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What makes an app successful ?

am4sten profile image Amasten Ameziani Updated on ・2 min read

What makes a website/app/web app/"the thingy you click on that does what you want" successful ?

Design ? Sure, it helps.

The money behind the project ? Could be a factor.

The reputation ? The experience ? All possible answers.

Is it because it's innovative ? For some projects, yes, totally.

All these answers are true but deep down it all comes to one simple fact that we tend to forget : it fulfills a need.

Your end user doesn't usually care about the technology behind, how it works, it's about the fact that it's working.

Putting the users as the center of your project conception is a given for many creators. They seek engagement, identification to some of their philosophies. They wanna create strong brands, stories, making people feel there are humans behind whatever service they are adopting.

But, as it turns out, as projects grow, as responsibilities get heavy, as shareholders' greed gets uncontrollable, products tend to feel less human. It doesn't matter how big your com budget is or how good your community manager is, that feeling will slowly get to your user base.

We're in an era where authenticity sells. Some of my favorite designers on Twitter have this great insight and ask themselves when creating UI components : "Does it make me feel comfortable using it ?"

After all, whatever we're building is about making people's lives easier. Coding, designing and all the processes around them are forms of art. You start with a blank page, write tiny bits of gibberish and somehow you solve people's problems !

See the bigger picture, test it out. Can your tech-allergic friend/parent/sibling/crush (hey, actually a decent conversation opener, don't judge me) figure out how it works quickly ?

Tech should always be about how we make people feel. We have the power to make people laugh with meme generators, make grandmas cry because they can talk to their loved ones and see them, help people focus on what matters or get through tough times by listening to music on the go.

Even a simple toDo list app you're building to learn whatever hyped JS framework makes you feel happy by seeing your progress.

We make code seem cold, we have a love/hate relationship with tools (Hello ESLint), but we create stuff that helps people and answers their needs.

I hope this post, my first post actually (can you feel the anxiety ?), inspires some of you, that you'll see the bigger picture and I can't wait to hear from you ! (Kinda new to that whole "Hey ! I exist on the internet" thingy)

So, what did you think ? What do you feel when working on your projects whether they're personal or not ? Do you have projects you're thrilled about being a part of ? Hit me up !

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Amasten Ameziani

@am4sten

I do so much stuff my schedule looks like a buffet (I actually mostly sleep). I solve problems on the internet and work for a better user experience.

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While I totally agree with

it fulfills a need.

I strongly object

making people's lives easier.

this to beeing a bit naive to speak in general. There is software which makes the lives of people easier. But there is also software out there making money for the sake of making money and it provides nothing to make lives of people easier: I am looking at you Coin Master .

 

You're actually right ! But an argument could also be made that making money for the sake of making money makes the lives of the people owning that software easier (it is their need for making money that is fulfilled) whether it is in terms of pressure, finances or whatever reason they have for making that software in the first place.

It's an interesting point that you're making though !

 

For myself it's important to remember simplicity. The code can be really convoluted and dynamic and modular behind the curtain (which could feel really good to do, I know it does for me) but if it isn't a dead simple UX up front you're already losing that humanity. People want a tactile, interactive experience that they can intuit easily.

 

I totally agree with you on that ! In the end it all comes down to making your user’s experience comfortable and easy ! That’s a great insight !