How to Create a Successful App

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Slide 1

Jen Gordon

Background in web design for a bunch of big companies (booring)Migrated to designing mobile apps in 2008 (yaaay!)Founder, designer & writer @ www.tapptics.com

introductions

Special guest Bess Ho

iOS developer & instructorHow to Develop an iPhone App in 4 Weeks online course

What makes a successful app?

topic

What makes a successful app?

According to Outfit7 the secret is to:

Exploit the touchability and rich development environment of Apple technology, then use social media to spread the word.Andrej Nabergoj, Outfit7 CEO

topic

And what does that mean?

They understood that people love:

apps that have a creative use of the touch screen.AnimalsEspecially funny animalsOr cute, fluffy animals

They also knew their target audience and the the motivations of their audience:Parents (to entertain themselves or children)Kids (to laugh hysterically)

And spreading the word via social media? Sounds like they got a little lucky.

topic

I'm a professional cartoonist looking to move into gaming and mobile apps. What do I need to learn about mobile apps and gaming apps in order to make a successful leap into that area?

Look at whats trending in the App Store. Especially games that have an extended stay in the Top 10. Trends and tastes change, so its always a good idea to see whats current.Have addictive game-play, lots of ways to level up. Make it impossible to put down.Dont forget about sound effects. Its very important to give the user audio and visual feedback when they do something right or wrong in the game.Your artwork has to be killer. Whether its killer in a Doodle Jump kind of way, or killer in a Tiny Wings kind of way.

Geoff asks

Why is Angry Birds so popular?

Gameplay is accessible to a wide range of users (children, adults, retirees?)Loveable charactersAwesome name, incredible graphicsConceptually rich (name describes something about the gameplay)Its brand has become recognizable in popular culture.Physics type games seem to be popular (Cut the Rope, Tiny Wings)

Jens follow up

What happened to Flight Control?

Jens follow up

And how is its success different than Angry Birds?

What happened to Flight Control?

Flight Control enjoyed a very long run in the top 10 in the early years of the App Store. It was popular with iOS early adopters, primarily male.Other apps with dynamic game-play and characters edged them out.Customers were ready for something new?The app did not enjoy the kind of popularity that allowed it to be extended in the same way as Angry Birds, in the way of merchandising and movie deals.

Jens follow up

I just try to collect some good advice about app design, so if you have some standard wisdoms for an app-virgin designer, I would be grateful if you're sharing with me :)

Spend some time in the App Store. Download tons and tons of apps. Analyze what you think makes them work well, and make a note of things that are confusing. Think about how different design aesthetics or flows can apply to the app youre designing. Believe it or not, this is one of the best ways to learn how to design apps.

Zsuzsi asks

I just try to collect some good advice about app design, so if you have some standard wisdoms for an app-virgin designer, I would be grateful if you're sharing with me :)

Spend some time in the App Store. Download tons and tons of apps. Analyze what you think makes them work well, and make a note of things that are confusing. Think about how different design aesthetics or flows can apply to the app youre designing. Believe it or not, this is one of the best ways to learn how to design apps.Your first app design will probably suck, so dont waste time in Photoshop. Sit with a pad of paper and draw out how you think the app should work.

Zsuzsi asks

Please focus some time on concept through design

Ok so heres my design process:

Brainstorm feature list (generally what could the app do and for who? If a game or casual tool, what kind of concepts or visual metaphors surround the idea?) Example: Celebrity MashupPrimary Task (what is the main thing this app achieves)Product Definition Statement (iPhoto is an easy to use photo organization tool for casual photographers.) Define my Target AudienceWrite out Use Case scenarios

David asks

Please focus some time on concept through design

Ok so heres my design process:

Brainstorm feature list (generally what could the app do and for who? If a game or casual tool, what kind of concepts or visual metaphors surround the idea?) Example: Celebrity MashupPrimary Task (what is the main thing this app achieves)Product Definition Statement (iPhoto is an easy to use photo organization tool for casual photographers.) Define my Target AudienceWrite out Use Case scenariosDraw prototypes

David asks

Please focus some time on concept through design

Ok so heres my design process:

Brainstorm feature list (generally what could the app do and for who? If a game or casual tool, what kind of concepts or visual metaphors surround the idea?) Example: Celebrity MashupPrimary Task (what is the main thing this app achieves)Product Definition Statement (iPhoto is an easy to use photo organization tool for casual photographers.) Define my Target AudienceWrite out Use Case scenariosDraw prototypesAssemble the screens in the proper flow

David asks

Please focus some time on concept through design

Ok so heres my design process:

Brainstorm feature list (generally what could the app do and for who? If a game or casual tool, what kind of concepts or visual metaphors surround the idea?) Example: Celebrity MashupPrimary Task (what is the main thing this app achieves)Product Definition Statement (iPhoto is an easy to use photo organization tool for casual photographers.) Define my Target AudienceWrite out Use Case scenariosDraw prototypesAssemble the screens in the proper flowFinally get into Photoshop

David asks

as a non programmer/developer, what should i do to most fully use all the stuff on the tapptics site, other than grab the images

Start designing out some app ideas, even if theyre just ideas youve had floating around in your head.

This will help you:Build your portfolioBegin to understand how apps are organized, how they flow, how to design tappable targets the proper size and bunch of other stuff!

Then, once you have some ideas mocked up, start to reach out to developers to find the right match for your app project. Even if its not a large project, its helpful to get a couple of apps in the app store so you understand how the process works from start to finish.

Mark asks

My app. is an educational game for teaching EFL. The techniques are new. What are my intellectual property right options?

English as a Foreign Language?

The answer is Im not sure. If the techniques were not new, Id say protect yourself by drawing up a Non-Disclosure Agreement with everyone who works on the project.

However since your techniques are new, you may want to contact an Intellectual Property lawyer to determine if your techniques need or can be protected.

Paul asks

Should we switch to developing webapps now or continue developing for iOS for time being?

Becoming familiar with developing for web-based mobile applications will only put you ahead of the game when the wave starts to hit.

My prediction is that with the proliferation of Android and other tablet and smartphone devices that web-based mobile apps will be a requirement for businesses that do not desire to develop (and maintain) native apps for multiple platforms.

The direction it is currently moving in is developers creating mobile web apps that live inside of a native shell, thus making it possible to distribute through the App Store. I see this trend continuing as the market matures.

Daniel asks

What are the costs involved?

It depends.

Generally speaking: Games cost more to develop than utilities Apps that require connectivity to web services are more expensive

Cost centers include: App Design (wireframes, prototyping, final GUI design) Development (of app any any web-based components) Marketing (includes social media setup, web promotion, advertising) Administrative costs: Web hosting (if your app grabs data from your own server) Apple Developer License App maintenance costs (development, marketing)

Christian asks

Can an apps interface design determine it's success in the app store?

Yes, App Store consumers are a bit more discerning than they were in 2008. Think about how they judge the quality of an app when comparison shopping in the App Store.

If they have the choice of three Task Manager apps that all have the same user rating, but one stands out from a design standpoint, guess who wins?

Darian asks