These days there seems to be an app for just about everything and it can seem as if every business has at least one. This can leave those that don’t have one worrying that they could be left behind. Many people feel that they just don’t have the technical skills to develop one, but it’s actually much easier than it looks. What’s more, design isn’t all about the technical side of things. It’s possible to come up with a good idea and then think about Worry Free Labs and other such companies that can take that idea and turn it into reality.
What makes a Good Idea for an App?
A good app has to meet four basic criteria: –
- Usefulness—it has to serve a definite purpose, usually by solving a problem. This could be something that seems minor but is needed frequently. The more useful an app, the more widely it is likely to circulate.
- Relevance—it has to have some relation to the brand it’s being used to promote, and it has to be relevant to the right demographic, taking into account their lifestyles and priorities.
- Ease of use—with so many apps available, users have very little patience with those that require effort to use. The ideal app is streamlined and simple.
- User appeal—a good app should be visually attractive to users, fit in with their sense of humor or otherwise entertain them. No matter how useful it is it also has to be pleasurable to use in order to stand out from the crowd.
A good app also needs to be promoted effectively in order to get into circulation. It’s worth thinking about this at the outset and working toward something that it will be easy to get people talking about. This could involve giving the app a topical twist, a timely theme (such as a Christmassy app to release in December) or a style that lets it fit into a wider marketing campaign.
Why Build an App?
Research has shown that the majority of homemade apps are built for private or semi-private use, usually to solve problems in the workplace and work around gaps in the software provided. Others are made purely for entertainment and are shared by small groups of friends. There are many other reasons to build apps, however, and they can be fantastic promotional tools—like adverts that are distributed by the very people they’re targeted at. They’re ideal for promoting businesses, charities and publications. When people find an app useful, they’re likely to think more favorably of associated brands, and to perceive them as more authoritative.
Building an app requires very little in the way of coding skills and is, in fact, a good practice exercise for people just beginning to learn a new programming language—even if it’s their first. Taking on this challenge can be a great first step toward building confidence in working with new technologies and developing the skills necessary to keep up in the changing online world.