Mobile apps already became the part and parcel of our daily life and they have penetrated all recesses of living. There are millions of mobile apps across a wide variety of niches and app stores. But we all know that a small percentage of these apps really become successful. No, the app success is far from a matter of chance. There are shortcomings and there is excellence that contributes to the failure and success of apps.
Here we are going to explain 10 principal attributes contributing to the success of popular mobile apps.
1. Ensure The Following Perfect Development Process
Let’s start from the very basic aspect, i.e. the development process followed by a company. You should have a very well-defined development process comprising all five stages or steps such as methodology, capability, experience, innovation, and people. When a development company incorporates these 5 elements perfectly and in the right manner, the app is more likely to gain traction. Let’s explain these 5 elements here below.
Time-tested methodology: You should follow a time-tested development methodology that already contributed to several successful apps. For instance, Agile development methodology is already proven to be effective for faster development with the practice of concurrent or simultaneous testing.
Capabilities: Now, just to follow the preferred methodology and to ensure optimum output through this, the company should ensure right onboard capabilities. The development capabilities include expertise, skills, and right toolset.
Experience: The development capabilities further become fine-tuned and sharpened to the specific development needs with the prior hands-on experience of developers. Experience of developers actually helps to optimize the capabilities. Building successful apps cannot do without experience.
Innovation: Innovation remains the silent driving force to propel the growth and popularity of mobile apps. An app remains future-ready and adaptive to trends principally because of innovations. Innovation also helps to offer simple and effective solutions in respect to UI design, information architecture, features and user experience.
Human capital: All the above four elements depend on the execution and implementation carried out by right human talents. This is why having onboard talented and experienced designers, developers, strategists, and marketers is incredibly important to pave the way to success.
2. Offer A Solution Based On Your Audience
It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that every app is basically a solution to a problem. But when apps are solutions, you need to deliver solutions to problems that your target audience needs most. This is why it is important to validate the app idea by your target audience. Does your solution at all have any appeal to people? Does it really make life easier for some people? If it really promises to do so, how it is going to achieve that? These are the questions you need to ask when conceptualizing the app and validating it through feedbacks and inputs from your target audience.
Remember the following principles when finding an audience-centric solution and validating it.
- The app must offer a kind of solution to some practical needs or problems.
- The solution must be unique and relevant for the users. A commonplace solution will make your app commonplace as well.
- The solution must be simple, user-friendly and thoroughly usable in real-life situations and contexts.
- Even when the app comes with not-too-unique a solution, it must have the uniqueness of implementation and user experience.
- The solution should be validated with user feedback, opinions, survey, analytics, etc.
- At the initial stage getting an idea of the shortcomings of competitor apps can be very effective to build the right app.
3. Make It Future Ready
Let’s now explain one of the most crucial aspects of mobile app development now. Suppose you built an e-commerce app that performs pretty well and offers quite an engaging interface and user experience. It was doing quite well in terms of business conversion and regular traffic footfall. Even the download numbers were not bad. But suddenly, within a span of six months, it started losing traffic and business rapidly. You found no particular issue except the fact that some of your recent competitors built apps with more trending interface and ensured more sophistication than others.
So, the bottom line is you looked outdated and your audience flew to other stores offering a better shopping experience. This is why adapting to the latest design and development trends and getting ready for future business challenges seems to be so important.
Here are some effective ways to make your app future-ready and to beat the onslaught of competition.
- Use the latest and cutting-edge methodology. For instance, following agile development is safe as it will remain valid for years to come.
- Use the latest and cutting-edge backend and frontend frameworks that reduce most of your development concerns while remaining tuned to the scalability and flexibility. VueJS, AngularJS, ReactJS, React Native, Vue Native, Laravel, Flutter, are some of these frameworks.
- Use technologies that can instantly and almost in real time reflect the backend changes in the frontend.
- Consider the cloud-native framework to develop the most scalable, versatile and adaptive apps powered by a loosely coupled microservices architecture.
- Use material design to stay tuned to the UI design trends of the years to come.
- E-commerce apps should actively use Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to deliver optimum user experience.
4. Keep It Simple
Let’s now come back to the old but ever-existent principle of mobile app development called simplicity. Nothing works to engage users better than a simple and easy to use interface. As apps are basically solutions to problems, you need to help users accessing the solutions as effortlessly as possible. This is why for mobile apps less is actually perceived as the more.
Question is, how to keep the app simple and easy to use? Well, there is no straightforward formula for this but by keeping the design thoroughly purpose oriented and by reducing the cognitive load you can easily make the app more engaging and usable.
Let us explain some of the effective measures and principles in this respect.
