What Makes an App Successful?

An estimated annual revenue of $25 billion makes the app market one of the most exciting sectors of the IT business world. Androids are capable of operating more than 2 million mobile apps and the Apple store offers more than 1.5 million. Since people use apps 86% of the time on mobile devices, apps are a part of everyone’s day-to-day existence. A good app makes the user experience a pleasure.

An app needs to be a quality product. No app should simply be an afterthought. It offers an opportunity to engage customers or solve a problem. If the app is an extension of a business, the app should focus on an issue that the business needs to resolve or improve. Making the app user friendly and helpful ensures a happy customer. Stay informed about the app through data analytics. And keep growing your app with a viral element that encourages others to share it.

User Friendly

It’s not just the need for an application that makes people want it. If an application is difficult to use and confusing, it will not succeed no matter how important it is. Great user interface design is integral to the success of any app. Designers need to consider how users will interact with the app so that the experience is as streamlined as possible.


An app should be intuitive so that it is easy to use, but also remove obstacles that make peoples’ lives difficult. If an app can help someone succeed, then the app will succeed.

Data driven

If possible, your app should be able to report data on usage so you can improve it based on user interactions rather than hopeful guesses. Downloads aren’t the key to success. The average user has 36 apps installed, but only 26% of apps are used daily and 65% of customers stop using an app within three months. Worse yet, 25% of apps are never used. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) include downloads but also much more.

User experience is really about customer happiness. An app should make users want to use it, and even look forward to using it. Frequency of use and duration of use show engagement. Depth of use calculates how many pages (or screens) a user views and indicate level of engagement. Formal metrics help gauge the performance of the app in the market.


Having a viral component will help your user body grow. Consider how to help users share the app. Include triggers, promote social currency and emotion, enhance public opinion, provide ways for users to share stories, and reinforce its practical value.

Entrepreneur magazine recommends three “Cs” to keep in mind.

Classics over trends. Don’t settle for fads; the fate of Angry Birds should act as a good deterrent.

Catalyze Change. Find worthy causes that can be attached to your app. Millennials are do-gooders and you have to appeal to their sense of altruism.

Crack a real problem and get a real shot at success.”

Though apps are a hot market and offer a lot of marketing excitement, a successful app is built on the knowledge of its designer. New England Institute of Technology offers a Master’s in Information Technology to help develop the future of the industry. Courses like Software Architecture and User Interface Design ensure that graduates are prepared for a bold new arena in Information Technology.

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