A mobile website or app is one of the most frustrating things for a user or customer to navigate when it comes to a brand. There are so many ways you can go wrong when designing something for mobile, and if it isn’t user-friendly or aesthetic enough, it could mean the loss of a potential lead. And according to Statista, mobile apps will accrue $613 billion in revenues by 2025.
Mobile technology allows a business to interact with customers individually, making a sale more personal and garnering more trust in your brand. Due to the importance of those relationships, having a mobile app is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity. This tech also allows customers to link back to your online store, leading to an increase in web traffic.
Two key factors go into a successful mobile app – development strategy and design.
When it comes to development, the most critical stages include identifying and targeting your audience, defining your business model as it pertains to mobile usage and choosing the right technology to build your app. Some leading technologies include Swift, C++, Java, HTML5, PhoneGap and many more. Doing your research to determine the best fit for your end goal and pre-planned model is essential.
Effective app design is necessary for success in the mobile realm. If it isn’t easy to navigate and straightforward, users may stick around for a while but ultimately grow frustrated and move on to something else.
If you want to build a lucrative mobile app, we have seven tips for doing just that:
- Stick with what’s familiar
Users already know what they want, so it’s important not to deviate too much from the norm. Does that mean you can’t add in your own creativity? Of course not. But you must blend your brand and style with what has historically worked for other major apps and what users know and love. Most successful apps tend to have a similar design and layout.
Use your favorite apps as a guide to build and design yours.
For example, some things to mimic from other apps include touch and button gestures, icon sizes and navigation processes.
- Don’t underestimate color
Everything in your design must have thought behind it, including color schemes. Picking random colors to base your app on can unintentionally turn off groups of people. Using colors that are too bright, contrasting or difficult to read can strain your users’ eyes and force them to leave your app or mobile site. It’s also a good idea to use common colors for important buttons, like using red or warm colors for “no” or “exit” and green or cool colors for “yes” and “go” functions.
You want to include your brand’s colors in some way, but it doesn’t have to be the entire theme of the page if it doesn’t make sense aesthetically or will make the text more difficult or confusing to read.
- Consider screen sizes
When designing a new app or mobile page, mobile app designers must keep different types and sizes of devices in mind. Not recognizing different resolutions for each screen can lead to a problematic reading and user experience. iPhones range in screen size from 4 inches to 5.8 inches, which doesn’t even consider Android or tablet users.
All navigation tools, such as buttons, menus, ad banners, etc., must be easy to use regardless of screen size or resolution. If sizes, colors or designs keep changing from one page to another, it can confuse the user and cause frustration and a negative association with your brand.
- Remember loading speed
If parts of your app are too complex for the technology you’re using, it can affect how long it takes for pages on the app to load. Bounce rate, the percentage of visitors that leave a page or an app without taking action, can significantly increase with each second a user is waiting on a page to load.
An increased bounce rate will cause users to leave an app and not return. Simplifying design is an easy solution to this problem, and it typically makes an app more appealing to a user anyway.
- Navigation should be simple
Users of a wide age range will likely be using your app, which means navigation should be easy and self-explanatory for everyone. As mentioned previously, one way of doing this is to stick with a familiar design with an easy-to-use menu and large buttons. Since most apps are navigated through lists, you can make them larger and use straightforward names for each page you’re leading users to through menus.
A user-friendly design also means less scrolling, zooming, or being forced to scroll to see an entire image or video. Older users will trust the technology more if a design includes easy navigation, and younger users will be more likely to recommend it to others. There are a variety of navigation types to consider in your design process.
- Make everything accessible
Consider everything when looking at your design plan. Not everyone holds their phones the same way, and some use two hands instead of one. Some people are right-handed, and some are left-handed. Your app has to be accessible for every type of user.
Think of elements like button size and range of text size for people with disabilities. It’s wise to allow users to personalize some things for their own capabilities.
Allow users to change text size and brightness and look at different ways to zoom. A good example is Facebook including a “dark mode” option for people who like a darker screen for easier reading. Make your users feel like you considered their individual needs in the design process.
- Test, test and test again
The most crucial step in app design is undoubtedly the testing phase. You’ve put so much work into a project, and it would be a disservice to yourself and your business to put an untested technology out. And as you should recognize as the designer that you may be biased, send it out to other people for testing as well. Ask for honest and constructive feedback and move forward accordingly. No one likes a glitchy app.
App design isn’t an easy undertaking, and whether designing it internally or hiring an outside party, it’s important to know the best practices while staying true to your brand. Let your creativity shine, but don’t let it sink the app.