Building Useful Mobile Apps

So you’ve got an idea for a mobile app, either for a client or for a start-up you’ve been formulating. But how do you know if your idea is viable? How do you know if people will actually want to use it? First and foremost, you need to make sure your app will:

Solve a real problem.

  • For example, Rob Kramer – chief product officer of – saw that posting items to sell on eBay took 18 steps. Kramer saw a problem and decided to fix it by creating the peer-to-peer mobile app Hipswap. With this app, you could post any item you wanted to sell from your phone to the marketplace in three easy steps. Kramer didn’t reinvent the wheel, but he found a way to make the wheel turn faster.

Know your audience.

  • As Kramer’s app took root in the mobile sphere, he began to notice that women in particular were using Hipswap. Even more specifically, women who wanted to buy and sell purses and shoes. That became Hipswap’s target audience which Kramer then began to market to accordingly with a series of ads featuring female celebrities.

Compose use cases.

  • Once you know who your target audience is, you have to find out exactly how they use your application. In the case of Hipswap, the app’s users were frequently bringing their phones into garages and closets in order to take photos of the items they wanted to sell. For Hipswap’s ad campaign, Kramer featured female celebrities going through their own closets to find items they wanted to post on the app.

If you follow the above tips, you are guaranteed to design an app that is functional, practical and easy to use.

Rob Kramer, Chief Product Officer at, explains the need to solve a problem, know your audience and other areas of focus when tying to build a useful mobile app.