An Interview with Ronnie Nguyen, Creator of Aminal Stickers

Ronnie Nguyen is the creator of Aminal Stickers, a popular iMessage Sticker app that has made the iTunes Top 20 many times! We've had the pleasure of interviewing Ronnie recently to learn more about how his background and the inspiration behind Aminal Stickers.

Fun Fact: Aminal Stickers is a client on our stickers platform and we've had an awesome time working with Ronnie and seeing his app grow in the past year!

Where are you currently based and what is your main job?

I am currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area and work as an application developer. It’s honestly not too particularly interesting to talk about.

What was the inspiration behind creating Aminal Stickers? Did you have any idea it was going to become one of the top sticker apps in iTunes when you were designing it?

Back when I first updated to iOS 10, I was excited to start looking for stickers to download and send to people. But when I looked through the iMessage store at the time, there really weren’t many free sticker options I liked and I was too way cheap to want to buy any sticker packs. So, I decided I would rather make my own stickers and have it be free so that my friends and other people can use it without spending any money. So I started drawing these stickers after work and that’s kind of how it all started! And as a disclaimer, there are definitely many more amazing free stickers available these days compared to when the iMessage store just opened.

I think when a lot of people make or work on anything, they hope it becomes successful and I was no exception to that. But hoping it does well and actually thinking it will do well is really different. While I hoped the stickers would do well, I really didn’t think it’d be as ‘successful’ as it is now. I feel like I didn’t really know it would do well until it did well.

This one may be a hard question but which sticker is your favorite? If you have one that is! We took a poll at ROKO Labs and no one can seem to agree on just one. Though I’m partially biased towards the bumblebee drinking bubble tea.

Haha! That is definitely a hard question for me to answer, especially because I probably have a small story or comment about each sticker. I think right now, my favorite stickers are the dancing hermit crabs. A user in Boston messaged the Facebook page saying how much he loved the app and was wondering if there was anyway I could make a sticker of a hermit crab for him. Because I was so easily flattered, I ended up making it for him in a few days and he was super appreciative.

My favorite sticker honestly changes all the time though. I really like the bumblebee with the boba (yes, I call it boba).

How often do you receive fan requests for certain animals? Do you have a favorite request?

Back when the sticker app was doing ‘very’ well, I got 2 or 3 requests a week. I completed what I could or what I thought would work well and for some that I couldn’t do, I added it to a list for possible future additions. I wish I had the time and ability to complete all the requests but I just don’t these days.

As for favorite requests, I guess I have to say the hermit crabs. There are definitely other great requests but that one was the first ones that came to my head.

Seeing that iMessage stickers are still quite new for Apple, as both an artist and technologist, where would you like to see Apple take iMessage stickers in the future?

Personally, I feel like the user experience for iMessage stickers can still be improved. It takes too many steps to find and use stickers/iMessage apps but fortunately, Apple is attempting to improve it in iOS11. Additionally, I feel like a lot of people just don’t know about them or even how to use stickers still.

Other than that though, I know that some users would like to be able to easily use iMessage stickers on other platforms instead of just iMessage. I know keyboards are a decent workaround but it’s not quite the same.

We’ll see what they can do!

Besides stickers, do you have any other personal projects in the works?

A friend of mine asked me for some rough character designs for an iOS game he is making and I am essentially done with that. But now I might go looking for another project to join so that I have something else to do besides stickers! It was nice having options of different things to do!

What can we expect for upcoming seasonal or themed stickers from Aminal Stickers?

I am hoping to get more summer themed stickers out there by the time summer is over and I’ll definitely be adding some stickers for fall but that shouldn’t be a big surprise. I am thinking of adding a miscellaneous tab to the app for stickers that don’t quite fit into the tabs I currently have but I haven’t gotten started on any of those yet! We’ll see!

Aminal Stickers has seen amazing success as one of the top iMessage Sticker Apps in the iTunes store. Do you have any advice for aspiring sticker designers and creators?

It sounds obvious, but if you are making stickers, make stickers that people would be able to actually use in their messages because if people use your stickers then more people will use your stickers!

Additionally, I think people really like it when sticker packs get updated. Imagine if you really like a sticker set and you want more but the developers never update it, it kind of sucks. On the other-hand, if a developer does update their stickers frequently, it gives users a reason to check the app more often and that results in more uses. The importance of adding more stickers was definitely one of the reasons I decided to work with Instabot as well because they make it so easy to add more stickers.

I’m sure you’ve achieved many milestones with Aminal Stickers – Is there one that particularly stands out for you?

The first thousand downloads honestly meant a lot. The first week or so I had maybe 80 downloads total and was thinking, “oh well, at least I tried.” Then one day I woke up and saw that number jump straight to 1000, I was so happy the whole day.

Do you have a message for fans of Aminal Stickers?

Thanks a ton to everyone who has downloaded Aminal Stickers, it really means a lot.

Super sorry for the lack of updates recently too. Once I get my mojo back, I will be adding more and hopefully, you all love these new stickers just as much as you love the old ones! And if any of you ever have any ideas you’d love to see, please let me know because I want you to enjoy the stickers/app as much as I do! Thanks again!

Thank you Ronnie for being an awesome client and bringing your fun and sassy stickers to the iOS world! Follow Aminal Stickers on the following platforms:

iTunes | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Images are taken from Aminal Stickers