Grab More Mobile Real Estate by Building a Better App

Published on
October 16, 2015
a woman on top of a building

Location, location, location. We’ve all heard our realtor say that, but what about your mobile app developer? In the competitive mobile app landscape, users only give up premium mobile app icon positions to the best apps. To compete for the prime location, your smart phone app must provide a specific value, with excessively streamlined usability and unrelenting reliability.

I just recently reorganized my mobile screen, kicking off quite a few apps I didn’t use very often, or apps that I had too many of (lets just say my shopping category was full, too full). So what apps got premium space on my first screen?


Ok, so I’m a workaholic. The most coveted first two rows on my mobile screen go to text messaging, weather, and quite of few Google Work products, including Calendar, Drive, Gmail. More work apps on row three (again, workaholic) include Dropbox, Evernote, QuickBooks, Skype. I need these services everyday, all day.

All of these apps subscribe to the golden rule of usability: each function can be performed in one step, no brain needed.

I often wake in the middle of night finding that I have already reconciled the books, written 3 to do’s and text messaged my boss in my sleep. I only wish there was an app that could stop me from doing the last.


I definitely like to get my entertainment when I can, so YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, Facebook all get prime spots. It’s true that these apps all have huge UI/UX design teams working to improve their apps everyday. But, new mobile apps and app entrepreneurs can take notes from these finely tuned apps and apply what works to their own build out.

Great UI and UX does not have to be expensive, it just has to be smart.

Browsing, searching, selecting should match your user expectation and action. Plan your user flows ahead of time by prototyping and work out sticky points before going to code.


I’m in the tech industry, so I read every spare moment I can. My newsstand and education category folders are chock full; like other mobile app users I am reading, learning, and improving more, not less.

Pew Research Center recently reported that 39 out of 50 news sites get more traffic from mobile devices than from desktop computers and I understand why.

Anytime I have to wait (in the checkout line, at the dentist, for my takeout), I just pull out my phone and read a quick article or take a 15-minute course on UI Design. I’m always surprised that some of my favorite publications don’t have a mobile app. If they did, they would have one of the best locations on my phone.


All of these apps follow the basic tenants of great business, satisfying some immediate need that I have. I chose these apps over others based on core value and four basic UI/UX requirements:

• Is the mobile app user interface intuitive? I need a no brainer, my fingers finding what they need before I even have to think.

• Are the functions of the mobile application helping me to achieve my goals quickly and easily? Can I buy a bookshelf, watch a movie, or reorganize my business notes in two    simple steps?

• Reliability: does this app ever crash, glitch or do something that makes me feel insecure? If I lose my data one time, I move on to another app right away.

• Can I find the app quickly? I know this is fickle, but the icon of the app should stand out recognizably on my screen, so I don’t have to read anything to find the app.

If your mobile app can get on the first screen in that prime location, then you know you have built a better app. If you are ready to build a mobile app or upgrade your mobile app so you can compete for that kind of real estate, give us call: 858-677-9931 or contact us.

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