Is Your App Different Or Will It Make A Difference?

Angry Birds has been downloaded more than a billion times. Many a developer has probably slapped his forehead, drooled with envy and let out a demonic howl even, asking himself why he wasn’t the first to envisage such a simple idea of avenging birds. The same emotion perhaps coursed through his blood when he noticed Instagram, Whatsapp and other killer apps send the entire world into a frenzy. Heck, people were now buying devices just to kill those thieving pigs and send free-of-charge multimedia messages.

killer-apps Angry Birds, Instagram and Whatsapp: Some of the many killer apps that changed the world. Source: play.google.com

If you are like many-cookie cutter app developers, you would have thought to yourself, “Wait a minute, let’s ride on the Angry Birds craze. Let’s develop a better version with angrier birds, cuter pigs, more levels and a futuristic-sounding music.” Another developer: Let’s release a better photo-taking app that has more filters and more borders that give the user a whopping 10 million photo permutations.

Well, yeah, you would have created a different app and carved out a niche for yourself. And you might have secured thousands of downloads and made a tidy sum of money.

But would you have made a difference?

Angry Birds caused prepubescent brats all over the world to kick and scream for a piece of Angry Birds paraphernalia in every mall they visited. Instagram created instant pro photographers out of the masses. Suddenly I, of all people, can take the most boring photo of my sleeping 12-year-old lab and turn that tattered dog into a masterpiece. Whatsapp effectively superseded the fee-based SMS, sending mobile operators into a panic. Their dumb data pipe just caused them more revenue losses.

Are your angrier birds and cuter pigs gonna change the world? Is your 10-million-permutation photo editing app gonna make worshippers out of your users?

I doubt so.

We are not impressed with apps that are different. What we need are flashes of ingenuity that transform into apps that make a difference.

Featured art: jenniferhamady.blogspot.com

Convince Your App Users By Distorting Their Reality

When you hype up your app, the user’s expectation of the app will heighten. That much is apparent. More remarkable is the fact that hype will also distort the user’s reality. Hype pulls the user’s reality up to match their expectation of the hype (Figure 1). So much so that when they finally gets their hands on your app, they will experience your app with that distorted reality.

 safe-hypeFigure 1. A user’s reality of an app can be distorted by its hype

Case study: An mobile app outsourcing company has created a smart keyboard app with word prediction. Internal tests show a prediction accuracy of 60% (Reality). The app description says the app has “good word prediction capability”, a little exaggerated since 60% is only a passable precision level. But the hype will distort the user’s reality. When he tries the app, he will experience the app as having “good” word prediction, just like what the hyped-up app description discloses.

unsafe-hype Figure 2: The consequence of overhyping your app – suffer the backlash

You can, and will, distort a person’s reality as long as you don’t over-exaggerate. Exaggeration is hunky-dory as long as the developer doesn’t overdo it. When an app developer over-trumpets his app, a large gap is created between what the app can really do (Reality) and the hype/expectation (Figure 2). This large opening wipes out reality distortion altogether. Trouble then brews. The gap backfires and the backlash can be severe – from users pooh-poohing and giving his app a one-star rating, to spewing nasty comments about the app, to downright shunning the developer and any apps he may develop in the near future. Everything comes crashing down to earth, leaving the developer looking like a babbling idiot.

Taking the smart keyboard app example; you will be overhyping if you tell users your app has a “shockingly accurate word prediction” when the reality is 60% accuracy. “Shockingly accurate” will send your users to expect a near 100% accuracy, creating that morbidly wide gap. And when users use your smart keyboard app, they will be in for a rude shock.

A little hype has an almost divine impact on your app, but over-bullshitting makes it disappointingly anticlimactic.

Featured art: smcamp.com.ua

 

 

Supercharge Your App Users Through The Fear Of Losing

Can we develop an app that exploits a person’s fear of losing something? The emotion associated with losses is enormous. In fact, it is twice as great as the emotion of gaining something of the same value.

