A winning mobile application is the one that solves a problem, but how you will achieve it, is something more important. In this blog you will come across the list of things to consider before designing an application. Keep reading…
Applications have empowered humans immensely that today, there is an application available for every single challenge we face. But the crux of the matter is, not every application becomes popular.
If you go through your mobile, then you will find how few applications gained a spot in your favorite list, while a few others failed to impress you. Surprisingly, the rest did not even get into the download list. Isn’t it?
For having a better understanding of the mobile application design process, ask yourself two important questions, Which and How? Which applications became incredibly popular and How did they gain popularity?
You can have a better understanding if you analyze the answer of “Which” and “How’s” of the successful applications or even unsuccessful ones. Unsuccessful ones give you an idea about the things that you should not adopt while designing the application.
This analysis tells you where exactly you need to start and how you should remain focused on the goals. However, the only difference between those hundreds of successful applications and thousands of unsuccessful is, the user experience. User experience holds the power to either make or break the application name.
A great application should be able to attract, delight, retain, engage, and load fast. To surpass the above challenge, we have listed down salient considerations for designing an application.
Brainstorm the application idea
As mentioned above, if you do not stand out from the competition, your application probably would not even get noticed. Hence, you must find an idea that will mark its place in the market. Further, get a clear understanding of where your application is likely to be used. Whether you wish for a food delivery app, a healthcare app or a taxi booking app.
If you are planning a Food delivery app, then its design and functionality will be different from a taxi booking application. Likewise, an application idea will suggest whether you should have certain functionalities or not. You must draft a roadmap to know how exactly you need to design the application.
In-depth Market research
You can not jump into the uncharted terrain without knowing who your competitors are and what are their key strengths? Try gathering every possible insight into your prospective industry, and this will help you in distinguishing yourself from competitors.
Every single detail from the logo, algorithm, headlines, keyword strategy will take you a step ahead towards the success.Whenever you feel sure, note down every single requirement in a document and classify them as a functional Vs. non-functional requirement. Having said that, you are not here to reinvent the wheel, but you are here to come up with an idea that is never tried before. Focus more on creating user-friendly applications.
Understand the target audience
After figuring out how you are supposed to move ahead in the journey, it is time to know the target audience.
The features, functionalities, and design of the application, completely depends on understanding the target audience. This audience is the one who is going to notice the presence of your application in the marketplace.
If you overlook this crucial step, you may regret it later. Hence gather a clear understanding of who is your audience and how typically are they going to use the application..
To perform this, you can make a group for your target audience, and ask them about their expectations from the application. It may happen that you might discover a new innovative idea while interacting with them.
Define simple navigation
You can not dump every functionality at one point. Instead, you need to have a step by step procedure of how you expect your user to navigate the application. Hence, you need to invest your time in planning out how specifically the user will navigate within the application.
If you add more to the complexity in functions, the user may interact initially but may dump the application later.
Hence it is important to define a seamless screen to screen navigation. Additionally you also have to ensure that the screens are interlinked (not broken). It is essential to describe every possible and specific detail on each page because this ensures that the navigation remains intuitive.
Having said that, do not over-do it. Say for example, if you need a pop-out menu, then keep it plain and simple. The interactiveness of the application should not be disrupted on introducing or removing any feature from the application. Therefore, you need to put in efforts for defining a user-friendly interface that will allow the user to land upon the final destination effortlessly.
You can also initiate text-based navigation or use widely known navigation icons with which users can easily relate. Prioritize the navigation into different levels, i.e. High, Medium and Low priority.
Project the priority levels in your UI paths and optimize the structure. You should pick up the navigation patterns in a way that remains consistent throughout the application.
As rightly said by Jakob Nielsen, recognizing things is easier as compared to remembering it. You should make this a thumb rule and make your navigation easy and visible.
You can also refer to the mobile app design guidelines or use standard navigation patterns for iOS and Android.
You need to make every functionality and application offering count to your audience. By doing this you can ensure your spot on the top list of applications.
Don’t clutter the interface
Minimal is the key when it comes to application designing. You do not have to flood the screen with icons, buttons, images and make the screen look cluttered. Therefore, only add things that are much needed in the application.
