Things to Consider When Designing a Mobile App
Mobile apps are everywhere. It’s almost as though everyone has one, whether it’s a game, a product, or a company.
With so much competition in the mobile app market, any new mobile app needs to be in tip-top shape to compete. Designing a mobile app isn’t easy, however, it’s not as hard as you may think. Based on conversations our team at SOLTECH have had with potential clients, and years of building mobile apps for them, we’ve come up with a list of things you should consider while planning your mobile application.
This one may seem obvious. To build a successful app (or anything, really) you need to be laser-focused on creating a product that does one thing perfectly. Whether that is finding a dog walker, looking for a ride or renting a bike, it needs to work flawlessly.
Based on our experience, those that try to cram as much functionality as they can into a mobile app tend to spend more building it, invest more time than they need to, and often do not like the results. Our suggestion would be to start small and then add features to your core application once you have established what you are and what you want to be. Check out our article on Minimum Viable Product for more on the “aim small, miss small” philosophy.
Solve a User Problem
Simply put: If your application doesn’t solve a need that people currently have it will never be successful. There are countless apps flooding the app store that do little or nothing at all to assist the person who downloads them. And, if a user doesn’t see any benefits from an app, they’ll never use it or they’ll delete it. Why take up precious space on your phone with something useless, right? Your app should be able to provide something to a user that they need. What is that thing? Our article on user research could help in discovering what your users are looking for.
Making sure that your app has the same feel throughout does several things. It ensures that a button designed on one screen looks and acts the same on every other screen it appears on. It adds a level of polish to your finished product that makes it more professional, and it establishes an interface pattern that allows users to recognize similar elements on different screens. This step is crucial since consumer behavior is such that without this consistency in your application, users will get frustrated and annoyed. That will doom your application.
The best way to make sure your application is user-centric and will be well received by your audience is to ensure that your discovery phase dives deep into what your users are expecting to get out of your product. Make sure that their needs are being met, and that your business needs are aligned with their expectations.
Lastly, make sure you’re listening to the people using your product. Take their feedback seriously, listen to what they’re saying and cater your application to their wants and needs. Just ask Snapchat what happened when a celebrity shared their frustration regarding their new design.
Pleasing Visual Design
Users want to look at an aesthetically pleasing product, for the most part. The exceptions to the rule are apps like Craigslist or Reddit, which are notoriously ugly, but are so to-the-point and effective that users don’t mind. Apps like these are outside the norm, and in our opinion, it’s best to err on the side of beautiful caution and build an app that is pleasing to look at.
Fast and Reliable
Last on the list is the optimization of your application. Make sure your developers are on top of their game, writing clean code and fixing bugs as they arise. Hiring a great software partner with a proven track record will help greatly in making sure your app is fast and reliable.
When building a mobile app, there is more than just these few bullet points to consider, but this list should give you an excellent foundation to begin designing and planning your next mobile app project.
If you’re looking to team up with a trusted software partner, SOLTECH has built software for more than 20 years and we would love to hear your ideas! Reach out to us!