What makes a successful mobile app? The most successful apps share certain characteristics. In this post, I want to discuss five of them, and why I think they are important.

5 Characteristics of a Successful App

1. The app does one thing and does it well

A good mobile application has one purpose, one feature, one reason for users to have it on their phone. Engagement with the user begins with a clear understanding of what the app does and why they may want it. You may have only a single sentence to communicate this. You may have a great vision for an app that does many things, but if you don’t have a solid core feature, you may never build the app or convince people to use it.

2. The app has a unique and consistent look

Users should be able to recognize your app instantly so that all their experiences on the app are inextricably tied to it. A unique look makes your app memorable, makes users want to show it off and share. A consistent look helps users feel comfortable while using the app. Once users have seen one part of your app, they should recognize all the rest. The only surprise a user should have is how well your app works.

3. The app has a discoverable interface

Let’s face it, nobody reads the manual, so if your app needs one it won’t be successful. Navigating your app should be natural and obvious to the user. Features should be readily exposed, and finding the features of the app should be like playing a game.

4. The app adheres to platform standards

The different platforms have critical differences in navigation and design. An Android user would be very put off by an app that looks like it belongs on an iPhone. Better to only release on a single platform than to release an app that looks out of place on one or both platforms. Similarly, while your app should have unique characteristics, it should not be so different that users feel they need to re-learn how to use their phone.

5. Responsive (no lag)

Possibly the quickest way to annoy users is to make them wait. A great app must always respond instantly to user input, or at minimum let the user know that the app itself is waiting. An app that responds clumsily will slowly degrade the user experience, and will be a likely candidate to be deleted.

Obviously, many factors differentiate great apps from mediocre ones, and these five rules have all been successfully broken, but if you’re starting out building an app, these guidelines deserve consideration.

Want to build a successful app? Contact us at Seamgen, we can help.