Saturday, July 19, 2014

The app life cycle

Caution: Amateur post

Recently, we started playing 'Threes'. And while Clash of Clans was a favourite, interest on it is waning - though it is still in demand. Subway Surfers has long since been forgotten. For a short while Tiny Troopers ruled the roost. Some of the drawing and sketching apps are still in demand - but they are not addictive. And yes, for a while, we did play Dragon box.

First phase, you heard about the app and there is immense curiosity. You want to know the mechanics and you want to get the better of it. This is also the learning phase. With most good apps, this would last a few minutes. If it is boring or 'not good enough' most likely, the interest level drops here itself. Flappy bird did not cross this phase - it was too difficult.

If the interest level is good, one continues. Next phase, is to work through the challenges of the app. Here the experience of the app begins. As you cross the first few levels, life is good and one begins to enjoy the challenges. Push cars and a couple of programming apps kept us hooked through this phase. As did a few initial levels of Cut the rope and Angry birds. This is the most engaging phase perhaps.

At the next level is the plateau and some inflexion points. This is tough. Each level one reaches a plateau - either it takes too much time or it is way too complex and one has to cross those inflexion points. Clash of clans crossed quite a few of them. Dragon box crossed almost all of them. But in many other games, it is just too long - like Tiny Troopers.

Most apps give up here and then are consigned to the unused apps bin and from there they get deleted.

The non-addictive apps - like the sketching apps and the photo apps - which are more about the users skills still continue because here the level is in the users mind.

Now to check my amateur theory with some real data!

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