Building an App
February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
There are so many tips and tools that anyone can use to build their own app. But how many apps do you know of that you downloaded then immediately deleted because, lets be honest, they sucked. And why do they suck?
Unless it’s the technology itself, it probably sucked because it wasn’t created with a plan. When creating an app, you can’t just say, “well, our competitor xyz has one that works for them, we must need one too.” Any app you create needs a strategic plan, just like anything else in advertising, public relations and marketing.
One thing you should be sure of: Do you really need an app? Check out these next few questions to see if you do.
First thing to ask yourself: Why are you building the app? If the app doesn’t solve a problem, then you’re just wasting time and money that would be better suited elsewhere. Your app should identify a problem and solve it. Take Gasbuddy for example: If you don’t know where to find cheap gas Gasbuddy solves the problem by finding the cheapest gas in your area.
Secondly, who is going to use the app? Although it is quite possible that those outside your target demographic may utilize the app, it’s important to have a general idea of the kind of person you’re gearing your app towards.
Where are people going to use the app? If the app is Gasbuddy, people will probably be using it while behind the wheel. Is it a cooking app? If so, it’ll most likely be used in the grocery store and at home in the kitchen. Knowing the “where” can help gauge how simple the app should be to use, and the amount of extras to throw in.
What is the value of the app? Figure out why someone would want to download your app in the first place. Is it for productivity? Travel? Entertainment? Figure out the value, and go from there. If the app isn’t valuable to people, then no one is going to download it, and if no one is downloading your app then you’ve just wasted a lot of time and money creating it.
If you’ve gone through these questions and still think creating an app is a good idea, ask yourself how you can make the app more meaningful. Make people care about it, and make it a part of your target audience’s everyday life. If your app isn’t better than your competitors, then why should people choose to download your app instead of a different one?
Bottom line: If you’re going to build an app, think about it first. Do you really need it? Or would that money be better spent on something else?