How To Discover Productivity Tools … One App At A Time

In the age of information overload and app store congestion finding the right tools to supercharge your productivity is slowly becoming a real challenge.

In an effort to shed some light on the mess out there we have spent the past year trying to figure out how “discovery” should really work, and how one can stumble upon quality productivity tools.

Here’s what we’ve uncovered in our research, tests and surveys:

1. Search = pain

In case you haven’t been to your app store of choice lately and seen the big ticking clocks here’s the news: Both Android and iOS are approaching the 1,000,000-registered-apps-mark, which is an exciting and scary breakthrough all at once. How are we going to search? But more importantly: how are we going to find?

Search has been a major issue on every main app store for a long time. Two of the most brilliant companies in the world have yet to solve this riddle of complexity.

When searching in an app store we often face the following problems: either we stumble upon too many search results, or too few, since we didn’t know what keywords to use in the search (which actually reveals another main question: how is the search box in an app store supposed to work?)

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2. Choice can be a blessing; but also a curse

Content curation is widely applicable in many online stores and big marketplaces, and will soon take overhand in app stores as well. Many apps are faulty, out of date or simply fake copies. So while you are already browsing an endless ocean of options you have to carefully evaluate each app for its legitimacy. Great! What were you looking for anyways? Often so apps have combined functionality and do not only i.e. help you create receipts but include a function to track your billable hours. The wide variety of app marriages and function linkage makes it even harder to identify the one app best for your cause. It’d be necessary to better categorize apps, giving them the right placement in the app store to be found by the right user.

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3. Mass opinion counts

And once we’ve found our favorite options we refer back to good old credibility. Does the app have reviews? What do users say?

Tripadvisor is a great example of collective opinion sharing. Everyone’s got a say, which ultimately creates an overall opinion that reflects neither good nor bad, and levels off in the tasteless average.

I am not saying that in app stores we see exactly the same phenomenon happening (yet), however, we are probably putting too much importance on opinions from people we do not know and statements we can only vaguely trust. At the end of the day we will always prefer to get advice from someone we can relate to …

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4. In our friends we trust

Friends shall only serve as collective word in this context. It stands for the people that matter in our lives, be it family, friends, colleagues, peers, leaders, celebrities; it’s those people that we look up to and seek advice from.

A bit more than one year after the inception of our app directory on Mevvy.com we have come to understand this fact over any other I’ve named above. It’s about the people. If you think about “social discovery” (using the proper term) our closest environment has always given us the greatest inspirations. Be it music, film, food, fashion, design … haven’t we always gotten great recommendations from the people around us? So WHY NOT do the same with apps? Shouldn’t it come absolutely natural?

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We want to put an end to this madness and working on our Mevvy app. It is our goal to connect our users with the people they trust and follow their app activity – when they install, uninstall or rate apps. This way, rather than having to go out and ask for advice Mevvy users have the latest app updates right at their fingertips.

There is a long way to go to make app discovery what it should be but in a mutual effort I believe it is possible to achieve a healthy app ecosystem, where everyone involved in the game gets a benefit from it!

What about you? How do you discover apps? Where do you go? How do you search? Tell us in the comments below!

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