You want our users to download your software. We can help by exposing your product to millions of potential users around the world when you list it on Download.com.
You also want users to keep your software installed and to love it so much that they recommend it to others. How can you make that happen?
Based on several years' worth of feedback that we have received from our site users, we can recommend some key attributes that will serve your product well.
- It solves a specific problem. Users search for software that enables them do a particular task (for instance, convert PDF files), or that fills a specific need (backing up their photos or simply staving off boredom). Whether you've developed a handy technical utility or an engaging game, it should meet a clear and immediate need.
- It works as expected. This may seem obvious, and we know that some bugs are inevitable, but thorough testing before releasing your software goes a long way toward ensuring a reliable product. Most users don't want to have to ask for or wait for a fix; they want the product to work as expected the first time and every time thereafter. If it doesn't, they will look for another product, and often, they will let others know about their negative experience.
- It has a clean, well-designed user interface, with easy-to-access controls and settings. The look of your UI certainly matters, and an attractive design can increase your popularity, but just as important is usability. Make it pleasant, easy, and intuitive to use your program, and remember that new users may have limited technical skills in general. The quicker and easier it is for them to start using your product to solve their problem, the happier they will be and the more likely to recommend your software to others.
- It is reasonably priced. Free is always best, in most users' minds, but they are willing to pay a reasonable price for software that provides a clear benefit (that is, software that solves a problem and is easy, reliable, and pleasant to use), especially if it is something they can use on a repeat basis, rather than as a one-time fix.
- It has a free, dynamic, feature-rich trial period. Users rarely purchase software without trying it first. An extremely short trial length and/or severely restricted features during the trial period will prevent potential users from buying your software.
Stay tuned for Part II next week, with more tips for improving your product's popularity and ensuring user satisfaction.