Interview with Rudy Hein: best-selling developer shares secrets to the success of his applications

    French developer Rudy Hein (Rudy Huyn), perhaps, be called the most famous and popular independent creator application for Windows Phone platform. At the moment, his portfolio includes about 18 applications, among which such unofficial clients as 6tag, 6snap for Snapchat, CloudSix for Dropbox and others stand out .

    The total number of downloads of all its applications exceeds 15 million, which, you see, is a good result for an indie developer. Our colleagues managed to talk with Rudy the other day, and today we decided to share this interview with you.

    Being a big fan of Windows, Rudy believes that the secret to the success of his applications lies in the fact that when they are developed, the emphasis is not on monetization (although it is indisputably present in most Rudy applications), but on user satisfaction.

    Why Windows? What do you like so much about this operating system?

    Of the latest innovations, I really liked the universal applications that appeared simultaneously with the release of Windows 8.1. Now I can easily release applications for PCs, tablets and smartphones without the need to develop an app for each platform. It saves me a ton of time. Application development is becoming more efficient, and users get the same experience of use and ample opportunity to synchronize processes, regardless of which device they use.

    Roughly speaking, I can use my application on Windows Phone and continue to work on my computer or tablet from the place where I finished it on Windows Phone.

    For example, I recently launched a universal application for one company with 82 percent of the code common for Windows Phone and Windows. This has helped us save almost three weeks of hard work, all thanks to universal applications.

    I have long been accustomed to the idea that the developer is an artist. And, as the artist is supposed, each time, creating something completely new for his audience (user,), he starts from scratch, investing completely in his creation. And Windows 8.1 is an artist’s toolkit that provides him with all the possibilities to create real works of art.

    I look forward to Windows 10, which will expand the code base not only on Windows Phone, but also on the Xbox platform. I'm already planning various scenarios to take advantage of these features and am going to publish apps for the Xbox One. It is very exciting.

    Your applications have been downloaded over 15 million times. Two of them, 6tin (the Tinder client, which may soon become official. - Approx. Author) and 6tag received about 85,000 reviews in the WP store and 4.5 points out of 5. How do you monetize them? What works best for your applications?

    Some of my applications, like a client for Wikipedia and a simple counterhave no monetization model. I mean, they are free and do not have built-in ads, because I just did them for my own entertainment. In other applications, I mainly use built-in advertising, because I do not think that my applications should buy for money.

    Wikipedia app

    I understand that people primarily turn their attention to free apps. Therefore, in order to achieve popularity in the application store, it is very important to bet on such monetization models as internal purchases and advertising.

    To choose the perfect monetization option, you need to understand how users use your application. For example, take my clients for social services: 6tin, 6tag, 6sec, 6snap. Users during the day repeatedly open the application and are delayed there for several minutes each time. This is an ideal scenario for using advertising.

    To make money with ads, you need to achieve good ad viewing performance. In my applications, the average CPM (Cost Per Impression, cost per impression) is about $ 0.12. This is a pretty low price tag, but I generate millions of impressions every day.

    In my other applications, such as TVShow , users spend only 20 seconds a day or less, so in them I can not make money through advertising.

    In such cases, I offer two versions: full and lite with slightly reduced functionality. Nevertheless, even in the stripped-down version, I want to keep the user experience, leaving all the basic features for comfortable work. In order to at least somehow compensate for this, I include advertising. Roughly speaking, in this case, having a free version, I make money from showing ads and at the same time motivating users to purchase a paid version.

    6tag app

    Another smart trick: you can also use your free apps to cross-promote others. This is a complicated, but rather tricky and effective way. Somewhere I openly advertise my own applications (for example, in my Wikipedia application), and somewhere I expand the functionality of one of my applications with the help of another. So in 6snap, users can access their files that are on Dropbox using my other application - CloudSix.

    Such internal cross-functionality works very well: CloudSix downloads tripled after I integrated this feature into 6snap. Some applications are difficult to monetize, but using similar mechanics, one application can qualitatively improve the monetization of another.

    How much, if not secret, does your application bring you money?

    Bring more than I expected. Lately enough for me to decide to quit my main job and fully focus on working on them. I’ve been in “free swimming” for about a year now and have never regretted it.

    Do you know what I love Windows for? This is a very cool platform for developers: users are very motivated, and the community is set up to support each other. It is much easier to be a successful developer on Windows platforms than on iOS and Android.

    What is the secret of your success?

    I myself often wonder. You know, I don’t focus on the financial success of my applications, for me it's just numbers. I'm just an ardent fan of Windows Phone, I love this platform and I want to make it even more pleasant for users using my applications.

    I give my best to please people who use my apps and always share ideas, concepts, screenshots and beta versions with my Twitter followers. I am in constant dialogue, for I need to know what people think, who use what I create. And it always benefits me.

    6snap application

    For example, when I created 6tag, four days before the release, I sent a tweet asking for help in localizing the application. More than 100 users volunteered to help me with this, and in the end I immediately released an application with support for 30 languages! I am sure that many large companies would not be able to crank up something like that.

    What can you recommend to other developers?

    In each of my applications, I try to use as many opportunities as possible to promote other applications. For example, I make a list of all my applications in the section "About the developer / about the application" and set my own "stubs" with advertising of my applications in case the content from advertising providers is unavailable for any reason. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I try to make my own advertising banners in those applications in which I do not use advertising.

    Unlike others, the Windows Phone Store promotes not only top applications, but also applications from independent developers. Special promotions and collections of the app store will significantly increase the number of downloads, not only at the time of their holding, but also for some time after. Therefore, I urge all developers to contact local Microsoft departments to provide this opportunity.

    In addition, Microsoft recently released a new advertising tool called Ad Mediation . This is a very useful tool that will help you customize ads depending on the geography of users.

    What else? Set up a feedback channel with users on social networks or create a forum. I spend several hours every day answering the questions and wishes of my users, thereby I improve loyalty and get new ideas from them. Believe me, many of the applications that I created appeared as a result of requests on social networks.

    As a developer, you may separate concepts such as “development”, “publishing” and “marketing” into three independent components, but in reality everything looks different. You should always think about users, starting with the development of a logo and description in the store, and ending with what happens when they (users) open your application. Only by combining all this together, you will feel real satisfaction and pride in your development.

    You can see all the applications of Rudi at this link .

    Also popular now: