How many apps do you know, remember and use regularly? There might be a few games, a few social networking apps and a few utility apps. Is there anything that all these apps have in common?
The most popular apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Zomato, and TrueCaller are unique in their own ways. They come from different genres but have something in common that makes them so successful and desirable.
They don’t think different things, but they think differently and that’s what makes them rule hearts.
Here are 10 common features of successful apps:
1. They solve a problem:
The developers of all successful apps didn’t build an app because they have to build one – they built an app because they found a problem that could be solved with their app.
WhatsApp was built to improve the communication. TrueCaller was built to make contact finding easier. Zomato was built to make it easier for users to find restaurants near them. Apparently, all successful apps have some motive to serve.
Apps that do not solve a problem or do not have any specific motive to serve die sooner or later. Take an example of Sarahah. It was meant to be just a fun, not to serve a motive. Result? It died within a few days.
Key to Success – If you have an app idea, ask yourself a question. Does your app solve a common problem that people face? If it doesn’t, perhaps you must think about some other idea.
2. They are Easy to Use:
Of course, it needs to be easy to use, learn and interact with, if you aim to be successful. All the successful mobile apps require no external help or guide. They are designed to take care of your extreme navigation possibilities and serve you with most important things right up in the order with great user experience. It’s more about what you feel using this app.
BBM died because it wasn’t easy to use while WhatsApp survived because it is. MySpace isn’t so popular because it isn’t easy to use, but Facebook survived because it’s super easy.
Take any app for consideration – if you can use it without much struggle or know-how, you would love to have it on your phone.
Right from WhatsApp to Facebook and Uber to AirBNB, there is one thing in common with all – simplicity. These apps have billions of users – educated, semi-educated and uneducated, but they all can access these apps without much struggle.
Key to success – keep it simple. While building an app, aim for the people with lowest technical knowledge. Pitch your app idea to someone who doesn’t even know how to use a smartphone properly. If your idea looks simple to him, your app will be a big success.
3. They Update Frequently:
If you have 20 apps on your phone and want to know how many of those are actually successful, just connect your phone with Wi-Fi. Now see how many of them update.
Successful apps have something new to update every now and then. This may frustrate you sometimes as it consumes your valuable data, but it’s worth doing. Updating your app means making use of the best features of that app.
On the other hand, there are many apps that did not update for many weeks, months or even years. They are still running on their basic features.
If an app is not updated frequently, it is soon going to get obsolete. All successful apps keep themselves in shape working on various factors to enhance the existing facility. They keep it open to their users and take the feedback to build better on what they have already achieved.
Remember, no app is perfect with the first release but with constant iteration and regular optimization.
Key to Success – Update your app frequently and provide your users the best you have to offer…
4. They provide Great Support:
How easy it is for your users to get your support determines how successful your app will be.
All the successful apps out there provide one-click support service. Also, the support staff remains available whenever a user needs it.
Buffer is a good example of this. It allows you to get one-click support and their support team doesn’t take more than an hour to revert to any query. With their proficient response rate to address the user issues, they have set a benchmark for other apps.
Key to Success – Strong support and service assurance is the backbone of any successful app and this goes on winning the trust and loyalty of your user big time.
5. They are Built for Native Platform:
I have never seen a successful app that works on cross-platforms. Even if it works on different platforms, it’s native for all.
For instance, WhatsApp is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Mac and Windows PC. But it’s not the same app working on all platforms, but they offer a native app for each platform.
Being native is important as it allows you to utilize the entire features of a platform. A common app built for Android and iOS would not be able to utilize the features of either platform.
Key to Success – If you want to see your app in the list of successful ones, go native. It will cost you some money to build an app for each platform, but the investment is worth making.
6. They Make a Business:
And they make dozens of businesses out of it.
Uber and AirBNB are not just apps – they’re billion-dollar businesses. More importantly, these apps provide livelihood to millions of people, thus creating more businesses out of an app.
The entire social media industry revolves around Facebook, and this industry creates thousands of companies providing millions of jobs. And yes, Facebook itself is a billion dollar company.
Take an example of any successful app. It’s not just an app, it’s a huge business that creates many businesses out of it. In fact, if there is no business, there is no success. And if there is no success, the app isn’t successful.
There are both possibilities. You may create a business first and an app later, or you may create an app that carries your entire business. Facebook and Google are the examples of the former, while Uber and AirBNB are the examples of the latter.
Key to Success – If you are planning to build an app, make sure you have the business idea behind it. The icing on the cake – create a business-app that further creates thousands of businesses.
7. They’re Kind to Phone Battery:
Check the battery consumption of your phone and you will find that the best apps have consumed least battery power.
Though apps like Facebook and WhatsApp remain active even while your phone is in the idle state, these apps will be at the bottom of the battery consumers.
Key to Success – Your app should not be the reason behind battery drainage. Focus on least battery consumptions, and your users will love to keep your app in their phone.
8. They are Free:
Surprisingly, all the popular apps I come across are FREE.
Now go and check your phone. How many paid apps do you use? Chances are very little that you might be using a paid app frequently. In fact, apps like WhatsApp decided to quit their money-charging idea when they start losing users.
The success of Facebook, WhatsApp and many more apps prove that you do not need to charge for an app to make money.
Now there are two possibilities of making money out of a free app. First, if it’s a content sharing app like Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp, you must have a monetizing plan away from common users. On the other hand, if it’s an app like Uber or AirBNB, you must have a monetization plan when the user needs your services.
Key to Success – Keep your app free to use and think a different monetization plan. You can make a lot of money if you have millions of users, by having a clear business idea.
9. They are Engaging:
This is a common trait of content-based apps, entertainment apps and games. People love spending time on these apps. More the time people love to spend with the app, higher would be its success rate.
However, apps like Uber and AirBNB are used only when someone needs their services. Still, these apps keep their users engaged with their offerings, appeal and added services.
Key to Success – Focus on keeping your users engaged. If your users love spending time on your app, you are one step closer to the success.
10. Not a ‘me-too’ Product:
Successful apps are built on a unique idea.
Not always you find an app that’s only of its kind. There were many social networking apps before Facebook. There were many messengers before WhatsApp. But these successful apps provided something unique that those predecessors could not provide. Result? They are successful and their predecessors are not.
Key to Success – Always try to find a unique idea for your app. If you can’t, try to improve an existing idea. It’s not always about reinventing the wheel, but if you keep building the same wheel with same features, success isn’t for you.
Take an Action:
Have an app idea and want to implement the Success-traits in it? Discuss with us. We are seasoned with building successful apps and we are willing to repeat the success for you.