Developing an Interface for the Future
of Mass Market Software Distribution
         presented by Stephanie Rieger




   ...
8 ways to improve
the app store user experience
 (that don’t involve squeezing
more stuff onto a small screen)
what I will not talk about
who has a store
what it looks like
the platforms it supports
the ecosystem around it
its billing mechanisms
revenue models
its politics
or, the number of apps in the store
these things are all (incredibly) important,
           so important that...
stores that are launched on a whim,
   have low reach and unpopular tools,
policies or platforms will eventually have to
 ...
and when the dust clears,
        it will simply leave
a great big store full of content :-)
so let’s take a closer look a the store
stores have been around a long time
and they all have one thing in common...
products, or if you prefer...inventory
     CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265...
they also share similar concerns...
discovery
CC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyhunter/101864931/
search
CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152
wayfinding
CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/
and compete in similar ways...
drawing you in
CC BY 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/roosterfarm/445442722/
by impulse
CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetalone/2171035379/
through need or convenience
    CC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/bignavijp/3800631373/
cost
CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/2899006860/
recommendation
CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/glynnis/358502163/
(pointless) differentiation
   CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/
opportunities for personalization
        CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/
...and service
CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/scornish/1764306516/sizes/l/
...in other words,
basic retailing and merchandising
ok, but...the digital stores are different
we have these things called databases
endless shelf-space
contextual advertising
a decade of best-practices,
     design patterns
algorithms, tagging, microformats...
you can find anything, anytime
intelligently target and profile everyone
recommendation is practically “built-in”
a lot of “real-world”
problems just go away...
or do they...?
TIP #1: plan for ‘real people’
app stores see content as inventory
           (which it is...)
except people don’t actually want inventory
when people make a purchase,
they are looking to fulfill a need
play
      celebrate                  reciprocate

make friends                     solve a problem

 share               ...
because unlike computers, people are
 fickle, unpredictable...complicated
but app stores, tend to view people like this




              +             +




   1 person       1 phone       1 cult...
when in fact...
“not available in
                       the UK store”




user accounts assume one-region
few stores consider (or enable)
  a multi-device experience
real people also shop for other people
gifting apps or content
+




gifting + out of box experience
TIP #2: Prioritize metadata
Board games:
                         page 1 of 70




the more popular your app store is,
 the less useful categories bec...
...so then there’s search
but indexing this is not exactly easy
so search has to rely on metadata
     provided by app vendors




(which might be fine if these guys
     were metadata e...
Case study: iStockphoto
online content marketplace
5+ million items for sale
     70,000+ artist contributors
      detailed approval process
primary discovery mechanism: se...
detailed (curated) and tiered categories
disambiguation




taxonomies & assisted keyword generation
TIP #3: Editorial is your friend
roll up your sleeves and actually
      look at the content :-)
iStockphoto again...
Not needed
Needed files
                  (i.e. closed category)




  inventory management:
 open and closed categories
TIP #4: Help them, help you
think of it as a partnership
if vendors look good, you look good
            and vice versa
proactively simplify their pain points
iStockphoto again...
manage vendor
                    expectations



                  increases approval
                         rate



  ...
another example...Apple
remember these guys?




          http://www.urbanartguide.de/




  making an app is easy,
making an icon...not so much
icon glow can
                                           be disabled if
                                              need...
TIP #5: Make it personal
“staff picks” make things more personal,
     now take them to the next level
iStockphoto again...
1% of overall
 collection




premium cost




                iStockphoto, Vetta collection

premium content hand-picked ...
TIP #6: Make it acessible
a lot of purchases just happen
people stumble-upon stuff they want
      while doing other stuff...
so discovery is hard to architect
if you make it insanely easy
      to reach your content
       (from any platform)
you start to see stuff like this....
iPhone
                   apps




movie marketing
TV +
                      desktop




 Click to buy
from the App
     Store




    Jamie Oliver (TV + web tie-in)
which can then come full-circle...
“iPhone Apps
                          from TV Ads”




with stuff like this...
TIP #7: Explore other touchpoints
offline app sales could be
a natural extension for certain stores
here’s how they could work...
Duoguo




mobile content stores and kiosks in China
                 http://duoguo.cn
...and a less formal (and legal) variant
               in Thailand
and it’s not just an “Asian thing”...
“would you like a Google app with that?”




