For months your team have been slaving away on your iOS or Android app. Burned the midnight oil to find the last bugs and fix them, polished the interface. Made sure you followed the Apple iOS Human Interface Guidelines or Android Core App Quality Guidelines. Now you ask yourself, is our app mature enough to launch? Will your hard work pay off or will it be a botched launch?
But first, why is the launch of an app an important moment?
- You may up in the Best New Apps list (Apple iTunes Store) or New Releases (Google Play), if you are new
- Apple or Google may feature you. They only do this with new apps.
- News sites and blogs are only interested in new apps. Your PR campaign should be concentrated around your app launch. When you reach out to authors they will only write about your app if it is of high quality.
- For iOS, posting bug fixes will take a week at least which is enough time to tank your users’ experiences and therefore ratings.
As an industry, we are pretty bad in engaging new users. We lose 22 % of users after just one time using an app, and beyond 11 times we have lost 66 %. As user acquisition costs are rising, it is easier and cheaper to convert a one time user to an engaged user.
So what matters should you look at?
- Does your app icon entice the user to open the app? Make sure your icon appeals and stands out, and gets the user interested to open up your app for the first time Your app name should explain what the app does.
- Do you have a smooth onboarding process? Your first screens should explain already what problem the app solves or what needs it fulfills. Make sure a user can understand or learn in 30 seconds what the main use case is and how it works. If needed, a good walkthrough may help, but first try with the app itself.
- Does your app provide value in a few minutes? So make sure your app helps solve that problem, or fulfill that need. That first time should already provide value or make it clear how it will provide value.
- Does the app provide a pleasant and engaging experience? Create an interface that is clear and responds snappy, test the app for bugs that may crash it. Beef up your backend to be able to handle massive download spikes because of raving posts on major sites
- Will the user come back? Create a reason for the user to return to the app, either because he/she remembers or you trigger this with a subtle and valuable push notification (don’t spam your users!). Try to have something habit forming built in that will get the user to come back on a daily basis.
Well, to make sure you meet these requirements, test well before launch. With the right testing, experimenting and of course PR and marketing it is definitely possible to create an engaging app that will attract *and* capture users.
What other issues do you think are important to look at?