We’re living in a world where more people own mobile phones than toothbrushes! No, we’re not kidding. Extensive research by branding guru Jamie Turner shows this to be a fact. And, the reason cell phones have become an indispensable part of our lives is thanks to mobile apps. Almost 76% millennials consider smartphones as useless without apps, while 74% confessed to opening an app every time they were bored, according to ComScore data published in the 2017 US Mobile Report.
However, with billions of mobile apps vying for attention, competition is high. So what makes WhatsApp, Skype or for that matter Subway Surfers so successful, while we don’t give some apps a second glance.
Veris believes there are 5 key ingredients that make a mobile app stand out from the crowd. Here’s a look into them.
A Valid Use Case
We’ve become more discerning with our time. Given our busy schedules, we don’t have a minute to waste on an app that doesn’t create real value. The most popular mobile apps solve a problem or assist with a task, making our lives easier. So, if you’re designing a mobile app, define its core purpose and then create features around that. Take WhatsApp for instance. It’s basically changed the way we chat with people. That was its core definition – a free messaging app. The main purpose is making it easier to communicate. After that, it went on to adding more features. Today, WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users across 180 nations!
Veris believes security is the Holy Grail of any solution that connects to the Internet (which is almost all mobile apps!). Most apps store personal information and may have access to all your contacts. And, even sensitive information like credit card details. The growing capability of mobile apps depends to a large extent on information transfer. And, this is an invitation to malware and data theft. Mobile developers today have to take their responsibility of ensuring security very seriously. The highest standards of data encryption and authentication need to be deployed.
There are many aspects to this, from load time to intuitive navigation. If an app crashes even once, people are all too quick to delete it. Winning apps have super-fast loading speeds and are robust enough to consistently deliver a high performance. You may have noticed Facebook taking you to a loading screen while the app opens. No new app can afford this luxury! And, did we mention the navigation should be intuitive? Keep the design clean and the important actions prominent. Also, remember the thumb rule – Many people will use their thumbs to navigate. So, important actions need to be at the bottom of the screen.
Apps that work on multiple platforms are appreciated more. To-do lists and note-taking apps have become increasingly popular, with multitasking being an important skill these days. Wunderlist is one such app – works great on both iOS and Android. And, you can access your lists and notes from a laptop or tablet and share them with colleagues. This is a great feature to have, when everything around us is so interconnected.
Powerful search is very important especially if a mobile app has a lot of content. If the search functionality sucks, users will find it cumbersome and frustrating to use the app. Most successful mobile apps have a dedicated search function to allow users to quickly access what they need.
Apart from these five features, it’s a good idea to make the app look impressive. Take the Starbucks app for instance. It so clearly sticks to its core purpose – enabling people to buy coffee quickly and look at the menu in an easy way. It’s easy to look at past orders too. The app has great visual aesthetics. And, this is one app we need. After all, who’d want to start their day without a morning cup of coffee!