How to make a successful app
What does it take to make a successful app in today’s tech-savvy environment? CodeRed-I founder Tina Machado offers some clues.
Q: What makes an app successful?
A: Four key factors: simplicity, functionality, usability, and of course, revenue. An app should be simple to understand and use, especially in this instant-response society. It serves an end purpose that adds value. Whether it be for social/lifestyle, business or gaming, all of which include monetization, it should guide you to the next step or experience within your native app. That’s what a truly simple and successful app should do. It thinks for you, and you just react to make it happen.
Q: What is one of the highest business priorities within the mobile-app industry right now?
A: One hundred percent transparency. Transparency must be demanded. You must ask lots of questions such as Where is my app being coded? Who is coding it? What does it cost? Can you explain the process to me? What are my ownership rights? The negative side of not just the app business but technology itself is that it’s become easier for companies to have a façade of performing the work up front and as complete but not having good quality behind that work.
We feel it’s important that no matter who’s going to advise you or build your app, you need to be able to come in and see it all happen right in front of you. It shouldn’t be outsourced to somewhere you don’t have access to.
Additionally, when you have transparency, complete communication, and the development phases set to be implemented, then everyone is on the same track and no one is derailing the project.
Q: When someone has an idea for a mobile app, where should they begin?
A: It all starts with an idea. You need to write out your key bullet points and what you want the functionality of the app to do. What is the purpose of it?
This is a good beginning, but you then need to move it to a concept phase to get your idea to the next level. In short, a “full” concept is a rendering of the look, feel, and function of your app. It’s designed as though it’s already completed. You can look at your overall idea and see exactly how the user will move from screen to screen.
Having your full concept not only allows you to explore the market through research but also understand demographics, determine the needs of your target audience, and create proprietary ownership and protection of your idea.
The concept is something that should be exciting and not scary, because when the full concept has been rendered, you will actually see your app. From there, you can either build out the app with no concern or seek necessary funding.
Q: What Are User Interface Design (UI) and User Experience Design (UX)?
A: Think of UX as a movie script––numerous individuals coming together to develop the final product for viewers to engage and interact with. It’s the development of code, which creates the experience.
Now think of UI as the actual movie. It’s what we enjoy and what captures our attention. It’s the beautification and usability of the app, or what we get when we press on the phone.
Q: Is “simple” inexpensive?
A: Not always. Some times it is, but that’s rare. First, it all depends on an application program interface (API), or the software intermediary that links your app to other programs for the sharing of data. In short, you’re bringing in another system within your app, and any time you bring in more licensed programs to make the functionality work, the less simple the app becomes.
For example, Uber illustrates simplicity with its UI (the way it looks) and it’s UX (functionality), but people do not realize the amount of components on the back end in creating the performance of their app. That back-end development is what’s allowing their front-end design to do many things at the same time in a simple way.
Second, consider making an app as you would building a home. The architect develops a blueprint, the contractor builds the infrastructure, and the designer beautifies everything. All of this takes time, careful planning, and precise execution.
Stay tuned for the next issue when we delve deeper into this subject.
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