What makes us download apps

Among hundreds of applications it's easy to get lost on the way to a potential audience. To avoid this, it is important to understand the users' psychology and their motivation to install the application.  

The most obvious reason for downloading an application is a specific task. To make a list, to plan a budget, to find the nearest underground station - all this can be easily solved with the help of applications. Entertainment can also be considered as a kind of task, and the choice of the game will solve it. Applications have become our permanent virtual companions, and you can find a suitable program for almost every area of ​​life.

Recommendations from friends and acquaintances can also affect the decision on installation. The developers actively use this, offering free travel (delivery, access to limited content, etc.), promo codes for friends and other bonuses. Generally, this motivation is not as strong as the solution of a specific problem, but it should not be left out.

To find the application, users do not need to log in to the app store. Google search, video on YouTube, work with other applications can stimulate the user to installation. A universal advertising campaign (UAC) for applications at various sites will cover exactly the same audience that is looking for a solution for the specific problem that has arisen.

Three ways to attract the users' attention

Contrary to advertising campaigns, where targeting goes to specific audiences, these ways have almost no clear algorithm for the potential users' actions.

Particular attention should be paid to the following: different elements of the application page are important for different opportunities for conversions. For example, in a contextualized view for users, the name and icon will be decisive, for the description - text, video, screenshots, etc.


1. Contextualized view

Mechanism: scrolling in the App Store, Google Play and other application stores.

The user sees the icon, name and category of the application in the lists. It can be individual recommendations, thematic selections, novelties, etc. The main challenge is the limited space on the device's screen. The application has only a few seconds to get the user interested and create a positive impression. That's why the icon, name and category of the application play the key role here.

2. Active Search

Mechanism: the user enters the supposed name or keywords into the search box. The application is displayed in search results.

This method will be different for iOS and Android. In Apple AppStore, keywords can be added separately from all elements, but it is a good practice to indicate them in the name and description as well. In Google Play, you must indicate the keywords in the title and description.

There is also difference in displaying of the search results. On iOS: icon, application name, publisher, two screenshots, application compatibility with other devices (for example, Apple Watch).

On Android, the icon, name, publisher and rating are displayed in the list of five or more applications.

3. Description of the Application

Mechanism: the user clicks through the link and gets to the application page in the store.

Here there is all the information available: full description, screenshots, videos, updates, ratings, compatibility, size, privacy policy, etc. The application page is the key step in deciding on the installation. The more high quality and attractive it is, the more chances the user downloads the program. Below we will describe the elements that affect the description's quality in more detail.

"Pitfalls" of ratings and reviews

The high rating of the application provides more chances to get the audience interested. The ratings and TOP-lists of stores are made up considering the number of downloads and user ratings. As a rule, most frequently the users download applications with ratings above 4 stars. Lower assessment can seriously reduce organic traffic. Developers understand this perfectly and are trying to increase the number of downloads and amount of positive feedback. Not always honestly. However, both Google Play and AppStore have their own tools to combat this. All the applications included in the TOP, are tested for bugs and shortcomings.

Let's say that a high-quality application with a lot of downloads and positive evaluations is included in the TOP. But then it will not stand out among the rest on this list. All the TOP applications have high ratings. And to differ from the others, only reviews, ratings and downloads are not enough. Everything will matter: starting from the application's functionality, ending with its icon and developers feedback quality.


What do women want? And what about men?

It turns out that there is a difference between "female" and "male" searching. According to the study by Tune (a platform for tracking mobile application statistics and its promotion), ratings and reviews are the most important factors for women. Men are more interested in video clips and screenshots of applications. This suggests that for women, social proof is needed, other people's confirming quality of application.

Мужчины мы Женщины: Факторы, влияющие на установку приложения

Men vs Women: Factors Affecting Application Installation

Оценки и отзывы

Ratings and reviews

Описание приложения

Application description












The age difference also affects the application search. Young people 13-24 of years old evaluate videos, titles, screenshots and application icons. 25-44 years old smartphone owners are more likely to get attracted by ratings and reviews. Older users like video, appreciate the brand and pay attention to the application publisher.


On the way to installation

Each element on the application page is important. It will lead the user to either downloading the application, or continuing the search.

Description is one of the decisive factors when installing the application. The first lines of the text will "hook" the user if they refer to his emotions, problems, goals. In a perfect situation, people should get answers to the questions: why do I need this application and how will it help to solve my problem? Next, you can get to describing its functions and main advantages. The users are also attracted to the achievements of developers. These can be profile awards, reviews and feedback from industry publications, positions in the TOP-lists, etc. Another important point is a thorough check of the text for compliance with the norms of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Mistakes reduce the credibility of the application and the audience of its potential users.

Video helps evaluate the application's functions. This is a test drive of a kind. Video trailers are especially relevant for games, as they allow you to demonstrate the gameplay with all its benefits. A short video screen with attractive features and an application in action will be more interesting and helpful for users than a professional commercial without the functions demonstration.

Icons is what the users see while viewing the store's catalog. It creates the first impression. And though this element in most cases does not affect the installation decision, an interesting and memorable design can prompt users to further familiarize themselves with the application.

Screenshots still play an important part in deciding on the installation. That is why it is important to outline the benefits of using the application, its main "perks", design and key sections. In addition, the pages where high-quality screenshots are placed will be displayed at higher positions in the search.

Name of the Application. Same as with the icon, the name of the application will not directly lead the user to downloading it. However, this is one of the elements of interaction with the users. Observing the balance between originality and the display of the application functions in the name, developers can approach the potential audience. For example, " to-do list, calendar, reminders." If you leave just "", the user will not perceive the entire meaning and functionality of the application in a couple of seconds and will pass by. And to call the application "To-do list, calendar, reminders" means to deprive it of its uniqueness and not among the others. Plus, do not forget the proverb, "As you name the boat, so shall it float."


Of course, it is very difficult to understand each specific user and his application search algorithm. But these few tips will help you get closer to your potential audience:

  1. The icon and name should get the user interested in a few seconds.

  2. Young people of 13-24 years old will appreciate videos, titles, screenshots and application icons. Users over 25 years old will be attracted by ratings and reviews, the brand and the publisher.

  3. For women, ratings and reviews are more important, while men are more interested in the video and screenshots.

  4. The application's page is the key step in deciding on the installation. Screenshots and videos should reflect the functions and main advantages, and the description - to address the emotions, problems and goals of the user.

  5. The high rating of the application in the app store should be supported by the high quality of the product.