5 Ways to Help Your App Stand Out

Helping your app emerge as the next YouTube, Snapchat or Angry is not a piece of cake. With over 4.2 million smartphone apps in the Apple App and Google Play stores, your app needs something that really makes it stand out from the crowd. If you’re considering building a new app or updating an existing one, there are few techniques that can help give your app the much needed edge.

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1. Do Research

Building an app without research is not a good idea at all. Just as you wouldn’t start a business without conducting market research, there is no use building an app without doing taking the same route. There are basically 3 key types of app research that you need to do:

• Note your target demographics. The apps liked by one group of people are different than those preferred by others. That is why you need to consider the online values of your audience and cater your app to meet their requirements.

• Review the apps that are already out there. Look at highly rated apps that are similar to what you are thinking about. You need to note their features as well as their flaws and then design an app that does what those apps can’t.

• Organize focus groups to get a better idea of what your audience want. Ask questions about the apps and features that people are not enjoying in their lives, and how your app could fill the gap. If you’ve been thinking about design questions for a long time without finding the answer, asking these people can be a good idea. Focus groups will help you to understand your target user and their expectations in a better way.

2. Find Your Niche

Nobody really needs another food app unless it’s something really unique as there are countless options available already. If you’re in developing an app, take your idea and ask whether you can make it any more specific. For example, instead of coming up with an app that offer simple recipes why not create a recipe app for people with food intolerances? Focusing on a particular audience or a unique selling point will help your app succeed.

3. Integrate with Apps Your Users Love

Another great idea is to make your app unique by integrating well with other apps that your audience already uses. You don’t have to consider these apps as competition; think of them as an add-on service for your app. In addition, offering people more places to share content created through your app implies you get free promotion to an already established and wider audience. For example, Todoist. The app developers could have come up with a virtual to-do list and stopped, but they didn’t. Instead, the app integrates with tons of other popular apps, such as Google Maps, Dropbox etc. These integration features are explained on the app’s website clearly and thus make Todoist stand out from numerous other productivity apps out there. If you can have your app integrate with Facebook or Google. Facebook for Developers has created a software development kit to enable direct integration for both Android and iOS apps.

4. Consider Gamification

The concept of Gamification has come from video gaming. It is all about taking a simple task and turning it into an incentivized activity. While this concept is nothing new, it is an essential way to make your app popular among users. Why would a user keep reserving hotel rooms through a non-gamified booking app when he could use another and be rewarded each time for making 5 reservations using their mobile device? Why would you use a standalone workout app when you can use one that logs your exercise against that of your friends/family and sees you all competing to get to a specific goal? Though gamifying every app does not make sense as such, for the ones it does, a bit of incentivization can add a lot of value as well as fun.

5. Make Your App Active

It is essential to have a feature in your app for pushing notifications to users. Regular users will like the updates, and those who are not can take those pings as a reminder to check it. Media organization apps are good examples of active apps, as they regularly have new notifications to push to smartphone users - a useful heads-up and an important reminder to visit the app. Twitter pushes daily highlights to users while music apps like Stitcher also push notifications to inform users when a new podcast is uploaded.

App Development – An Ever Evolving Process

The most important thing to remember is that it’s app development is an ever-evolving process. You must continue to read reviews and user emails, and ask people what they think of your app and its features. It is essential to take that feedback to heart. An app that is responsive to its users is the one that succeeds eventually.