In which I ask some of the questions you need to ask yourself in order to take your app from merely being good to being popular.
What makes a popular
Everybody else’s presentation has been filled with answers. This one is going to be filled with
questions. I want interaction and discussion. I want you to share your stories.
Popular != good
Assuming your app is good. Now what?
Client says what and Google says how. What about why?
Why Material Design?
Why are you doing it?
Piggybacking on other people’s user education efforts
Are you solving a
problem that matters
to lots of people?
Larry likes to ask us if our apps are passing the toothbrush test: daily habitual and beneficial
usage. Are your apps doing that? Why and why not?
Are you a good
Are you making users happy? Are they happy enough that they tell other people? Are you
tracking your Net Promoter Score? Are you doing UX studies?
Are you giving people ‘delighter’ features like nightmode and offline support?
Or are you making a toothbrush with a blade for a handle?
Are you learning from
I maintain a portfolio of apps that do certain things very well.
I keep that portfolio updated and share it with partners to guide them towards excellence
Are you listening to the people in your beta community and adapting based on their
Staged rollouts that
adapt because of
Don’t just begin a rollout without a plan for listening to users and a plan for handling
problems with the app you’re rolling out.
Do you reply to
Are you doing it to better understand your users?
Getting discovered in
the Play Store
Have you had any trouble with this?
What’s the answer?
But only if you’re ready for it. Getting featured before your app and your company are ready
to handle the traffic is a mistake since many of those users won’t give you a second chance.
This is a good way to help people discover your app, the problem it solves and the users who
are happy with it.
App install ads
These can be an effective way of driving traffic to your app but you should do them after
you’ve made sure your app will provide a welcoming experience.
Meaningful and valuable
Don’t use notifications to spam users. If you mis-use then users will uninstall your app.
Use them to inform and assist users. Don’t obsess about CTR (uninstalls could boost your
CTR since the only people left will be those who don’t mind your notifications) but instead
focus on if your notifications are informative and/or actionable.
Make sure your app has a name that makes sense and a description that’s likely to match the
kinds of things people will search for. Cryptic naming, dropping letters or clever jokes are
likely to make it hard for people to find you.
What’s on your home
Ask yourself why you’re using these things on a regular enough basis that they’re on your
Have I changed your mind about what makes a popular Android app?