What Makes a Güd App?

What Makes a Güd App?
Jacob Pierzchala
July 23, 2015
Smartphone with push notification

Last year at Güd Marketing, we set out to create a mobile app that reflected who we are and what we believe in, something that could engage our clients in both a fun and meaningful way. We arrived at “Güd One” – a calendar app of unofficial holidays to celebrate throughout the year, including “National Trails Day,” “American Business Women’s Day,” “National Love Your Pet Day” and, my personal favorite, “National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day.”

Since joining the project this year, I’ve had the opportunity to work on our first major update, which includes the ability to send push notifications outside the app. As the team looks forward, we are discussing new features that can be added to create a more engaging, more human experience. We’re certainly not short on options, considering the capabilities of this technology.

The world of mobile applications has certainly come a long way since the release of the original iPhone in 2007. With 1.5 million apps available on Google Play and 1.4 million in Apple’s App Store (statista.com), it is a bit of an understatement to say that we are enamored with our mobile devices. And how can we not be when they keep us so easily connected, informed and entertained?

Believe it or not, my interest in mobile did not spring from the purchase of a shiny new piece of technology – I was one of those people who held on to a flip phone a little longer than I should have. My initial involvement with apps began in 2010 during graduate school, where a group of us explored phones and tablets as artistic mediums with seemingly endless possibility. We worked on calculators and puzzle games, digital drawing applications, story creators and edgy conceptual art pieces. It was an exciting time when there were few limitations beyond our imaginations and processing speed.

Fast-forward to 2015, and the staggering variety of apps instantly available has proved the potential and flexibility of these platforms. Apple knew exactly what it was doing when it began airing commercials for the iPhone 3G that exclaimed, “There’s an app for that!” We get directions from our phones, order lunch with our phones, read books with our phones, and even launch colorful, ill-tempered birds at towers of blocks with our phones.

Yet this success has led to an undeniable truth: A flooded market has made visibility somewhat of a challenge for those interested in entering this space. Further complicating this is the cost and time of creation, which are both greater than that of standard web development. A Newsweek article detailed these trials and tribulations back in 2009, and unfortunately, this side of the landscape has remained relatively unchanged.

Though real, these challenges are not indomitable. This is especially true if we don’t define success solely in terms of sales or installs. Not all apps, after all, are meant for a universal user base, and some are valued as tools rather than products. Further, a small group of passionate users can be far more valuable than a large mass with little interaction. For those apps intended for the marketplace, a well-crafted, innovative product supported by targeted advertising and an active social media presence has all of the necessary ingredients to succeed.

So if you’ve ever considered diving into the world of app creation but have not yet taken the plunge, don’t let it intimidate you. The key is to enter this space with both passion and grounded expectations. Create something useful, fun and unique that helps you and your brand stand out from the crowd. Above all, understand that what you are creating is more than a utility, game or moneymaker; it is a human experience delivered through a device that has become an integral part of our lives.

Interested in our app? Find it on Apple’s App Store and on Google Play!