imitating an existing success story. Create an original product. Be clear about what your app does and focus on making sure it does this as well as possible. Finding your niche or unique selling point is the first major step in creating a successful app.
Make it easy
The next thing to think about is design. Visuals and an enjoyable user experience are the keys to giving you the edge over similar competitors; even if your idea is wholly original, if your design is poor, you can be sure someone will come along with an improved, easier-to-use version that will make yours obsolete.
Make your app intuitive and easy to figure out, ideally within seconds. The design should be unobtrusive, with everything flowing naturally so that the user won’t even notice it. Start with human factors, such as the shape of the human hand, and utilize the thumb’s natural tendency to rotate in circles rather than move in straight lines. Diagonal swipes are more natural than horizontal ones, and avoid putting buttons in the corners of the screen.
Form should follow content, and user actions should enhance that content rather than distracting from it. The design should also be dynamic and able to adapt to changes in hardware and software platforms.
Development and marketing
In such a highly competitive field, you need to find the experts and let them do the work for you. Choosing the app creation service that works best for you can be tricky. Be clear about what you want and also what exactly you’re paying for. Once you have an app that seems ready, testing demos with actual users is invaluable. These Tips for Mobile App Development will help you get a clearer picture of what works and what doesn’t.
Budget for marketing and promotion, and start pre-launch with previews and teasers. However good your app is, people need to know it exists. Consider making it free; this will attract many more users, and you can monetize in-app with premium features. Track and measure traffic sources and user behavior, and make users want to share the app with their friends by improving the experience if they invite their own network on board.
Studies show that a quarter of all mobile apps that are downloaded are never used; make your app attractive, indispensable and easy so that users stick with it. Selling the app is only the beginning; continued interaction with your user network is where the real profits will continue to be found.