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What makes a great app?

Web & Mobile

Joshua Davidson wrote this article

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What makes you want to put an app on your home screen versus tucking it away into a folder that you’ll never look at again?

How about a website application that is pre-loaded with every new tab, defaulted to open when you restart your browser or on your favorites list versus just being a URL you sometimes enter on a whim.

The answer to this is actually rather simple.

These are the apps, the products, the companies that give us the most value in our lives.

It could be for professional reasons.

It could be for personal reasons.

It could be for entertainment reasons.

Hell, it could be for productivity reasons.

The point being, they give us such substantial value, we want them in the most accessible positions possible on the devices that we natively use everyday.

So how does one get there? How does the CTO of a product reading this article, make his or her product reach that point?

How does the founder of a new app make sure that his app reaches this point?

How do you take one of those coveted spots?

Again, comes back to the same response given for all of the other scenarios defined above, it is about giving such disproportionate value to the user, the customer, the client, that it makes their experience trump everything else.

Value isn’t determined just by the problem you’re solving or experiencing you’re making better. Let’s say in theory you provide your users $50.00 of value for a $20.00 investment; but at the same time, your competitor also provides your users $50.00 of value for only a $15.00 investment. Though both provide the same value in this scenario, one gives their users $5.00 more in net value.

This is a big deal to making a great app.

Value is difficult to gauge since we do not have a true, monetary metric to compare it with like we used in the example above. Of course, some could argue that well, we saved our customers $500.00 last year, therefore, that is our value! Value also comes from the brand, customer experience, the user base, the data and the overall experience. Metrics that are pretty damn difficult, if not impossible to truly gauge.

So how do we gauge it? Simple. Self-awareness is key here; as it always is.

You need to give your company, your app or even just an idea, a true, unbiased look. Look at it from all aspects, all angles. Every single user interaction.

Here is a great example.

A colleague of mine called a barber shop at 9PM looking to schedule an appointment and become a first time customer.

The business was closed since they ran on normal business hours.

He waited on the line to see what his options were.

It rang. It continued to ring.

Finally, someone picked up. Before he even had a chance to speak, they told him they were closed and to call back again tomorrow at 9AM.

So, what did he do?

He called another barber shop to schedule an appointment (also closed). What happened next is what made all the difference.

Someone answered, explained they were closed but ask what it was that he was looking to do. He explained he wanted to schedule an appointment. He did so right on the phone even with them being closed.

Again, using the disproportionate value theory of above, which business gave more value to the customer? Perhaps, even more important, which business made a transaction and which didn’t?

Now you’re thinking, how does this example above relate to making a great app?

The answer is again, simple.

It’s identical.

You need to be looking at every pixel, every detail, every nook and cranny on how your user base interacts with your app, your brand and your customer service.

What are your response times?

How does the brand look?

How does the checkout process happen?

How quick is your loading process?

How easy are you to find?

What is the health of your content, your user base, your community?

How is your online experience?

Every detail equals the lump sum that is making a great app, so you need to take the time to check every detail.

As the person trying to check out. The person trying to make money. The person trying to refer your business.

Every nook and cranny of your product, your company and brand need to be well thought-out and not just pieced together by bubble gum and paper clip style.

So, what makes a great app? Simple.

A great app creates and provides more value, to all of your targeted users and customers, than anyone else in the marketplace.

How are you going to make your app great?

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