What Makes a Good App – Creating Great Apps Is a Process, Not Luck

  • App Development
  • 7 min read
  • June 25, 2019

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Apps are a multi-billion dollar industry which have led hungry entrepreneurs to ask themselves— what makes a good app?

While the competition is fierce and the workload exhaustive, producing a successful mobile application is certainly achievable with a go-getter mindset, ample funding to hire the best team, and of course, a catching idea. What makes an app great, however, goes well beyond these parameters and includes a pretty wide variety of elements.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some of those key components that contribute to making an app truly great so your app can be featured on the next “Top Mobile Apps” list.

what makes a good app

Understand Your Target Audience

This is one of the first steps involved in making a good app – understanding your audience and properly identifying who your target audience is. This should come before anything else and will take much time and research. You’ll want to gather data to figure out what kind of consumer will use your app, along with any relevant demographic information. Did you know, for example, that the primary app buyers fall between the ages of 18-34? Learn about your audience!

With that said, it’s just as important to see who the competition is and to make sure the same exact app doesn’t already exist for this audience.

The benefits to identifying your app’s target audience is that doing so will allow you to not only find the best model for monetization, but it will also allow you to move forward in planning things like design and functionality around the audiences’ preferences and needs. This information will also help you come up with a marketing campaign that is most effective.

Marketing

Effective marketing is another essential component when it comes to ensuring the success of your app, and is typically what comes next after identifying your target audience. This process also involves careful analyzation of the data collected about your users and finding what the right marketing strategy is.

Researching and understanding your competitors and audience are the first steps in creating an effective marketing strategy, but here are a few more:

Start early

While many people will choose to market once the app is already on the market, it’s a much better strategy to get started earlier, even as early as during the development phase of your app. This involves things like engaging with potential users on social media, running surveys and polls to see what kind of implementations and features they’d like to see, releasing sneak-peek videos, and so on.

Press kits

As part of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to be sure to have both electronic and physical press kits available for when it comes time to promoting your app. At this stage, you’ll want to make a list of notable bloggers, influencers, and media groups in the industry to send your materials and press kit to.

Optimize Your App Store

Over 50% of users discover an app in the actual app store. This is what makes it incredibly important to make sure your app store page is optimized to perfection. This involves paying careful attention to things like your app title, the screenshots and thumbnails you’re using, and the app description.

what makes a good app

Seamless Functionality

After doing some market research and gaining a better understanding of your audience, the next thing to focus on is ensuring your app functions seamlessly. In other words, you’re app should work! It should load quickly, work as intended, and overall, be free from bugs in the software.

Seamless functionality will contribute to a positive user experience and prevent frustration when handling your app. Rather than leaving bug discovery to the first wave of reviewers of your app, be proactive and set aside time and a budget for thorough testing. Every feature and component of your app should undergo rigorous testing to weed out any bugs or defects that could emerge.

Roughly 21% of users will abandon an app after just one use. One component of app retention—that is, keeping users coming back for more—is by creating an app that works as advertised, whether it’s a free app or not. No one wants to waste their time with a buggy app. Get used to this mantra: test, feedback, update, repeat.

Fast Loading

According to Google, 53% of mobile website visitors will abandon a page if it doesn’t load in three seconds or less, and the same probably holds true for mobile apps. Remember, even fractions of a second make all the difference when it comes to loading speed and how often users will come back to your app.

Your app must perform optimally unless you want to lose users. If you’re unsure what’s a good app-loading time, check out what your competitors are clocking in and see if you can match it, or better yet, beat it.

Privacy and Security Matters

If you’ve been paying attention to the news surrounding Facebook and the hot seat they continue to find themselves in concerning user privacy and security, then you’ll know that it’s a topic consumers are caring about. In fact, 61% of users aren’t comfortable with having their location shared with apps and websites.

Mobile apps have become an important part of our lives and so consumers are becoming more and more uneasy about privacy and security. You always want to be completely transparent with your users about what your app’s privacy policy is and how their data is being used.

Privacy aside, security is another aspect that deserves just as much attention. You should be taking every precaution and safety measure necessary to ensure your app has no vulnerabilities. Technology is ever-evolving and so it’s important that you stay abreast of new standards in safety as well as new hacks so you can update your app as needed.

Supreme UI

While app performance is crucial, you also want your app to look great! After all, first impressions are everything and those first few seconds a user spends on your app is critical. It’s important to always remember that your users are dealing with small screen sizes, so the UI should be designed to add value rather than take away from this.

what makes a good app

Here are a few reasons why UI will contribute to making a good app:

Highlights value

Your app’s interface is what first lures a user. It shows that your app has value. A poorly designed app will quickly demonstrate to the user that, despite how useful it may be, there isn’t any value there.

Connects you to users

A great interface is also what helps connect you with your user. It’s all about placing an emphasis on who the user is and how they’ll use the app. Your app should be built based on these ideals.

Keeps things simple

Another high priority is having an app that’s both powerful but also easy when it comes to features and interactions—good UI and UX will do that. It should allow users to immediately understand what they’re supposed to do and where the value is in your app. You can read more about it on our guide about how to design an app.

Track Analytics

It’s important to stay on top of mobile app analytics to better understand your audience and user behavior. This kind of data is essential in measuring how well your app is doing and providing useful insights. From there, you can work on continuously improving your mobile app to keep user retention and user engagement up.

Here are some questions that can be answered by leveraging data from mobile app analytics:

  • What features from my app are bringing in users?
  • What parts or sections are my users dropping off?
  • How often are they using my app?

Analyzing and tracking user behavior will be paramount to optimizing your marketing strategy and enhancing the user experience.

what makes a good app

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all involved in making a good app, but there are many key components to think about and implement if you want to ensure your app is successful. From effective marketing and target audience research to implementing bulletproof functionality and a bug-free, beautiful user experience, the app improvement process never stops and can make all the difference when it comes to user engagement, user retention, and, of course, making money!

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