In the last few years I’ve developed apps for the iPhone. As a developer, you want your app to succeed, you want users to download it, use it daily, then make it viral. It’s super easy to connect your app to Facebook these days, and by that you can increase engagement of the users – you. You can also add push notifications, which means you are allowed to nag your user, whenever you want to, not thinking about where he is now, or what he’s doing.
I remember me and the other guys in our startup sitting around the table, thinking how to make people use our app more and more. But at the same time, our team was super fair and we didn’t want to spam users, just like we don’t like it when apps are spamming us. This kind of behaviour means being responsible. Not just thinking about number of daily downloads, and how many times a day the user plays with our app; we were thinking about ourselves when we thought of “users”.
App developers should be responsible not just for great design and user experience, but they should also take care of us – the people who use the smartphone daily. Making us addicted to exciting apps is the smart thing to do business-wise, but one should remember the negative effects this overuse has on us.
I’ll write more about this issue in the next few weeks, including how I’d like to come up with an “Organic App Standard” that hopefully can change our status quo, and help us maintain the digital diet we need so much.