Apple app store is home to 1.3 million apps while Google Play hosts 1.4 million apps. In such an intensely competitive mobile app environment how do coders ensure their apps hit a high number of downloads?

Getting excellent ratings by consumers and hitting a million downloads is the ultimate dream of a mobile app developer. But getting there is easier said than done.

In a recent Techgig webinar, Rahul Nischal, senior product manager, Nucleus Software Exports NSE -1.52 % talked about key points a developer should focus on to build appealing mobile apps.

  1. It’s all in the idea: Success of a mobile app depends on the core idea on which the app is built. The first step for a developer is to think like the target user, empathise with their problem areas and based on this build a mobile app that can make their lives simpler. At every step, keep checking the app’s relevance to the end-user and realign your product with the user’s needs.
  2. Serve a single purpose: A mobile app should serve only a single function. Identify the primary purpose of your app and focus on making it accessible in one to two taps/clicks.
  3. Keep it simple: Keeping anything simple is the most difficult thing. When a mobile app developer can successfully hide the complexities of the technology behind a simple interface, he gets closer to success.
  4. Keep it light: Three years back, the Facebook app weighed 35-40 MB. Today, it weighs just about 10 MB. This major change happened because the company realised that its increasing user base in India and Africa, where 3G is yet to penetrate, downloading the mobile app took an uncomfortably long time. Since mobile apps hosted on app stores are freely available for global consumers, it is best if the developers build lightweight applications that can be experienced by users across geographies, irrespective of connectivity challenges.
  5. Razor-sharp focuses on UI: Whatsapp was never advertised before its launch. Even though many chat apps were available, Whatsapp grew exponentially due to its popularity among users. The secret of their success was its clean and simple UI. To ensure a user-friendly interface, focus on three things while creating a mobile app – pleasure, usability and functionality.
  6. Listen to the user, adopt and evolve: Once the app is developed and launched for users to download, coders should keep their eyes and ears open for consumer feedback and keep evolving to provide newer and better features.
  7. Categorise and segment users: Creators of the gaming app Angry Birds observed that Android users don’t like to pay for the app downloads, while among iOS users, most people bought apps and were averse to advertisement interventions on free apps. Getting to know such critical user behavior helps app developers to build custom experiences for different kinds of user profiles.

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