The most successful mobile apps are addictive. The best way to ensure success for your mobile app idea is to design and build it so that users will have a hard time putting it down. How can you predict how addictive your app will be?
If you can answer 'yes' to these seven questions, you'll know that users will be much more likely to get hooked on your app:
1. Is it uniquely useful?
Users won't bother downloading, installing, and trying a copycat app. But, remember, uniqueness can be achieved with a single, innovative feature. Consider Snapchat, which added a self-deleting feature to make it stand out from similar apps and gain a huge following.
Find what's missing in available apps, then use your ingenuity to provide it. An experienced app developer may even be able to employ the latest technology to help your app achieve uniqueness.
2. Is it sublimely simple?
If you need more than two sentences to describe its value, your app's in trouble. Simplicity in design, purpose, and use, is the hallmark of all great mobile apps.
Achieving simplicity is complicated. To satisfy users' need for simplicity, you must truly understand what they want. Even if you think you know what they want, test your understanding with a focus group.
Once you understand what's most useful for your users, build your app around those features. Eliminate any features or functions that aren't worth the complexity they add. A "nice to have" feature isn't nice if it's more distracting than useful.
When describing your app's features, don't include every detail. Write those initial descriptions as though you were writing an elevator pitch. And remember: the biggest reason a useful app isn't used, is that it's "too complicated."
3. Are your initial screens outstanding?
A first impression of your app may be the last impression. Apps should be engaging throughout, but especially in the first two to three screens. Those screens will set the tone for users' satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
Don't open your app with a clunky login screen. Instead, the first few screens on your app should communicate things that users will want to explore. Consider having your app open to a dashboard that educates users, offers useful options, or points out cool features.
4. Does it engage off-line users?
How will you engage your users when they are not using your app? Employ useful alerts and push notifications that remind users of your app's value and helps them to efficiently integrate it into their busy lives.
Push notifications can drive user engagement in many ways. You can push new content, alerts, surveys or even ask for specific feedback on key issues.
But remember: If your push notifications are too pushy, or of questionable value, they may move users to uninstall your app. At the outset, your app's notifications should be limited to important design updates and obviously useful information.
Capture users' feedback to constantly improve your app, especially its push notifications. This way, you won't risk annoying them, and you'll make them feel empowered when you introduce things for which they've expressly asked.
5. Is it fast and dependable?
Users want apps to always respond fast and perform well. Your app should download and install quickly and, once they have it, users should be able to move through it at the speed of a swipe.
Users equate speed with quality, and apps that work slowly will quickly lose credibility. If your app runs slow or erratically, its great features are wasted. Make sure your app and its content are optimized for speed.
6. Is your monetization strategy user-friendly?
There are many ways to monetize your app. Choose the way that's best for users, not for you. The Freemium model, with in-app purchase option, is often best.
Users try your app for free and, if they like it, can use an in-app purchase or upgrade option. Avoid multiple in-app purchase options, which can confuse users.
In-app advertising is losing favor as a mobile app monetization strategy. Ads distract and annoy users and can affect app speed and performance. Subscriptions, in which users pay an annual or monthly fee to continue to use the app or certain premium features, is another mobile app monetization strategy.
7. Will it learn from reviews and feedback?
Use app reviews and other feedback to listen to users' problems, concerns, and ideas, then resolve those problems, respond to those concerns, and implement those ideas. This is a critically important, on-going process for your app, but it's especially important early, when you're perfecting your app and cultivating user relationships.
Make sure your app allows users to easily send feedback. There's no better way to keep your app useful and relevant to users.