Top 10 Tips for Mobile App Design
Close to half of all Americans own a smartphone – and so having a mobile app presence, now more than ever is crucial to your brand’s success. A desirable function can only get you so far – but an app that’s well-designed and user-friendly can lead to it being embraced by this ever-growing stream of mobile users.
But how do you avoid failure and reach success in the world of mobile apps? By following our top ten tips on the MUST DO’S of mobile app design – so start reading, take notes and you’ll be well on your way successful app design!
1. Fine details can make a big difference. Successful apps make use of clean fonts, high-resolution images, and a sleek, organized layout. These may seem like minor quibbles, but even something as simple as a grainy or pixelated image can make your app look cheap and unprofessional.
2. Use the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid!). While many people have smartphones, few know how to navigate them effectively. If your app can’t be navigated by someone with little-to-no tech-savvy, it’s probably too complicated. Make sure to use only simple, concise text, clearly labeled buttons and be sure to have all your pages linked together in an intuitive fashion.
3. Be consistent. If your app is an extension of a pre-existing brand, be sure to incorporate your logo, color scheme, or any other design elements that are immediately associated with your existing brand. This creates unity within the users mind.
4. Adapt for mobile platforms. Remember that a mobile phone is different from a computer and creating a successful app isn’t just a matter of viewing a site on a small screen. Complex menus may be easy to operate with a computer mouse but an app relies on a simple finger-tap of the screen, so tailor your menus and buttons for easy-use and navigation.
5. These days, there’s more than just iPhones and iPad’s to consider. Your app is going to be viewed from numerous platforms running different operating systems, so be prepared to mingle with iOS, Android, and Window’s devices. Pay attention to the various distinctions between each device, taking note of their differences in resolution and design accordingly – for example, try conforming to the native resolution of each device, this will ensure your app gets displayed properly on each device. The goal is for your app to be attractive, intuitive and fully operational across multiple platforms.
6. Make use of grids. Grids are immensely helpful in organizing your app – it will ensure a unified and consistent layout that easy on the end-users eyes.
7. Customize for the end-user. Think about your target audience and in what context and circumstances they’ll be using your app in. Will they need to alter the text language quickly and easily? Is your font-size too small for those with vision impairments? Do you have to be a rocket-scientist to figure out how to operate and navigate through your apps core features? Know your average user and design accordingly – evaluate your apps design from the end-users point of view and remember to keep things clean and simple.
8. Don’t go overboard – every successful app is designed for one specific and clearly defined purpose, so avoid overcomplicating things. An app is designed to provide a particular, essential service for end-users – all the functions contained in your app should be there to complement the core purpose of your app. That being said, isolate your app’s main purpose early on and devote as much time as necessary for testing and revisions. With great effort and design planning, come great apps, with positive end-user experience and reviews – and this spells popularity and profit in the world of mobile apps.
9. Link into social networking. Users are more plugged into Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram than ever before: so why not give them the opportunity to promote their activities – and in turn, your app, across multiple networking platforms?
10. Optimize your colors. Mobile devices differ in their color support and resolution so keep this in mind while developing your design. Smartphones from blackberry and HTC support 65 thousand colors, while phones from Samsung and iPhone support 16 million. If you overlook these technical specs, your app may appear to have skewed colors depending on which device your operating it from, so make sure your colors are chosen wisely. If in doubt, consult a graphic professional, they can help.