80/20 Rule in

App Design & Development

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a rule of thumb in business that states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This principle applies across various fields, including app design and development. It suggests that approximately 80% of an app’s usage comes from 20% of its features. Let’s explore this concept further.

Focus on Core Features

  1. Instagram: Instagram’s core feature is the ability to share photos and videos with followers. While there are many other features such as messaging, IGTV, and shopping, the central user interaction revolves around sharing visual media. This feature attracts most of the user interaction and accounts for a major portion of the app’s success.
  2. Uber: At its heart, Uber is a ride-hailing service. Despite having other services such as Uber Eats and Uber Freight, it’s the core ride-hailing feature that generates most of its usage and revenue.

App developers can harness this 80/20 rule by identifying and focusing on the essential 20% of features that will drive 80% of the usage and user satisfaction.

Prioritizing User Feedback

  1. Snapchat: Initially, Snapchat focused on its core ephemeral messaging feature. However, as user feedback suggested, Stories became one of their most popular features, demonstrating that sometimes that crucial 20% can change based on user engagement and feedback.
  2. WhatsApp: WhatsApp initially offered simple text messaging. However, the addition of voice messaging, a feature strongly demanded by users, made it more popular and engaging.

Listening to user feedback can help identify the critical 20% of features that users value the most and prioritize them for development.

Improving App Performance

  1. Google Chrome: Google found that 80% of the browser’s resources were consumed by just 20% of the site’s features. By identifying and optimizing these, they significantly improved Chrome’s overall performance.
  2. Spotify: By analyzing usage data, Spotify realized that personalized playlists, which only make up a small portion of the app’s features, accounted for a significant proportion of user engagement. As a result, they focused on enhancing these features to improve the overall user experience.

Through performance monitoring and optimization, developers can identify the 20% of features that consume 80% of resources and optimize them to enhance overall app performance.

Strategic Marketing and Monetization

  1. Fortnite: The creators of Fortnite identified early on that while the basic game is free-to-play, the majority of their revenue (over 80%) comes from just 20% of players who purchase in-game cosmetics and battle passes.
  2. Tinder: Tinder’s revenue model relies heavily on its premium features like unlimited likes, the ability to change location, and ‘boost’ visibility. These premium features are only used by a small percentage (about 20%) of their overall user base, yet they generate the majority of the company’s revenue.

Developers can apply the 80/20 rule to devise effective monetization strategies, focusing on the small subset of users who are likely to generate the majority of revenue.

In conclusion, the 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle is an effective strategy in app design and development. It helps in focusing resources on critical features, improving performance, maximizing user satisfaction, and devising effective monetization strategies. By understanding and applying this principle, developers can create successful and efficient applications.