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Neil Flanagan, VP Engineering, Pond5

Simon Hodgkins, CMO, Vistatec

Fergal Lawler, Director of UX, Strata 3

Colin Lowry, Mobile Commerce Researcher, Designer & Developer

Declan Moore, Art Director, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Darren Murphy, Mobile Product Manager, Independent News and Media

Gerard O’Keeffe, CEO, Geopal

Duncan Ray, UX expert, Tomorrow Studios

Nathan Warnock, Head of Design, DIGIT Game Studios

More judges for The Appys 2015 will be announced very soon.



There is no magic formula for building and designing a great app – however, some apps become worldwide hits while hundreds of thousands of others simply languish unloved in the various app stores.

Here at The Appys we want to reward the best apps. To do this we need to give a set of guidelines to the judges.

1: Design –
The way an application looks and operates is imperative to its success. Does the app look well, does it fit well on the mobile screen or tablet screen, is the app easy to use, did you easily understand the app’s menu structures, is it easy to navigate?
Is the user interface as unobtrusive as it can be, leaving out any design elements that don’t add a use or function to the app? Bundling in too many design elements can leave an app feeling bulky and unintuitive.

2: Utility – Is the app useful? Does it reduce the time to undertake something? Will it improve your day-to-day life, or entertain you with new ideas and thoughts?
Great apps are always improving and adapting to the latest requirements. To build a great app, developers need to make sure it can change as fast as its users’ needs.

3: Innovation – Apps need to be unique to sell or be downloaded in huge volumes. Does this app introduce a new idea or solution, or does it just do something better than a traditional ‘way’ e.g. booking a ticket, ordering a cab, online banking, sourcing news?
Think about how much development and programming went into this app – the complexity of its back end and how it uses the phone’s, or the tablet’s, in-built functions to allow it to work well on the smaller screen.
Does this app make exceptional use of the technology, the touch screen, accelerometer, 3D hardware acceleration, always-on network, text-to-speech, speech recognition and does it support different orientations?
Does this app do something magical with the tech rather than being just a ‘mobile website’ and just deliver content? How much intellectual property (IP) is in the app?
Is this app a shining example of innovative technology and programming?

4: Content: Content is always king. Will this app engage you on a regular basis and would you return to it often? Does it have ‘stickyness’ – is the app a ‘throw away’ or is it something that people will want to use all the time? A sticky app is the Holy Grail, it becomes part of a person’s routine. Can this app achieve that?

5: Reach – How big is the target market for the app and how much of the target market is being addressed? A specialist app might address a specific need/problem of particular user groups very well, but not have mass appeal. It should still be still rewarded though.
Does the app serve a need whereby other forms of ‘tapping into that service’ become less important? Can the app reach a target market, no mater how small or big, and remain useful?

Fergal Lawler Director of UX Strata 3

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