Lord works in mysterious ways for sure.
It happened so that I met a purely nice person on the wide expanse of LinkedIn. He appeared to be the founder of a new app-reviews site and was so kind to answer my questions about his site aims, activities and future plans. Chris l’Anson gave some valuable advice to developers on how to improve their apps’ visibility and finally disclosed the magical essence of a 5-star iPhone app.
Curious? Go on reading!
Chris l’Anson, web-developer, founder of iPhoneapp-reviews.com
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
CompoundConcept: Hello, Chris! Tell us about yourself?
Chris: I’m a full-time web developer based in Newcastle and currently have my hands busy running iPhoneApp-Reviews
CompoundConcept: What made you get into establishing an app reviews site?
Chris: I had a web client approach me with an app idea they had to compliment the website I’d built for them. We had a chat about what he wanted and with me being into programming and Apple Macs I thought I’d give it a go so developed an app for him.
Once released to the app store the app had a brief amount of interest before quickly dropping into the abyss. It’s an interesting and unique app but because it doesn’t nest within the top 25-50 apps on the app store, unless you’re looking for it you wouldn’t know it’s there. This is the same problem for most apps, the review site was set up to help promote the little guys and make sure they get more exposure which will ultimately get people downloading them.
CompoundConcept: How long did it take you to start the site?
Chris: The site took about a month to set up the framework. Being a full time web developer did help with things, I now need to rope in my fellow design colleagues, see if they’ll give it a design ‘re-align’.
CompoundConcept: What is your vision and expectations on the future of the site?
Chris: I’m hoping to get more reviewers on board so we can get apps on the site quicker. I’ve also got some other ideas in the bag but can’t say too much at the moment, lets say this question’s to be continued…..
CompoundConcept: How do you plan to promote it?
Chris: The usual SEO tricks, link backs, good content, article submissions and blog comments. The good thing about a review site is if you rave about an app the developers are usually willing to link back to your site, helps you both out.
CompoundConcept: What do developers need to get their apps featured at iphoneapp-reviews.com?
Chris: Firstly, the app needs to be listed in the app store. If it’s listed then all developers need to do is upload it using our Review My App form. You can find all the details on the iPhone App Reviews page.
CompoundConcept: What is the ideal app you’d undoubtedly feature as a Top one?
Chris: It, varies but it could be an app that although not perfect (see points below), it does something useful no other apps can do.
CompoundConcept: What are the characteristics of a 5-star app to your mind and which of them are most important?
Chris: Firstly, it’s got to be easy to use. Usability is one of the things developers so often get wrong, it frustrates me. They can have a brilliant and unique idea but they fail to nail the implementation and you’re left with an app that doesn’t live up to its promise which is a shame.
Secondly, it’s got to look the part. This doesn’t mean a design masterpiece, but keeping things aligned, using clean fonts and complimentary colours, sticking to the basics, keep things simple.
Last but by no means least, the app has to be either unique, something new that hasn’t been covered before. If a similar app has been released before by another developer, the version reviewed must be better its competitors if it is to have a chance of receiving a top rating.
CompoundConcept: Do you write reviews on the apps you feature? How do you choose apps for review?
Chris: Yes, I love writing reviews and providing feedback on then, good bad or indifferent. Regarding selecting apps, we don’t really choose the apps, they’re chosen by the people who contact us and request a review of their app.
Maybe in the future as the site gets busier we’ll have to be more selective over the apps we review but we still think everyone deserves their apps reviewed and put up on the site.
CompoundConcept: Any advice you would give to developers desiring wide recognition and publicity?
Chris: I think it’s important to have a website that markets the app and develop and promote this in parallel with the app. It only needs to be a one page site, with some SEO optimization but could certainly help generate more downloads.
Oh, and most important of all, make sure you get listed in the iPhone Developer Directory!
Now I want to thank Chris again for our substantial discussion and encourage you who read this interview to visit iPhoneApp-Reviews.com, submit your developer details and be sure to spread the word out!
Got a question to Chris? Feel free to reach me out or contact him directly at http://www.iphoneapp-reviews.com/contact/Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in