How to Make a Great App
This material will be useful to anyone interested in creating a mobile app that would be in demand and also bring huge profits. Because, as you should know, great ideas for mobile apps are going to lead to success only in the case if you’re following some important tips we’re talking about below. Read all the details in our article!
Great ideas for apps
Everything starts with the initial Idea. Therefore, if you want to build a business on apps, think of your target audience. It’ll help you come up with a good idea for your future program. For example, if you live in a big city with lots of tourists, you might consider creating the application for them.
Another useful way is to scroll your own hobbies and interests. Maybe, you're used to traveling a lot and have visited the most famous clubs around the world. You may have even made a list of your favorite places... so why not turn that database into the app for travelers?
On the other hand, many popular apps not focused on special interests are still at the tops. We're talking about games, of course. Gaming applications tend to make money because people are more willing to pay for such entertainments. So business plan related to the app games has a lot of chances to bring you a constant profit.
Do not despair if you've found something similar to your great app idea when searching through the App Store or Google Play. Learn to think outside the box: give your app a certain zest, make it special, let it be distinct from the analogs, at least a little bit.
Here are some important points to consider while pondering your application:
- Are you going to develop the application yourself or hire a team of developers?
- What makes your app useful to a customer?
- Will the application need daily control?
- Do you want your application to become your main business or just a single project?
- Which platforms will your application work on?
Types of applications
If you are still in search of the great ideas for an app we offer you to look at the list of the most popular app types:
- Games (such as Angry Birds)
- Travel (TripAdvisor, Kayak)
- Social networks (Facebook, Twitter)
- Utilities (for example, Google Translator)
- Photos (Instagram, Picstitch)
Did you find anything interesting? Then go for it!
Well, now I have a great idea for an app. Then what?
And then… then you need to visualize your program properly. Most people are visual creatures absorbing information through their eyes, so the effective design is an important condition for the application success.
We offer you to think through the following points:
1. Rules that always work
We’d like to highlight 3 factors that are important in the process of the application design creation:
- Customer orientation. One should remember that we’re creating the design for a specific user. Study the information about the different categories of users in order to create the app design ready to meet all the needs and expectations of the target audience.
- Usability. Your app must be easy and intuitive. For example, if you want to place a link to an outside resource, design it familiar to everyone. Convenience plus practicality is the first step on the way of making your program desirable and appealing.
- Learning ability. Ideally, every user should easily figure out how to work with the program. And familiar design schemes of the application will come in handy in this case. It's natural, after all, these schemes are aimed to help a person get used to the program without any problems.
That is, the design of your application should be clear and familiar to the target audience. This is the main condition of the future success of your program among the users.
2. Important details
If you have a great idea for an app and are ready to create a customer-centric interface for your program, be obliged to consider very small but still so important details. We're talking about such things as a display size or other users requirements concerning this matter; all these nuances (minor, it would seem at first glance!) need to be taken into account.
There is a clear tactic that consists of three provisions:
- Personas: helps you to understand what will encourage a user to perform a certain action within the application. This is a theoretical model of real users.
- User Scenarios: provides modeling of various situations helping predict user actions. Due to this provision, you can design an interface optimally suited for the simulated users and tasks they want to accomplish.
- Experience maps: here one studies all the possible conditions of a separate interaction. The scheme is aimed to describe each user step that will be performed with high probability at a certain stage of the work with an application. This scheme is a key to understanding the emotions and circumstances leading to the execution of every single action.
The simplest way to complete these items could be, for example, remote usability testing through services like UserTesting that help study user behavior in vivo. For better examining this issue (e.g., taking into account gestures and even body position), it is necessary to work with real users (five people at least).
All these moments may seem difficult but the game is worth the candle if you’re really interested in creating cool and modern app design.
3. Improving usability by means of schemas familiar to a user
The mobile app design should be "familiar" to a customer. For example, almost every map service uses the "slide-out" navigation making all the process of interacting with the program so much simpler: the application is unfamiliar, but the scheme of work is well known and understood.
4. Consider the size of a user's finger
Yes, users’ fingers are much bigger than fans of sophisticated app design could imagine. So it is not enough to have a great idea for an app and a design model in your mind. You definitely need to adapt your program to the fingers of different sizes.
If your buttons are too small or located too close to each other, some people won’t be able to get them. As a result, users will be annoyed, and nobody wants to annoy a user, right?
Here are two important moments that should be considered when designing buttons and other touch elements:
- We all hold a phone or a tablet differently. Even one and the same man holds a device in various ways depending on the situation.
- Our fingers are really big. Their width is about 45-57 pixels which is more than the size recommended by most guidelines for test devices.
5. Remove the chaos
The rule of three clicks is still relevant and should be used when creating the app design. Why? Just because it allows you to understand what is really necessary for app pages.
A user has to perform a minimum number of actions to achieve his aim - it's your task! So the fewer efforts a user needs to make when interacting with a program, the more popular your application will be.
Now I have a great app idea and a ready design project, but this is definitely not enough to implement the whole plan, right?
Don’t worry! There is no need to develop the application by yourself for this task requires special skills. So the ideal option is to hire a developer.
