16/06/2014

By Chris Palk, DabApps

An entire feature in the Evening Standard appeared this week on Candy Crush describing it as ‘the Crystal Meth of the commute’!

Playing this inane repetitive game has become an addiction for half a billion people. It’s a ‘zone-out’ game — to a certain degree. My guess is, it is more popular with men than women — I wonder if the developers have done a male/female segmentation analysis?

Whatever the case, it’s making big bucks. Its London developer has been valued at £4.2 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and the investment brochure says it has a repeatable and scalable game development process that is unparalleled in the industry.

But despite my sweeping statements on how inane it is – it is quite enjoyable, and has a purpose: to entertain, and I suppose, provide relaxation across all demographic and age strata.

Nowadays it seems like there’s an App for everything! However, developing an app with no purpose or scalability is probably going to be a waste of money.

I cannot stress this next point enough – be very clear on the purpose of your app.
You should be able to define the app’s purpose in two sentences or less. If you can’t, it’s probably confusing and possibly not targeted enough to find its own market.

So just what makes a good app? It’s hard to define but the most successful apps pretty much fall into two categories of purpose: Solution and/or Entertainment. Broadly speaking your app needs to tick at least one of these boxes to be worth it and possibly make you a return on your investment:

1 Solution/ Problem solving

Making it easier for customers to interact, buy from you, book with you and generally do business with you. There is almost always a similar website that does the same job as these types of apps but the difference is that these apps connect you to ‘what you want’ faster and without going through the internet. Very useful and solves problems particularly when you’re on the move.

2 Entertainment

Minecraft, Jelly Splash, Angry Birds. Similar to the success of Candy Crush, these apps simply provide entertainment, relaxation and perhaps their key success is that they appeal across the board from adults to children, in every country. Free to begin with and upgrades at a price.

So, does your App fall into at least one of these categories? Make sure it has a clearly defined purpose and it’s Appy Days! (sorry couldn’t resist).

The question of whether it will make you money: directly or indirectly, is another installment. But as a precursor if your App hasn’t got a purpose, it’s not going to be valued, used or have a chance to generate a return on your investment.

If you want an objective assessment on the viability of your app idea, DabApps is happy to answer your queries. As a company specialising in software development and the design and build of all applications (from simple fun apps to complex decision-making platforms), we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
www.dabapps.com

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