Dear App Developers

Hello from the other side.

Vasanthi Pillai, III B.A. Economics

A few months back, Ola customer care personnel told us “Sorry ma’am, only through apps.” Now, more often than ever before, our mobile phones with fancy covers that protect the bitten apple beep with a message that asks you to say ‘Ola’ to your driver instead of hello.

The 21st century has been an era of rapidity and as the app culture is on the rise, we have new apps every single day. While on one hand we have app developers launching their ideas on the other hand we have almost every other entity running on a product or service, creating apps to promote customer care to an app that will manage all your apps. Yes, you’re allowed to sigh. However all that the app developers have to keep in mind is to keep it simple, comfortable and useful; create an app that you yourself would like to use.

While the flavours continue to steam and app developers successfully entice a good share of the market, we have another group of people who tell us “I am done! I will use pen and paper and talk to my puppy named Tom, instead.” Dear developers, there could be a variety of reasons as to why apps don’t appeal easily to a certain group of people, but the three most important issues are as follows.

1) The I-have-seen-you-somewhere problem:

Our inability to live without excess leads to overlapping services on our mobile phones – with a TOI app as well as a The Hindu app – stealing storage space while providing repetitive info and overlapping services. Hint -innovativeness matters, so come up with those that don’t exist or alternatively provide genuinely better services so that they choose you over the others.

2) Apps, apps, everywhere. Not a single one used:

Redundancy is a deep cave; it is not enough to merely update features but the updates people require are those that would be compatible with changing needs and lifestyles. A constant audience analysis is integral.

3) ‘Algebra, integrals and differentials’ or The Sorry, Too Complicated problem:

If an app developer decides to have 15 tabs with 25 services and 50 sub tabs assuming that the audience will enjoy the generosity, that’s a straight, sharp No. If a developer wants her/his audience to use the app, they must give them the best with ease of navigation, because they can’t have a six-month training program to learn to use the app.

With that being said, our phones these days have more apps than contacts. The frequent updates like the Friday episode of a Hindi serial leaving you in suspense or whether you’ll have quadruple ticks – first one for sent, second for delivered, third for read and fourth for forgotten – or any random change that happens so quickly, constantly demanding an update and some scared souls whisper, ‘Whoa whoa, please slow down!’


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