What do Justin Bieber and your app have in common? Turns out, more than you’d expect!
Not a conclusion you’d jump to easily, sure, but – thanks to Daniel Payne's (Innovation Director at Compsoft) recent talk at Digital Gaggle - the two are now synonymous in my mind.
So, let’s start from the beginning and allow me to take you on a journey of Justin Bieber rifling through your knicker drawer...
So, you want an app?
First, imagine Bieber *IS* an app (stay with me here). As a singer he’s ridiculously successful and we can probably assume that this would also be the case if he were an app. But why exactly is he so successful?
He’s famous, sure - but so are a lot of people, and it hasn’t guaranteed them successful singing careers. Look at Leonard Nimoy, Lindsay Lohan, Eddie Murphy... Remember buying their albums? Exactly.
So why is Bieber successful?
It's simple. He’s got a fantastic user interface, great content (I prefer his newer stuff, tbh) and he totally knows his audience. That’s not to say he won’t eventually branch out and create his own clothing range but right now he is focusing solely on what he’s good at. This is what you want your app to be like.
What does this mean for your app (but with fewer Bieber references)?
Like the Biebs, your app first needs to know its niche. You need to decide where your app sits in the venn of all apps.
What does it do? Is it a fun app, like Clash of Clans? A useful tool, like a mail app? Or is it a serious but entertaining app, like iTunes? Determine where your app sits and then focus on that niche. Don’t try and make a new calculator, which is meant to be a tool and then shove in a game, a tracking device and a Gif creator as well. It will cheapen your app. It’s the equivalent of, say, adding Jar Jar Binks to Star Wars. #DitchTheBinks and keep it simple to start. Then evolve accordingly. If you have too much going on, you will confuse your audience.
Find the right dev.
As with most things, you get what you pay for. If you’ve got a great idea for an app, choose a good app firm to develop it - not some spotty student. Great apps make a good first impression and then they develop to continuously provide a great experience. Yours should do the same. Be focused and amazing from the get go and then develop to ensure people keep it on their phones... An app isn’t just for Christmas, people!
A good app firm will want to help you from the very beginning. They’ll want to help write and define the spec, to ensure that there are no problems at the development stage. They’ll also help you create a plan that will help your app evolve, like Bieber chopping away his bowl cut and buffing out the bod.
Don’t find some offshore company that might do you a great deal but can’t deliver or keep your app up to date.
There are some great companies out there *Cough* Compsoft *cough cough* so shop around and find one that works for you.
How do I look?
We’re all guilty of judging books by their covers from time to time, so if people are gonna have you as one of the few chosen and used apps on their phone, you’ve gotta look good. Plus, you need to make sure your app is easy to use, otherwise – guess what? People won’t use it!
You also need to think about the phone your app is most likely to be used on. iPhone? Then design your app for iPhone. Android? Same thing. Make sure your app interface is designed for the people using it and the OS they’re using.
It’s their house. not yours. Don't immediately ask to see their knicker drawer.
Unlike a website, an app is something that your audience puts on their device. It’s personal. You’re basically in their home, so be courteous. We have pictures, numbers and messages on our phones that are all private and we don’t want to feel like an app is invading our personal space. Imagine if Bieber came round your house and wanted to rifle through your knicker drawer. Most people probably wouldn’t let him.
You also wouldn’t expect Bieber to come charging into your home asking for money. So why should your app? If you want people to pay to use your app or if you want personal information, don’t go barging in and demanding. You’re not Kanye, that behaviour ain’t acceptable here.
Can you give away content or freebies? Do you have a clear explanation and demo as to why you need their information? Demonstrate your value and that you are trustworthy before you start asking for things.
So there you go. If you didn’t come to #DigitalGaggle then this is the sort of high calibre, analogy ridden talk you missed out on.
If the image of Bieber got in the way of useful tips, here is all you need to know:
Find your niche – be clear on what the purpose of your app is and then stick with it
Spend time finding a good app development team who understand what you need and are ready to help you every step of the way
Create a user interface that works for your specific target audience and tailor it for the mobile environment it’s going to be used on (iPhone, Windows, Android etc.)
Think about your customer journey - what will they need to know about your app before they download it?
Also think about the best way to get the information or payment you want from them once they’ve downloaded.
Got it? Great! Now go & app away and follow @DigitalGaggle to find out about the next wonderful event coming your way.