Technology with attitude

Essential Guidelines for Android App Development

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The app, Flappy Bird, made $50,000 per day when it was at its peak before the developer got overwhelmed and pulled it. Then the popularity soared even higher, just like the flappy bird in the game. Creating an app as wildly popular as Flappy Bird is not easy. But if you want to create an Android app for the Google Play marketplace, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to know your market, figure out what people want, and try to solve a problem. If you can do any or all of these things, you will be much closer to finding success as an app developer. As an app developer myself, I have put together 5 essential guidelines that I believe you need in order to be successful in the app development world.

1. Locate the problem. You’ve heard this time and time again, but it’s very true. You need to see what problems or “pain points” people have. Do they need tools to help them run their business more smoothly? Do they need more time or organizational skills? Are they stressed? What is the problem that you are addressing?

2. Offer a solution to the problem. Once you have identified the problem (such as time management or money management), offer a solution by creating an app that offers a solution to that problem. For example, the app “Mint” on the iOS platform is doing quite well because it answered the problem people who use mobile devices have about how to manage their banks and money accounts in one location. By providing the user with multiple ways to move, deposit, and manage their money, the app gained a high level of loyalty with people who need to better manage their money who also use mobile devices.

3. Save people time or money. As in the above example, if you can create an app that saves people time and money, you will likely get a good following and multiple downloads.

4. Make it simple. Don’t make your app “rocket science.” In the now classic movie, “Philadelphia,” with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, Denzel asked a witness in the court room, “Explain this to me like I’m a six year old.” This is the approach you should take when building your apps. It may be complicated for your to create, but don’t make it difficult for the user. I’ve written a series of articles on Lean UX and UI, which gets more technical than I should do in this article, but suffice it to say that UX refers to the “user experience” that should be easy to maneuver and understand, and UI is the actual user interface that you choose to use as a designer. If you look up UX and UI on YouTube, you will find many videos explaining this design topic and the importance of using high-level UX and UI as a designer. This applies not only to hardware but to app development.

5. Make it fun. Finally, make it fun. People download apps because they are a cool tool, an interesting game, or a business application that they find intriguing. Even if their sole purpose is to find an app that helps them get more done or maximizes their time, they still want to have fun with it. So keep it professional, but make it fun.

These 5 practical tips are not the magic solution for best-selling apps, but they may go a long way toward keeping you on the right track if you are wanting to develop apps for Android (or iOS) or any other platform, for that matter. They are principles which I know to be true based on my own research on this topic as a freelance writer for tech companies, and as an app developer and tech business owner myself. So keep these things in mind when designing your app, study your market, create something of value, and you may find your app flying in the charts just like Flappy Bird!