Mobile app design – Not a walk in the park.
Apps seem to have become the biggest trends over the past few years. The advent and rise of smartphone technology and ease of accessibility to the masses have only advocated the need for more apps. These apps today make the most difficult of chores seem like a breeze. Through the use of a few taps, one can get anything done in a matter of minutes.
With such conveniences also come the complexities of a mobile app design. Designing and developing a quality app to reach the hands of the masses is no easy step. It takes careful thinking, planning and execution on the part of mobile application developers to create an app that many would deem useful.
Creating an app today is no different than creating a website, at least in terms of the initial steps needed. Mobile application developers make decisions as they build their apps. Some take decisions that favor their end game but cause grief for the users. Here are some mistakes one should avoid when one sits for a mobile app design:
- Don’t begin Wireframes without finalizing a flowchart: A wireframe in layman’s terms refers to the skeletal structure or blueprint of an apps overall look and workflow. They are created primarily with a purpose to arrange elements in the best manner possible. This mainly involves the apps interface, navigation and overall functionality.It is advisable for mobile app designers to always have a flow structure in mind before beginning on the
initial design of the wireframe. This is because the wireframe provides the start for the mobile app design and the basis for the app’s functioning. Creating a wireframe in advance without having a basic understanding of an apps overall flow would be ludicrous. It would mean that a designer would have to go back to the start and start from scratch.
- Don’t underestimate the power of graphics: Many designers feel that most users don’t care much for what they see on screen so much as long as the app does what it’s meant to do. While this theory is true, graphics do lay an equally important role in an applications overall look. While functionality of the app does take center stage, doing something and making the mobile app design look good wouldn’t hurt. Graphics can be important too. Otherwise one would risk shipping out an app that’s just bare bones and dull. The idea of effective graphics gives the app a sense of presentation. Creating an app that looks good will give the user one more reason to keep using your app.
- Always leave enough room for navigation: This can be a very tricky decision for mobile app developers and designers. Sometimes, one may be tempted to squeeze in that extra feature into an existing page so as to not create another page. While this may be commendable for mobile app designers, it isn’t the smartest step. Not only could one risk inaccessibility, but also risks the apps overall look being cluttered.What many seem to misunderstand is that fitting in the extra feature, loses the ability to properly and freely access the app properly. Smartphones today are accessed using just your fingers on the screen and by tapping. Most users complain at times that it’s impossible to access a feature on the app due to the inability to tap a section of the screen.
- Complex Interfaces: This is a major talking point when it comes to an apps overall design. What many designers and developers alike seem to take for granted is that the app they’ve created is user friendly. This
means that designers believe that users will see the app the same way they do. This is a major mistake on the part of the designer.Mobile application design is a lot like art in general. The very concept is subjective among all eyes and minds. Not all minds interpret things the same way you do, especially on the first glance. Creating a complex interface just because one believes it to look premium, doesn’t mean it will be well received by the rest. Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple.
- Treat the mobile experience like desktops: Most of what you see on your smartphone these days are also available as a regular web version that can be viewed on computer screens. Don’t get us wrong though, when we say ‘treat the mobile experience like the desktop one’, we don’t mean to just copy that version directly to
smartphones. We mean treat it is an equally important experience. This means building an app that’s strictly mobile based and caters only to that.The market for mobile phones has increased three fold over the past couple of years and is only bound to go higher in the future. That means that more and more people prefer their experiences on the go. This would mean the most basic of things such as listening to music, browsing the internet and even playing games. Everything is mobile and hence the growing need for a better mobile experience.
- High-Density Content: This works in tandem with the previous point mentioned. What many mobile application developers and designers tend to do, is fit in all the content available on the web version and
somehow squeeze it into the mobile version of the app. This is a big no-no specifically because it tends to increase loading times. Like previously mentioned, people today prefer their experiences on the go. Creating the same content for mobile versions can have lasting harmful effects in the long run. Mobile internet is
based on data packages from service providers. Content on a website is usually of high quality and, therefore, will take time to load on mobile devices due to limitations in both speed and bandwidth.This could prove problematic. It is always advisable to strip down content to more essential information that’s needed. This can separate the desktop version from the mobile version.
- Don’t copy another mobile app design: This can never be stated enough. What most designers tend to do is take inspiration from other layouts and implement them into their app. This can be from both design and functional aspects. If you plan on doing this then keep in mind, if it worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Your app could be criticized for being a rip off something else if not handled properly. It is always better to create a mobile app design of your own that you feel others could access and fully appreciate in the long run. Even if the design doesn’t work out, it’s a great learning experience.
Author Bio: Cumulations Technologies is a mobile apps development company who provides Android, iOS & IoT apps development services worldwide.