We are living in the age of mobile. Creating a mobile app is often necessary if a company wants to keep their name and services top of mind on today's mobile devices. As app users ourselves, we each have our own idea about what makes an app great. At Wrecking Ball, we have a lot of experience building awesome apps and we always ask the question - What are the characteristics that make a best-in-class app?
For Turner Studios, we created an interactive desktop publishing app. The app had attracted high ratings and waves of positive comments. You can learn more about it on Behance.
To understand more about what makes a great app, we polled our team of senior product managers, designers, and developers and came up with four areas to focus on for creating the best app possible.
Focus on one thing and do it well
The “less is more” principal weighs heavy in app design. A common mistake is to cram too many features into an app. Apps need to do one thing well. Those that focus on a simple concept have more of a chance to succeed.
Our app for Turner Studios focused on content delivery, showcasing their best work to stand out from their competition. With a simple navigation, you can browse featured content and videos.
Key Takeaway: Start with your core focus, execute it well, and earn the right to focus on additional features.
Know your audience
A great app is designed for its target audience. It understands its audience and caters to specific needs. It solves a problem that users struggle with on a regular basis that's unique to its target audience.
The essence of the idea needs to be unique to its audience. It talks to the specific needs of its users and either offers them something new that they didn’t know, something missed, or solves a problem that users struggle with on a regular basis.
Everyone knows about Turner Studios but their audience wanted to learn more about their amazing content. Our app made it easy to consume that content.
Key Takeaway: Research your audience and focus on meeting their specific needs.
Stability and speed are everything
Think about the main apps that you use every single day. They don’t crash, aren’t slow, and they do what you expect them to do. Great apps offer fast response times. In a matter of seconds, users can get in and out of the app and do what they were intended to do. These apps offer experiences like those of default apps put out by Apple and Google - they just work. We take this for granted. It’s not easy to get to that point. It takes patience and work to fine tune your app to reach this state.
Key Takeaway: Speed is a feature. Keep your scope tight to ensure your app is both stable and fast. Don't rush and always test for continuous improvement.
Keep it polished
Polish really helps separate an app. Focusing on the small details can help separate it from other apps and inspire both users and other app creators alike. Sprinkle a bit of design magic on it. Add something fun; anything that would make users smile.
Key Takeaway: The details matter. Animations, sound effects, interactions, and other little flourishes bring the app to life and make it impressive.
A great app is focused, intuitive, fast, and a pleasure to use. You should regularly explore apps featured on the app stores and those that receive awards from Apple and Google. By focusing on fulfilling the four criteria above, you'll have a greater chance at making the best app!