Recently i had the opportunity of buying my brother a Samsung galaxy S2 for his birthday. The first thing he did was go to google play install some “FREE” top chart apps. Tried a few on his phone, left a few installed without even trying. In a few days his phone had many unwanted apps, the uninstallation process started. I distinctly remember he said “I spend more time installing and uninstalling apps than actually trying an app.”
He said something which was very useful too “The problem with the app process is that most of the times the user doesn’t know what he is looking for.He stumbles upon an app and looks at the number of downloads, reviews, screenshots, description and downloads the app.Especially with games this is the case, except with games like angry birds or fruit ninja.”
Analysing this statement app discovery to me looks like a chance, and we market our apps to give us a better chance thats it. The apps on the top lists just have a better chance of getting downloaded. So to move up the ladder in the snakes and ladder game is the only sole aim as a developer. In this scenario there is a big limitation that the apps on the top charts have greater visibility. And bluntly the app finding process is not really engaging and fun. Curiosity does actually kill, it kills itself! The apps on the top charts are downloaded not because they are the best apps its because they are good according to google and a bunch of reviews and easily accessible without much effort. (P.S I am not denying or challenging that the top rated apps are good. They are brilliant).
Putting down these points in perspective according to the user:
1. He wants a good app. This is the base requirement from the user’s perspective. Keeping this as abstract as possible, let us assume the app is good.
2. He wants an easily accessible app.
3. He wants the system to decide his need and prompt him with an appropriate choice.
The first point is more of a developer’s debate. It depends on user requirement, to user need, to user’s location etc. These parameters are infinite. Let us assume that the app is made as it should have been made. As i said keeping this as abstract as possible.
The second point is the key. The good app should be easily accessible. Right now for the user the top rated applications are good and easily accessible. How can we make apps more accessible is the key to solve the app discovery problem. Right now accessibility is associated strongly with top rated applications. How can we get accessibility into other channels? Or how can we get the app searching process more user engaging?
The third part is more of app marketing engines and how they can predict my needs and give me just what i want at the right time. More like user specific marketing. There are engines doing something like this.
Placing your bets on such tools would help you convert better and convert more as developers.