A recent interview with Google’s Bethany Poole, the group marketing manager there, that explained how they tried to create their own app that would actually be useful for the user, got us thinking. It is true that app developers, even us writing, get distracted by shiny objects and don’t focus on the essential.
What we mean by that is the most of us want to go on with a trend of getting apps viral and we include in the app spectacular and definitely not cheap features, like VR (virtual reality), geo location and more. But, the ugly truth is that while an app might wow the user, he/she will easily get bored and will drop it in a week’s time. So… what have we accomplished? We made a wave in the App store, and now we’re vanished. Is that really what we want?
Let’s talk a little bit more about the actual usability of apps and what you should consider before creating an app. A great looking app might not be what your customer is looking for. After all, every entrepreneur is looking to do the same exact thing: please their customer.
In the interview, Poole talked about their new app, Primer, which offers you tons of marketing strategies in five minutes. She says they found a demand for this sort of thing and decided to make a simple app, but one that would help a lot of people in their struggle of getting noticed among millions of other businesses.
She also says that they were tempted to go flashy, like a lot of other apps, because they enjoy it as much as the user does – but they found that they want to create an application that will be found on the user’s app for a month, or maybe even a year.
In the beginning, they didn’t even want to create an app. They just wanted something innovative that would reach that demand they observed, but decided that they should actually focus more on the user than on how they can be seen as a ground-breaking company.
Even though we preach identifying your customers first, and giving the solution through an app after – her interview opened our eyes to a more profound understanding of what every business should be. We should look for problems or a demand, and then brain storm on what we should offer our customers so that they can resolve their problem. Creating the best solution to their issues will naturally attract them to your business and they will definitely remain your loyal customer.
We’ll tell you a little bit more about how Google found what is the best solution for their users – maybe you’ll find your inspiration and even learn something new you should do before creating an app.
As Bethany Poole continued, she disclosed that Google started with a questionnaire to their target audience to find out exactly what is the problem. After they discovered that 97% of adult Americans don’t learn anything new in their everyday life, they decided there has to be a reason in the middle of everything. After thorough interviews, users said that they cannot get into the learning mindset they had during school, and their lack of time lets no time for reading a book or an article.
Related blog: The Five Amazing Steps to Create a Usable App
That’s when Google found out how they can help their customers: in their quick moments of free time, people look at their phones. So why not let their phone teach them something new? Therefore, they created an app.
She doesn’t forget to mention, however, that if the research had proven another method of learning the best for their customers, they would have taken that path. They weren’t looking for posterity, but to be helpful to their users. And, that is, probably, why Google is such a popular company and brings a smile on a lot people’s faces.
At the moment, Primer, Google’s marketing strategy app, has a very high rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on both Google Play for Android and the App Store for Apple.
If you’re looking to develop an app, ask yourself: is this product helpful for my customer or am I just doing this to get noticed in the large sea of apps? Start doing your research and find what is truly the best solution for your user, and you might find some surprising things. If an app is not your answer, who knows, maybe you should try something else. Or adapt the app to fit the user’s needs.
Google’s inspiring story about their new app Primer and how they created it, should be a starting point for your own success story.