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App Developer Chat: The Power of Storytelling for Your Mobile App

Last time on #AppDevChat we had a discussion about the Power of Storytelling for Your Mobile App with Christa Avampato of  Christa in New York. She writes/teaches/makes and is the founder of @CompassYoga, journalist, voice over artist and more!

Read the summary to see her involvement in the #AppDevChat community.

AppDevChat is open to any app developers or others interested in learning about developing, creating, inventing, marketing apps. It happens every Thursday at 10am PST on twitter. We post the recap here.


Q1)What exactly does storytelling mean and look like in an app?


It’s comprehensive: visuals, written content, UX, actions a user takes, what the user gets in return for those actions. And…the feedback loop to the app developer & how a user shares their experience with the app with others. @christanyc


Q2)Why is it important to create killer content for your app?


The chances of building something completely original is slim, so your content is largely what you have to set yourself apart. If that’s the case, the quality of your content can directly correlate to the success your app may or may not experience @theCodeBender

Because content is what keeps people interested. If your app, or site, or magazine is boring – people bail. @QManning


Q3) Why do you need to consider hiring a writer for your app?


I think this sort of goes with Q2… hiring writer = better content, better content = better results @theCodeBender


Q4) Why is the intersection of content & visual design in mobile apps so important?


Goes along with great content = differentiator. Having great visuals completes the package! @Playstogether

Because its not just about what you say, but also, how you say it. In print/digital, how you say it is visual. @QManning

Visual is what you have to grab the users initial attention, but if content is crap, bounce rate will be high. Must marry the two. @theCodeBender

Agreed! Visuals and content need to come together to create a holistic experience for the user. @christanyc


Q5) What are some ways of testing to make sure you have the right combo of design content/story for app?


I think of testing app content similar to testing advertising / marketing content.  I’ve used online mkt research panels for content. Also user testing is a great place to vet content & visuals. Also, important to build apps so that the written content can easily be switched out if it needs tweaking. @christanyc

Prototyping for the win! Always great to have little snippets in a prototype to get the feel of UX and gameplay exp. Some of our team members have tried just walking out of the building with some print materials & surveying runs that way  @Playstogether

I like the idea of releasing to a single countries app store, track analytics and use patterns to find out what works and…what doesn’t. Then once you iron it out, release it world wide… its like having a very large testing base.  have heard that a lot of developers release to Canada first, let it get worked out, then bring it to US etc..@theCodeBender

Deep market research, paying attention to the competition, user surveys & questionnaires. @QManning

Q6) What is the importance of storyboards in app development?


Storyboarding helps you think through, and find holes in UX. It also helps you plan out the story you’re telling. @playstogether

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin @theCodeBender

Absolutely. If you storyboard, you can’t skip user steps the way you do if all the planning is done in your head. @christanyc


Q7) How do storyboards differ from wireframes?


Storyboarding & wire framing are essentially the same, but you could say storyboarding is less detailed. @QManning

I think of wireframes as pov of developers & storyboards as pov of user. Also think storyboard gets as “why is the user here”. And then wireframes fill in the tech details. @christanyc

I think it’s a subtle difference, but w/Storyboarding it’s about the flow of experience. Wireframes are more UX/UI. @Playstogether


Q8) How can a powerful story effect & retain your mobile audience?


Powerful story draws people in. Generates WOM & sharing. Turns users into advocates. With mobile you have less time to grab user’s attention than w/ other content channels. Mobile users have high expectations. @christanycIt makes users feel they’re a part of something, and want to see it through to the end. @Playstogether

All about retaining viewership. When a user picks up their phone u want them 2 b thinking of your app b4 they unlock the screen. A compelling story makes that possible, similar to the same way you remember/re watch a movie you liked vs one you didn’t. @theCodeBender


Q9) What are examples of apps that tell a story very well?


#Path has a compelling story: tracking the moments of your life.  Obviously, games have great stories – #Device6#TheRoom, etc. #Gowallaused to tell a GREAT story. Very missed. @QManning

Recently started using CBS Local app and love it. Beautiful, easy to navigate, customizable to news I care about. Also love the iOS app Robin’s Egg. Highly recommend people check that one out! Crazy about the new app “Over” as well. @christanyc

Just discovered “Bubbli” – absolutely fantastic concept.  Take a 360 degree video of where you stand and people can they experience that setting from inside your “bubble”@theCodeBender



Join us for #appdevchat on Thursday November 21th at 10am PST and be sure to use


If you’d like to participate and lead a discussion, please contact [email protected]