There are a few questions you should ask your future developer(s):
- How much does their work costs?
- How much experience do they have?
- Can they show you their portfolio?
- Who will have the rights to the app?
- Do they have the knowledge to bring your idea to life?
- What platform (IOS, Android) can they create apps for?
To learn more about searching for a competent developer, be welcome to read this article.
Management is an important factor rarely being taken into account.
Suppose you, as we wrote earlier, will hire developers to create your application. So the question is how to make sure that your great app idea will be implemented by developers exactly as you had planned. Ironically, this task is more difficult than it might seem at first glance.
Simplifying this task is the managers’ purpose. They are trained to understand all the needs of customers and correctly pass these desires to developers. As a result, you get what you want the way you saw it in your very dreams!
Testing the application
At various stages of the application development, internal testing of the application both on the simulator and on real devices is a mandatory condition of the future success. The purpose of this testing is to verify that the application's interaction with the hardware and software platforms for smartphones and tablets is going exactly as anticipated when prototyping. Otherwise, even the great idea for an app will lead to a failure.
Ways of the app monetization
This is it you are especially interested in, isn't it?. And that is why you should determine the ways of the future monetization in advance - at the very moment when you came up with great ideas for apps. Let’s take a closer look at the monetization options:
- Free apps. Usually, free apps are used by large companies to promote their products or brand in general.
- Free apps with ads. You can put thematic advertising into your app and get profit on it. This method can come in handy for the popular applications actively interacting with a user.
- Paid apps. The most popular and lucrative form of monetization. The question is how to make a user pay for your program!
- Lite and Pro versions. Lite app is for free but with the limited feature set. Buying Pro version, you will unlock all the functionality. The only thing you have to do is to persuade a customer that the full version will make his life better in any way.
- In-app purchases. You can sell new features or game levels from the app directly.
On the whole, you should consider the marketing strategy to effectively monetize the application.
App marketing is a complex multistage process requiring an integrated approach for successful implementation. But this step is very important to everyone who wants to know how to make a great app.
We can distinguish three main stages:
- the target audience (TA) definition;
- setting narrow targeting;
- identifying the most effective ways to interact with your potential audience;
- development of the strategy and writing a press release about the launch of the project.
Setting up and running Analytics:
- tracking the number of potential users, duration of sessions, the frequency of app usage and other key indicators;
- analysis of conversion paths and the definition of application deficiencies;
- work on improving the product.
User engagement and increasing downloads:
- attracting traffic from free and paid channels;
- the constant work on increasing positive reviews;
- the work with negativity inside mobile apps and also in Google Play or App Store.
- the work on the viral component of the application (to motivate users to exchange opinions about the app with their friends and family).
There are three types of the mobile app promotion. And we hope you'll appreciate one of them with your great ideas for an app. So:
- Passive Promotion. This type of promotion is useful to applications of the narrow focus, for example, e-wallet. In this case, the goal of marketing is to build the long-term trust relationship with the TA. The task is the support of the activity inside the application and analysis of the product work. Effective promotion channels for the passive strategy are contextual advertising on the mobile Internet and social networks, mobile display networks. The duration of this campaign is about a month. The cost is relatively low, but CPI (Cost per install) is much more expensive than other types have.
- Moderate promotion. This strategy is important for owners of specialized applications: for instance, the search tickets service, applications for social networks, mobile games, etc. Such products are aimed to take the leadership position in their group so the important thing is the TA analysis, the formation of its core and attracting the organic traffic. The campaign duration is 2-3 weeks, with an average value of the CPI.
- Aggressive promotion. This rapid strategy of leading the app to the app stores tops is most often used by large companies-developers of mobile software and games. Here we have all kinds of the promotion channels aimed to reach the widest possible audience of mobile Internet. A distinctive feature of aggressive promotion is a large number of organic traffic and a low CPI. The duration of such campaign, as a rule, does not exceed 2 weeks.
One should use direct advertising in addition to marketing tools to promote the app in the best way. It will strengthen the effect and help calculate ROI (return on investment).
Tracking of results
Getting started to attract visitors to your app page, you need to keep track of their behavior: how many visitors have come to you, how many of them have clicked on the button "download".
You can use Google Analytics to track the number of clicks on the button "download".
Although the test will not provide 100% certainty, you'll quickly get a clue of the potential popularity of your great app idea. It is much better than the reviews of friends telling you "I would have bought it, I swear!".
The application support
The release of the app in the AppStore or Google Play is only the beginning of a long journey about how to make a great app. In the future, your app's likely to need expert technical support including monitoring and troubleshooting, optimization, functionality, protection from attacks, etc. And you should think of it very thoroughly and in advance!
So, how can one make the app successful even having the great ideas for mobile apps? To recap:
- your app must be interesting to a wide audience;
- explore the most popular application on the market;
- think of the effective design for your application;
- develop marketing and advertising strategies;
- take your time! Pay attention to each stage of the process.
Don't promise yourself whole mountains of gold. Just try to create something really useful, convenient and interesting to a wide audience.
And if you need to hire a developer - welcome! Ready to cooperate.