Building Apps for Too Wide a User Demographic

CinePro's app icon on the iTunes App StoreThe app developers at Mind Diaper (that’s not a joke) have released a nifty little video camera app for the iPhone 4S technology.

Besides the ability to record, there are customizable film rates, “lens” filters (sorta like Instagram’s) aspect ratio controls, and more to make CinePro new and different from other iOS camera apps.

But the apps marketing is flaud. CinePro is pitched as follows:

“The best camera in the world is the one you have with you”

…I’m with their selling points so far.

CinePro started with the belief that everyone is a filmmaker…

Losing me now…

…Our goal was to create a tool that was powerful enough for professional filmmakers and friendly enough for anyone with a passion for capturing life’s best moments.

Our dream is to see the Cinepro community capture everything from full length features to birthday parties. CinePro »

Sorry. No-can-do, Mind Diaper. Apps are better suited for one of two users. Think of The Big Bang Theory characters; Penny and Sheldon most certainly would not want to use the same camera app. Penny would use iOS’s built-in camera, and Sheldon would be turned off by any app that attempts to make pros and consumers happy at the same time.

Pros want something powerful. Consumers want something lazy and pretty. Realistic speaking, there isn’t an in-between.

“Pro-sumer” types get tired of trying to tread the fine line very quickly. They try an app that tries to appeal to both, then when it proves there are too many compromises to make consumers happy, the “pro” in you gives up using the app. And the consumer within you gives up when the app proves to be too technical.

My recommendation would be to make two apps under the same name, of sorts. Call one CineMo and the other CinePro, or something like that. Cater to the user’s interests and goals—not to your daydreams of nerdom.

And don’t misunderstand me. The app is probably got its good features, and I intend to give it a test drive. I want a more powerful camera. But let’s be honest: everyday users want fewer features. Pros want the power tools. Not everyone is a geek that uses an iPhone to take videos and snapshots.