App Store has thousands and thousands of lousy apps already – don’t add another one, please.
Look at the following list of symptoms and if your app has any, make sure you fix those issues before the app goes live. Once it’s on the App Store, it might be too late.
1. You have nothing to say
Why are you making this app?
Is it just because all other businesses are doing it and you heard that ‘you need to have an app’ in your mobile marketing strategy or you genuinely have something to say that will interest your target group?
Because if you don’t, no one will care – and ‘no one cares’ translates to ‘you’re wasting your money’. Remember, you are the one who creates the app, yet the app is not created for you, but for your target group.
The elevator pitch technique is a great way to test this even before the app is out:
Imagine you are in an elevator with a hot blonde (symbolizing your target group) and you have only 15 seconds to make her interested (in your app). If what you are saying (about your app) doesn’t get her attention and she goes through the door you lost your chance with her forever. The same goes if she finds you too pushy and decides to leave the elevator three floors earlier.
Will your pitch make her go out (to the App Store) with you?
In short, if you can’t tell me why I should care about your app in 15 seconds – go back to the drawing board, today, no one will give you(r app) more attention than that.
2. You don’t have a target group
Speaking of target groups – do you have one?
No? You are planning to have a general-purpose app everyone will love and use? Everyone will share it with all their friends and relatives, no matter how old they are, where they live, how educated they are, how much they earn? And you will live happily ever after in mobile heaven…
Now, back to real world – even the apps seemingly used by everyone have primary target group(s). And trust me, if you are preaching to the wrong audience, no one will convert no matter how awesome your message is.
3. No one cares about what your app does
Identifying target group is not enough, though. They need to care about what you are saying.
So, imagine yourself in the shoes of that blonde in the elevator, listening to a pitch (about a new app) and ask yourself three questions:
- Do I care?
- No, really, do I care about this?
- Ok, this sounds great, but how is this different from ______________(other app/ competition)?
Your users can have a rather different perspective of the world and care about different things than you do. So, remember, you are not making an app for yourself, but for your target group so give them something they need/like.
4. You don’t know the competition
What do you know about positioning?
Marketers are well aware that people position only two or three products in the same category and disregard the others.
if you don’t have an Instagram-like app which is ten times better than the original,
don’t make the ‘new Instagram’,
if your competition has already solved this problem for the consumers,
try to find a new problem to solve (or at least a new angle)
because (once again!) no one will care.
So, whatever you do, know the competition on the App Store. Another benefit of knowing your competition is that you can improve what their apps lack (add a missing feature, or an awesome UI, etc.) .
Therefore, if you haven’t done it already, do your research. It will pay off.
5. You want to release as soon as possible and aim to fix everything in the version 2.0
Good luck with this strategy! You will need it.
Personally, I don’t know any app which had a lousy release that turned great with the second version. And, once your App Store rankings are damaged, you’ll have a really hard time recovering.
Returning to the elevator – it’s like hitting on the same stranger for the second time, saying “I know I was lousy last time, but now I’m awesome. Would you like to go out with me?”
You better be more than awesome this time, or they won’t even look at you. And if you could be so awesome, why not make a great first impression? Your chances for success will be much higher.
6. You know to code and don’t worry about design
Please just look at these coolest apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Do you see any which looks bad?
That’s the point.
Mobile users love apps that look good and provide great functionalities. In that order!
Your app has to look great from the icon to the final screen. Or you have to overdeliver (I mean really, really overdeliver) with the functionalities. And even if you do manage to get them install and use it, it’s not so likely that they will share it. So, make sure you have a great designer on board.
7. Your app is complicated
This one actually sums all the previous ones –
- if you can’t explain your app in 15 seconds and make your target group interested,
- if it doesn’t communicate clearly to your target group,
- if you have packed to many features into one app, or
- if a user can’t find his/her way through your app intuitively and simply either because your UI is complicated or cluttered
Take a deep breath and re-evaluate the whole project.
After all – the question is not how to publish an app on App Store – the Developer account is only $99 and there are so many programers out there who can write a piece of code which will get accepted into the store.
The real question is how to get into the New and Noteworthy, create great user experience and utilize the business potential of your app to the maximum. To do this you’ll need to contribute to the ecosystem. And for that you’ll need a really good creative mobile development team.
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