If you asked a random selection of people to name the first app that came into their head, it's a safe bet most of them would answer “Angry Birds”...
This app is probably the most well known, and with profits of over $90 million so far, certainly the most profitable. We have a look at why it’s so successful, so that you can follow the same recipe for success.
One of the golden app design rules is KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) App designers have precious little time to engage their audience with notoriously fickle and impatient Gen Y and Gen Z app downloaders. And of course, the simpler an app is the wider its market is - a complex RPG might be a great game, but it has a limited audience.
But it’s obviously not enough to have a purely simple app without any other appeal. A game of Pong is pretty simple, but it’s not exactly going to hit the AppStore charts.The app also has to be entertaining and immersive. And Angry birds is just that. The trial and error challenge of destroying the pigs with each bird - particularly as the user watches each minor roll, tumble and smashing pylon instantly reels the user in. The app then keeps the user interested by gradually adding new elements, particularly new powers for the birds, as the game progresses.
3. The right speed - Fast, but not too fast
It’s generally true that faster apps - including apps with quicker gameplay and story lines - perform better. However, the deisigners of Angry Birds were cleverer than that, they made the general gameplay fast, but kept one crucial element slow - the flight of the birds.
4. Crisp sound and audio effects
The power of sound effects is often underestimated. Think of almost any scary/horror movie. It wouldn’t be half as good without its perfectly timed, thought out spine-tingling music - each rising crescendo putting your nerves even further on edge. Well the same goes for apps. The whizzing sound as the birds fly through the air heightens the suspense as you wait to see where the bird will land. The crisp and appropriate sounds definitely add to the app’s appeal.
5. The right graphics
Note we didn’t say stunning or amazing graphics. Sure, beautiful highly complex graphics add to an app, but they’re not really necessary and are a very expensive for relatively little gain. Angry Birds got it about right - cute, cartoony graphics that are good quality and of a good resolution. The idea of mixing cute characters with naughty and mischievous expressions also works well and adds to the fun. Indeed more than anything else that's what these graphics are, fun - which is exactly what a game player wants! So remember, “complicated” and “extravagant” graphics are expensive and are rarely necessary. What is is necessary is that the graphics are of a high quality - and are the right style.
Well we hope that helped. Good luck!