What Makes an App Successful

What Makes an App Successful – More and more Australians are using their mobile phones on-the-go for social media, texting, watching streaming services, gaming, shopping, streaming music and, even finding their next partner. In Australia, people are spending an average of 37 minutes more on the internet per day, which is nearly 40 hours per week. Putting it into perspective, it is roughly the same amount of time many of us spend at work – no wonder keeping up your Instagram game can feel like a full-time job.

For any company now, it is crucial than ever having a mobile presence. As mobility continues to redefine how corporations operate, traditional enterprises need to be conscious of the fact that now they are competing with mobile-first companies. Considering this new scenario, developing an app for your company is an essential step into the digital world, but it needs to be done to succeed. 

Data shows that less than 0.01% of the apps are considered successful by their creators. It is a scary number, and in this article, we will outline three crucial aspects that make an app successful.

Inclusion of features that will make the users' life easier

The features are what will be valuable to your users and provide an excellent experience to users. Login by e-mail or social network, GPS location, one-click calling or social media sharing are some of them. Bear in mind that not all apps will have the same features. Depends on the needs of the user and what type of solution you will provide through the app.

Functions influence cost and the development timeframe. When a budget is a constraint, you can include some features in other stages. After validating the application, other functionalities can be added.

Here are some examples of features to include in an app:
  • Mobile Notifications (Push Notification)
  • Monitoring of data and activities
  • Online and offline operation
  • E-commerce and mobile sales
  • Secure online payments
  • GPS, Location and routes
  • Live chat
  • Camera features
  • Audio and video streaming
  • Communication with external systems
  • Integration with social networks
  • Integration with IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Integration with Beacons, RFID and various sensors
  • Applications for multiple types of wearables

Questions to guide features selection

What platform will your application work on?

You may want to create an android app, which has a broader user base, an iOS app, which has a more loyal user base, or for both platforms. Bear in mind when choosing the platform, consider your target audience, and what do you want them to do on your app. To illustrate it, in Australia, 47% of apps are available on both Google Play and iTunes, and the majority of the in-app purchases are made on iOS devices.

Will the user be able to log in to your application?

The user may or may not register with your application. E-mail and social networks are often the most common options that most please users.

How do you plan to monetise from your app?

There are basically three ways to monetise from your app: 

  1. In-app purchase: product sales inside the app, people may have to pay before downloading it. This is an excellent alternative for those who already have their business and want to increase sales.
  2. Ads: another idea is to offer advertising spaces within the application. This way, even if the app is downloaded for free, you will still be profiting from it. By next year in-app advertising spend is predicted to triple and reach $201 billion U.S. dollars. 
  3. Paid App and subscriptions: you can sell your app, through the platforms of Google Play or App Store. You can also develop subscription plans, monthly, semi-annually or annually, to make recurring profits from your app.

Will your application also have access to the content through a website?

This will help you reach more people and generate more downloads for your app.

Will your application have an online dashboard for management?

A dashboard to track user behaviour and access and conversion metrics is very important, depending on the purpose of your application.

Will your application be integrated with any system?

A business app will often have to be integrated into a system to provide some critical information to its users.

Test, test and more test

Consumers are getting more selective than ever, specially with online products and services. To make sure the app is running smooth and meets user requirements it is important to spend time testing it before it hits the consumer phones. More than 70% of the users will unstall a mobile app if it crashes, according to an study. 

The test phase of the application is the step responsible for verifying the proper functioning, detecting unexpected events and correcting them before the launch of the app.  Research shows that more than half of consumers say a poor mobile experience negatively impacts their opinion of the brand 

An example of a problem solved by the test phase is the suitability of the application for different devices. Due to a large number of smartphone models available on the market, it is necessary to develop applications that adapt well to this variety. Because of this, at the end of the development, it is imperative to carry out tests to ensure the smooth operation of several devices.

Therefore, through tests, it is possible to detect flaws, correct them and deliver a quality application to its users.

Main tests before launch

There are some types of tests that are essential for all types of applications, they are:

Compatibility test

Each smartphone manufacturer develops its own hardware, and for the application to work correctly, it is necessary to know them. However, running tests on all types of hardware would be very complicated. For that, there are some development standards that are compatible with the one used by the hardware. These standards must be used in order for the application to be able to communicate with different types of systems.

Testing whether the compatibility is working correctly allows you to avoid problems such as delay in running the app and crashing the application or the operating system.

Usability test

The usability test will analyze the optimization of the application for the user. Through it, you get information about the difficulties and objections that may be unpleasant for the consumer. 

Performance testing

Performance testing is the application test that will detect system bottlenecks, determine response time for actions taken by users, fulfil non-functional requirements and absorb information that will help faster application operation.

Timing test

This type of application testing has the function of verifying the efficiency of data sharing. The method used sends data from the application to the recipient, and subsequently, the integrity that the data sent was received is analyzed.

Security testing

The security test will determine whether the private information contained in the application is secure, with no risk of third parties having access to the data.

Functional test

In this category, it is assessed whether the resources that were requested in the requirements analysis were met in the development process. It is the final test that will determine whether the application project has been executed well and is able to fulfil its purpose.

User acceptance test

Mobile app testing is the last step and is of paramount importance to ensure a high level of quality in product delivery. It assesses whether the user can understand and make use of the application easily.To perform the test, it is necessary that people who have never had contact with the product use it to detect the difficulties present in the application.

Savvy Marketing Strategy

A widespread mistake is to have the majority of the investment allocated to the development stage. This is a controversial topic, but we would say that the marketing budget of an application needs to be 60% of the total.  What is the point of developing a beautiful and useful mobile app if the user doesn’t know that it exists? Pointless, right? 

A savvy marketing strategy also needs to consider that consumer behaviour changed in the last two decades. This is because the increase in access to information has left the power of decision-making in its hands, and with that, the consumer has become much more selective than it was in the past.

It will sounds cliche, but it is true: to promote an app and make it successful you will need to put yourself in the user’s shoes and think outside of the box. 

  • Understand what types of content your consumers are interested in;
  • Understand in which format the user consume information;
  • Understand when is the right time to offer each type of content.
  • What are the users’ pain and what are the solutions you can solve. 

Things to bare in mind

Mobile apps have dominated all functional areas of our lives for some time but in 2020 more than ever. Smartphones are part of people’s daily lives. When considering the scope of an app development project, make sure that you choose the features wisely, invest time in testing and marketing it. At Media Shark, we have a team expert in app development, from the idea concept to the marketing stage. Get in touch with us!