How do you know if your app idea is a good one?

So you have an idea for an app…

The app stores for both Apple and Android are flooded with apps of all sorts and sizes ranging from complex games to simple timers. In fact, it’s likely you’ll find multiple apps on the market that do essentially the same thing—meaning, some of them are going to be more popular than others, and therefore, downloaded more often.
Are you targeting a specific niche or are you trying to come up with something the masses will want to use? These are great starter questions to figure out if the light bulb burning bright in your head can out-shine the rest.
Where does your app fit in with all of this?

Out of all of the people in the world who own a cell phone (it’s hard to imagine exactly how many people that is), 50% of them have upgraded to a smart phone. That means that one out of every two people you run into over the age of 15 owns a smart phone! With all of those people browsing the app stores looking for something new, the chances of your app being stumbled upon is decent, but even if they do, that doesn’t mean that they will take the time to download it, much less that thousands of people will flock to get your app.

So how do you know if your app is download-worthy? Here are 5 questions you need to consider when designing a new app:

1. Has it been done before?

With so many apps available, there is a very good chance that something similar to what you have in mind is already out there. Does this mean that your idea is no good? Well, it depends. Is you app better? Why should people choose your app over another?

You need to get an idea of what is already out there. After you know what other apps have to offer, you can work on making yours better! Take the best features that you see from other apps, improve upon them, combine them, and add in some of your own ideas. People are constantly looking for the next best thing.

If your idea is completely unique, then congratulations! No. Really. Congratulations! That will already set you ahead of the game and possibly get you more attention than if you were just dishing out the same old thing.

2. What you are trying to achieve?

Think about your goal. Who will be interested in using your app—is the target audience large or more focused? What problem does your app solve? What will make people use this app?

For example, let’s look at a specific audience—tea drinkers. If a tea drinker wants to look up general information about tea, where would they most likely go? Their first instinct would probably be to Google it and see what they can find. But if they are looking for something to track the time it takes to make tea and all the different variations, then they would look for an app. (There really is an app for that, by the way.)

Apps are meant to be interactive. If you’re just looking to display information for your company or hobby, then you should probably think about creating a mobile website instead. Apps tend to cost way more than a website does and websites are even more efficient at displaying content.

3. Does your app take full advantage of smart phone abilities?

The most successful apps utilize the unique abilities of a smart phone to make the experience more enjoyable. One great example: a racing game that is controlled by treating the device as a steering wheel. It’s these types of apps that always stand out and get more attention than the ones whose only interaction is dragging your thumbs to scroll across the screen.

 4. How does your app measure up on the usability scale?

Apps are great for doing, not so much learning. If your app offers only information, rather than a tool for daily use, then it will probably be less popular than other apps on the market.

You want users to be able to to use your app over and over again. Apps that offer quick information can be useful too, but remember your app will be competing with search engines in that case.

5. Do other people think your app is a good idea, too?

If you are still not 100% sure if it is a good idea or not, ask some of your friends. Ask people who you know will be honest with you. If no one else thinks it is a good idea, chances are you may need to dig a little deeper. Don’t be afraid to ask advice on how your app idea could be improved or what could make it most useful.

Now that you have a better idea of what makes a great app, hopefully you are equipped with the tools and know-how to make your new app idea a success. One idea can start small, but end up big in the end. If your app is a good one, it could go from being featured in the app store, to being downloaded by thousands of smart phone users.

Best of luck to you! And, of course, we’re hear to answer any of your app questions if you have ’em.

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