March 23, 2011 timestencreative

Golden Rules For Successful Apps

Over the course of the last five, there has been a very obvious movement toward the use of applications.  These “full-blown applications that ‘live’ on the web,” are a far cry from traditional applications like Microsoft Word and Excel.  However, due to a lack of knowledge most apps are just considered “okay,” when they could be considered “great.”

There are 10 golden principles that a person should follow when creating an application.  The first is Usefulness.  Is there a point to your application?  An application needs to be given a value, whether it be completely legitimate or just for amusement.  This value will be the reason that users continue to use the application.

Fast.  Users have become accustomed to instant gratification.  The application needs to run at lightening  speed.  “One of the main reasons that native iPhone apps are so popular is because the response is immediate.”

The third rule of thumb is to make the app Modern and Sleek.  Most apps go through frequent redesigns from time to time and although you may only be changing an icon, this slight change makes the user feel as if they’re using something new.  In the market, new is better.

Surprise and Overdeliver to your user.  Make your app go above and beyond the user’s expectations.  “By giving the user more than they expect, you can create a positive overall experience with your service and give users the feeling that you are thinking about them and working hard to give them whatever they need.”

It’s important that your application is Easy to Use.  If users are bombarded with information or there is a lot of copy to read, it is highly possible that a user will get turned off.  An application needs to be extremely user friendly and require very little effort.

Your application needs to remind users from time to time that the application is worth revisiting.  Notifications ensure that a user won’t miss a beat.  With the amount of apps circulating the web these days, it is important that yours doesn’t get lost in the black hole also known as the Internet.

Principle number 7 is to make your application Fun.  This can be accomplished through text and tone, hidden items, fun colors or any other element of surprise.

Provide your users with Great Service.  Users are very quick to talk about a bad experience they have, give users a positive reason to talk about your app.  Happy users are, generally, returning users.  Great service proves even more important when users are asked to pay for your service.

Make sure that as the creator of an app you are Listening to the Users and Constantly Updating.  “You can release updates, collect feedback and pivot accordingly.”  That is the beauty of the web.  You can also use Google Alerts, Tweet-Beep.com, and Tweetdeck to monitor what people are saying about your app.

The last principle is to Monetize Your App.  “There are numerous established and emerging models for generating revenue that can work for your business.”  Consider a freemium subscription model.  If your app is costing you money, it will be very hard to deliver great service to your users.

Regardless of whether your app is a game played by millions (Angry Birds anyone?) or a niche service, following these 10 golden principles will help your app achieve success.

Source: 10 Golden Principles for a Successful Web App Buy Malachi

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