Great Apps solve a problem

Having created iOS and Android apps myself it intrigues me how people have such a desire to create apps. I found it interesting when I released my first app, people outside of the industry so often had the expectation that my apps would make me a millionaire. In all the assumption that there is a correlation between apps and success is absurd.

Through making my own apps and looking at new ideas of my own or for clients it begs me to question, what is it about the apps that I use that makes them so compelling. Therefore what would I identify as a major factor of an apps success? Well some of the the apps I use the most are; Facebook, Mobile Banking, Evernote, Trello, Bible, Instagram, Spotify, Google Drive, and Facebook Messenger.

All the apps that I use rely heavily on the internet and are on the large part useless without the internet. More importantly, using them on my phone only provides me with limited functionality. It seems to be that these successful apps have simple ways of solving basic and fundamental needs.

Facebook Messenger, simply allows me to message people, nothing more. My mobile banking has quite limited functionality but I can securely view my accounts and transfer funds to accounts that I already have in my accounts list. It address the banking tasks I perform most frequently but nothing that’s over and above that. I can’t transfer money to a new account from my phone.

What allowed Instagram to experience such success? None of the features in Instagram were a new, people could share photos from their phone, and there were plenty of apps to edit photos. I believe Instagram finds a simple and elegant way to tie in the human desire to share experiences and to be creative. Now look at how much growth they have experienced since their initial release.

So my question now whenever I’m thinking of mobile is how can we make that idea less complicated so that it can do less things and do them to a higher quality – and at the same time, address the basic needs of the target audience?

Originally Posted in the Digitalsmith Journal

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1 Comment

  1. I quite often check out apps that are new – well more that are ‘trending’ but for the most part don’t continue using them because they don’t add anything to my daily routines. The apps I use the most are the ones that have streamlined processes that used to be more difficult – the apps that meet a need.

    It seems though that people are expecting more functionality from a mobile app as technology evolves and the uptake increases. In regards to your mobile banking comment – Commonwealth Bank released a new update today that allows you to pay new accounts from your mobile. Now every function that I would need to undertake can be made through my iPhone – thus making the app an alternative to their online system rather than an auxiliary.

    I think it comes down to finding the balance between simplicity & ease of use and the functionality that the end user requires. I guess that’s what UX is all about!

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