Earlier, we delved into Regime of Competence, and how non-gaming apps, particularly productivity apps, could be teamed with social media to make users more productive. Peer pressure from other users – the longing to win, the pleasure of victory and the frustration of losing – fuels addiction to the app, which makes the user perpetually evolve and progress.

However, there are many us out there who are immune to peer pressure. We don’t give a hoot about contesting with other users, thus the simultaneous feelings of pleasure and frustration of winning and losing – which is central to app addiction – don’t exist. To us, productivity apps implementing the Regime of Competence principle are mediocre at best.

normal-task Figure 1: A normal task management app that allows us to easily procrastinate or totally disregard performing the task we have set for ourselves.

So, what about the idea depositing the fear of losing something – loss aversion – into an app to empower us indifferent-to-peer-pressure individuals?

Let’s see how we can conceivably include “loss aversion” into an anti-procrastination task management app. Figure 1 shows the all-to-common to-do management app. If you are anything like me, it is appallingly easy for me to tap the Snooze button, delay going to the gym and following a Rapid Tone diet, but instead spend the hour in front of the idiot box. A typical procrastination attitude that negatively affects millions of us and nullifies whatever health goals we have set for ourselves we could accomplish with the health of exercise and supplements as Kratom products. Also staying healthy means to stay out of drugs because it can cause drug addiction. If you know someone who is suffering from substance abuse check this article about https://www.discoverynj.org/americans-drinking-more-alcohol-more-often/.

loss-aversion-task Figure 2: An anti-procrastination task management app that implements “loss aversion”.

Now, we design some loss aversion into our task management app (Figure 2). Make the user deposit a sum, say $50, into the app account. Take away a certain amount for every task not fulfilled by the deadline. The amount deducted will be donated to a charity of the user’s choice, from people that need food to medical attention from general medicine to a Medical Dermatology with the best specialist in the field such as the Coberly Plastic Surgery & Medspa center and many others.

Of course, the user can choose to cheat and check off tasks she didn’t quite complete. After all, there isn’t anyone else keeping tabs on her tasks but herself. But would she really stoop so low? Besides procrastinating, would she also fail on her promise and callously discard an orphan in Cambodia who is depending on her $5 to buy bread and see a doctor?The hypothesis in designing this app is that the dread of losing money dwarfs the user’s tendency to procrastinate.

If she is serious about kicking the habit, she would not cheat.

At the end of the day, she can choose to withdraw whatever money is left in her account. Or if loss aversion works well for her and saves her from her dallying ways, she might, giddy with happiness and a new sense of hope, donate her deposit to charity.

A reformed procrastinator. An altruist. A nifty app.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion
Featured art: wired.com

The Secret to Making Your Apps Addictive: Stimulating Frustration & Pleasure Simultaneously!

What makes you stay up all night playing a game, attempting the same level over and over, until, finally at 3am, you succeed in butchering all the pigs in one try? You know the feeling when you yelp in delight, rousing half the neighborhood from their sleep, and sending dogs barking in frenzy. And then you take a well-deserved breather before having a go at the next level.

Regime of Competence. Although many excellent game developers may not be acquainted with this term, they have always known its secret that offers a heroin-like addiction to games employing it.

temple-runThe Regime of Competence principle is commonly used in games to make them addictive. Source: play.google.com

Games developed with this mind-altering principle hover just outside the player’s competency level, seeking at every point to be difficult, but attainable. After many tries of course. What exactly is the objective of regime of competence? Its goal is to fire up simultaneous feelings of frustration and pleasure. Frustration in failing to achieve one’s targets in a game’s specific complexity. Pleasure in finally pulling it off after many hours and attempts. One learns, adapts and masters the difficulty level. Then one watches their mastery being wiped off with the introduction of a more difficult level. These cycles of frustration and pleasure are what drive the player to engage with the game.

Why restrain the regime of competence to only gaming apps? The very principle that gives gamers sore thumbs can be applied to other app categories – especially educational and productivity apps that are designed to improve a person’s aptitude – to make them addictive. And these apps are guaranteed to sell like hotcakes simply because they are not a chore to consume anymore. By golly, they have become games!

