Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Makes a Mobile App a Keeper?

Only one in four mobile apps actually engages the user more than once, according to a recent study by mobile metrics firm Localytics. So how do you build a mobile app that's more than a one night stand?

Immediate Gratification: Mobile apps should improve the life of the user, make them more productive, save them time, or make them happy. Great apps are quick and intuitive, and get the user what they need and want in as few keystrokes as possible.

Keep it Simple, Stupid: A good mobile app is a stripped down, more functional version of the original application. Remove all unnecessary graphics and dead weight from the app, and don't make your user scroll for the juiciest content.

Look and Feel: If the app has a desktop predecessor, it has been argued that you should give your user a UI that feels familiar, using the same fonts, colors, and design elements. But that recommendation ignores the fact increasingly, the mobile experience is primary and the PC experience is secondary. This design recommendation is also hard to do given widely varied handsets and operating systems - most cell phones are not universal in their support of design elements. Instead, build something that gives the user unique value, on-the-go.

Even the best app ideas need market-wise criticality in design. Don't know where to start? Idea Entity specializes in creating mobile apps that get second, third and fourth dates. Contact us at


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