A couple of weeks ago, I came across a great article from a Chinese product manager on how to study Internet products. I found this fascinating, as I’ve been always looking for ways to improve myself and design better products.
Nobody can teach you how to design a better product, neither can a book, or an article. Only products can teach you. Be passionate about them, study them, invest your time, be perseverant. The only person that can really help you is yourself.
Here’s what he suggests:
- Download top 20 free apps from each of the 23 categories (except Games) from iPhone App Store, that’s more than 400 apps.
- Try each app, go over all the pages and capabilities. Take notes of everything that comes to my mind. If I spend 20 minutes on each one on average, it would be more than 200 hours. If I invest 10 hours every week, it will take me more than half a year to go over all of them.
- During this time, I will form my own perspectives towards products. Then, I can write about my perspectives and communicate with others.
I decided to follow his advice and invest my time. I know this will help me do better in design.
On 3/21/2015, I downloaded 30 free apps from each of the 23 categories (except Games) from iPhone App Store, so that I can experience more of them. I did screenshots for rankings for Top Free, Top Paid as well as Top Grossing, so that I can analyze them from a conversion perspective.
I’m well aware that app ranks are changing all the time, and my analysis will be based on the time I downloaded them (3/21/2015). I update apps regularly, so that I can have the latest versions at the time of review.
Here are the apps I’m planning to review:
Below are links to my review notes (based on app ranking on 3/21/2015), I will update them as I finish each category:
Here’s a short speech I did in my Toastmasters club, introducing this project to them: