04 April 12
What does it take to build a successful app? Read these top tips garnered from a panel of experts during BAFTA's 'What's App' event in March 2012.
The expert panel consisted of Paul Bennun (Director at Somethin’ Else), Tom Bonnick (Digital Project and Marketing Manager at Nosy Crow) and Peter Sleeman (Director at P2 Games) and was chaired by Guardian journalist Stuart Dredge.
The group discussed their experiences of developing a commercially successful apps on iOS, looking predominantly at Children's media and games. Below is a synopsis of the event based on key app industry trends as identified by Stuart Durges in his opening presentation.
Words by Pippa Irvine
1) Big Brands Make Apps But Apps Also Make Big Brands
2) Apps as a Cultural Melting Pot
Most book apps incorporate animation and many children’s education apps are drawing on games technology as creatives in all fields use apps as a platform for expression. Paul Bennun explained that game design techniques underpin the basis of many of the successful apps he has developed for Somethin’ Else.
3) Creativity Not Just Consumption
Peter Sleeman attributed part of the success of P2 Games' Peppa Pig app to their decision to make the games repeatable but not repetitive. It is an interactive experience which children will happily engage with time and time again.
4) Merging Digital and Physical Place
5) Stories for Special Needs
6) Discovery Difficulties
Tom Bonnick stressed that just becuase an app is not sold in a physical space it is still vital to take marketing seriously. Social media, SEO and analytics are all essential practices to make your product findable.
7) Its an Apple World
Whilst we’re starting to see more and more android apps on offer, the market place is still very much dominated by the iPhone, iPad & iPod touch. Developers are following the trend in Apple's popularity and recognising that this is where the strongest audience lies and where the greater profits can be made.
Paul Bennun explained that due to the fragmentation of APIs across android devices it is virtually impossible to target the android audience as a whole. Apple on the other hand pushes software updates out to all of its devices. Creating an app on iOS therefore will be accessible to a far larger audience making the financial incententive to develop for iOS much greater.
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