I is for Imitate

Don’t reinvent the wheel

As you’re doing every job at your company from design to customer support, you can’t dive too deep into every subject. Take shortcuts when you can. A good way to save time on research or AB testing is to look at what successful apps with funding are doing. Chances are they did some research or AB testing before settling on a solution so it’s a good idea to piggyback onto that.

When I’m designing screenshots for the app stores, I just look at what bigger apps are doing. Are they using a video preview? How many screenshots are they putting up? How much text is there, how big? The key here is to look for relevant apps. Big established apps have different challenges than you so focus on up-and-coming apps, apps that are trending. Look for apps with similarities to yours.

If you’re making a music app, look at the color theme in successful music apps: are they all using a dark background? Maybe you should too. It turns out these apps are often used in places with low lighting but you don’t even need to understand that to make the right choice.

Take a regular look at articles where people from the app business share their experiences. There’s a treasure trove of great advice out there, available for free.

There is value in diving deeper into some topics, of course. Getting to grips with many different topics is one of the great things about indie app development but don’t get sucked in to a topic for too long or you might end up neglecting another important one for lack of time.

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