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What Makes A Mobile Application Great?

Everyone has a great app idea, but executing that idea in a format that is functional, profitable, and robust is more difficult than many people realize.  This post will examine three factors that make a mobile application great when make your own app.
  • Great User Interface

The UI (user interface) of an application is how the application displays and functions to the end user. Think of your user like a goldfish.  They have five-second memory and are easily distracted. That being said, the way your app functions and animates is imperative in retaining the user’s attention.

Creating an application that functions in a natural manner is a challenging task. Take, for instance, the Facebook application.  The home page is simple and easy to return to, having only the most widely used Facebook features clear and accessible. As users stalk their way through profiles of friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, and Justin Bieber’s fan page, the user can easily return back to each level of their stalking trail. The font is easy to read and the application leaves out some of the “nice to have” features that the full web app has. So keep your app simple.

  • Focused and Engaging Content

It is a good thing when someone downloaded your application. Now the next 20 seconds are probably the most pivotal in your applications’ longevity.  Can you describe the purpose of your app in one sentence? If not, start over.  Even if all the content on your app is great, a “busy” application with too much content will overwhelm the user.  If your app provides a utility, keep the user focused on your single core feature.  If your app is a game, build up the content gradually as the user develops a feel for the game and a familiarity with the controls.

Remember, the user is a goldfish, and goldfish aren’t known for their massive brain size. Words with Friends does an excellent job of keeping the content focused and engaging. The app is a social scrabble game, and the UI is simple and logical. The straightforward content also facilitates the app’s monetization strategy.

  • Find Ways to Make Money
More often than not, you decided to develop an application to make money. Unless your app is widely adopted, an ad-based revenue model for a free application will not likely fund your early retirement. Thus, it is important to figure out where you are going to make your money. Is it going to be off the initial install? Freemium model? Additional levels?
  • Give Me the Good Stuff, Don’t Make Me Find It
Focused and engaging content is essential for the success of an application. However, all applications should have one simple core feature that the user is presented with at the initial launch. For example, when Pandora launches, your most recent channel plays immediately. Your core feature is where users will be spending the most time on your app. If you are planning to integrate any type of advertisement or cross-promotion, try to entice your user during delays in the core feature. Don’t distract the user, but use advertisements to fill voids in time or aid visual stimulation. Pandora plays periodic advertisements while songs air, which I find detracts from my user experience.  I listen to the radio on the Internet to avoid commercials, but I haven’t stopped using Pandora because I love the core feature of customized radio stations. Also read this article: Make Your Own App and get benefits for your business
  • Look to the Future

How sustainable is your application? Who are the current and future competitors? Are you accounting for device or operating system upgrades? If not, will you have the money to adapt your application to the evolving technology?

The harsh reality of application development is that some novel, well-executed applications don’t garner the notoriety they deserve because they can’t keep up with the competition. Competition is fierce in the technology industry. Not only are you competing with other developers, but you are also competing with the rate of innovation on the device itself.

As a mobile entrepreneur, it is essential to stay attuned to the latest developments in the smartphone industry. Make calculated assumptions about the future. For instance, you can safely assume that the cameras and videos on smartphones will become more sophisticated over the coming years. Develop with these devices in mind or develop cross-platform to hedge your bets. Remember that your phone could easily be outdated in a year.

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