Some simple App Development Zen steps that anyone can follow

Forget the list of requirements and features you want for your app.  The truly important piece is the detailed wireframes that map out the final interface and workflow of the app.

These are the map, the guide, the ‘object’ that is being created.  Think of them like the architectural plans on what is going to be put together for you.

If something on the final product doesn’t match the wireframes, then you can clearly point this out and there is no argument, no discussion and no back and forth about whether something is a ‘change request’ or not.

Perhaps coolest of all is that detailed wireframes give you a sense of certainty and give the developer an accurate sense of direction.

The big takeaway here is to take your time on this phase – you are prepping your car, making sure everything is running smoothly….  and now sitting there, patiently waiting with the engine purring binoculars up against your eyes.

You want that target clearly in site before you toss the binoculars and floor the pedal.

But there is more…

Read More…

What’s one small thing you can do every day for yourself?

When you think about it, all the areas of ourselves affect how we perform.

Just think of the athlete who doesn’t do their warm-ups or who isn’t physically fit, or the student who has crammed 6 months worth of information in one evening.

If you’re an entrepreneur it can be something as simple as the ongoing pressure of not being able to pay bills and the roller coaster ride of ups and downs that affects your performance.

That pressure is unavoidable (when you are in this situation), and is a part of the process.  But what you can do is help balance the scales by taking just 15 minutes a day to do something that is good, and makes you feel great.

CV: Bonus if it’s good, makes you feel great and helps others ^^.

It could be something as simple as finding somewhere relaxing and listening to your favourite music for 15 minutes a day.  Or perhaps stepping out and going for a 15 minute jog.

If you don’t have 15 minutes, then take out 5 minutes each day for this.

And if you get caught up in other activities, then just wake yourself up 5 – 15 minutes earlier each day and do it first thing – that way you have no excuses ^^.  Once  you start doing it, you’ll love it and make it an ongoing ritual…

To your health, success and happiness!,

Cliff.

The beginners guide to User Interface and Experience design for iOS

Did you know that Apple keeps track of user retention?  Also known as the amount of times a user uses your app, and how often they come back.

And of course, the longer they are using your app then the more likely the chance they will buy something or share the app with their friends.

Which is why the whole User Interface and Experience are so critical.

And what I mean by this is creating an experience that is pleasurable, easy and makes sense.

“But I don’t know anything about User Interfaces!?”

The good news is you don’t have to :) – although having a base understanding of what makes good UI helps.

3 Tips to Be a Hot Shot UI/UX Expert

1. Find the best apps in your niche and ‘model’ their interface

What you are looking for is clean, clear and engaging user experience & interface.  Download these apps and have a play with them.  Take notes on what parts of the Interface made sense to you, and what was difficult.

Just trust your instincts ;).  If you find yourself getting frustrated, bored or just don’t understand the app then perhaps it’s time to move on and check out another.

2. Let your developers know this is what you are looking for

Give them examples of User Interfaces from these apps that you liked and you want them to be using.

For example, you might see an app that had a really cool layout for displaying and updating it’s information.  You will want your developers to create a similar layout, style and implementation of what you are sharing with them.

This doesn’t have to, but can also include fonts, positioning, colours and shading that the other app uses.  Just don’t make an exact copy!! ^^

3. Look for trends

Yep.  Trends apply even here.  Think about it, users get used to ‘trends’ amongst the apps they play with every day.  It makes sense to bring across these trends into your own apps.

For example, right now iOS 7 minimalistic style is big so you definitely want to style your apps around iOS 7.  The great news is that your developers can re-use a lot of the standard Apple UI here to create this effect for you automatically.

Now take your apps to the next level! ^^

To your life and business success!,

Cliff.

The beginners guide to App Store keywords

I ignored keywords for a very long time :(.  And I consistently see clients doing the same… I mean who can blame us right?  Keywords are hard to do right?  And they aren’t that important?….

Wrong.

Did you know that approximately 60% of all App Store sales are through App Store Search?  And did you know there are some easy things to do to come up with keywords? ^^

“What are keywords?”

They are the words you enter into the title and keywords section for your app on iTunes Connect.  For your keywords you have exactly 100 characters for keywords and 255 characters for the title.

Lots of Appreneurs forget about the title :) – this is a powerful place to put keywords, make sure to use it.

“How to put together keywords?”

