In Search of the Perfect Mobile App | TechWell

In Search of the Perfect Mobile App

If you search on the Internet for “what makes a mobile app successful,” you’ll find page after page of supposed “experts” telling you the three or five or seven absolute musts that your app must have to truly become successful. Most of these experts agree on a core list of needs for any app to be successful, so it would seem that simply following this advice would give your app worldwide popularity.

So, why is building the “perfect” app so difficult? Two reasons stand out: people are fickle, and technology changes just as often as the needs (often really wants) of mobile device owners.

Priya Viswanathan at recently pointed out that some “40 percent of downloaded apps are deleted within the first 2 or 3 weeks of use,” and many apps are deleted after only a single use. If users could test and demo mobile apps before downloading them, I expect that the total number of apps downloaded would decrease dramatically.

There’s really only one requirement for a mobile app to be wildly successful—people just need to like it. Perhaps, even like it enough to pay for it, and certainly enough to talk about it favorably via social media, and maybe even use it regularly. uTest recently launched Applause, an app whose purpose is to gauge the success of other apps.

uTest’s chief marketing officer Matt Johnston explains that defining success by how well an app meets the benchmarks set by its developers—or the “absence of crashes, bugs and other functional issues”—is flawed and unfortunately quite common. Johnston goes on to state that “app quality is defined & scored by your users, not by your internal measures (or wishes).”

Applause issues a score based on more than 55 million reviews across more than 1 million iOS and Android apps to attempt to reach a truer definition of what makes the perfect app. uTest’s app is currently free, though a freemium model may be available later down the road, depending on the app’s success.

If a universally accepted definition of the perfect app is ever determined, it is likely to be largely based on the opinions of users, which isn’t a bad place to start.

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