Writing an iTunes App Description

by Moms With Apps on April 18, 2011

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 MWA Facebook poll, resulted in material for summarizing and sharing. Last year, Julie McCool broached the topic here on our blog about decoding iTunes app listings. This article extends the theme, delving further into ideas for presenting the information.

Getting an app out the door can be a mad dash to the finish. After the beta testing, bug fixing, and feature decisions have taken place – the creator of the app is faced with the next step: uploading the app to iTunes Connect and filling out the metadata for the iTunes App Description.

The iTunes App Description (i.e., the “view” in the App Store before having to buy the app) is your book cover, your wine label, your first impression for intriguing a person enough to click “Buy App”. Should this text be an afterthought? Indeed not!

I look at numerous app descriptions daily while contemplating how to position developers throughout the Moms With Apps promotional channels. These are elements I value, which are similar to trends voiced in our forum discussion and on the Facebook poll:

WHAT IS IT? Is it a math app, a drawing app, a language app, or a spelling app? If I can’t tell what the app is about in the first paragraph, then I’m lost before I begin. (Those first two lines are critical, because it’s all the user sees unless they click “more” to expand the description.)

HOW DOES IT HELP? You took the time to develop the app for a reason. What was that reason? What part of the world are you trying to change? By using this app, will my child become a whiz at arithmetic? Tell me your intentions and your learning objectives. As a potential customer, I’m interested in what you are trying to accomplish.

WHO IS IT FOR? Do you remember opening the 100-piece jigsaw puzzle which your toddler proceeded to eat? The puzzle should have been 12 jumbo pieces, not 100 mouthwatering pieces. This was my first lesson in “age appropriate” – just buying the right puzzle for the age. Apps are the same way; they need to be age appropriate. What age range is your 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 it 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 PRESS? Many apps are intuitive, and can fall into free-play without too many instructions. But some apps need instructions, which is 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 – best to describe upfront what to expect after downloading the app.

CAN I SEE IT? Window shopping is nothing new, and it works. Developers are using their screenshots in creative ways to include more information about the app.

I’ve seen a lot of app descriptions with a bulleted list of FEATURES. These tend to hype up the latest technologies implemented within the app. I don’t know about you, but my most important concern is the end-user experience. I probably won’t notice whether the audio is professionally recorded, as long as it works as intended.

Written by Lorraine Akemann | Editor | Moms With Apps

I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

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