                                                            +



  Best Buy “...
now what if...
destination stores...
                     True Urban Park, Bangkok




buy a mobile...     some books, or music....    br...
Apple stores




                                                                     Microsoft retail


 even better if y...
TIP #8: Consider segmentation
we’re familiar with segmentation
       in other industries
“great fashion,                    “accessible luxury”
great prices”




                  “iconic style”


              ...
Cadillac                      Chevrolet




           GMC


                 automotive
so far, app stores are selling pretty much
any app that passes the acceptance criteria
but segments are emerging
which could justify a “store within a store”
the “pass-back” apps for kids
adult
business/enterprise
personal shopping “money--but no time”
and a final tip:
if you’re not in it for the long run,
    get out while you still can :-)
thank you
steph@yiibu.com
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Developing an Interface for the Future of Mass Market Software Distribution (Informa Mobile UX, 2010)

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Strategies to improve app store content discovery.

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Developing an Interface for the Future of Mass Market Software Distribution (Informa Mobile UX, 2010)

  1. 1. Developing an Interface for the Future of Mass Market Software Distribution presented by Stephanie Rieger Informa Mobile User Experience Conference: 18, November 2009
  2. 2. 8 ways to improve the app store user experience (that don’t involve squeezing more stuff onto a small screen)
  3. 3. what I will not talk about
  4. 4. who has a store
  5. 5. what it looks like
  6. 6. the platforms it supports
  7. 7. the ecosystem around it
  8. 8. its billing mechanisms
  9. 9. revenue models
  10. 10. its politics
  11. 11. or, the number of apps in the store
  12. 12. these things are all (incredibly) important, so important that...
  13. 13. stores that are launched on a whim, have low reach and unpopular tools, policies or platforms will eventually have to adapt, re-think...or go away
  14. 14. and when the dust clears, it will simply leave a great big store full of content :-)
  15. 15. so let’s take a closer look a the store
  16. 16. stores have been around a long time and they all have one thing in common...
  17. 17. products, or if you prefer...inventory CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152
  18. 18. they also share similar concerns...
  19. 19. discovery CC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyhunter/101864931/
  20. 20. search CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152
  21. 21. wayfinding CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/
  22. 22. and compete in similar ways...
  23. 23. drawing you in CC BY 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/roosterfarm/445442722/
  24. 24. by impulse CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetalone/2171035379/
  25. 25. through need or convenience CC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/bignavijp/3800631373/
  26. 26. cost CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/2899006860/
  27. 27. recommendation CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/glynnis/358502163/
  28. 28. (pointless) differentiation CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/
  29. 29. opportunities for personalization CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/
  30. 30. ...and service CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/scornish/1764306516/sizes/l/
  31. 31. ...in other words, basic retailing and merchandising
  32. 32. ok, but...the digital stores are different
  33. 33. we have these things called databases
  34. 34. endless shelf-space
  35. 35. contextual advertising
  36. 36. a decade of best-practices, design patterns
  37. 37. algorithms, tagging, microformats...
  38. 38. you can find anything, anytime
  39. 39. intelligently target and profile everyone
  40. 40. recommendation is practically “built-in”
  41. 41. a lot of “real-world” problems just go away...
  42. 42. or do they...?
  43. 43. TIP #1: plan for ‘real people’
  44. 44. app stores see content as inventory (which it is...)
  45. 45. except people don’t actually want inventory
  46. 46. when people make a purchase, they are looking to fulfill a need
  47. 47. play celebrate reciprocate make friends solve a problem share explore they want to feel comforted communicate show off save face feel happy