An educational app with gameplay exploits Artificial Intelligence methods coupled with well-designed content and quizzes to determine the student’s aptitude, and then challenge him with a slightly more difficult level. A productivity app can leverage on social media to turn it into an enjoyable, addictive game. When a user thinks she has done her best for the day, up pops an alert saying another user has outdone her. A gut-wrenching howl echoes through the room. She won’t sleep soundly until she outdoes her contender the very next day.

Gratification. Frustration. A combination leading to addiction. That’s the name of the game.

Featured image source: www.leebrimelow.com

Supercharge Your App Revenues Using Decoy Offers

Every pretty gal knows this dirty trick. She wants to stand out and be the center of attention at a party tonight. So she asks her not-so-fine-looking friends of hers along. These friends innocently tag along, thinking Good Looking Gal really enjoys their company. In reality they are being used as a decoy. If Good Looking Gal is really smart, she will single out friends who are similar to her – in height, built and hairdo – but less attractive. And tonight, accompanied by her minions, she will be the shimmering presence and the focus of many men.

economist Figure 1. The effect of an irrelevant alternative (decoy). Adapted from: danariely.com

Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, surveyed his students on the subscription option they preferred in Figure 1 (left). Obviously nobody fancied the Print subscription when there is the Print & Web subscription with the same price. Why, then, bother to put the print-only option there? So Dan erased the print-only option, and did another survey as shown in Figure 1 (right). Lo and behold, the Print & Web subscription preference dropped from 84% to 32%.

What just happened? Apparently, something (Print & Web for $125) will seem more attractive when it is compared to another thing that looks similar (Print-only for $125), but a bit inferior. So attractive is that something that the rest of the options (Economist.com subscription for $59) pale in comparison.

This inferior thing is called the Irrelevant Alternative.

In the case of people like Good Looking Gal, she will seem more gorgeous when compared to her so-called best friends – the irrelevant alternatives – who look similar, but a bit uglier. So much so that the rest of the girls in the bar don’t seem to matter to the guys Good Looking Gal is trying to entice.

Wicked. But that’s how our neurons are wired to fire.

room-booking Figure 2. Attracting travelers to buy a more expensive hotel room with an irrelevant alternative. Adapted from: agoda.com

Can we implement Irrelevant Alternative in ecommerce apps? Sure we can! Take a hotel booking app (Figure 2). You want to push your more expensive rooms. So you embark on a clandestine mission to place an irrelevant alternative to make the other similar, and more expensive, room type (circled in red) look really attractive. Note that these two room types are identical in every aspect except for the breakfast and internet access.

Think of how to implement this “wickedness” into your apps to prompt your users into purchasing something that you want them to buy without them realizing you are fooling around in their head.

References:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/05/the_independence_of_irrelevant
Featured image: delicious-decor.blogspot.com

 

How To Use The Path Of Least Resistance To Maximize Your App’s Profits

When confronted with making a tough decision, our befuddled brains turn us into passive decision makers. And if there happens to be a default option for us to take, we will almost always pick the default. The path of least resistance.

donor-consent Figure 1. Organ donation consent percentage shoots up when the default option is to be a donor. Source: Do Defaults Save Lives? by Eric J. Johnson and Daniel Goldstein

Do Defaults Save Lives? is an eye-opening study of the psychology of defaults by Eric Johnson and Daniel Goldstein. Figure 1 shows Denmark, Netherlands, UK and Germany being countries with very low donor consent percentage. Before you reason that people there just don’t give a damn and start booing them, consider the way their donor consent form was designed: theirs had an opt-in (check the box if you want to be a donor). Whereas countries with a startlingly high donor consent percentage used a form with an opt-out (check the box if you do not want to be a donor).

A slight change in wording that resulted in a seismic shift in a country’s choice. When individuals are faced with a difficult call, they will habitually choose the default, if a default is presented.

