Mobile app usage is on the rise and the rivalry scene is more robust than ever. Apps present useful content and functionality used in a wide range of applications from business to game, educational to sports, and many more.

There are many factors that indicate your mobile app will be successful. But the truth is, there are only four solid factors that indicate the probability of success for the long-term.

Easy to Understand, Easy to Use

As a rule, people prefer apps that let them easily understand its purpose and how it functions. As much as possible, the app name should explain what the app offers. Simplicity and ease of use tend to create interest, and makes the user feel rewarded. Most users go into the app with less concern about how many fancy features it has, and more concern about functionality and a rich, engaging user experience. Users should be able to easily navigate through your app and take advantage of all the features. Keep in mind that a great app needs to be easy to use and probably the most important, compatible and functional for all platforms versions and devices.

Solid First Impression

First impression lasts--most people spend no more than a minute or two studying a new app. Easy discovery and navigation is vital. Users are more concerned with getting results quickly and a confusion-free experience, regardless if it is in business, entertainment, games, productivity, social, or sports app. Every app screen must be fully equipped with only a few and clear options; a user should be able to easily access various sections of the app.

Along with design, the undeniable challenge is to effortlessly attract and keep a user's attention. Make sure your app is visually appealing, contains fresh, engaging, original, meaningful information and interesting points of view, as these are far more likely to generate a positive impression; thus providing value and keeping them engaged with the app once they arrive.

We asked Dirk de Kok of Mobtest, mobile app development expert and whose original writing and blog is a major contribution of significance to the field of mobile development for his advice on how to ensure a good first impression.

De Kok says:

"Test with real users before you launch, their feedback will indicate how novice users will experience your app. Don't trust your own experience and intuition, as after working for months on your app you will have become blind to shortcomings"

Usage Becomes a Habit

Your app should give incomparable and increasing value. This is the value users get every time they use you app, which entices them to make it an essential part of their daily lives. Once your app does that, and the user starts using your app as part of a routine, it may turn into a habit. Habits are behaviors without much consciousness, and without requiring triggers. This means great user engagement, less price sensitivity, and ample monetization possibilities (think freemium apps like Candy Crush).

Viral Component Native to the App Experience

Depending on the type of app you are developing, average user lifetime value (LTV) might be around $2-$10. In order to make a profit, your customer acquisition costs must be lower. Nothing beats viral marketing, where users invite other users to try out your app. In order for a user to invite others, there needs to be a clear value for them as well. Dropbox, for instance, allows you to invite other users to a shared folder. For these other users to see the folder, they of course have to sign up. On top of that, both users will get extra space. This is a brilliant mechanism, guaranteed to fuel exponential growth.

If your goal is to create a successful app, you can't ignore these factors. Considering them as you develop your app and you are more likely to create an app users will fall in love with.