- How long does it take the user to understand what the app is all about? The user should be able to use it instantly.
- The app should also intuitively help the user to understand what he needs to do to complete actions.
- The app also should have relevant features that can be used purposefully in different contexts.
- The features instead of making the app complex should make it easier to use.
- The app should be visually appealing and provide an instant idea of what it is about and what it is going to serve users with.
5. Ensure Optimum Performance
Performance is the biggest requirement for any mobile app. Only poor performance can instantly throw an app out of the competition. From fast loading speed to working condition of features to no instance of app crashes, there are several aspects that ensure optimum app performance.
Let us explain here some of the time-tested ways to ensure optimum performance of mobile apps.
- The app should go through rigorous performance testing to ensure that there is no bugs and coding errors.
- The app should not crash or should not stop working with heavy traffic or usage.
- You need to ensure optimum loading speed for all app pages, contents, and features.
- The buttons, navigation, and links should respond to user interactions easily and without glitches.
6. Personalize The Experience
Another major way to boost the app success and make it popular is through personalized user experience attributes. Personalized user experience is all about meeting the individual preferences, constraints and needs through specific UI and UX elements. For instance, an app can allow users to see his preferred contents first in the listing. In the same manner, many apps now allow users to choose preferred timing to get notification messages.
Follow these principles and tips to deliver more personalized user experience.
- Help users register easily with social media profiles and address them personally in all communications.
- Allow users to set notification timing and preference as per their need and wishes.
- Use user analytics to gain insights about every user behavior and preferences and accordingly communicate them.
- Provide in-app ads and purchase options as per user preferences and paying behavior.
- Based on user inputs and insights derived through analytics, communicate personally through Chatbots.
- Ensured personalized communication based on user demographics for all app marketing and retargeting purposes.
7. Make Use Of In-App Analytics
Understanding user behavior and knowing user preferences and pain points us crucial to improve your app user experience better. App development is no longer a one-time process and it requires continuous engagement and feedbacks to stay tuned to the emerging needs. In-app analytics plays the crucial role of providing relevant insights to guide you through further development and value additions.
Here are the key questions that your in-app analytics should derive answers for.
- How long you use the app for at a time?
- How frequently you use the app?
- What are the contents and features you use the app for mostly?
- Which features and app areas are experiencing most drop-offs?
- What app features users are most confused about?
- What are the distractions to prevent users from taking decisive actions for in-app purchases?
8. Don’t Undermine Testing
Another crucial and irreplaceable aspect for mobile app success is the testing. Testing brings you fresh perspectives of seeing your apps from different angles of the users. Obviously, users may not conceive and use the app the way you conceive it and this is why testing is so important to validate with the actual user experience.
While you are likely to go through performance and automation testing already during the development process, before the launch of the app it is extremely important to test the app with real users across devices and platforms. The real user testing will help you gain insights about how users are actually using the app.
9. MVC, Continuous Development And Updates
For a mobile app to have the right start and become better over time, the MVC approach works best. MVC or Minimum Viable Product is about launching a basic functioning app that carries within the key app idea and features. It allows the developers to leave room for further improvement while sticking to the basics and most needful. It is a widely popular approach paving the way to success for a vast majority of apps.
Continuous development is about making constant value additions with new features, design and UX elements. Presently, we have frameworks like Flutter that allows real-time feature update. When any changes are reflected in real time, you do not need frequent updates. But still, an app should be built to accommodate new value additions through sequential updates.
10. Futuristic App Marketing
Finally, a successful app is also distinguished by its marketing as well. Any success in the app world cannot be thought without consistent and quality marketing output. Some basic marketing tenets like an illustrious per-launch campaign followed by a buzz-creating launch and a robust post-launch marketing campaign will always remain important. But to ensure visibility and discoverability of your app in the time to come only doing App Store Optimisation (ASO) is not enough. You can only cement your app success quotient with a future-ready marketing approach. Let us explain some futuristic marketing tips.
- Ground your app marketing on inputs from latest technologies such as Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics.
- Utilize deep linking extensively across cross-channel contents to boost click rate and discoverability.
- Progressive Web App (PWA) is the way to go for launching an app that can be continuously upgraded without requiring the update to pass through app stores validation.
- Micro app package to boost traction and user engagement resulting in the higher in-app purchase is another futuristic marketing method.
- As in-app marketing is increasingly becoming common, we can expect streaming app platforms like Netflix for instant and subscription-based app usage to gain more popularity.
Atman Rathod is working as the Business Director at CMARIX TechnoLabs, a leading web and mobile app development with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship, and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.