As a matter of fact, a lot of apps are pretty similar when you come down to the core elements. A menu here, a log-in form there... A successfully user-friendly experience is something that follows some standards and rules, so trying to move to far out of that box is just confusing to the end user.
Of course, there are differences between applications – each is unique in its own way, and has some defining features that group it according to what it’s supposed to do. For instance, a news app is hardly the same as a game, and a game is definitely different from a calendar. They might have some things in common – like a calendar feature, a log-in form, a splash screen or a main menu, but there are always things that make them vary from each other.
As mobile phones get more complex and offer more freedom, apps also evolve. They get the opportunity to be faster, to integrate more features while taking up less space, and even to offer things like AR and VR.
What, then, makes an application better than others?
They give you lists of applications that cover every need – calendars, alarms clocks, socializing and networking, gaming, or just random add-ons that make life easier if you’re looking for something specific.
These apps and their descriptions are a fun read, but they don’t really get into the gist of what makes these particular applications better than others. Some featured apps actually have relatively bad reviews on the Google store – so it’s safe to say that it’s not their quality that got them lsted, but what they’re used for.
If your intention is to create something that stands apart because it makes your users happy and impressed, here is what you need to do:
1. Find a template
We’re not just saying this because we have a template that could fit your needs available. An application can be a tricky thing to make, and concentrating on making it do what you’re intending is so much easier if you have a ready framework that lets you realize your idea.
2. Start from the broader picture
If you’re making something that has multiple functions, it’s easy to get tangled up in details. List your priorities: make a dropdown of what the main functionalities are and don’t touch the little things (like animations) until the main product is ready, no matter how bad it may seem to you.
3. UI matters
Users are, ultimately, the ones you are making your app for. These users can be just a group of niche customers, or they can be the general public. In any case, your app needs to be made so they can use it with minimal explanations from your side. Ask a friend or family member to test your application – you can get valuable insight from their comments, and they get bragging rights that they were the first ones to see your handiwork. You could also get them a drink – especially if your app ends up being less friendly than you thought.
4. Add some cool to your app
Who doesn’t love an extra feature? Sometimes a simple app can blow away the competition just because it gives a couple of perks to the user. Things like push notifications might be what you’re missing, so don’t forget to check what’s available (especially if you’re using a template).
If you’re already following all these suggestions, chances are you’re making great apps. Maybe all you need is some quality marketing, and off you go to the featured lists!