1. Think outside the box with trends.
Trends will always hold weight in the top charts. Since it’s the holidays, sure enough there are holiday apps hitting the Top 10- and making tons of money. However, when thinking of your own holiday apps (or other trends), it’s important to think of various angles. For example, there are the obvious Christmas themed apps, but then you have RetailMeNot hitting the Top 10. It’s not because it’s a holiday app, but instead the residual effects of the holiday season - shopping. So make sure to not only pay attention directly to trends, but also what is affiliated to each.
2. Don’t underestimate simplicity.
Have you tried the 25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar app? It’s basically an advertising platform in disguise as a game app. After checking off the calendar day, you play a simple - and I mean simple - little game that gives you a prize in the form of a new app to download. Sounds a little ridiculous, but it’s working! They made a simple app that requires users to keep returning as part of the game play.
Also take a look at their screenshots - did they take literal screenshots and post them? No, they used marketing copy to sell their simple game. Even if you have a super simple app, you can still make exciting and enticing screenshots.
(Granted, I’d be curious where they got most of their reviews, but they still did everything right for what it is.) Regardless, keep in mind that most apps should be simple. When someone first opens your app they should be able to know intuitively how to use it - that’s great UI/UX right there.
3. Great graphics are non-negotiable (even for simple apps).
Not one of these apps has poor quality graphics. There is just no excuse for cheap-looking graphics anymore, especially when you have a whole store of apps to look and understand what “high-quality” looks like. Also, don’t confuse high-quality graphics with expensive. High-quality graphics are affordable for every appreneur, you just have to take the time to find your designer.
4. App ideas never die (unless you’re a Fart app…maybe).
Did you check out the QuizUp app? Great graphics & UI, real-time multiplayer (a huge appeal), and addictive game play. Quiz apps are alive and well! Some apps have proven to have extreme sticking power - think social apps, photo apps - and I think quiz apps can fit into this category as well. They’re simple in theory and enticing to both gamers and “non-gamers,” which opens up a wide demographic of app users. But QuizUp created something new and exciting just when we thought we were done with the “logo quizzes” and “4 pics 1 word” craze. People often get worried about seeing their app idea already in the market - but as many of you AE clan know - that’s a good thing. Instead focus on what you can bring to the concept.
5. Create a reason to return.
A great app, and one that continues to make money, is one that users are given a reason to return to - not just because they like the app though. An app that requires users to return as something that is interwoven into your app’s features is a huge win. However, it’s important that you really strategize your whole gameplay and how to incorporate this seamlessly. It has to feel natural. User psychology takes practice to get right, but once you start understanding the funnels behind addictive gameplay, you’ll have a killer network.