Savvy app developers can benefit from the user’s inclination to select the path of least resistance. If you want to persuade us to do something of your choice in the app, put your choice there by default.

preselected-option Figure 2. In-app purchase with a preselected option. Adapted from http://www.androidpolice.com

The in-app purchase screen in Figure 2 eliminates the tough decision of selecting a package to buy. Players clearly see that the Farmer’s Best Value is $40.00 and this best value is even preselected for them. Do you think the majority would select the default package? I would think so. The path of least resistance leading to higher app profits.

no-preselected Figure 3. In-app purchase without a preselected choice. Source: the-gadgeteer.com

Compare that with an in-app purchase without a default choice as shown in Figure 3. First, too many choices confuse the players. Worse, without any preselected option for the perplexed user to take, many will end up taking no action at all.

What about email opt-in, you ask. Will it work if you pre-check the opt-in box? These days, we busy folks find unsolicited emails a brutal annoyance. Our time is limited and it is no longer hard to determine if we want to receive your emails. So, sorry, the path of least resistance won’t work here.

How To Make Your App Super Addictive Using Variable Ratio Reinforcement

Variable Ratio Reinforcement (VRR) is what makes gamblers and gamers behave like a neurotically obsessed person. Take a slot machine. It is programmed to pay out money every 20 spins, for instance, on average. It might happen on the 5th pull, the 26th pull and 29th pull. But the average is every 20 pulls. Can you now see why a player might be very unwilling to abandon her slot? She knows she will receive a payout, but she doesn’t know when. Not knowing when the payout will happen is what keeps this bleary-eyed grandma trying, and hoping it would materialize on the next spin, and that’s also why people decide to use betting apps on their phone, learning from the Best Betting Strategies from different sites online.

slots (2)

Slot machines and Variable Ratio Reinforcement (VRR) make gambling addicts out of men and women. Source: gambling.addictionblog.org

It’s a stroke of genius actually, to put this behavior-changing scheme into the heart of every slot machine, enslaving gamblers and compelling them to incessantly feed the slots.

Enthralling game apps are not unlike slots. They ingeniously slot in (no pun intended) VRR to make the game sticky, compelling gamers to stay plastered to them. You might just win that crucial weapon or level up on the next swipe or tap. And you have no idea why you are not able to pry your own fingers off the phone, so is better if you play games in the computer with a specialized keyboard as the one in this g105 review and high refresh monitors, since is already proved that high refresh rate monitors are better for different kind of games.

The evils of VRR. Armageddon-like conclusion in the case of slot machines. Many end up losing their home and family to the casinos (99% of the payouts are mediocre at best, compared to the sum fed into them). In the case of video games, many users suffer from game addiction to the point of neglecting their school, work, family and friends.

The good of VRR. It is very useful in educational and productivity apps, where when applied correctly, makes them very addictive. Consider a grammar workout app where a badge is presented for every 10 correct answers, on average. The accumulation of these badges goes toward the user’s global ranking which is made public to other users of the same app. The app makes wonderful use of VRR to play with the kid’s ego in a positive way – his need to be recognized – so that he is hooked to the grammar app for hours on end.

The child’s objective is to accumulate more badges so he can rank high up on the grammar hall of fame. In the process, he is mastering grammar. But to him, it doesn’t feel like learning at all. He is much too fixated on gaming. A very powerful approach to learning.

Combine Variable Ratio Reinforcement with Regime of Competence and you would have created an app that packs a wallop.

Pay-What-You-Want In-App Purchase Results in Higher Earnings

The Android app, Easy Contact Sync, is a contact backup tool that allows you to back up your phone contacts to its SD card and a range of cloud-based storage. This app has a Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) in-app purchase as shown in the following series of images (courtesy of Paradise Android):

pwyw1

Figure 1: In-app purchase dialog box pops up when the user selects more than three contacts to copy.

pwyw2 Figure 2: Pay the price you think is worthy of the app. Or, pay what you can afford. Whatever price you choose to pay, you will get the same product.

pwyw3 Figure 3: Confirm the price you want to pay.

 pwyw4

 Figure 4: Pay, or add your credit/debit card details.

