Mobile Development

What Makes a Good App? Key Factors for Success

Marlena Walburg
man walking down a staircase

How to create a successful app? Many ask themselves this question when wondering what needs to be done to conquer the market. It is certainly not enough just to create any application. There are currently over 4,83 million of them available, so competition is fierce. In various app stores, you can find software that can do almost anything, check your pulse and stress levels, replace your TV remote control, inform you about the child’s location – there will probably be a helpful app for every sphere of life. Therefore, it is important to think carefully about what makes the application good and what prompts users to download it to their device and use it willingly.

First, start by thinking about what makes the app good for you, what features affect your positive reception and enjoyment of using it. This simple exercise paints a picture of the platform that you could create and succeed with. Many factors determine the quality and satisfaction of users. Check what you need to have perfectly polished in your application then.

What is a good app?

Most straight forward, we could answer this question that a good application fully and effectively meets the needs of users. This way, we can quickly conclude that the starting point and the key to success are learning these necessities. What you have to do is market research. 

If your application idea is unique and distinctive, then you also have a better chance among the competition. By following trends, checking statistics and rankings in app stores, you can estimate whether your vision will gain a large audience. If something similar already exists, you have to do it better. Such observation will also be needed at a later stage, once the platform is developed. The reason is simple – the application must be constantly refreshed and updated to keep up with the progress and stay on the market.

Let’s now focus on single factors that will particularly help determine the success of your mobile app.

Key features of a success

Looking at top applications, we can easily find common features that influenced their popularity. Reliable and fast operation, simple but attractive design, not overwhelming with notifications … There are a lot of these elements. Below we have collected a few of the most important features of the application that you should take care of and not save money or time on them.

Provide a solution to a problem or need

What makes customers devoted to a brand or product? The fact that it makes their lives easier and satisfies their requirements or needs. The good app feels like it’s essential to them. Interesting thing is that surprisingly an app doesn’t have to be packed with fancy features. The goal is to deliver a simple but effective solution. Dozens of apps are sold just because they have this one particular function among the others that users want. In the case of the mobile app, think widely about its purpose and what problem do you want to solve. Do reliable research on your potential users’ pain points. Have a clear vision of your solution and make everyone know what is the purpose of an app. Don’t be fooled to build an imitation of something very popular just to make money, customers hate lack of authenticity and it will get you nowhere. Provide your users with a valuable product and make them realize that your application is irreplaceable.

Target audience

You probably won’t succeed trying to satisfy everyone with your application. It doesn’t mean your app won’t ever be widely recognized and loved after a while, though. However, it is worth being cautious and choosing the right strategy. You need to target the proper audience first. You will increase your chances of success by well defining who you are creating the application for. In the next steps, it is for this specific audience that marketing activities will be developed, and as you know, they are very dependent on the selection of the target group. Identifying your audience is strictly based on the purpose of your new platform. Finding your target audience for a specific niche application is easier than it is for a very general application. However, even in a broad market, there may still be a bunch of people, for example, a specific demographic or age group, that may constitute the main users. Again, good research will be needed to determine this. Have in mind that people really love applications dedicated exactly to them and use this fact for your favour.

Product design – UX/UI

Imagine you have created an application for a large but specific group in a rare niche. You perfectly match the requirements of this market, and you respond to the needs of users in a revolutionary way. However, there is a problem – the fonts are illegible and poorly selected, the navigation is unintuitive, the buttons are so small that you can barely hit them, and besides, the colours and layout of the elements are deterrent. That’s right, you haven’t taken care of what attracts users in the first place, and makes them stay with you longer. And while the design is still fairly refined, the UX of the application is totally ignored. Don’t make this mistake and pay close attention to the user experience in your application. Take care of intuitive navigation and a sensible arrangement of elements. Take your platform to the next level by introducing personalization options. Do not force additional functions, be guided by the simplicity and effectiveness of your solution. Remember to use common sense when it comes to the look of the application, but let your users feast their eyes on it. Experienced designers will help you achieve great results. Review the portfolios of companies you are considering to cooperate with, and assess whether they will meet your expectations.

Speed/Performance

These aspects are crucial for good mobile apps. Neglecting them, you can lose users very quickly and upset them quite badly. High performance is one of the most important measures of application success, which translates into increased conversion and user engagement. The right speed of the application is so important that time-to-content delays and longer loading lead to a significant increase in the stress level. Your application needs to start, run, and respond as quickly as possible. This is what consumers expect. Otherwise, they won’t hesitate to uninstall and abandon your application. While still at the development phase, the application should be tested on real users in this regard and properly optimized. It highly influences the overall user experience and helps understand exactly how users are using your app. Gathering this information may ensure the effectiveness of the system. In the next stages, your maintenance team should fix any bugs or problems that may delay the operation of the application.

Right technology

When it comes to choosing the right technology, you don’t have to be alone with it, of course. This is an element that you can leave to specialists who will build your application. However, it is important to be aware of what solutions exist and are a good choice. You have to take into account that the application will run on multiple platforms. If you want it to be relevant, choose both Android and iOS. Currently, one of the effective ways is cross-platform development. This approach offers to create one application for multiple platforms using just a single codebase. Examples of frameworks that allow this are Flutter and React Native. This is just one of the many options. Depending on the type of application, experienced developers will choose the appropriate technology for app development. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of different technological solutions. Not everyone offers the implementation of some features, such as access to the built-in functions of the device. The choice of technology will also have an impact on the performance and maintainability of the application, so cooperate with developers to consider the possibilities of a particular approach and pick the one that works best for your application.

For more information about Flutter and React Native read our related articles:

App Store Optimization

Did you know that the most used method for discovering and downloading apps is searching in the app store? Moreover, for the application to be ranked higher in the search results, it must be properly optimized in this regard. It is known that the higher your app’s rank in the app store’s search results, the more visible it is to potential customers. This increases the chances of downloading and using your application. A lot of people don’t even know there is such a process and don’t invest in it at all. App store optimization requires an understanding of target users. Pay attention to the keywords your potential customers use to find apps similar to yours. This way you will better understand the language of your future clients and you will be able to choose the keywords for your application accordingly. You should constantly monitor and modify your optimization strategy and include it in your marketing plan.

Summary

Creating a good app is a complex and quite demanding job. It takes a lot of thinking, researching but also a great idea and passionate people. It’s easier to handle that with the experienced team by your side that understands your vision and goals. In addition to a high-quality product that provides users with value, you need to focus on proper promotion and marketing. Although the majority of app installs are generated solely by the top apps, if you take care of the items listed above, you have a good chance of success. 

Read more about mobile app development best practices on our blog:

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