Cutting through the noise

As an application developer, you're trying to communicate with your users in a sense. Not so much like an author is, though. An author can only communicate information, ideas, and the like, but an app developer can communicate behavior as well as information. You have the opportunity to make your users feel empowered as well as informed.

The app marketplace is wrought with noise, though. In an attempt to get their names out, developers are hurling junk into the marketplace and seeing if it will stick. Junk may stick, but not for long. Users need real value in order to download, use, and then even recommend and kindly review your app.

So how do you cut through the noise and get your message heard?

You do it by creating a unified message.


A unified message is a clear message that only communicates one thing and does so very well. Very concisely.

Here's the analogy I like to use.

Between your voice and your audience's ear are air particles. Lots of them. Your attempt in communicating with your audience is to shake the air particles, so they cause vibrations in the ear drum of your hearer. Every one of the air particles is, however, doing its own shaking. Air particles above absolute zero are bouncing constantly, randomly, and violently off of each other and their container. This is the cause for air pressure and the reason your car is suspended a few inches off the ground.

So how does your message get through amid the noise? It does so because for each moment in time as you communicate, the air particles all have one thing in common. Each of them still fulfills the random and wild whims that heat demands, but all of them fulfill what your message determined.

And that's what you must do with your app. Be certain that the function that your app performs is clear to the user, fulfill that function very well, and that's all.

Remember that your goal is to delight the user. Have you seen the video of Alexander Gamme on YouTube. Alexander did a self-supported trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Upon arriving at his first cache he was really hoping to find some food. I won't spoil the rest.

I think that Mr. Gamme does a fine job of illustrating human delight. I don't imagine I'll ever create an app that is received with quite the same level of enthusiasm, but it's a good bar to set.