5 Traits of Successful Mobile Apps

It’s always a thrill to have that “Ah ha!” moment when an idea for a mobile app comes to mind. After your initial stroke of genius, however, you have to ask yourself a harsh question, “Would anyone besides my mom download and use my app?” To answer that, it’s helpful to look at the common traits successful apps have.

The app must solve a problem

That problem can be as simple as needing to fight boredom (see Angry Birds) or as complex as navigating to a new place. Many apps aim to satisfy a need for interaction with people or provide a creative outlet, like Instagram and other social networks, But in all instances, there is an unmet need the app provides resolution for.

Top Ten apps are user-friendly

This means having an easy to understand, uncluttered interface as well as one that responds lightening fast and accurately. The app needs to be compatible with all devices and brands. Think about when you download a new app. I’ll bet you’re like most people and give it about a sixty second window of opportunity after download before deciding to devote your precious memory space to keeping it. That doesn’t leave much room for lag or bugs in your app.


The coveted iTunes Top Paid Chart

The coveted iTunes Top Paid Chart

Having an appealing design is as important as anything else

This is a no-brainer but can raise some objections: Why make a stuffy banking app beautiful? People are innately drawn to pretty things. This could also be your edge over another app with a similar concept.

Your app delivers what it promises

Word spreads quickly when an app provides the service it claims to, and even quicker when it doesn’t. Consumers are two times as likely to share their bad experiences than they are to talk about a positive experience.

Google Play's Top Paid Chart

Google Play’s Top Paid Chart

A solid marketing strategy is needed

The best advertising is word of mouth. Connecting to social media and posting from the app (“shared with App XYZ”, “John Doe used App XYZ”, etc.) creates buzz. Visibility in the app store is extremely valuable and getting good reviews will increase the chance you’ll be seen. Your app should include push notifications asking for reviews at appropriate times, usually after the main function of the app has been performed.

If your app meets these five criteria, it’s much more likely to soar than to flop. What do you think makes an app go viral? Reply below!