Healthcare apps are still relatively new to the app market, and their widespread use is still in its infancy. As developers look to create new, and more successful apps, the would be wise to look at other successful consumer apps. According to a report from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality they key to successful app development is putting the users first.
Now to me this seems like a normal government report where we spend tons of money on research to show something that is obvious to anyone with half a brain, but it is worth discussing anyway. There are a few criteria that developers need to focus on when it comes to appealing to the users.
Considering human factors such as the limitations and obstacles that a user of your app might face. If you are able to remove those restrictive attributes then you improve ease of use which is a major player when it comes to user satisfaction. In the end, the more satisfied a user is with your product the more likely they are to keep using it and recommend it to their friends.
One of my favorite sayings has always been, Keep It Simple Stupid. In technology maybe more than anywhere else developers have a tendency to put as many features as possible into one place. According to this study, they found that people actually want a relatively simple app. They want to see results with only one or two clicks, and they don’t want to be bogged down with huge menus or screens full of choices. When you really think about it, it makes sense. An app that can do everything may rarely get used because it is so cumbersome, but a sleek, effective app will get used all the time because of its efficiency.
Allowing customization at some level is also an important attribute. While there may only be limited amounts of customization available it is important that users be able to make an app there own. Look at the massive amounts of money that people spend on cell-phone cases, electronic wallpapers, and even different face plates for their XBox. These things in no way improve the performance of the device, but people eat them up because it allows their individuality. While I don’t think this is necessary in terms of looking to make a profit, but customization is something that most consumers love to see, whether they use it or not.
It may seem obvious that apps should be developed with users in mind, but if you look around, there is tons of stuff out there that clearly met the wants of the developer with no thought of what the user would want. However, the most successful apps are those that put the customer first during initial development, and throughout the life of the product.