There are currently over 2 million apps in the Apple app store, and almost twice that to download from Google Play.
With that number of apps already created, it can feel like there is nothing new under the sun to develop.
But apps are continually changing, and the way people use their smartphones changes too. If you lack the inspiration for killer new app ideas, read on for our suggestions on how to come up with some fresh and exciting.
Know Your Goals
What do you want to achieve by creating an app? Is the app itself your business idea, or do you want to use one to build a relationship with your current customers – for example as a virtual loyalty card, or to share special offers?
What you want to achieve is perhaps the most key consideration for app development. Don’t get distracted by ideas that are ‘cool’ but stick with the things that will get you closer to your long-term goals.
Consider your Customers
If you are looking to create an app to enhance your business or create customer loyalty, then you should already know who your customers are. If you don’t already have a customer base then now is the time to think about who your ideal customer is.
Many businesses come up with buyer personas. By thinking about the people you want to appeal to, you can make them real. Some organizations even name them. If you have a ‘perfect customer’ in real life, then consider them. Think about their needs or the problems they have in their lives.
Browse Current App Ideas
It’s useful to determine what apps are currently doing well. Not only can you see what users are looking for, but you might just spot something that can be improved on.
While you don’t want to set yourself up for future legal problems by directly copying, taking inspiration isn’t a problem. Look at how the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn watch each other and use what works best.
Another option is to browse for apps that are still getting good download rates but aren’t being updated anymore. These are ideas that the developer has, for some reason, moved on from; but if you created a new and improved app that did the same thing, then you know there is a market for it.
Solve a Problem
Have you had a problem in your daily life, that you think can be solved via a smartphone? There are hundreds of apps that just make life easier, whether it’s a common problem like needing a flashlight, or something more niche like translating the speech of a person with ALS.
Consider what a smartphone can do, and think about how that could be used in a way that it hasn’t before. For example, in the UK the National Childbirth Trust heard from its members that they couldn’t always find proper baby changing facilities when out and about. They developed the NCT Babychange app, which uses GPS and mapping technology to guide parents to the closest facility.
What do You Know?
Do you have an area of expertise that others might want to draw from?
Could you use this to create an app that could help other people by answering their questions? From weight conversion to the current news, people turn to their phones to answer their questions – what can they turn to you for?
Creating an app in an area that you already have experience makes sense; it lessens the learning curve. Look back to your past – was there an app you wish you’d had in a previous job?
Keep your eye on future technological advances or other types of change as these could give you ideas for apps. There is a discipline called futurism that imagines what the future might hold, try doing that. Follow technology blogs and stay ahead of the curve.
These changes don’t need to be huge ones; most apps aren’t matters of life and death. But all change brings with it opportunity.
What do People Want?
The beauty of social media is that people express their ideas openly through it. That makes it a rich source of ideas for an app.
Look at Twitter and Reddit for people saying things like, ‘I wish,’ or, ‘I need.’ And did you know that ‘how to’ searches on YouTube are growing 70% year on year?
Spend some time researching these platforms, and you should find plenty of ideas for new apps. The best part of doing it this way is that you already know there is a market for it!
A lot of successful new application ideas come from brainstorming. Take a blank piece of paper and just let the thoughts come. Don’t censor anything; sometimes great new things come from letting two separate ideas bump into each other.
Creativity is intelligence having fun, as the quote goes. If you combine two different app ideas, you may come up with a third, better app.
Or could you apply an idea meant for one industry to another? Keep thinking, make it a regular thing. Creativity is like a muscle, the more you use it, the more you have.
What do you Love?
Creating an app isn’t an easy process, so it helps if you have a real passion for what you’re doing. So consider the things that you really enjoy doing in life or ideas that inspire you. Is there a way you can harness that positive feeling and create a great app idea?
When you have your idea, it’s time to start development. Our process begins with getting a complete understanding of our clients and the scope of the project. Only then can work begin working on your app ideas.
Our Mobile Division has experience in taking ideas and turning them into reality. We’ve worked with a range of clients to deliver exactly what they wanted. If you’d like some help in turning your app dream into a reality, then get in touch today.