In-App Purchase PWYW can yield a higher number of purchases because the buyer is free to pay what he feels the app is worth. If he finds the app superb, he may be pleased to fork out a higher price for the in-app product. If your app isn’t very delightful, but still useful, he may still go ahead with the in-app purchase, but at a reduced price.

With in-app PWYW, the buyer is now permitted to pay what she can afford. This eliminates alienating the potential buyer who loves your app but feels she cannot afford the fixed-price in-app purchase. With PWYW in-app purchases, the developer will still receive money from this type of buyers, though the amount is diminished. Click here.

The buyer may think your app is great, or the buyer may feel your app is passable. She may be able to easily afford the app, or she may not have much money. To get cash immediately for the app, look for loanload.co.uk on the internet and fill up their application. But with PWYW in-app products, suddenly all these different types of buyers are able to pay the amount they feel is right. Because of this, the number of purchases for a PWYW in-app product is proven to be much higher compared to that of a fixed-price in-app product.

In-App Purchase PWYW can result in higher profits if you donate part of the proceeds to charity. In one PWYW research, they found consumers willing to pay up to five times more if a portion of the revenues was given to charity. In another PWYW study, the average price paid for an item was initially $0.92. Then, when consumers were told that half the proceeds would go to aid organizations, the average price paid for the item jumped to a staggering $6.50.

Suggest a reasonable price. To encourage your app users to pay more than the minimum price set for your in-app product, you can suggest a “reasonable” price. For example, if you have the pricing options like in Figure 2 above, you can preselect the $3 option if you feel that’s the reasonable price for your in-app product.

Play with your buyer’s ego. Tell the buyer that on average, users paid X dollars for your in-app product. This average price ties in with the preselected “reasonable” price where both these prices should not be far apart. You want the buyer to feel the peer pressure of not wanting to be a scrooge and, on their purchase, match the average price or better it, for the sake of massaging their own ego.

Give PWYW a try in your in-app purchase and tell me how well it works for you.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_what_you_want
http://sandiego.bbb.org/article/is-there-a-pay-what-you-want-payoff-41247

17 Tips To A Killer App Description

Your app description page is not an app description page at all. It’s an app marketing page and you, the developer, are the salesman trying to get people to download your app. Since you can’t market to your potential users in person, pitching the value of your app in the app description page is the next best thing you can do to market your app. If your app is free, potential users will skim through the app description, looking for key information that will compel them to download the app. If you are charging for your app, then trust me, users will scrutinize every single word you put into the app description page before deciding to charge the app to their credit card.

I’m going to list 17 tips to a great app description. Each comes with a real app description snippet highlighted in red to bring home the point.

1. Clearly describe what the app does in a few short and sweet sentences before the “Read More” link. Viber does a very good job at this by telling the user what it is able to do – call, text and send photos for free to 175 million users worldwide – in the very first sentence itself. No fluff. Just straight to the point.

viber2

Viber. Source: play.google.com

2. Make the user read more by teasing them. If the user is not interested in clicking the “Read More” link to read a more detailed app description, you have pretty much lost the user. Besides being straight to the point, your first couple of sentences should make the user want to read more. If you read the first sentence in Scanner Radio Pro’s app description, the first thing that goes through your head is “Wow, am I really able to listen in on police scanners?? Way cooool… let’s see what this thing can do.” And you will instinctively want to see details of this radio scanner app.

scanner-radio1

Scanner Radio Pro. Source: play.google.com

3. Have you ever encountered a boring but successful sales pitch? No? Then your app description shouldn’t put people to sleep. See how Pig Rush portrays its app in a fun, appealing and interesting manner. Makes you want rush out, download the app and save poor Jumpy, doesn’t it?

pig-rush1

Pig Rush. Source: play.google.com

4. Skip anything that doesn’t do you justice. Cut out any texts that don’t have anything to do with the app. It does you no good if you tell your potential downloaders that the app is your first attempt in app development. Or, do you think users would be more inclined to download the app if you tell them your app development company “hails from sunny Maldives”?