  48. 48. because unlike computers, people are fickle, unpredictable...complicated
  49. 49. but app stores, tend to view people like this + + 1 person 1 phone 1 culture
  50. 50. when in fact...
  51. 51. “not available in the UK store” user accounts assume one-region
  52. 52. few stores consider (or enable) a multi-device experience
  53. 53. real people also shop for other people
  54. 54. gifting apps or content
  55. 55. + gifting + out of box experience
  56. 56. TIP #2: Prioritize metadata
  57. 57. Board games: page 1 of 70 the more popular your app store is, the less useful categories become
  58. 58. ...so then there’s search
  59. 59. but indexing this is not exactly easy
  60. 60. so search has to rely on metadata provided by app vendors (which might be fine if these guys were metadata experts) http://www.flickr.com/photos/haimediagroup/2402295757/
  61. 61. Case study: iStockphoto online content marketplace
  62. 62. 5+ million items for sale 70,000+ artist contributors detailed approval process primary discovery mechanism: search
  63. 63. detailed (curated) and tiered categories
  64. 64. disambiguation taxonomies & assisted keyword generation
  65. 65. TIP #3: Editorial is your friend
  66. 66. roll up your sleeves and actually look at the content :-)
  67. 67. iStockphoto again...
  68. 68. Not needed Needed files (i.e. closed category) inventory management: open and closed categories
  69. 69. TIP #4: Help them, help you
  70. 70. think of it as a partnership
  71. 71. if vendors look good, you look good and vice versa
  72. 72. proactively simplify their pain points
  73. 73. iStockphoto again...
  74. 74. manage vendor expectations increases approval rate clarify guidelines (e.g. IP, legal) training manual
  75. 75. another example...Apple
  76. 76. remember these guys? http://www.urbanartguide.de/ making an app is easy, making an icon...not so much
  77. 77. icon glow can be disabled if needed start with this automated corner radius and transparency icons made effortless
  78. 78. TIP #5: Make it personal
  79. 79. “staff picks” make things more personal, now take them to the next level
  80. 80. iStockphoto again...
  81. 81. 1% of overall collection premium cost iStockphoto, Vetta collection premium content hand-picked by domain experts + higher royalties for vendors
  82. 82. TIP #6: Make it acessible
  83. 83. a lot of purchases just happen
  84. 84. people stumble-upon stuff they want while doing other stuff...
  85. 85. so discovery is hard to architect
  86. 86. if you make it insanely easy to reach your content (from any platform) you start to see stuff like this....
  87. 87. iPhone apps movie marketing
  88. 88. TV + desktop Click to buy from the App Store Jamie Oliver (TV + web tie-in)
  89. 89. which can then come full-circle...
  90. 90. “iPhone Apps from TV Ads” with stuff like this...
  91. 91. TIP #7: Explore other touchpoints
  92. 92. offline app sales could be a natural extension for certain stores
  93. 93. here’s how they could work...
  94. 94. Duoguo mobile content stores and kiosks in China http://duoguo.cn
  95. 95. ...and a less formal (and legal) variant in Thailand
  96. 96. and it’s not just an “Asian thing”...
  97. 97. “would you like a Google app with that?” + Best Buy “Walk Out Working” service http://bestbuyinc.com/news_center/11-05-09/best-buy%C2%AE-mobile-announces-partnership-google-co-market-google-mobile-app
  98. 98. now what if...
  99. 99. destination stores... True Urban Park, Bangkok buy a mobile... some books, or music.... bring your laptop... have a coffee... and buy some apps...?
  100. 100. Apple stores Microsoft retail even better if you can make it an activity CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/
  101. 101. TIP #8: Consider segmentation
  102. 102. we’re familiar with segmentation in other industries
  103. 103. “great fashion, “accessible luxury” great prices” “iconic style” fashion
  104. 104. Cadillac Chevrolet GMC automotive
  105. 105. so far, app stores are selling pretty much any app that passes the acceptance criteria
  106. 106. but segments are emerging which could justify a “store within a store”
  107. 107. the “pass-back” apps for kids
  108. 108. adult
  109. 109. business/enterprise
  110. 110. personal shopping “money--but no time”
  111. 111. and a final tip: if you’re not in it for the long run, get out while you still can :-)
  112. 112. thank you steph@yiibu.com
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