The world is going mobile. For every business, irrespective of its size, the mobile is the fastest way of connecting with its customers. While you could develop a mobile – friendly version of your website, or you could even add a pretty cool e-commerce functionality to your mobile site, but nothing beats the reach and interactivity of a mobile app. In fact, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are now entering the mobile app market by creating their own mobile apps.
That said, not all apps are equal. If you scroll through the apps available in the Play Store and the Apple Store, you will see that there are countless apps that are practically useless to users and don’t do much for the companies. In fact, these apps make the parent businesses come off worse to potential customers than they would have without the app.
Creating an app that users will love is actually rocket science in today's competitive app space. Before you decide on creating an app, it always helps to step into the shoes of your customers (existing and potential) to get an idea of how would they feel while using your app.
To make your task easier, we have put together vital characteristics that your app must have in order to be a hit with the users.
A good mobile app must have an interface that is easy to use. Take a look at the general application hierarchy used by various social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It will give you a fair idea of how your app must be structured in order to be easy to navigate around. You will score brownie points if your app is aesthetically pleasing and has some good surprises in its fold.
It is very important for users to have some way to submit their feedback in your app. It could be a form, a link to a landing page, or an email id. The important part is that they know you are open to suggestions and you take their comfort very seriously, and they have a way of letting you know of any bugs, and provide suggestions or criticisms for improvement. Users like knowing that their feedback and inputs can shape the way your app works.
Every user likes to tweak an app to her liking. You must make sure that your app enables the user to adjust various settings – colour, font size, and privacy settings (especially if yours is a social app). The more a user can customise your app, the more she can relate to your app. And if they don’t like something, they can simply adjust it.
Keeping it Simple
While creating an app, it is critical to ensure that your app does one thing perfectly. Over time, adding multiple features to complement the main problem solving capability is awesome. But for the first version of your app, sticking to the basics is recommended. In other words, focusing on building an app with those bare minimum features is recommended.
Keeping it Relevant
The content in your app must be such that is not available on your website. A lot of apps in the market are just rehashes of the companies’ mobile website. You’ve got to focus on building apps with unique content that push relevant information on a regular basis and deliver an experience far richer than your mobile website can ever do.
Social Media Logins
A social media sign-in saves users time, for they need not login every time they start your app. Integrating Facebook Connect (or any other single sign on technology) will ask your users to use their social media credentials to sign them in and will keep them signed in. It is also essential that you provide them with a way to retrieve their credentials and/or remind them the social network which they have used to sign in during the app setup.
The gamification of an app helps users to interact with the app and have fun while using it. If your app provides some kind of value, or has short-term competitions with winners and give-aways, people won’t be able to resist from coming back.
Keeping Requests Minimal
Apps that ask for too much information are usually avoided by people. If your app must ask people to register, fill out forms, or sign up, try your best to remove every extra click (or tap), except for the most essential, from the design. Businesses must remember that they have a very short window to hook users in. If they get irritated and leave, they won’t bother trying again.
Users get peeved if an app does not work just because they have a poor signal. It makes sense to build content or interactivity that can be availed of even when wireless connections are patchy. This way, your users can use your app when they are offline or on-the-go.
Analytics and Insights
Integrating analytics in your app is necessary to get a telescopic view on your app's performance. It is important for businesses to track and understand their users’ experience. A lot of people don’t like giving away information about their location, which is all right. You need not track your users’ locations. Your focus should be on tracking their user experience. See what the numbers tell you. Use the data to improve your app and provide better updates.
These points should help you in improving your app’s user base. Have we missed something out? Let us know in the comments!