Awareness is one of the biggest hurdles standing in front of any successful product or service, and iOS / mobile applications are no different.
I’ve written a bunch about Reminder+ (App Store link) on this blog, including what I consider to be its primary virtues. Short summary: since it’s initial release, the app has received positive feedback that it’s a good way to remind others. Despite the small user base, I continue to believe that Reminder+ solves a real problem.
That said, the nature (design) of the app makes awareness difficult (at least, that’s how I see it). In this post, I want to briefly consider the difference between general purpose and niche, in the context of this app, based on discussion with some of its users…
Reminder+ and ‘general’ users
Reminder+ lets a person attempt to prevent another person from forgetting to do something (by sending an iOS reminder). Whilst that’s a real problem that lots of people have, it’s not very targeted, which is a problem.
The need to ‘remind someone’ is general – it doesn’t belong to a specific group of people. So where do you go to find new users? Everywhere and anywhere?
Reminder+ and ‘business’ users
Due to the small user base I get very little contact from users. However, when I do get an email, it’s almost always from someone wanting to do more with the application2. “I organise this group” or, “I have these appointments” – “can the app help me to d x?”.
It’s interesting that, through people trying to solve problems with this app, I hear about more involved, and in some cases, ‘professional’ workflows.
These are the types of problems that do belong to groups of people. Groups that can be identified. Groups that have a significant or business need. Groups that perhaps represent, a niche3.
Contrast setting out to make an app, like Reminder+, that does a small, general job, for everyone – with making an app that, say, helps shift organisers make sure everyone turns up on time.
- My current approach for this app is search; try to let the general users find Reminder+.
- In the majority of these situations, it turns out Reminder+ is too simplistic for what they require, and I’m happy to tell people that. What’s more, if I know of something that could help, I’ll make a suggestion…
- These are groups that are (probably?) more willing to pay for software because of the type of problem it solves for them.