My sisters love shopping. Any given weekend will find them prowling through stores at the mall, hunting, appraising, tossing away, and occasionally buying. I cringe at occasional invites, when I’m told my wardrobe is badly in need of updating. But I
get their passion; and feel the same way logging into iTunes or Google play.
Now no matter how many apps I review or test, the reality is that I can only interact with about 10,000 apps a year. This means I will never get ahead of the curve. However, I’ve seen enough to hazard a comment or two on why some apps make traction (downloads) and money (once-in-a while).
Every app designer I have met has at some point in build process gotten a little dreamy eyed, imagining wild successes and raving blog reviews. But this happens so rarely. When it does happen, I have noted 4 common factors which I am submit to the readers for testing and evaluation.
The application facilitates, enhances, makes more convenient or direct an individual or groups ability to communicate with another. I can say something louder, faster, or to more people at one time.
I may use the app one time, then another, and then somehow a few weeks later I realize that it now a part of my permanent digital wardrobe. I perceive the application as somehow making my life a little easier, and am appreciative enough to move it to my home screen.
My brother-in-law loves flatulence apps, so there is no accounting for taste here; but the app needs to be fun and appealing on some level. Apps without fun are like cakes without frosting.
Yes, literally the application makes the bars on your personal power meter go up a few notches when you turn it on or show your friends. At the end of a 45 minute phone call with a government entity, I can turn on the app and somehow feel better.
Not all successful apps offer all four features. Some just do one or two well. But when I start getting dreamy eyed while building wireframes, I now splash a little water, (or tepid coffee) in my face and look the wall next to me where I have my 4 rules hanging, right next to the first dollar I made on PayPal.