Once the talk of the town, mobile-friendly websites are quickly being replaced by mobile applications. Marketers are utilizing mobile apps to increase their bottom line and brand equity, proving the advantages that a convenient brand experience can bring for them.
But designing a successful app is not as easy as it sounds. A major reason of why an app does or doesn’t take off is its design, plain and simple. As any Android app development agency would tell you, good design in any user interface is imperative and in the case of mobile, good design is even more crucial because the small screen and unsteady operating environment make it even tougher to use an app, which good design can overcome. So, what are the best practices you must keep in mind while designing a mobile app for your brand? Let’s take a look:
- Simplicity is the key – Even though the whole world may seem to be adapting well to smartphones, not everybody is adept at it just yet. Our suggestion? If you are reaching out to a mass audience (and we think that you are), keep the design of your app simple and easy to navigate. Not only will this increase the appeal to the existing users, but also allow smartphone newbies to try it out. A good way is to take the most non-technical person you can find and watch him work the app. Take notes where they are getting stuck and make the necessary reworks.
- Be where your users are – Users are accessing brand content on a daily basis across multiple platforms. Be it iOS, Android, Windows, your audience is scattered. Plan your application in such a way that you can be present on multiple platforms and a potential user can reach you with ease.
- Platform specific customizations – That being said, users choose their platform for a reason- they feel comfortable with it. If you are going for multiple platforms, the app should respect the platform’s look and feel and not just come across as a mindless port, full of glitches and experience breaking bugs. One size does not fit all in this case. As a good iOS app development agency would tell you, at times the functionality and features of different platforms may prevent you from using the same design for both of them. In that case, it is advisable to create a related app instead and not disrupt the user experience on any of the platforms.
- Choose a direction and run with it – One mistake app developers often make is trying to do too much at the same time. The advisable thing to do would be to choose the prime need or issue your app is trying to address and focus on doing that better than anyone else in the market. Do not provide the user with multiple options to choose from, hoping they would pick the right one. Be crystal clear about the purpose and provide that to them through a properly guided experience.
- Grids ensure consistency – As many popular apps have shown, using a grid in your design structure can keep things consistent and help simplify the user experience. As any design expert from an Android app development agency will tell you, grids create visual connections, are easy to navigate, and provide a sense of uniformity across the app.
- Mock ups need to be shown on the device – When presenting mock ups for user and client feedback, make sure they are presented on the target device/platform. A presentation or a pdf shown on a larger laptop screen will not provide the exact look or the experience (swipe, scroll, touch, etc.) that the app may have on the actual device. It is thus advisable to show the mock ups and prototypes on the intended device.