BP success in the international W3 Awards!

Following an announcement by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), we are pleased to reveal that the BMJ Best Practice App, as well as the Best Practice website, has been named Silver Winners in the W3 Awards (Website Features – Best Practices, and Mobile Features – Best User Experience).

The app and the website were selected as winners out of 5,000 entries received from across the globe, after demonstrating a standard of excellence for user experience, with innovative design and user-centred functionality.

“The creativity and quality of this season’s entries surpassed even our grandest expectations. As the digital landscape continues to expand and break new ground, our winners are a testament to the creative capability that makes the internet a true work of art.” said Derek Howard, the director of the AIVA.

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Results of our survey about inviting patient and public reviewers to review research

For a couple of years The BMJ has been routinely inviting patient and public reviewers to review research papers alongside academic peer reviewers. This week BMJ Open published the results of our survey about their experience of being involved in the peer review process (https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/9/e023357). Feedback from reviewers has been extremely positive and they welcome the opportunity to include the patient voice in the research process.

How to Build an Award Winning App?

Recently, BMJ and Box UK won two awards for our BMJ Best Practice app at the “WalesOnline Digital Awards 2018”. One, for the ‘Best Mobile App’ and the other for the ‘Best Global Reach’. This started me thinking about what does it take to build an award-winning app?

Here are my top 10 recommendations to build an award-winning app:

  1. Listen to the users – Does your idea solve their problem or provide enough value so that they want or need it. Test your idea and concept early and frequently throughout the development of your app.
  2. Ensure an app is a right solution– often people rush into developing an app before considering is it the right solution for the user. Is a website a more suitable alternative? Will the users install the app and continue to use it?
  3. Select the right technology – There are many technical options when it comes to building apps. Can you use an existing app framework? How many operating systems are you supporting? Should you use a native or hybrid app technology? Which devices should you support? The list goes on.
  4. Build the right team – Getting competent people who are able to work together is vital from developers to designers, to marketers and anyone involved in building and supporting your app. Your app will only be as good as the weakest part of the chain. Award-winning apps need an award-winning team.
  5. Good UX – If a product is not easy to use then people tend not to use it, especially if they have a better alternative. So having a clean, simple interface is paramount.
  6. Monetization strategy – The app needs to be a success from a business perspective, so choosing the right monetization strategy is crucial.
  7. Asking users to review the app – Recommendations are a major factor when convincing people to buy or use an app. Asking users to provide a review of your app after they have had a good experience using it will facilitate good reviews.
  8. Have a strong marketing plan – You can create a good award-worthy app but it will fail in the marketplace if not one knows about it. That’s why you need a strong marketing plan and team to tell everyone about your app.
  9. Continue to listen to the user – once you’ve built an app and released it, you must continue to work with your users to enhance your offering to blow away the competition. This is the difference between a nominated app and an award-winning app.
  10. Getting the investment right – building apps are not cheap. You’ll need to make sure that you don’t only have enough money to build your app but enough money to support your app and its ongoing development.

As you can see there are many components to consider when building an app, it will take time and dedication but it’s not rocket science. Good luck with your app development.

Dan Amos

BMJ Digital Strategy Lead and author of “How To Become An App Entrepreneur: Make Serious Money from Developing Great Apps


BMJ’s best practice app wins Best Mobile App award

Cardiff-based software development Box UK, won for its innovative work rebuilding BMJ’s best practice app used by healthcare bodies worldwide to improve outcomes. To ensure the needs of medical professionals and students remained at the heart of the new app, users were consulted throughout development. The app is now the only product in its market that provides evidence-based information in an easy-to-use yet clinically-accurate way, both offline and online.

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