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Replicating Flappy Bird’s Success

Bobby Gill | February 26, 2014

One of the most popular apps recently, Flappy Bird is garnering headlines left, right and center, but no one quite knows how Dong Nguyen’s simple app rocketed to super stardom so, analyzing its rise to fame, we tell you how your business app can replicate its success.

The Standout Feature

Likely, a team of all of the analysts in the world couldn’t tell you why a game with a selection of unnamed birds, who are inept at flying, has captivated the world but players of Flappy Bird probably could. They’d tell you that the single mindedness of the game – there are no power-ups or distractions, just a whole lot of screen tapping and silent prayers that you can do well in the impossibly difficult game – keeps them focused. In typical game reviews, you look at every tiny aspect of the game, but here, the only thing to praise is that you must make the game’s bird jump through a series of varying pipes and it’s this single feature that players of Flappy Bird are drawn to.

The way to bring this to your business app is that before you have even come up with the perfect name, stuck ‘i’ before any number of words or even hired an app developer, you have to come up with the standout feature, the USP (unique selling point) that sets you out from your competitors and screams what your business is about from the rooftops. Not only does this present a clear goal and vision, it allows you to focus on this and make it perfect, something that your customers will appreciate over the cluttered, kitchen sink offerings of your competitors.

Word of Mouth

Don’t just put Flappy Bird’s success down to its standout feature, though, the fans are as responsible for the game’s success as much as Dong Nguyen’s development work. What Flappy Bird encouraged, without the use of some bold icons for every social media site going, is the necessity to share.

Bringing fans into the foray, the entire point of Flappy Bird is to boast about your score. Now, perhaps that won’t be the case with your business focused app as you’re unlikely to get many people taking to Twitter to proclaim how much they loved making graphs or charts or whatever other nifty feature that you’ve lovingly crafted but what they are likely to do is spread the word to other friends who might make use of what you’re offering. Good products sell themselves, but great products get the fans to sell for them.

Intuitive Design

You have to hand it to Nguyen, his game’s artwork may, for the most part be lifted completely from the aforementioned popular Nintendo series, but his design is completely original.

The no nonsense design that Flappy Bird includes means that one of the hardest mobile games out there is difficult because of the player’s skill. If you make your app hard to understand, cluttered or poorly designed, the only reason a user will find your app is difficult is because of you. Keep the fonts, methods and features clean and you’ll have few complaints on your app’s design from me.

Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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