Earlier this month a question was posed in our developer forum about best practices for writing an iTunes App Description. Opinions from developers, paired with our first member poll, resulted in a collection of tips to share on this post.
Getting an app out the door can be a mad dash to the finish line. After development, beta testing and bug fixing, app makers must login to iTunes Connect and write metadata for the iTunes App Description.
The iTunes App Description gives potential customers a preview before purchasing an app in the store. The app description serves a similar purpose to a book cover or wine label. Is a product’s first impression intriguing enough for a person to tap and download? Should the text in this description be an afterthought? Indeed not!
I read numerous app descriptions while contemplating how to position developers throughout social media, and find the elements outlined below to be most important.
What is it?
Is the developer launching a math app, drawing app, language app, or spelling app? The first few lines are critical since this is all a user sees unless they click more to expand the description. If I can’t tell what the app is about at first glance, I may lose interest in the product.
How does it help?
Developers make apps for a reason. What are those reasons? What part of the world are they trying to change? What makes the app special? By clearly conveying the app’s intentions and objectives, potential customers may be more likely to make a purchase.
Who is it for?
My first lesson in age-appropriateness happened when I put a jigsaw puzzle in front of my toddler, who then proceeded to eat very small cardboard pieces. In this example, I did not match the right type of puzzle with the right age. Apps are the same way; they need to be age appropriate. Apps made for kids need an age range to correctly reach the target audience.
Why should I care?
Has anyone seen the app in action? Is the developer doing their homework in getting the app reviewed by subject matter experts? Has the app received any accolades, testimonials, or awards? A brief summary on how the app is being received can lend credibility to the developer.
Where do I tap?
Many apps are intuitive, and can fall into free-play without too many instructions. But some apps need instructions, which can be fine, as long as they are included.
Are you telling me everything?
Is the app listed as free, but only works after purchasing additional modules? In-app purchases can surprise users, and unhappy surprises can lead to frustration. Being transparent upfront lets users know what to expect after downloading the app.
Can I see it?
Window shopping works. Developers can use screenshots in creative ways to illustrate the features of an app. Enlisting the help of a graphic designer can make a big difference.
Ideally, app descriptions communicate enough compelling and credible material to invite a purchase or download. As an experienced app customer, I’m always pleased when I download an app that’s described as intended.
Photo credit Flickr [Lucas]