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:
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monetization strategy – The app needs to be a success from a business perspective, so choosing the right monetization strategy is crucial.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
BMJ Digital Strategy Lead and author of “How To Become An App Entrepreneur: Make Serious Money from Developing Great Apps”