What Makes a Good App?

25 Nov 2012

We’ve been designing, building and using applications for some time now, currently on my personal phone I have over 150 apps but in reality most people use around 10 on a regular basis. So if you’re looking at developing an application here are a few tips for developing a good app.

 

Design for the customer;
Applications can cost on average anywhere between 40k and 150k, its worth spending a few thousand up front to ensure the application is designed by the customer and for the customer. It amazing how many applications launch without any prior research or understanding of what the consumer wants. Think about what the user needs/wants when they download your app – not about cramming as much product or service information in to it.

 

Keep it Simple;
Technology is all about delegation, but human nature is such that we will only delegate if it is simpler than doing it ourselves. At BanterMob we employ a 3 click framework, in that; the user should not have to click more than 3 times to get to where they want to go, this isn’t always possible but following this rule will ensure the app is simple to use.

 

Make it useful – long-term;
An app shouldn’t be just a great, creative idea…. It needs to be useful. You may think that a mortgage calculator application will be of use to your clients, but how many times will they use it?

 

Make it beautiful
If you look at some of the most popular apps in the app store they are not only useful but also beautiful, there are hundreds of examples, Summly, Pinterest. Invest in the app icon, make it easy for users to find on their phone and therefore to use. Bright reds, greens etc make the app stand out. If you’re logo doesn’t work for mobile, redesign it.

 

Easy access;
You have 3 seconds to engage a user; don’t make them wait to load the application. There will be applications that require longer to load due to data transfer, if so let the user know a simple “hold on we’re just updating your app” will stop users from jumping off because they think it’s broken.

 

Provide an easy conversion path;
If you are a brand/service provider make it easy for users within the application to connect with you and convert. Having a mobile landing page that has a simple description of your products and services and a contact us section will allow users to connect with you.

 

Listen to the voice of the customer;
Make it easy for consumers to give you feedback. A “contact us” button in app, a dedicated support page with a contact number and email address are so important.
If you get negative feedback invest in addressing it – we monitor positive and negative sentiment as part of our application review service – it’s quite easy to see where your improvement dollars would be best spent.

 

Invest for the long term;
An app strategy should not start with “Build it” and end with…“They will come”. It should incorporate an ongoing review processes, and an app marketing plan.

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