It is estimated that in 2017 there will be 2.32 billion smartphones all over the world, which will undoubtedly contribute to global revenues for mobile apps, which are expected to surpass $77 billion. The most popular apps are strategy and puzzle games, which are inherently compelling. For an app to make it big, it should appeal to almost everyone like messaging apps or lets you play with millions of other players like the next new strategy app.
Since there are some established criteria to make sure all apps meet Android standards for navigation and design and take advantage of promotional opportunities in the Google Play store, this results in an interface that is both consistent and intuitive. The major element is engagement. An app must have visual appeal even from the Play Store. Namely, visual cues and frequent interaction with the user are essential. Building in the element of competition, e.g. leaderboards, also has long been a tried and true technique.
Maintaining a good relationship with your users can also help you identify glitches and issues, which can then be fixed quickly. The idea is to act fast before receiving too many complaints. Currently, smartphone users are demanding cloud support to ensure that there is no data loss and want the ability to access the same data on multiple devices. Location-based services, for example, are desirable features that can enhance the user experience (UX). Pokémon GO utilized this technique effectively to engage gamers; businesses can also use this feature to finetune marketing promotions, allowing them to offer different deals to their customers.
Another innovation, Augmented Reality (AR) utilizes the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. AR takes the user’s existing environment and overlays it with new information. Retailers are using this to capture consumer attention to bring a product to life, e.g. furniture visualizers. It can be now seen in other areas like manufacturing and the sciences.
With these developments in smartphone technology, developers will be concerned about the security of personal information over Wi-Fi. Scalability is important, too, as developers have to learn to “think big” both as a technique and a mindset. And the good thing is that all the foregoing features are generally included in the freemium models, which is ideal for an audience averse to spending money on an unknown app up front. Every user gets basic features at no cost and can access more functionality and features for a subscription fee.
User participation in forums will also help smooth the way for a new app. Other less obvious techniques include getting the attention of an “influencer” and building a portfolio. Word of mouth and peer recommendations though not novel, still work. This is an organic movement and these individuals are trusted by their audience; however, it is a gold mine if you can get an endorsement from this source. And lastly, a professional online portfolio will also help you to stand out from the crowd.
This is not to say that an app cannot exceed all expectations and go viral. Flappy Bird is an interesting phenomenon, sometimes described as: “I hate this game, but cannot stop playing”. A review showed that it incorporated some of the compelling and promotional techniques that, at the end of the day, make an app take flight. So, there must be something to the strategy, right?