(For an overview of this series, please read this post.)
Once you’ve figured out what your app is all about, it’s time to determine what’s your app great at. After all, no one would probably want to buy an app that describes itself as “just an average todo list application.”
Take a step back and look at your list of ideas of what your apps about to see if a particular scenario really jumps out at you. Trim down the list to just a single scenario that you want to focus on. In the process, you might cross off many good ideas, but saying “no” to them is crucial to making a single scenario great.
You might think that you are limiting the potential of your application by making its focus so narrow. I, and several others, respectfully disagree:
When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl
Do only what is necessary to convey what is essential. [C]arefully eliminate elements that distract from the essential whole, elements that obstruct and obscure…. Clutter, bulk, and erudition confuse perception and stifle comprehension, whereas simplicity allows clear and direct attention.
Constraints are helpful, even inspiring as they challenge us to think differently and more creatively about a particular problem.
After you choose a single scenario, decide how you would explain to an average person what your app is great at by writing it down in one sentence. For example:
- My travel app is great at helping friends create itineraries collaboratively for group trips.
- My workout app is great at letting friends track their workout progress and share their achievements with each other.
- My grocery app is great at helping families coordinate their weekly grocery shopping so that they never miss or duplicate a purchase again.
This is your app’s “great at” statement, and it can guide many design decisions and tradeoffs that you make as you build your app. Focus on the user scenarios that you want to enable, and be careful not to turn this into a feature list. It should be about what your users will be able to do, as opposed to what your app will be able to do.