So you made it to launch; your apps on the store and you're wondering what’s next. In this post I suggest directions to improve the quality of your product. My suggestions are for build improvements, not necessarily view and conversion (download) increases. If all options seem applicable start with the direction hinted to from your app's store stats: you can see more than download counts if you click around.

1. Reach a wider audience

Increasing your user pool is the optimal direction decision for rate-of-return to improve your app (assuming your build was architected well).

  • If you targeted iOS 8.4, what happens if you reduce that target to iOS7.1? If it misbehaves can you correct the issues quickly?
  • Did you build for iPhone only?
    See what happens if you change your settings to Universal and only allow portrait iPad.. can you update the alignments easily?
  • What about your content-rating? is it too high? can you remove explicit material or is it part of your user experience?
  • Is your design welcoming to a diverse group of users? Is it worth adding language support?

Increasing your user pool will only improve the return on investment for your app; whatever its purpose -- more users generally equates to 'better.'

2. More features and add-ons

Add-ons can dramatically improve your app if done correctly. But deciding on paid vs. unpaid features is more of an art than a science. You don't want to lock your everyday users behind a paywall, nor do you want it to feel like you are charging to "get the whole app" when it's advertised as 'free.' Instead, you want to extend particular optional features that fall in line with your app's purpose.

If you’re stuck for ideas then see what your competition is doing. If the most popular apps in your category are adding “health modules” perhaps you should follow suit -- or better yet: think of what users crave now that their health module appetite is satisfied.

3. Increase user engagement

This functionality is somewhat tricky. Consider what the primary uses of your application are --there is likely some repeated action involved: checking mail, setting an alarm, augmenting an image, whatever it may be -- now consider actions which won't hinder the primary use of the app but may encourage return visits in and of themselves.

Not sure what I mean?

  • You know when it's birthday season from all the notifications Facebooks' been sending you. 
  • You also know how many people have viewed your LinkedIn profile along with a nice position-rank among your colleagues. 
  • And it's no secret when your base falls under attack in whatever mobile game you happen to be playing.

Engagement enhancements add optional immersion for those who want it and shouldn't detract from the primary use of the application. See how you can achieve something similar (hint: think about what video games do; "gamification" is a fantastic way to improve your app).

4. Design updates and storefront improvements

I include design for completeness more so than anything else. Your users will appreciate it when you keep up with current design trends. Maintaining platform look-and-feel means that the users' experience is consistent for their device not just for particular apps. Still using glossy-style buttons? you may want to address that first ;-)

Storefront improvements bring us a little close to the marketing line, but the simple fact is that it doesn't matter how great your app is, if no one can find it. You need to work on your keywords, your storefront imagery, and even encourage reviews -- which you can request from within your app.

Don't overdo it

Items 1 through 4 allow for repeated iteration, but its important to know your apps limitations. For instance: if your "engagement" additions are more time consuming than the primary use of your app then you've gone too far. Similarly, you never want to have add-ons that need previous add-ons for best results.



This post will inspire my next series; in which I will apply the directions above to Spinner+ (a product of my previous series). The first post can be found here.