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6 Things That Viral Business Apps Have Here's how to design your business app for maximum popularity

By Rustam Singh

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A perfect idea and courage; generally do not suffice for executing a new business plan. Getting all the legalities done and managing a good financial funding as well – is not enough! Although these do sound important points to be worked upon- and they are; but what also is a true fact is that the final face of the project, which arguably determines the fate of your startup – reaching out to the public – is seldom paid as much attention as other parts. This is a fatal difference between startups that make it and those that don't. While an interactive website wouldn't be too much of a trouble for anyone with prior experience in designing websites, an app is a completely different ballgame all together.

Rules are very different in the app world, when you compare it to the the websites. The audience is harshly unforgiving, and reviews make or break your app. While you think you can get away with a few dozen fake reviews and ratings from your colleagues, friends and family to get the ball rolling, the real virtual audience has millions of options to choose from. This abundant choice gives them enough leverage to play rough and show no mercy.

Here's what you should know before designing an app for your startup:

Instant recognition

What's most important is for users to easily understand the brand's connection to the app. Use the exact same color schemes, logos, style, fonts and languages as your website, and brand does in the app itself. While you would obviously have more options to choose form in the app, sticking to the same design helps users imbibe the brand instantly with users.

Design it for the dumbest user you can think of

Keeping the usability and design extremely simple is fundamentally crucial. Remember – your bulk audiences would undoubtedly be users who have no patience to learn how to use your app, and develop a likeness or dislike for your app within first few minutes of using it. Choose the comfort of familiarity in usability, over the new stylish design and presentation. If users are customized to using the same genre of apps as yours before, it's perfectly alright to adapt a similar functionality in your app.

Have a self-promotional strategy in place

The greatest marketing strategy to promote your app is to use self-promotion by users. Having a referral based system, or award points if users get other users on board, is a great way to start. When Uber launched, it was offering free rides up to Rs 500 for every referral user you got on its platform. The cycle of referrals and growth thus spun further ahead. Make sure your referral bonus is something actually worth chasing, not like Zimber has tried which offers you discounts of Rs 100 or 150 on referrals, but use Rs 250 as a mandatory visiting charge.

Keep the app light

Downloading an 80MB app and a 20MB app makes a lot of difference especially if your audience is in India, where average download speed matches to that of what other countries had around 10 years back. If your users are to download an app on their cellular internet pack, the difference becomes even more widespread. Keep this in mind when you're designing the app. Lower resolution photographs and better compression formats are the way to go!

Social integration is a must

Social media works on the concept of promoting and sharing itself. Why not offer users a chance to win some points or freebies or discounts if they share their review of the app on their favorite social media platform? Offering an option to share the app's scores, reviews, progress etc on social media from within the app itself makes the app's design very good for business.

Usability different for each platform

iOS and Android based systems work very differently from each other and that's for good measure – users prefer different styles of operation and usage. Keep this in mind while making different apps, for different platforms. It's also important to decide which platform you want to launch first, because in most circumstances launching an app on both platforms simultaneously might prove to be a costly affair and may not yield you desired results.

What factors did you put into thought before designing your business's app? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India

Rustam Singh


Tech reporter.

Contact me if you have a truly unique technology related startup looking for a review and coverage, especially a crowd-funded project looking to launch and coverage.

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