Building Sustainable Mobile Apps For The Long Haul
31 Jul. 2017 Mobile App
The app market is flooded with new apps and hundreds of releases daily. Each year thousands of apps are launched for both the Android and the iOS App Store, but hardly few are profitable and fewer still memorable. A majority of the mobile apps released fade into oblivion or die a slow, neglected death. Mobile apps fight a constant battle against OS updates, competition, and pressure to deliver amid uncertain market conditions.
There are no pre-defined criteria that can help developers build a successful Android, Windows or iPhone app. But there is an implicit wisdom in applying market research, understanding audiences, using UI/UX design best practices and optimizing the app for search. Following these measures and best practices help you build a sustainable app that is successful in the long run.
Strategy For Sustainable Mobile Apps
How Is Your App Different?
Thousands of beautiful and popular apps are available free of cost on the app stores. How can your brand differentiate from the crowd and cut through this clutter? The answer lies in market research and finding the niche that actually resolves a user problem or creates an app that exceeds the strengths of existing apps. This is the only way to outdo your competition.
It is also worth strategizing how competition will respond to such an app and follow up with their own release.
Focus On Solving Real Problems
There is no point in adding more apps with superfluous content that are not in touch with user needs and real requirements. Develop with a clear focus and target audience keeping user expectations, engagement rate and features at your guiding forces. Your app’s unique selling feature is tied to the complexity of the problem it resolves. So if you want to build something different and outstanding, find user problems and needs that haven’t been solved yet or have not been solved very well. Sustainable app development uses market research and user feedback well to build something of lasting value.
Free Or Low Priced-Apps Don’t Ensure Higher Downloads
Brand messaging and perceived value from mobile apps is what drives downloads. Users also read reviews and other users’ feedback before considering a download or purchase. Make sure to read reviews and feedbacks on the app stores to find out pain points and critique that helps you build a superior app.
Focus on the messaging. Can your app’s purpose and benefit be summed up in its title and description text? For instance, a mobile utility that stores user IDs and passwords can be branded quite simply with “store, encrypt and protect” that reinforces the exact benefits users can experience.
Build for growth and scalability. Use scalable platform for development right from the inception so that you lay the basis for future growth as it sometimes catches you unawares. This strategy while attractive on paper can be a challenging task for the development team to go beyond MVP (minimum viable product). It is a fine balance between flexibility and fidelity to the original vision.
Plan To Get Noticed
You can plan to appear in the various lists Top 100, Top 25, Most Noteworthy etc. displayed by the app stores. Use social channels to make your app more viral and noticeable. Write to the editors and curators at App Store and Play Store, notifying them of your app’s launch. A sure shot way to get noticed is to build a media strategy that will hopefully result in press coverage around the release dates. This can boost your chances of getting featured in the Top Launches or New Releases lists that in turn help with the SEO and downloads.
Creating a freemium app is also a great way to build audience that will soon pay you if your app is valuable to them.
Last But Not The Least…
Launching your app is but the first step in ensuring sustainable success. Focus on user feedback, use formal metrics to measure performance, release timely updates that are compatible with new OS versions and find newer ways of user engagement. Use new age tools like push notifications, in-app messages, geo-location tools as applicable to make the most of your app. A mediocre app is no better than having no app at all.