The Android Dev's Guide to Apps & Startups

Apr 26 2016 - By Kaitlin Dunning

Earlier this month,Cititec hosted the Android Dev's Guide to Apps & Startups, which was part of our series of mobile meetups. We had fantastic speakers; Mario Viviani from Amazon, Nirish Shakya from NOW TV (Sky), and Niall Roche from UCL Centre for Entrepreneurship, who provided the audience with priceless tips on how to make the most of their mobile apps.

Mario Viviani


Lead Developer Evangelist at Amazon 


Amazon’s expert Technology Evangelist Mario Viviani has published more than 90 Android apps with more than 12 Million downloads and is well established within the Android developer community. He was a Google Developer Expert (GDE) for Android from 2013 to 2015 and has been engaging with the startup environment for years. In his talk he shared best practice on raising your rank in the Amazon Appstore.

In his presentation, Mario quoted Charles Kettering, "People are very open-minded about new things- as long as they are exactly like the old ones." Keeping this in mind, it is important for apps to be developed with the user experience in mind.

Mario urged the audience to avoid sneaky tips, and to instead:

  • Avoid being a jerk
  • Know the app space
  • Defend your copyrights
  • Have a friend at each store
  • Join industry groups

The Amazon Appstore has over 50,000 apps and is available in 236 countries and territories. In addition to national currency, Amazon coins can be used to purchase apps, games, and in-app items. The coins allow for unique promotion, rewards, and gifting opportunities for developers to use.

What's the best part of the Amazon Appstore? That's the secret Amazon Undergound app where everything is truly free. That's correct, free apps...check it out!


Nirish Shakya


UX Lead at Now TV (Sky)


Nirish Shakya is a UX Lead at NOW TV (Sky) and a UX coach/trainer. He has been designing products across multiple channels including web, mobile and in-store for big name brands in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, including financial institutions, universities, telcos and not-for-profits. He has been in the digital industry for 10 years, starting off as a developer and UI designer, and then diving head first into UX design in 2010. He regularly practices Vipassana meditation and Wing Chun Kung Fu which he believes have made him a better designer. 

According to Nirish, no matter what your job title is, you are already designing user experiences (intentionally or unintentionally). You should always think in terms of goals and tasks of the user, not just individual screens.

Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap. This translates to the necessity of trying things multiple times until you get it right.

Good design is:

  • Humanly desirable
  • Economically viable
  • Technically feasible

The 4 Most Importance Aspects of UX:

  • User-centred design
  • Follow the user
  • Ideate collaboratively
  • Test, test, test

Nirish's full presentation can be found here. Additionally, you can attend one of his upcoming UX courses through General Assembly.


Niall Roche


Technical Lead at UCL Centre for Entrepreneurship


Niall Roche is the Technical Lead at UCL Centre for Entrepreneurship. He has worked as a Software Engineer and Project Manager, specialising in mobile related technology, and has experience in developing mobile web and cross platform native applications. He consults with and trains companies to effectively use mobile technologies and also advises how to design and develop mobile solutions. 

According to Niall, you should use analytics to find out who users are, how they are using your product (or not), and what they are interested in, as this saves wasted efforts.

Metrics: The metrics you should be measuring are acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue, but this list certainly is not exhaustive.

What you should know about your users:

  • Geographic location
  • Customer referral and campaigns
  • Gender
  •  Age
  • Language
  • Device
  • When they use your app

Cohort Analysis allows you to:

  • Match your campaigns to cohorts
  • Ignore vanity metrics
  • Calculate lifetime value of customers
  • Buy users to visit your site

Technical problems to avoid:

  • Leaving page on form submit
  • Not being careful  with code placement
  • Missing images, load events may not 
  • Not having timeouts for handling errors

 Useful analytics tools:

  • Google Analytics
  • MixPanel
  • Liquid
  • Flurry
  • Crashlytics

  • UXCam
  • AppAnalytics
  • UsabilityTools
  • Localytics
  • Apteligent
  • Amazon
  • Segment
  • Kissmetrics

Interested in hearing more about events like this? Join our Mobile Devs of London Meetup Group!

Kaitlin Dunning

Kaitlin Dunning

Digital Marketing Manager of Cititec


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