Keeping Up with the Mobile Game: Creating a Great App in 2015

The technology landscape is constantly changing and evolving, and mobile technology is no exception. In fact, with audiences using their devices more than ever and spending most of that time in an app of some kind, we are in a unique position to engage audiences in a way that is relevant and targeted. But not everyone who tries to keep up with mobile technology trends by creating an app is successful. There are a variety of reasons that contribute to a failed app. Many of them we have already discussed, but with app technology changing all the time, we want to give you the most up-to-date information so that you can make the best decisions for your brand when it comes to creating and/or improving your app.

So, what makes an app successful in 2015? First, let’s define “success” in the world of apps. In a recent series on app essentials we covered this. The main things to consider are: reliability and functionality, fresh content that is easy to maintain, good design, and content that reinforces your brand identity. Keeping these essentials at the forefront as you create and develop your app is the first step in making your app a success, but going beyond the essentials to give your audience the best experience possible is what we want to look at. Here are some important “Do's and Don’ts” to take your app to the next level.

1. Don’t Get Comfortable

While it might feel overwhelming to keep up with mobile trends, one of the most exciting aspects of the ever-changing world of apps is that you can continually customize your app to become more and more useful for your audience.

You might be happy with the state of your app as it is right now, but remember that what may seem like the trendy new look or feel right now could change very quickly, so don’t get comfortable. Always be thinking about and doing research on how to improve your app. Whether it’s tweaking your messaging, rearranging your content, or trying out new features, try to take on the mindset that your app is an ongoing project.

2. Do Focus on Targeting

When you first started creating and designing your app you probably asked yourself what would be most useful to your audience. That is exactly the kind of question you should be asking. But with important features like push notifications, you can now start to target your audience in new and unique ways.

Maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board and consider how you can target your audience in even more intentional ways, meeting them where they are at and finding some new and creative solutions to their daily needs.

3. Don’t Settle for Subpar Design

It’s pretty widely known and accepted that having a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing app is a non-negotiable, so if that hasn’t been a priority for you in the past, it should be moving forward. If you don’t have a creative eye it might be time to hand the project off to someone who does.

First impressions are key when it comes to apps. People often make snap judgements about the app as soon as they download it, so ensuring that your app’s design is sleek and appealing is incredibly important.

4. Do “Play to the Strengths of Mobile”

Different platforms offer something different in terms of user experience. The one thing that is consistent across all devices and platforms though, is the ability to share up-to-the-second information with your audience. If you haven’t been riding the technology wave for very long it might take some getting used to, but taking advantage of the immediacy that an app can provide will be key in improving engagement on your app.

A good question to ask is how can your app enhance and propel forward your campaigns? We are rolling out some updates to our push notifications in the coming months to help you do just that, so stay tuned!

5. Do Filter Your Decisions Through the Lens of Your Goals

With so many factors to take into account it can be difficult to make the right decision for you or your team when you’re building or improving your app. Obviously you decided to create an app for a reason and you have an end-goal in mind. Let those goals inform what features you choose to use, how your design looks, and how to best target your audience.

As the popular phrase “there’s an app for that” shows, more and more audiences are coming to expect that they will be able to find an app that applies to almost every facet of their lives. To keep up with the continued momentum in this field we have to not only meet those needs, but anticipate them.

How are you meeting your audience’s needs and exceeding their expectations through your app?