catbug

Catbug Soundboard. Source: play.google.com

5. User reviews tell other users that the app has been downloaded, tried, and is useful or entertaining. For instance, we know most women take their menstrual cycles seriously, and there are loads of apps out there that track a woman’s cycles. If there’s one thing that a woman will trust, it’s the product reviews from other women. A satisfied female user who positively reviews your app sends a powerful marketing message to other women. Just take a look at Period Calendar/Tracker.

period-cal1

Period Calendar/Tracker. Source: play.google.com

6. Endorsements from the press or magazines tell would-be users that these guys, the influencers, have tried the app, and so should you. Besides being a cool app, Evernote has endorsements from big-timers like New York Times, TechCrunch and Mashable. They have tried the app and they loved it, so what are you waiting for?

evernote1

Evernote. Source: play.google.com

7. Being featured on the media tells users that the influencers found your app interesting enough to give air time or column space to. Calorie Counter was featured in a variety of heavyweights, from NY Times to WSJ to NBC. The message is clear: the authorities like the app; unless one is an eccentric, he or she will not regret downloading this featured app.

calorie-counter1

Calorie Counter. Source: play.google.com

8. Explain the app’s value proposition in bullet points. Your app needs to be special enough for people to download it. File Manager’s compelling value proposition (like FTP and Dropbox support) makes people want to download the app and use it in place of the platform’s native file manager. And these features are all listed in bullet points for easy reading.

file-manager2

File Manager. Source: play.google.com

9. State your target audience. The person is more likely to download your app if they fall into the target audience you have indicated. Imagine a mother looking for an app for her two-year-old daughter who is still a couple of years away from being categorized as preschool. There are tons of preschool apps out there and she isn’t sure if any of them are suitable for a two year old. However, she comes across Kids ABC Phonics that discloses the app is suitable for kids from two to seven. Mother hits jackpot. The chances of her trying this app skyrockets.

kids-abc1

Kids ABC Phonics. Source: play.google.com

10. Assure the user, especially if it’s a paid app. Assure them that you are reputable and not a fly-by-night app developer. Promise them they can reach you if they have any queries or hitches with the app. If you offer refunds, write that assurance down.

veggie-garden1

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden. Source: play.google.com

11. If your app is really that good and has received plenty of 4-5 star ratings, mention it in your app description. ROM Toolbox isn’t shy to reveal that they have garnered 13,000 five stars. A very powerful endorsement by actual people using the app indeed.

rom-toolbox1

ROM Toolbox Pro. Source: play.google.com

12. State the number of downloads if this figure is impressive. The advantage of showing the number of downloads is obvious. It is further proof that your app is entertaining (games) or useful (non-games). OfficeSuite Pro 7 (PDF & HD) boasts that its app has been installed on over 100 million devices with more than 40k registrations a day. Putting this number high up in the app description really gets people mesmerized enough to pay a rather high price of US$14.99 for the app.

office-suite1

Office Suite Pro 7 (PDF & HD). Source: play.google.com

13. Display other great apps you have developed. If you are launching a new app, your app description should include some of the popular apps that you have created, if any. People will acknowledge you as a seasoned and successful developer, and will confidently believe the app you are launching will be just as successful.

dr-panda1 Dr. Panda’s Restaurant. Source: play.google.com

14. Use asterisks, arrows, stars, checkmarks, hearts and other symbols to make your app description stand out. Compare the description by Titanium Backup and My Backup Root. Which app description is visually more appealing?

titanium-backup

Titanium Backup’s app description versus My Backup Root’s app description. Source: play.google.com

15. Use only screenshots that show the essence of your app. Leave out the rest. Chrome does a very good job at this. It includes informative screenshots that show the user what they can expect before they download the app – like how the tabs are laid out like a deck of cards, how they can go incognito for private surfing and search as you type.

chrome1

Chrome. Source: play.google.com

16. If your app contains features that can be unlocked when the user reaches a certain level or if they pay for them, put them into the app description. In Angry Birds, users can cheat and make an in-app purchase for the Mighty Eagle that will easily destroy the pigs in a difficult level. This is disclosed in its app description.

