We've been working on answering that question - "What do women want from mobile apps?" – on Handshake 2.0. We were delighted to have our work cited by iAlja in Android for girls: a new frontier. Here's an excerpt from her comprehensive post that includes links to a post by Maureen Carruthers and research on women and mobile apps by Anne Piedmont of Piedmont Research Associates. iAlja's "A girl's app manifesto" is a beautiful synthesis of what we, too, have found that women want from mobile apps.
What do women want from mobile apps?
The big question for all app developers is, of course, what do women want from mobile apps? How can we make apps that women will want to download?
I found a really good answer to this on the Handshake 2.0 blog, where Maureen Carruthers writes about what she's looking for in mobile apps (emphasis mine):"The ﬁnal quality of my favorite apps is how they make me feel – about myself. … these apps help me feel loved, well-read and prepared. … Most importantly, they are intuitive, so they never make me feel stupid. No matter how potentially amazing an app may be, if I can’t easily ﬁgure it out, it will gather virtual dust."
Another survey among female mobile app users came to the conclusion that (emphasis mine):“Women want to be connected. They want to be informed. They want apps that help them through the day, whether it is comparison shopping, turn-by-turn directions, or a way to be more organized.”
So, we don't want clutter, we don't need extra bling – we want apps that are easy to use and that makes our lives better or easier! Women are probably more likely than men to see their phones as tools that shouldn't require a manual, but should provide clear value in everyday life.
Of course, this doesn't apply to just women – many users outside the geeky, tech crowd feel the same! And here's my advice for app developers: focus on everyday usability and experience, not on fancy algorithms and tech talk.
Instagram, for instance, is a good example of a great mobile app service that isn't anything special from the technological point of view, but it does provide great experience and community. And that's what counts for most users, not necessarily just women. (Excellent blog post on a related note: Quora is from Mars, Instagram is from Venus)
A girl's app manifesto
Finally, here are 7 key points I wish every app developer, male or female, would keep in mind when planning, designing or programming mobile apps.
- Think about me.
- I don’t like wasting time.
- Make my life better or fun.
- Don’t make me feel stupid.
- Don’t make me change for you.
- I’m looking for experiences, not features.
- Yes, I like pretty, but I’m not a princess.
Here's our category on Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0.
Thanks again, iAlja. We'll definitely have your key points in mind as we launch a network of women mobile application developers.