According to comScore, Americans are now officially getting most of their digital media through mobile/mobile apps.
Now is your time to get in on the action. Like most things, many have tried, and many have royally failed. And while I don’t have the secret formula for creating the next Uber or Instagram, I will provide you with a good foundation for your journey into mobile.
Make life better.
When you’re thinking of the next great mobile app, think about creating a tool that improves on another app, solves a problem, or makes everyday life easier. The reason why apps like Washio and Postmates keep popping up and succeeding, is because Americans are busier than ever. It’s incredible that I can now have someone pick up my dry cleaning and deliver all of my meals for the day. Sounds a little ridiculous but my free time is limited and extremely valuable. Now that I’ve found an on-demand car washer and dog walker, it’s safe to say that I’ll be in my pajamas Netflix-ing it up all weekend. Thank you technology.
Make sure to build it in iOS and Android.
So many people screw up at this stage. They don’t have the funding to build the app on both platforms and decide to default to one. No. You have already sliced your users down the middle if you do this, lessening your chance for success. Do not neglect the Android user.
Make sure it is easy to use.
Reduce the learning curve. A hundred bells and whistles aren’t needed in Phase 1, those can be rolled out later. For launch, users need the basics: intuitive navigation, a pleasing UX (cater to your target consumer), and an app free from bugs and crashes. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Make sure there is money for marketing.
I’ve worked in the tech industry for years now and I cannot tell you the number of people that spend all of their money creating their app but have zero dollars to spend towards marketing and distribution. You spent so much time, effort, and money creating your app, but without marketing, the odds are stacked heavily against you that it will ever be discovered. Whether it’s a social media push with bloggers and celebs, or a TV commercial, you need to get your app to the public. Focus on reaching your target market. If your app is catered to an older generation, getting Selena Gomez to give you a shout out will do nothing for you. Cater to your audience. Where can you grab their attention? If you don’t have a marketing team in place, think about hiring a digital agency to assist. A solid marketing plan is invaluable.
Make sure it’s free.
You want to attract downloads, but people pause when they see a price tag on an app, even if it’s $0.99 cents. People are drawn to free. You can monetize through ads or in-app purchases but for the basic download, it should be free.
Make sure you grow
After launch, pay attention to the engagement. Read all comments, feedback, and suggestions, while making sure to weed out the crazies. There will always be a few crazies. Grow based upon the constructive criticism received and continuously improve per update. Every single successful app you see today looked very different when they first launched.
With everything you do, stay true to your core audience. Produce something you are proud of and excited to work with for years to come. Good luck!