Cluttered design is the worst enemy of all time. For decluttering the interface you can do the following things.
1. Plan minimum, but compelling content
2. Use minimal interface elements
3. You can use progressive disclosure feature to expand a feature
4. Use high-quality images, but optimize it to fit the screen size
5. Pick up menial color strategy
Go for Offloading the task and keep the communication clear and concise
Users will get irritated if you keep on asking them to enter the same set of data repeatedly. And hence, you need to pick up a design that needs minimal user efforts.
Go through your proposed design protocol and check if the data entered in the first place can be used again, instead of asking the user to input it. Mobile app design guidelines in 2020 suggest that you should keep the application form (if any), as short as possible.
The thumb rule that follows application designing is, keeping the form short, easy-to-fill and relevant. You can choose to notify the user of entering the wrong data by using input masks.
You can also use dynamic validation so that users can correct the mistakes immediately at the time of data submission.
However, if you still need to collect important information from the user, you can divide the task into sub-tasks. One brilliant example of bite-size chunking is a seamless checkout process of an eCommerce application. Divide the checkout procedure into steps, first the personal information collection, second address, third payment and so forth. When the flow becomes logical, the user can easily proceed further.
Crisp and to the point communication is always preferred over lengthy and boring mobile interactions. Communication here means the way you represent your text to the user. You should avoid using jargon that is difficult to understand by the target audience. Fancy words may look good to you, but by using them you increase the bounce rate and cognitive load.
Pick up a consistent design throughout the application
It is a human tendency to prefer consistency over variation. The reason being, consistency looks more appealing and convincing. In the context of application design consistency, you need to focus on three main things, visual consistency, functional consistency, and external consistency.
Visual consistency means, let your buttons, icons, labels and typography be in coordination with each other throughout the application.
Functional consistency means every single element of user interaction should look-alike at all the pages of the application.
External consistency means the design should not change on changing the platform of usage (i.e iOS or Android)
Let the application have a native feel so that the users find it authentic and trust the application more.
Pick up a color code that looks appealing and is accessible by everyone
The design of the user interface should be accessible by every person, be it people with disabilities or colorblindness. It is quite surprising to know that almost 4.5% of the global population experience color-blindness. And hence, you need to design an application keeping these audiences in mind.
People suffering from deuteranopia or protanopia will find it difficult to distinguish between the basic colors, red and green. For making your application accessible to these audiences, you can use icons and labels that shall communicate better with the user.
Optimize the content for mobile
As we know, content is the King and will continue to be so, even in the coming years. Your compelling content is the first point of interaction, and hence, it should be clear and concise. Well-crafted content can do wonders for your application. But how will you ensure that it remains the same is listed in the lines below.
An excellent Typography is key to application success. It is the art of arranging text in a way that it looks readable and accessible on appearing over the screen. When the user lands upon the page, s/he should be able to read the content. To ensure this, you need to do the following:
1. Keep the font size smaller so that it fits any screen size
2. Do not think of changing the font style drastically. Use the default interface, say for iOS, keep it San Francisco and for Android, use Roboto
3. Pick up the text color that looks aesthetically appealing to the user
4. In order to increase the readability of the content, avoid writing everything in the capital
5. Do not extend the length of the paragraphs, keep it short, maybe only 30 to 40 characters per line.
6. Use proper spacing between the lines. Do not squeeze the lines which makes it difficult for the reader to grasp information.
Humanize the user experience
Designing an application is all about making your user feel special over the interaction with the application. An important aspect of doing this is, personalizing the experience. Personalized content and experience open the door of success.
You can offer the audience some product suggestions based on their location or past searches. Additionally, you can also update them about the special deals available for their favorite product. Remember how Starbucks crafted tailored deals for every individual customer?
Channelize the way you want to convey your message to the readers. While doing this, make sure that you do not interrupt the browsing experience.
We hope you are now ready to share the success story of your brilliant application. Always, keep in mind that a perfect application is an amalgamation of designs, features and functionalities. If anyone of the above fails to be in sync with the other, you probably lose the game.
If you have any queries regarding application designing, get in touch with a mobile app designing company for guidance. We wish that you create an application design that makes you proud.