For example, if you want to rank for “Barcode Scanner”, “Fast Barcode Scanning”, and “Barcode Reader” then your keywords would look like –

barcode,scanner,reader,scanning,fast.

Just please note that if a keyword is in the title, that you don’t need to also add it to they keyword section.  So if the name of your app was “Barcode Scanner”, then you would remove those 2 keywords from the keywords section :).

5 Easy Tips for Better App Store Keywords for Beginners

1. Look at the names of apps doing well in your niche

Specifically where they have the ‘longer names’ for their titles.  For example there is an app in the productivity category named “Quick Scan – Barcode Scanner & Best Shopping Companion”.

What words do you think they are trying to rank for? ^^ 

2. Use ASO tools for keyword spy

A service I recommend is http://searchman.com, as it give you free keyword spy research on your competitors :).

I was able to quickly search and find the Quick Scan app and see some of the other keywords they are using.  

3. Use Google Keyword Planner for keyword ideas

Don’t run!  It’s easier than it sounds :).  Just do a search for Google Keyword Planner, and login to the site with your free Google account.

Then click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”, enter a few keywords (comma separated phrases, or individual words) relating to your app and click on “Get Ideas”.

Then click on the “Keyword Ideas” tab and sort by Avg. monthly searches.  By default this should be the US, which is a good market to start with.

I tested this with ‘Barcode Scanner’ and ‘Shopping Companion’ and found out that barcode scanner gets 40k searches a month, and shopping companion only 20.  Barcode Scanner might be a winner here :).

I also found out that ‘shopkick barcodes’ and ‘barcode reader’ (which were keyword ideas given to my by Google) also ranked high, so these are keywords I would probably try to rank for.

4. Read the reviews of other apps in your niche

This stuff is gold :).  You’ll quickly be able to gather what words people are using to describe the app which will give you a ton of new keyword ideas for what your target market are searching for.

Just grab the common words + phrases being used, check how popular they are and add them to your keywords ;).

5. Test and tweak, test and tweak and test and tweak…

The most important step.  The best keyword experts in the world are the ones that consistently change their keywords on a regular basis.  Constantly testing to see if just one change can make a difference to their ranks.

Think about it – you could be awesome with putting together keywords but your competitor that is constantly trying new keywords each week to rank higher is gonna ‘out-keyword’ you eventually…

So why not be the one who is consistently improving their keywords ^^…

Just take the time to follow these steps and as I was ^^, you will be very pleased with the results :).

To your life and business success!,

Cliff.

Live life now! Not tomorrow, by taking control of your emotions

Often, as human beings we have something that we want to get, achieve or experience before we allow ourselves to feel those emotions of excitement, happiness and joy that we want to experience.

Unfortunately we often create rules in our minds that say ‘xyz’ must happen first, before we can experience these emotions.  Whether that be achieving a goal, purchasing something we’ve been saving up for, or just being able to pay the bills on time.

To prove this, if you keep asking yourself the question – why do I want this?.  Then it will eventually lead you to an emotion that you want to experience.

For example, you want a hot new sports car.  What do you get out of that?  A feeling of significance, feeling good and relaxed now that you are driving such a sweet piece of engineering.

What if you could have all of those right now and save yourself $50,000?

3 Tips to Feel Better Emotions Today

1. Take time out for yourself

The most important step.  When was the last time you spent time on yourself?  This is where you can spend time doing whatever you are most passionate about, and connecting at a deeper level within yourself.

Some of the best things you can do here are to relax, breathe in deeply and put yourself in a location that relaxes you.  Whether that be within nature, a bustling city, headphones on listening to music in your room or by the beach.

2. Exercise!

Walk, run, move!  Don’t have time to do it?  Then just wake up 30 minutes earlier each day and get it done first thing – that way nothing can interrupt you!

It’s much harder to feel down when you’re moving.

3. Change your state

This one is pretty simple, a big thing you can do here is simply change what you are focusing on in your mind.

For example, if you’re thinking about what a horrible day you had at work today, or worried about not being able to pay a bill in time – you can instead focus on how grateful you are for your family and friends, and on visualizing yourself succeeding at your goals.

A much better state to be in :).  And if you are having trouble changing your focus, then just pull out some music or something similar that you know makes you feel great.  And also follow tips 1 and 2 to make the state change much easier :).

Get out there and start taking steps to take control of your emotions!  You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results :).

To your life and business success!,

Cliff.