angry-birds1

Angry Birds. Source: play.google.com

17. Give your app more credibility by putting in links to your social media accounts and websites. If you have an ecommerce site that sells paraphernalia related to your app, put that in. If you have YouTube videos related to your app, put the links to the videos in. To be able to see a flurry of activities and to be able to find all your contact info on your web properties add to the trustworthiness of you, the app developer, and your brand. And lastly, putting relevant and effective copywriting will create credibility to your site. If you go to r1seo.com, this is the place to get awesome content and will also help to rank your site.

plants-zombies1

Plants vs. Zombies. Source: play.google.com

App Marketing 101: Find That Raving Fan

A good idea is like a virus. It likes to spread and it’s terribly contagious. Put a good idea into an app and watch it proliferate with minimal marketing effort. On the contrary, if you don’t see your just-launched app being downloaded much, it means the idea behind your app has not propagated. This is true no matter how much mobile app marketing effort and dollars you have put in. The problem is with the idea behind the app. The market didn’t move the idea. The idea didn’t generate enough conversations to move the market. The couple of users who downloaded your app were not impressed enough to generate those conversations.

 decoding-app-marketing-resultsInfographic: What does your app marketing results tell you?

Sucky App Idea, No Downloads. Like the infographic above, we can follow the rules of app marketing, from pre-launch to post-launch, but in the end, will your app get the downloads it deserves? If it does, then you have got something going. If it doesn’t, your app probably suffers from the “sucky app idea” syndrome.

Whether or not your app is successful boils down to the idea of the app. It has to be useful or it has to be wildly entertaining.

cloudon CloudOn productivity app. Source: Google Play

Useful apps improve our lives by increasing our freedom and knowledge, saving time and improving productivity. One such app is CloudOn. CloudOn allows you to access and edit Microsoft Office’s docs, be it Word, Excel or Powerpoint, from your cloud-based drive – Dropbox, Google Drive or, SkyDrive. And once you are done editing them, you can email them as links or attachments. How useful! Now, you don’t have to lug around your notebook installed with MS Office everywhere you go. A phone with Cloudon plus internet access is all you need to access and share Office docs.

Apps that are entertaining (read: games) makes you play with them until your phone battery runs dead. They have great graphics and storylines. But most importantly, addictive games are designed so that each level lingers just outside the player’s abilities – tricky but achievable – giving the player a simultaneous feeling of pleasure and frustration and that’s why players that play certain games go online to find services as guides and boosting, which you can take a look at different sites online. Once they conquer one level, the next level undoes the mastery, forcing the player to learn and adapt.

angry-birds-space Angry Birds Space. Source: Google Play

Angry Birds is one such entertaining app. Awesome graphics of the flightless birds and limbless pigs with their unique environment, be it Rio, Star Wars or Space. Remarkably simple storyline about the birds taking revenge of them pigs for stealing their eggs. At each level, the physics involved in catapulting the birds into the air in attempts to kill the pigs becomes harder. Players rejoice in being able to destroy the pigs in one shot. Pleasure. They moan in disappointment for not being able to do so. Frustration. They try again and again. They learn, adapt and succeed. Next level.

Unless you are a clairvoyant, you should get some validation for your app idea before going full steam ahead with its development. Make sure there are people out there who would find it useful or crazily entertaining. A technique of app validation – micro-testing – is very effective to check if users like your app idea. There are many write-ups on micro-testing and I’ve included the link to one in the reference section. Briefly, micro-testing an app includes the following steps:

  1. Build a mobile web landing page showcasing your yet-to-be-built app – app title, description, icon, screenshots, download button – the whole nine yards
  2. Drive traffic to the landing page via advertisements
  3. Track your results – the number of people clicking on your landing page’s download button

Oh, and don’t forget to find that raving fan.

References:
http://www.incomediary.com/how-to-validate-your-million-app-idea-in-3-simple-steps