When the App Store for the iPhone first launched in 2007, it offered creative programmers a revolutionary new way to market their creations. Many freelance programmers quickly became millionaires overnight.
Today, the app stores hold millions of apps that new developers need to compete against. It isn’t hopeless, though. If you have a hit idea, you do have a reasonable chance of making a success of it. You have to be organized in your approach, though.
It starts with the idea
One important reason many apps fail to make a mark is that they simply don’t have a great new concept. An app that isn’t based on the maker’s clear recognition of a new need cannot hope for success in today’s crowded marketplace. Finding a vacuum to fill and then filling it well has always been the way success is achieved in any crowded business. It’s no different when it comes to developing apps.
Explore the economic possibilities in an idea
Most apps don’t even break even. If making money off your app is important to you, you need to pick an area to serve that could be profitable.
The qualities that successful apps have
Once you have a great idea for an app that satisfies a real need, your success comes down to the way you execute the idea.
Beautiful design – Apple’s apps show exquisite design. People love smartphones just for the beautiful and intuitive ways in which they see their apps function – like they were living things. Great design, then, is critically important to the success of an app.
Build usability into it – Great design doesn’t just involve the creation of beautiful graphics, even if that is one part of it. It also involves designing an intuitive and thoughtful user interface. You need to test your app for usability.
Usability isn’t enough – People want character in their apps today. Everything needs to show wit, charm, grace and memorable character. It wouldn’t hurt if you could put humor into everything – the words, the moves and the sounds. Fun error messages, for instance, can help.
Work the touch – Apple’s users love their touchscreen products for the way everything responds precisely and yet beautifully. Your apps need to live up to the considerable standards that Apple sets for intuitive animation and touch. Everything needs to feel part of a whole.
Work hard for quality coding – The illusion that you hope to build with your app can come crashing down if your coding isn’t solid and dependable.
Getting it ready to sell
You cannot be successful without devoting as much effort to the marketing of your app as you do to its creation. You need to start thinking about marketing even before your app is ready.
Marketing an app isn’t simply about getting a couple of good reviews in some blogs. You need intense positive coverage around the time of the launch. The ranking algorithms that the App Store uses look at the kind of performance your app has in the first four days. If you don’t have much to show then, you could sink like a stone.
You need to build a website, create videos, work the social networks, write a book – market like you are running an important business. It’s the only way to succeed.