Lessons from Py - How to Get on the Front Page of the App Store

  •    Derek is CEO & Co-Founder of Py. Py offers coding courses on everything from Python to iOS development.

In early June of 2017 Apple featured Py on the front page of the Apple App Store! We were beyond excited. Our ranking in the Education category of the App Store soared to #5. Py took a spot next to the likes of Duolingo and Quizlet. Although we can’t be 100% certain why Apple chose us, here are the top 4 reasons we think we got a spot on the front page:

1. Intuitive User Interface

We spent a long time making sure that the app’s interface is inviting and easy to use. As a general rule when building interfaces: if you end up needing a tutorial to explain how to use the interface, you probably need to modify it to make things more obvious. From the moment people open Py, users are never left wondering how to choose a course, continue to the next lesson, answer a quiz, etc. It took several iterations to build an intuitive interface. We spent hours talking with our users and even watching some of them use Py to observe points of confusion. If you’re building a consumer-facing product, talk to your users (and watch them use your product, if possible)!

2. Interactive Content

Py hoomepage

Our initial prototype of Py had two kinds of lessons: plain text and fill-in-the-blanks. The plain text lessons were just that; text. The fill-in-the-blank lessons, however, were more engaging. They allowed the user to modify code by changing variables names, updating values and even changing the entire flow of a program. As we built out more content, we noticed that friends who tried the app loved the interactive content but would get bored reading long paragraphs.

To test the effect of these lesson types at scale, we looked at our user data. We discovered that engagement improved considerably for modules with only fill-in-the-blank lessons. This insight resulted in the decision to almost exclusively create interactive content. We implemented several new interaction types and this ultimately improved engagement with Py considerably. We learned an important lesson here: making data-driven decisions can affect the consumer’s experience in a big way.

3. Bite-sized Lessons

Another interesting thing we discovered when examining our data was that occasionally modules with more lessons would actually have higher completion rates than modules with fewer lessons. That seems counterintuitive, since each additional lesson added to the module creates more work for the user and increases the chance that the user drops out early. The trend we noticed was that modules that contained lessons with less text but more interaction drove completion rate higher, leading to a better learning experience.

4. Great Reviews

Reviews on the App Store are a pretty good indicator of the quality of an app. The best crafted apps typically have at least 4.5 stars. At the time Py was featured on the App Store, we had 5 stars. We think these reviews speak for themselves!

I will PayPal you guys a dollar for no reason.

Simple & Great
I downloaded this app because I wanted to touch-up on a couple of languages. This app is a perfect tool to learn how to code, especially for beginners AND experts. Greatest platform for learning how to code.

Best App
Best app for bite-sized learning tech Amazing UX for learning coding, big data etc. Simple. Well-designed and organized into achievable lessons. Makes it fun and very minor bugs w/ feedback. So happy I found this app last month.

For many, getting started with coding is overwhelming and scary. Py’s made it easy with an app that teaches the fundamental concepts of programming in a personalized and gamified way. Py has helped over 500,000 people learn everything from Python to Swift in the spare moments of their day. Try Py today and use the code "WEEBLY" to get a 50% discount on Py Premium!