As 2015 wound to a close, there were almost 4 million apps available from the top five app stores. Google Play boasts 1.6 million. The Apple App Store lays claim to another 1.5 million. Amazon App Store, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry world bring in a few hundred thousand each. That’s a lot of apps. Yet all but the top tier (about the top 25-100 in each app store) enjoy only a few downloads each. Why? Because the rest are either redundant (there’s already another popular app that does the same thing) or simply don’t catch the attention of the users.

So, how can you up the originality factor and produce an app that is unique and interesting enough to capture attention and garner users? Here are the best tips and tricks for improving the originality of your app development projects.

1. Find an Untapped Niche

What demographic subset can you uncover that hasn’t been inundated with apps yet?

Most of the major markets (parents, business professionals, students, etc.) are already covered by apps ad nauseum. Now what’s left is to supply untapped niche markets with apps they need. Look for subsets of subsets to find your niche groups. There are lots of ways to find niches and subsets of larger groups. One way is to browse through the Google Keyword Tool.

Look for keywords that aren’t represented by lots of monthly searches, because those are already covered by other apps. For example, if you take a look at the keyword “guitars”, there are over 9 million searches for that term every month. However, if you use the Google Keyword Tool to find related terms, you’ll find a host of topics that are searched less frequently (electric bass guitars, Martin acoustic guitars, hollow body guitars, cheap electric guitars, etc). Those are your ideal niches.

2. Solve a Problem or Confront an Issue That Hasn’t Been Addressed Yet

What does your demographic niche need that they can’t get from the apps that are already out there?

Continuing with our theme, let’s consider what issues guitarists may have. They have to manage their time with calendars and alarm clocks, stay in touch with their band mates, music students, etc., and check the weather — but all of these are already covered because the guitarist uses the same apps that the soccer mom and professional accountant do. But is there an app that features a calendar with time slots more suitable for the guitarist, whose gigs are more likely to fall on an 8 p.m. on Saturday than at 10 a.m. on Monday morning? Perhaps a calendar app that provides features that musicians need is an untapped niche. What else can you think of that a particular subset of a demographic might find useful that isn’t already covered by another app?

3. Try Combining Two or More Concepts Together Into a Single Idea

Mix a little of this with a dab of that and see what you come up with.

Like the example above, a unique and original app is often born of taking two seemingly unrelated ideas (a guitarist and a calendar app) and blending them into a single, useful concept. For example, when the movie and video game markets became saturated with vampire and zombie themes, creative writers and developers started morphing these popular themes with new concepts. That’s how we ended up with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (historical fiction plus vampires) and Lego Marvel Superheroes (Lego plus the perpetually popular superheroes).

Originality is often just one overused idea plus one tired concept, blended in just the right proportions and marketed in the perfect package. Are you ready to delve into an all-original app development project? Contact us at Glance to get started today!

Simon

Simon has worked in the software industry for over 20 years; intent on always producing work of the highest standard and creating software products that genuinely makes things better for people. Simon has previously held positions ranging from Developer, Technical Consultant, Head of Development through to CTO and more recently founder and CEO of several high profile technology companies.

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