6 Tips to Create a Successful Global App
Many people are dreaming of creating their own software product, and app development is one of the easy ways to produce something new and to reach out to a wide audience in an instant through a global app marketplace.
Although the task of creating your own app sounds exciting, the hardest part of the whole process is how to turn a business idea into reality. Around 90 percent of app downloads are represented by only 10 percent of all existing apps.
These numbers show that to achieve success, you need to work on your development plan really well. To make an application global, it is extremely important to determine potential weaknesses and what are "must-have" features and functions.
Why creating an app is promising and inspiring
Mobile applications are very popular among users, and here's a list of facts that demonstrates users' needs and preferences:
- At least 1 in 5 users has a smartphone; the prices for smartphones are lowering and the number of users is increasing.
- On average a smartphone has 41 apps installed on it. iPhones come with 22 pre-installed apps. The rest of the apps a user adds later because they are imaginative, easy-to-use and helpful. Users are always ready to install one more app that they find engaging on their smartphone.
- On average users spend at least 2 hours on their apps every day which in total makes 86 percent of the time spent on mobile phone activities, including web browsing. It is expected that the amount of time spent on apps will reach the total amount of time spent watching TV.
- The growth of the Internet of Things together with the development of mobile operating systems will turn smartphones into remote control devices. This will increase the total amount of time a user spends on apps.
- At home users spend at least 61 percent of time on apps when they are in the living room and around 40 percent when they are in the bedroom, bringing to life new patterns of behavior among smartphone users in terms of places where apps can be useful.
Let's look at some of the processes that an app idea has to pass from the development stage to distribution and the types of apps you need to consider before starting the development.
What apps won't become successful
Creating an app is the first step, but making it competitive in a market among millions of other applications and has value to a customer is the major task.
Below you will find some of the common issues that you need to consider in making an application popular.
- An app must provide a solution to a specific, easily explainable problem of a user.
People tend to use up to 10 applications on their phones on a daily basis. The concept of an outstanding application needs to be based on a real-life issue that can be monitored or solved by appropriate software.
- An app must have features that make it fully useful.
An application must provide a good user experience, with good content and an excellent design. If it doesn't have certain basic functionality to make it helpful for the user, it will be quickly uninstalled from a phone.
- An app must be unique in the marketplace in some way.
The app distribution market is highly competitive and in certain situations software developing companies provide a new product that is closely based on an existing one, making it similar to that offered by a competitor. To succeed, an app may include features or ideas that are loosely based on the competitor's vision of the product, but should always include new features that contain value for a user, where the advantage can be easily explained in very few words or actions.
- An app's features must fit the user's value expectations.
An app should deliver result quickly and with functionality that is precise and uncomplicated or it will be uninstalled. Typically, a user expects to get to the core of the app's functions in about 15-30 seconds. That's why it is better to make the app functions absolutely clear to simplify its use as much as possible.
What you need to know to create an excellent app
When you have an app idea, think about these functions and answer them before developing the application:
1. High quality result.
The quality of the developed app counts as the top priority. Users who find poor quality will leave negative feedback, strongly impacting the trust and interest of other potential users for your app. A great product naturally does one major thing, but does it very well.
To insure consumer adoption, the design should fit different styles of devices (the visual styles of Apple and Android), ensure collaboration activities (e.g., sharing, commenting, following, leaving a feedback), has functions that anticipates the next step for a user, can run offline, synchronizes information from a central database, and uses the capabilities of a mobile device at its best. It is user experience that ensures positive feedback from people who download your app.
2. Engaging content.
Offering fresh and rich content appealing to a user on a regular basis will help keep their interest in the application for a longer period of time. Fresh counts. Some ideas for quality content may include contests, interactive activities, polls or downloadable offers. Such content can be integrated if it corresponds to a native app experience. Third-party ads may cause user frustration and unintentionally result in driving them away from the app and redirecting to a page they don't want to see.
3. Competitive landscape.
When targeting a specific app market, you need to conduct an assessment of the competitive environment and learn about cultural nuances of the targeted market. Understanding potential risks and user needs helps to better adjust your business plan to achieve reasonable goals that match your cash runway.
4. Monetization rules.
Spending power and price expectations for apps vary from country to country. For example, China users will pay a higher fee than U.S. users.
Also, you need to consider whether you want to offer the app for download free of charge or require a fee for this. Monetizing of free applications requires skillful integration of ads that are not intrusive (e.g., pop-up ads users often can't close or tap on accidentally). Instead of this, native ads are more preferable, so the user knows that they are part of the content.
5. Distribution channels.
A distribution plan will help you find an appropriate location on the market to get noticed because different distribution channels predetermine diverse approaches.
For distribution via Google or Amazon play stores, it is paid acquisition and organic efforts that influence better positioning and create focus. iTunes calculates app rankings based on the app's ability to achieve a high number of downloads in a short amount of time.
If an app is developed for an Asian market, it is important to remember that it consists of independent and multiple app stores, so fitting your application into a market like this may be not easy without the knowledge of a specific distributor that will help determine the right audience for the app.
Consider the age range of your users before choosing a distribution channel. The perception of app content is not the same in different countries; what appeals to a young audience in one country may be more interesting to young adults in another place of the world.
6. Reliable app developer.
When implementing your business idea and choosing a good team to develop your application, rely on the following basic principles:
- Insure that the app development company you choose has experience in developing different mobile applications.
- Your team should be skilled and creative with a committed project manager that has the necessary knowledge of the technology used for app development, and also know about the different aspects of the mobile app business process.
- The app building process must be well defined to make every step of the app development clear, quick and efficient.
- Before the application is released and you hear what real users say about the app, be sure the team conducts all necessary QA testing.
- Once the app is released, the team should continue to help you with the maintenance and update support to keep your users involved.
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